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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

TV-MA | | Biography, Drama, Music | 7 June 2013 (UK)
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A chronicle of the tempestuous six-year romance between megastar singer Liberace and his young lover Scott Thorson.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Scott Thorson (book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,558 ( 666)
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 41 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Scott Thorson
Scott Bakula ... Bob Black
Eric Zuckerman ... Lou
Eddie Jemison ... Assistant Director
Randy Lowell ... Director
Tom Roach Tom Roach ... Stunt Actor
Shamus Cooley Shamus Cooley ... Camera Assistant
John Smutny John Smutny ... Sound Mixer
Jane Morris ... Rose Carracappa
Garrett M. Brown ... Joe Carracappa
Michael Douglas ... Liberace
Pat Asanti ... George Liberace
Debbie Reynolds ... Frances Liberace
Casey Kramer ... Dora Liberace
Cheyenne Jackson ... Billy Leatherwood
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Storyline

Scott Thorson, a young bisexual man raised in foster homes, is introduced to flamboyant entertainment giant Liberace and quickly finds himself in a romantic relationship with the legendary pianist. Swaddled in wealth and excess, Scott and Liberace have a long affair, one that Scott eventually begins to find suffocating. Kept away from the outside world by his flashily effeminate yet deeply closeted partner, and submitting to extreme makeovers and even plastic surgery at the behest of his lover, Scott eventually rebels. When Liberace finds himself a new lover, Scott is tossed onto the street. He then seeks legal redress for what he feels he has lost. But throughout, the bond between the young man and the star never completely tears. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful"


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Liberace See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,568,300
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (flashback sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Soderbergh is particularly famous for his fast rhythm shooting and editing, with ideas clearly conceived beforehand and no running over schedule. According to Matt Damon, filming was completed on a Friday and Soderbergh had edited a first cut by the following Monday. See more »

Goofs

The wheels on the Mercedes 450SL that Bob drives in 1977 were not introduced until 1986 on the 560SL. See more »

Quotes

Scott Thorson: [to Liberace over the phone while strung-out on cocaine] You scumbag piece of shit! You cheating fairy! You fucking unfaithful queen cocksucker! How dare you? How fucking dare you, Lee? I could kill you! I could fucking kill you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #22.16 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Sincerely Yours
Written by Liberace and Paul Francis Webster
Piano Performed by Randy Kerber
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Liberace the Legend is served well
27 May 2013 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

The film is based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Scott Thorson (with Alex Thorleifson) adapted for the screen by Richard LaGravenese about the tempestuous 6- year relationship between Liberace and his much younger lover Scott Thorson. This film along with SIDE EFFECTS are purported to be Steven Soderbergh's last films he will direct.

The cast is very solid. Matt Damon embodies the role of Scott Thorson well - a young apparently bisexual man who has been tossed from foster home to foster home while he does odd jobs (he is 17 years old) tending to animals. In a gay bar he meets Bob Black (Scott Bakula) who takes Scott to a Liberace concert (his first exposure to the mega-star) and to meet Liberace afterwards. There is tension in the air with Liberace's current paramour and performing partner Billy Leatherwood (Cheyenne Jackson) and we soon discover that Liberace (impeccably played by Michael Douglas) only keeps his 'boys' around for a while before his manager Seymour (Dan Ackroyd) gets rid of them with a check. Liberace and Scott find common ground in being needy people without confidants and soon Scott becomes Liberace's next lover. All goes swimmingly until Liberace sees himself on a TV show and sees how aged he has become. He engages plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Startz (Rob Lowe in a very fine performance) to perform a youthful face lift and at the same time convinces Scott to undergo plastic surgery to make him look more like Liberace! And here begins the downfall: Dr. Startz prescribes pain meds to Scott who becomes addicted and moves into heavier drugs, and his behavior, along with Liberace's need for a 'new face' (Boyd Holbrook), signals the breakup of a 6 year relationship - the best relationship either has ever had.

There are excellent cameos by Debbie Reynolds as Liberace's mother, Paul Reiser as Scott's lawyer, and others, but the star of the film is in all ways the flamboyant showman Liberace in some of the most interesting outfits ever created. The on screen relationship between Michael Douglas and Matt Damon is entirely credible and neither of these fine actors has a problem with being sexually physical without seeming to be a parody. There are moments that could have been cut, but as Liberace says, less is more and more is wonderful.

Grady Harp


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