Torch Song Trilogy [Import]
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Synopsis: An on-screen adaptation of the Tony- award-winning play about a Jewish homosexual who, except for a different sexual preference, goes through the same struggles of love, jealousy and self-doubt that affect us all.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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value, humor and worth making a film about. (Although there is sad irony in the fact this huge hit play took so long to make it to the screen that
AIDS had already totally altered the landscape by the time of its release. That's something the film only notes in the closing credits, and gives it a
bit of a 'rose colored glasses' hue).
But beyond any politics or social significance this is also a very well acted, funny and moving look at one man, Arnold, (played by the unique and
charismatic Harvey Firestein, who wrote the play and screenplay) as he looks for love – both romantic and familial in a sometimes very cold world.
If Firestein's performance can occasionally feel theatrical, it's also entirely appropriate for the starting-to-age drag queen performer he plays.
What's wonderful is how Firestein always keeps the humanity under Arnold's occasional flamboyance very alive, as does Anne Bancroft as his
'difficult' mother. Later in her career Bancroft could tend towards theatricality on screen as well, but she tones it down just enough to feel real
here, and anyway, lets face it, next to a drag queen, who is more innately dramatic than a Jewish mother? (I grew up with one, trust me).
Matthew Broderick and Brian Kerwin also do very good work in support, Broderick as a sexy but understated young man totally at ease with his
sexuality, and Kerwin as a confused bi- sexual trying to work out his.Read more ›
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!
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...
Most recent customer reviews
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 lovedPublished on Feb. 4 2014 by Faye Tardiff
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 on Feb. 25 2013 by Teemob