Staircase, investigating lonely, desperate lives of two aging male homosexuals in a drab London suburb, comes uncomfortably close to being depressing. Caustic wit, splendid photography and fine direction serve only to point up weary plight of the middleaged pair who cling to one another even while they clash.

Staircase, investigating lonely, desperate lives of two aging male homosexuals in a drab London suburb, comes uncomfortably close to being depressing. Caustic wit, splendid photography and fine direction serve only to point up weary plight of the middleaged pair who cling to one another even while they clash.

Homosexuality, though predominant influence of storyline [from the play by Charles Dyer], is not central theme of screenplay. Its basis is urgent need of neurotic individuals for consolation.

Harrison as the flighty dagger-tongued roommate of fellow ‘hair stylist’ Burton offers portrait of a bitter, disenchanted man living in terror of being alone. Burton, almost stoic, commands respect and, at the same time, sympathy. Harrison and Burton have dared risky roles and have triumphed.

Staircase

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Stanley Donen; Producer Stanley Donen; Screenplay Charles Dyer; Camera Christopher Challis; Editor Richard Marden; Music Dudley Moore; Art Director Willy Holt

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Richard Burton Rex Harrison Cathleen Nesbitt Beatrix Lehmann Avril Angers Stephen Lewis
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