Torch Song Trilogy

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"It takes a lot of guts and a helluva sense of humor to live life in Arnold's shoe's."
  • R
  • 1988
  • 2 hr
  • 7.8  (7,771)

Torch Song Trilogy is a 1988 film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play of the same name, written by Harvey Fierstein, who also stars in the lead role. The movie also features prominent actors like Anne Bancroft and Matthew Broderick. The film tells the story of Arnold Beckoff (played by Fierstein), a drag performer and a homosexual who is looking for love and acceptance in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The story is divided into three acts, representing three different relationships in Arnold's life.

In the first act, Arnold starts a relationship with Ed (Brian Kerwin), a closeted bisexual teacher. The relationship is fraught with difficulties as Ed struggles to accept his own sexuality and is unable to commit to Arnold fully. Meanwhile, Arnold's overbearing mother (Anne Bancroft) disapproves of her son's lifestyle and is trying to set him up with a girl from the neighbourhood.

In the second act, Arnold meets Alan (Matthew Broderick), a young and inexperienced model who is still grappling with his own sexuality. The two start a passionate relationship, but it is soon threatened by Alan's fear of being outed to his family and friends. Arnold's mother also makes an unwelcome appearance, leading to a dramatic confrontation.

In the final act, Arnold has broken up with Alan and moved on, but his ex-lover remains a part of his life. Arnold also decides to fulfill his lifelong dream of adopting a child, and he successfully becomes a foster parent to David (Eddie Castrodad), a troubled teenage boy. Arnold's relationship with his mother also sees some reconciliation, but there are still some unresolved issues between them.

Throughout the film, Torch Song Trilogy explores themes of love, acceptance, and family, and how these concepts intersect with sexuality and identity. The movie is a powerful portrayal of the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community during the height of the AIDS crisis, and how these difficulties were compounded by societal stigma and discrimination.

The film is notable for its groundbreaking representation of LGBTQ+ characters on screen, as well as the fact that it was one of the first mainstream movies to portray gay relationships in a positive light. Torch Song Trilogy was also praised for its performances, particularly Fierstein's portrayal of Arnold, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Anne Bancroft was also widely acclaimed for her supporting role, as was Matthew Broderick for his portrayal of Alan.

In conclusion, Torch Song Trilogy is an important and influential film that explores the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community during a difficult and tumultuous time in American history. With its powerful performances and moving story, Torch Song Trilogy is a must-watch for anyone interested in the history of LGBTQ+ cinema.

Torch Song Trilogy
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (7,771)