Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Whoops, indeed

Staircase is one of those classic late sixties films which has no particular purpose, it just seems an excuse to spend several million dollars, indulge a couple of stars and to wring every last drop out of the short-lived American obsession with everything British which, of course, includes homosexuality.

Adapted from a meandering and over written two character play, 'Staircase' was touted as being one of the first films to foreground gay men in a sympathetic way, although it did so by making them tiresome bitchy queens and hiring two of the most heterosexual men in Hollywood, Richard Burton (married five times) and Rex Harrison (married six times). The joke backfired, however, as the film was a huge flop.

'Staircase' (as far as I know, the only film to feature Blakey from 'On The Buses' as a rent boy) was directed by Stanley Donen, who had just made 'Bedazzled' with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Dudders was asked to write the score for this film, and his solemn and slightly queasy organ theme is a highlight.

Maurice Binder's slightly crappy scrolling credits pre-date 'Star Wars' by a good eight years, although they lacks the presence of an Imperial battle cruiser or whatever the hell that plastic spaceship is called.

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