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Staircase

6.3
288
Ratings
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Original title
Staircase
Year
Running time
101 min.
Country
United States United States
Director
Screenwriter
Charles Dyer
Music
Dudley Moore
Cinematography
Christopher Challis
Cast
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Producer
20th Century Fox
Genre
Drama | Gay & Lesbian
Synopsis / Plot
Homosexual lovers face age and society''s disapproval together. For 30 years homosexuals Charlie Dyer (Rex Harrison) and Harry Leeds (Richard Burton) have lived together over a barber shop they run in London; Harry now suffers from a scalp condition so aggravated that he keeps his head wrapped in towels, and Charlie is nervously awaiting a court summons for having been caught by the police for being dressed in drag. Although the two men have stung each other with insults for years, with Charlie usually the aggressor, the tension increases when Charlie receives a letter from his ex-wife informing him that their daughter is coming for a visit. Therefore he tries to get Harry out of the house by suggesting that his roommate take his mother for a drive in the country, whereupon Harry accuses Charlie of selfishness since the old woman is an arthritic cripple unable to move from her bedroom above the barber shop. That evening Charlie's summons arrives, and he asks Harry to lend him the money for his defense, but Harry refuses. Charlie visits his own mother in an old age home, but she curses him and calls him "a sodomite." The fights between Charlie and Harry reach a peak when Charlie returns home with Jack, a casual pick-up, and when he hears Charlie order Jack to undress, Harry locks himself in the bathroom. Charlie later finds him unconscious and attempts to revive him, pleading with his roommate never to leave him alone. Harry eventually comes round and explains that he had not attempted suicide but was merely suffering from an attack of high blood pressure. On the day of his court appearance, Charlie prays for help, promising to be kinder to Harry in the future, but the promise is forgotten as soon as Harry appears wearing a cheap black wig. Ignoring Charlie's jibes, Harry offers to accompany him to court. Charlie refuses but realizes by the time he reaches the corner that he cannot go it alone, and he calls out for Harry to accompany him.
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