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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Movie Review - Behind the Candelabra

Movie review number 26

This is the story of a young kid called Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) who, some time in 1977, goes to Las Vegas with his cowboy mate (Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap) and is taken to a Liberace concert (played VERY well by Michael Douglas).  Liberace is playing his boogie woogie tune on the piano and Scott and the whole audience, as usual, is blown away with the skill and showmanship!  Scott is taken backstage and introduced to Liberace, who takes an immediate liking to the youngster.  Liberace invites both of them to his house the next day, and they go visit.  The house is as sumptuous, if not more so, than Liberace's stage show!!!
Before you know it, Scott has decided to move out of his foster home and dog training job, and move in with Liberace..... not just his house but his bed as well.  (At this time, homosexuality was still not tolerated in show biz and, had it been public knowledge that Liberace was gay, would have meant the end of his career.  Which is amazing now, because of his outrageous camp-ness!)
The story moves on to show Scott and Liberace's relationship develop, involving Scott in Liberace's stage show, Liberace's desire to adopt Scott, and Liberace's suggestion for plastic surgery on Scott so he would look like Liberace.  The plastic surgeon, played hysterically well by Rob Lowe, ultimately starts Scott's addiction to drugs - initially prescription, and then illegal - which then leads (along with Liberace's voracious sexual appetite) to the demise of their relationship in 1981.  The movie includes Scott's infamous and unsuccessful "alimony" lawsuit against Liberace.
The movie ends with Liberace's last meeting with Scott, before ultimately dying from an AIDS related illness.
Oh, and Debbie Reynolds plays Liberace's Mum terrifically well, too!

Oh yes, this is brilliant!!  Although there are two "intimate bedroom" scenes and some rather gory plastic surgery scenes, this is well worth getting the DVD!!

10 out of 10

Ben and Jerry's "Everything in it" icecream with as many sprinkles, toppings and additional extras as you can possibly think of!


  1. That sounds like an excellent movie Beanie! Where do you find these things? I've never heard of this one... The snacks sound delicious!

  2. A. Scott Bakula played a fictional character called Bob Black, a choreographer, based on a real character that Thorson refuses to name. Nothing like a cowboy.

    B. Alexander Mackenzie Bear - what rock have you been living under?! This came out early last year and was a widely publicized hit.

    1. Hello Sheryl!! I didn't know Bob Black was fictional - only described here as "cowboy" due to the outfit! (rather, the hat!) Reminded me of Sonny Bono, to be honest! And Alexander, being a bear, lives in the woods, not under a rock.

  3. The only guy that wears a hat (and I don't think it is a cowboy hat) is the drug dealer friend, played by someone whose name escapes me. Scott Bakula plays the guy who picks Thorson up in a gay bar, then later he takes Thorson to see Liberace play in the big cabaret. Bakula's role was the major supporting role and it earned him an Emmy nomination last year. His was the only one of the nine nominations that didn't win for BTC, sadly.

    1. Well, I could've sworn blind that Bob Black wore a stetson at the beginning of the movie!!! Just watched the start again and you're right, he doesn't (although Scott Thorson also wears a hat as part of the chauffeur outfit....!!) However, Bob Black isn't exactly an East Coast businessman either, so I'd like to stick to my description of "cowboy" albeit somewhat of a hippy Haight Ashbury flavour. Definitely not the John Wayne version of "cowboy"! Can you allow me that description?!!