Prick up your Ears

Prick up your Ears

DVD - 2015
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Told through flashbacks, the films reveals the relationship between dramatist Joe Orton and his mentor Kenneth Halliwell. At first blush the older Halliwell is the educator and Orton is his willing student. Those roles would be reversed with success of Orton's play Entertaining Mr. Sloan, a success that would place Halliwell in Orton's shadow, leading to tragic consequences.


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Sep 03, 2018

of positively Shakespearean dimensions, "Prick Up Your Ears" is "Othello" for the mid-20th Century, where you're rooting for Desdemona, Joe Orton, against the ravages of Othello, Kenneth Halliwell, where they all, of course, die, in Shakespeare allegorically, the other two in actual life, this is, after all, a biography, the performances are exceptional, Vanessa Redgrave and Gary Oldman totally deliver, but its hard to appreciate Alfred Molina in the role of the abject villain - for mature audiences only, the subject matter is entirely X-rated

Apr 04, 2015

Released in 1987, but set in the Swinging 60's, this bio-flick, Prick Up Your Ears (PUYE, for short), focuses in like a microscope on the high-flying lifestyle of the hugely successful, British, playwright - Joe Orton.

To set things straight, right from the start, Joe Orton, was, indeed, gay. Well, he was. And this flick makes no whispered, hush-hush secret about that truth, either. In fact, as you will soon see, PUYE does a fairly thorough job of actually exploiting Joe's sexuality for its own sensationalistic benefit.

At the age of 28, Orton, as a respected playwright, was already on his way up the ladder to fame and fortune. Orton's play "Loot", written in 1962, was an immediate success. "Loot" ran, to rave reviews, for a 2 year, extended engagement on the London Stage.

If I am to take what is shown to me in PUYE as a pretty accurate look at Joe Orton's demeanour/lifestyle, then I, for the life of me, cannot see how he ever, ever managed to write any plays, at all. Orton spent so much time, either, falling down drunk, or cruising public washrooms for male-sex, that his play-writing abilities absolutely dumbfound me. Like - Where the hell did this gay-man find the time to write anything? I'd sure like to know.

Anyways - Eventually, our washroom-sex, slime-boy, Orton meets up with a real looney-tuner named Kenneth Halliwell. Needless to say, the "relationship" that develops between these 2 incompatible gays is a mighty rough and rocky one, indeed.

In 1967, at the age of 34, Joe Orton, whose career as a playwright looked mighty bright, was brutally murdered. Orton's untimely death was caused from numerous, skull-fracturing, hammer blows to the head, courtesy of that little, wacko, Kenneth Halliwell.


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