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Staircase

UK, English, 96 mins

  • Director: Stanley Donen
  • Writer: Charles Dyer
  • Producer: Stanley Donen

CGiii Comment

Famous for Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, 7 Brides et al, Donen directs with as much lustre as an unbuffed old mirror - he should have stuck to what he did best - musicals.

Burton and Harrison as two old poofs is as curious as the casting - rumours abound why they did it: a supposedly huge pay cheque (today's equivalent of $20 million - each).

Since the lead character and the writer go by the same name - it is safe to say that this might be autobiographical (or an immense ego at work) whatever, this is as bleak as Armageddon with dialogue that is repetitive and grim.

The play flopped (only 61 performances) and so did the film - but, it will survive as a mere curiosity for the director's nadir and the greed of big named actors.

As for Dyer, this was his short-lived peak.

A special award must go to having the oldest and ugliest rent boy ever seen on the big screen (and the worst wig).


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

Charles Dyer and Harry Leeds are a couple that have been living together for nearly 20 years. Both earn a living as hairdressers in the West End of London and both care deeply for their mothers, but not each other as time apart takes its toll on their relationship when Harry has to care for his invalid mother who snips at him every chance she gets.

Cast & Characters

Rex Harrison as Charles Dyer;
Richard Burton as Harry Leeds, Owner of Chez Harry;
Cathleen Nesbitt as Harry's mother;
Beatrix Lehmann as Charlie's Mother;
Michael Rogers as Opening Song;
Royston Starr as Opening Song;
Jake Kavanagh as Choirboy;
Dermot Kelly as Gravedigger;
Gordon Heath as George the Policeman;
Avril Angers as Miss Ricard;
Neil Wilson as Policeman;
Shelagh Fraser as Cub Mistress;
Gwen Nelson as Matron;
Pat Heywood as Nurse;
Stephen Lewis as Jack

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