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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