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Torch Song Trilogy [Import]

Anne Bancroft , Matthew Broderick , Paul Bogart    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.82 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Torch Song Trilogy [Import] + To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything
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Harvey Fierstein had a smash hit on Broadway with the stage version of this story about a drag queen, but whatever the magic there was doesn't show up in this film adaptation. (Fierstein allegedly couldn't line up an A-list or even B-list director in 1988 to tackle the gay story line, so he agreed to work with Paul Bogart, a ubiquitous television director but an undistinguished feature filmmaker.) Fierstein's performance is fine, but likely a shadow of his live work, while Anne Bancroft is very strong in the role of his character's mother. Matthew Broderick went against the tide of fear shared by most Hollywood actors at the time about playing gay characters. The times have certainly changed since then. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The No.1 Classic Gay Drama I have Ever Watched. July 15 2004
By N. Wong
Format:DVD
Finally, I have seen a gay movie which is not merely about the misery of being dumped by a gay lover or trying to come out in a family.
Torch Song Trilogy is a biographical work about the life of the protagonist drag queen, Arnold. The movie starts humourously with the mother's discovery of the son hiding in a closet and trying to beautifying himself with her make-up. The mother yelled, "What are you doing in the ---". Then the mother knew what was going on.
The movie can be basically divided into three parts (that's why it's titled trilogy) - his career as a professional drag queen (or politically correct - a female impersonator), during which he knew a bisexual man; his falling in love with a middle class boy who is still uncontaminated by the world. He, however, was sadly, killed by hateful discrimination. Finally, the movie has a touch of adopting a (gay) son and brings out the issue of gay parenting. The movie ends with a fight, not a reconciliation, between the mother and the gay son. Each part of the movie tells you the life and the bumpy road Arnold was living through at the moment. The movie does not depict it in a pitiful way, or else, it lets the plot bring out the emotio spontaneously to the audience. The dialogues are clever, symbolic and witty. The acting is professional and does not go over the top. The director deals with the fantastic scripts carefully and the final scene of Arnold holding the three most valuable things in his life in a chair is simply self-effacing.
Torch Song Trilogy is a gay classic drama. There is nothing pretentious. The movie does not ask for your pity for Arnold's tragic life, but your understanding of what he has been through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best gay film of all time July 18 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Every person that I turn on to this movie absolutely loves it and eventually adds it to their dvd collections as a result. Even after watching TST many, many times (and believe it or not, it is playing now!) I still believe it is the very best gay themed movie of all time..and I have seen them all...Superb acting, laugh-out-loud funny and very touching...Bancroft and Fierstein shine!
If you are straight (or gay in some cases) and can't stand gay people, don't even bother renting or buying this film. But, regardless of your sexual orientation, if you are a mature, openminded person, and respect all people for who and what they are, you will enjoy it.
Get it. You'll love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why??? May 8 2004
Format:DVD
The one-star rating given does not reflect my opinion of this wonderful film, for which many people have waited a long, long time to see in the DVD format. HOWEVER this film has been released in a cropped, pan-and-scan version, not the original widescreen version anyone in their right mind would expect at this point in the format's evolution.
New Line, shame shame SHAME on you. Buyers beware, this is not the version of this film you saw (and loved) in theatres.
And for any studios who PERSIST in releasing films in this format, c'mon, join the rest of us in the 21st century. And by all means do not expect us to actually BUY this format-edited junk.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well ain't this a kick in the rubber parts?! July 13 2004
Format:DVD
I love this film. I have ever since early 1989, when I first saw it in a theater back in Chicago (they wouldn't show this type of film out in the 'burbs back then, so I had to drive into the city). It was a must-have in my VHS collection, and it's a must-have now in my DVD collection.
The picture and sound quality are fantastic - BETTER than the VHS release, in fact. The cover art is identical to my old VHS copy, but that's a very minor issue. As for the buzzing sound that others reported hearing in the dressing room scenes of Act One, all I can say is that perhaps they're hearing the low hum of Arnold's make-up mirror lights. Who knows. It sounded great on my middle-of-the-road sound system, and I'm elated.
Listening to Harvey Fierstein's commentary, I was surprised to learn that the film didn't make much money after its initial release, despite the stage version's success on and off Broadway. I also had no idea that all the major players in this movie had appeared in the stage version at some point or another. Harvey also touched on how the AIDS crisis played a part in the history of this show (and why the dates of the action in this story were "fudged" to take place before AIDS even became an issue in gay life). So much information provided on this track was brand new to me. It was like getting a long-overdue lesson in gay history. I'm proud to have it in my collection.
Now if they'd only re-release the music soundtrack CD...
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5.0 out of 5 stars FAAABULOUS! (With 1 Minor Flaw) July 9 2004
Format:DVD
I watched this movie at least 20 times on VHS. It was the very first gay-themed movie I'd seen and could not have been presented to me at a more important time in my life. I was 20 (I'm 32 now) and only a few weeks before I'd come out to my mother as Gay. Dealing with my mother's fears and still unable to tell my five older brothers or my father, I joined a Gay student group at my university. I was terrified because though I knew what was going on in my life, I had not yet met or knew anyone who was Gay. My first night with the student organization we got together at a young lesbian couple's home and watched "Harold And Maude" (a classic!) and "Torch Song Trilogy." The next day while describing Torch Song to my mother I burst into uncontrollable sobs. This was the first time my mother had seen me cry in years and she knew she had to watch this movie with me. I rented it and we watched it and my mother and I cried together - she knew what I was going through in a way I could never explain to her. This movie is an absolute MUST SEE. BTW, the minor flaw is that there is a very annoying buzzing during the initial monologue with Arnold and also during the conversation and monologue with Ed and Arnold in Arnold's dressing room. Otherwise the rest of the movie is a gem. Also, contrary to what another reviewer stated, I did NOT find a single scene edited from the DVD version that was in the original VHS version - the DVD copy is identical to the orginal down to the second - 121 minutes.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I didn't buy this but love the movie.
Published 13 days ago by Carol Thorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is amazing
I quote it all the time. There are so many truths that have nothing to do with sexuality but simply being human and being vulnerable and w.anting to be loved
Published 6 months ago by Faye Tardiff
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching, funny, sad and important
A notable film on several levels. First, it was way ahead of the U.S. in being a relatively mainstream film that treated gay men as people of depth,
value, humor and worth... Read more
Published 8 months ago by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Goood story
This is another likeable gay themed movie that pulls at your heart strings. The cast is great and the acting is well done and makes you want more.
Published 18 months ago by Teemob
5.0 out of 5 stars torch song trilogy...très beau film
J'ai beaucoup aimé ce film. J'étais très content qu'il soit traduit en français. Read more
Published 19 months ago by jacquelin d. roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and Funny and Heartfelt
I gave this 5 stars based on its original release date. Yes, it is a bit dated now, but it really does not hurt the film if you look at it as a snapshot of the time. Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by DonMac
5.0 out of 5 stars THE FILM THAT SAVED MY LIFE
AT 13, ALONE...HARVEY GAVE ME SOMETHING THRUGH HIS FILM...HOPE.HE WILL ALWAYS BE MY ANGEL AND AT 29...HE'S STILL MY INSPIRATION
Published on June 23 2004 by edwardanthony brunetta
5.0 out of 5 stars A true accounting of human emotion
I love this movie because it effectively portrays a wide scope of emotion. Pay attention to Arnold's many facial expressions and the words he chooses to speak. Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by Bouncy
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Marvelous
A Truly great film that is worth owning and you never get tired of!!
Published on June 5 2004 by Thomas M. Schnyder
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