Staircase 1969


Charles Dyer’s acerbic play is opened up for the screen by Singing in The Rain director Stanley Donen, with Richard Burton and Rex Harrison stretching their range by playing a gay couple who operate a barbers shop in 1969 London. The endless bitching, mewling and backstabbing of 1960’s gay stereotypes are present, but Donen’s film rises above that, with pathos as the couple fight, re-unite, issue ultimatums and generally bicker their way through some exquisitely arch, camp dialogue that has to be heard to be believed. A theatrical experience, but one with two ‘out-there’ star performances that are well worth seeing.


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