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Staircase (1969)

Rex Harrison , Richard Burton , Stanley Donen  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rex Harrison, Richard Burton, Cathleen Nesbitt, Beatrix Lehmann
  • Directors: Stanley Donen
  • Writers: Charles Dyer
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
  • DVD Release Date: July 23, 2013
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DVPMZ0Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,357 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Based on Charles Dyer's Broadway play about a gay couple, STAIRCASE stars Rex Harrison and Richard Burton as a pair of aging hairdressers. Directed by Stanley Donen, with original music provided by Dudley Moore. Shown in 4:3 letterbox format using the highest quality source material available.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
(12)
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stays With You October 4, 2013
Format:DVD
This film received a lot of bad reviews when it was released and until now it has been unavailable on DVD. It's not a great movie, maybe not even a good one. But if you can deal with the stagy, artificial sounding dialogue and the claustrophobic atmosphere in much of the film, it's worth the effort. It presents a touching, sad and sometimes funny glimpse into the difficulties associated with growing old in an indifferent world. It also gives us a genuine sense of what it must have been like to be gay at a time when sexual liberation was only for heterosexuals. The film works because of the talent of the two great leading actors. Harrison and Burton inhabit their characters and make us see them as fully realized, complex people full of virtues and flaws, somehow annoying and likable at the same time. I doubt that less talented actors could have pulled this off. I've been surprised at how this film has lingered in the back of my mind. As I said, it's certainly no masterpiece, but when I think of it I feel compassion for those who are marginalized for being different or ignored simply because they are no longer young.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staircase October 2, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a sadly underrated classic film starring my all-time favorite the great Richard Burton and Rex Harrison.
This film has been buried for years although it was ahead of its time upon its release.
The acting is what is expected from two great actors, and the plot moves swiftly with a highly intelligent and entertaining screenplay.

It's about an odd couple (Burton & Harrison) who share the same house and barber shop. The humor rises from their contradicted personalities and points of view, yet they share genuine compassion for each other.
It is not openly discussing homosexuality but rather subtly hinting at the topic given the era of the film's release.
It is a feel-good movie about friendship, compassion , and appreciating those who love and care about us no matter what.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead Of Its Time October 27, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember years ago Siskel and Ebert did a special about the portrayal of gays on film up to that time. "Staircase" was given a cursory mention and generally they dismissed the film as being rife with stereotype. Maltin's movie guide called the film a curio that doesn't stand up for today's more sophisticated viewers. I hadn't thought about the film until a fellow co-worker and film buff told me it was one of her favorite films. This took me aback because myself and her are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and I thought she wouldn't take kindly to a film perceived to be insensitive. Having now seen the film I can say it has stood the test of time and misunderstood at the time of its release in 1969. Based on a stage play by Charles Dyer the film concerns a couple who are partners in business and bed. Charlie(Rex Harrison) is flamboyant and Harry(Richard Burton) is melancholic. They bicker and backbite like any couple in a long term relationship. Their relationship is at a crossroads with Charlie awaiting a visit from his estranged adult daughter and a court date for public lewdness. Harry, with his head wrapped in a bandage, frets over his hair loss and cares for his bedridden mother who constantly inquires as to why he never married. Both Harrison and Burton are outstanding and have definite chemistry. This is tricky material and handled sensitively by its makers and I think would be appreciated by a modern audience.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining and witty! September 29, 2013
By Polaris
Format:DVD
Two great actors playing highly unlikely roles giving insight into a rather questioning life style.

The dialogue is quite witty and for the most part hilarious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fox Cinema Archives short changes us again May 11, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
With all the MOD videos available, why does Fox cheat us out of the correct aspect ratio or 16:9 videos?
Warner Archive, Sony Select, Universal Vault, most of MGM Limited give us the correct aspect ratio, most enchanced to 16:9 screens. Why does Fox give us Pan and Scan or widescreen 4:3 versions? It is a disgrace!
Staircase would have been more involving if it were 16:9, but it isn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC FILM STARRING TWO GREATS . December 10, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
WONDERFUL PERFORMANCES BY TWO AMAZING ACTORS AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME...TOTALLY DIFFERENT TO ANY PREVIOUS ROLES...VERY POIGNANTAND INVOLVING FILM
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