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Torch Song Trilogy [VHS] (1988)

Anne Bancroft , Matthew Broderick , Paul Bogart  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Bancroft, Matthew Broderick, Harvey Fierstein, Brian Kerwin, Karen Young
  • Directors: Paul Bogart
  • Writers: Harvey Fierstein
  • Producers: Howard Gottfried, Marie Cantin, Ronald K. Fierstein
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English, Hebrew
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: January 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304077947
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,425 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Harvey Fierstein had a smash hit on Broadway with the stage version of this story about a drag queen, but whatever the magic there was doesn't show up in this film adaptation. (Fierstein allegedly couldn't line up an A-list or even B-list director in 1988 to tackle the gay story line, so he agreed to work with Paul Bogart, a ubiquitous television director but an undistinguished feature filmmaker.) Fierstein's performance is fine, but likely a shadow of his live work, while Anne Bancroft is very strong in the role of his character's mother. Matthew Broderick went against the tide of fear shared by most Hollywood actors at the time about playing gay characters. The times have certainly changed since then. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to DVD Arnold. I've been waiting for you. May 13, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was delighted to find that at long last, "Torch Song Trilogy" was finally on DVD. If you are not familiar with this film, it is a must see. A delightful, funny, gentle and moving film. For those not familiar, to put it in the context of time, it was one of the first movies with a positive image of gay characters.
I go way back with Torch Song. In the 1970's I saw, "International Stud" in the Village (I believe it was a theatre on Bleecker St.) I also remember seeing it as an entire triology off off Broadway when it was presented by the Glines (I seem to remember that the ticket cost $5 with a coupon, or was it 2-for $10 with coupon?)
Harvey Fierstien is to be applauded. We take for granted the more positive image we see of gays today (although apparently, we have progressed from the film images of where we kill ourselves, to the television images of where we are only acceptable if we are making straight people happy and so that they can marry each other, while we ourselves are not allowed to get married).
Torch Song represents hope, love, and pride.
A big plus on the DVD is the not to be missed commentary by Harvey.
Thank you Harvey for writing this. Thank you for being a pioneer. Gez ... where is this review going? Somewhere in the background a drag queen is beginning to sing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic!"
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent makeover of the play into a movie! August 2, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This is an offbeat story of a gay female impersonator in his seach for love and a committed relationship. Primarily psychological drama with excellent insights and incisive dialog. Anne Bancroft is great as the Jewish mother, and Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the original play, brings so much angst and personality to his portrayal of the main character that I just couldn't help wishing I knew someone like that in real life. Highly recommended if you want to know more about a lifestyle most people have never seen.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By M. Hart
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In 1988, the film version of the Tony Award-winning, landmark play "Torch Song Trilogy", which was written by the outspoken and very witty Harvey Fierstein, was released to theaters. Written originally as three separate one-act plays between 1978 and 1979 ("The International Stud", "Fugue in a Nursery" and "Widows and Children First"), Harvey Fierstein combined them into the more familiar three-act play "Torch Song Trilogy" in 1981 since each one-act play focused on the life of a gay man named Arnold (played by Harvey Fierstein), who is a gay drag-show entertainer. In the first act, Arnold meets a stranger at a bar named Ed (Brian Kerwin). A precarious relationship develops quickly between Ed and Arnold, but Ed also wants to marry a woman named Laurel (Karen Young). In the second act, Arnold meets a young man named Alan (Matthew Broderick) at the club where Arnold performs. A long-term relationship develops between Arnold and Alan until an unexpected tragedy occurs. The third act focuses on Arnold taking care of a teenaged son, David (Eddie Castrodad) that he & Alan had adopted, as well as Arnold's ongoing difficulties with his mother (Anne Bancroft).
With excellent dialog, engaging personalities and superb acting, "Torch Song Trilogy" is a fantastic film, demonstrating not only the love that exists within gay couples, but also the very real difficulties that many gay men face in their daily lives, including the all-too-often difficulties with family members who cannot accept them for who they are. Harvey Fierstein's unique voice adds a special flare to his drag show performances, as well as to his arguments with his mother. Anne Bancroft's performance is superb and emotional. Matthew Broderick did a wonderful portraying Alan.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Don't Have To Be Gay To Love TORCH SONG TRILOGY January 25, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
You don't have to be gay to love this surprising and unpretentious little movie, which should appeal to the hidden sense of "outsider" in most viewers. The story of an overweight, overly emotional, gravel-voiced and very unglamorous drag queen who seeks true love in a society that prizes appearance over values, TORCH SONG TRILOGY is a hilarious and often poignantly touching film with a break-out performance by Harvey Fierstein, who adapts his Tony-award winning stage script and performance for the screen with considerable aplomb.
In addition to Fierstein's brilliantly honest script and self-depreciating performance, the film also offers knock-out performances by Anne Bancroft as Fierstein's Jewish-Mother-From-Hell and Matthew Broderick as his much younger and somewhat unlikely lover; although not in the same league with these three, supporting players Brian Kerwin strikes the right note as Fierstein's tepidly bisexual ex-lover and Karen Young is quite good as Kerwin's understandably neurotic wife. Although the film script does depart from the stage script, it remains faithful in spirit, and the film as a whole is reasonably--although not outstandingly--served by director Paul Bogart.
The film abounds with quotable lines ("I'm the pretty one") that will keep you laughing, but although it concludes on a "hope for the future" note TORCH SONG TRILOGY is not all grins and giggles by a long shot: the dramatic underpinnings are deadly serious, and at least one or two scenes will leave most viewers as shocked, angered, and heart-broken as the characters it so vividly displays.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good.
Published 8 days ago by Gary/Ruth
4.0 out of 5 stars ARNOLD....ARNOLD....
This is one of my favorite movies and I couldnt find it untill a friend mentioned amazon....it should be called amazing becouse they had it...in great condition allmost new. Read more
Published 15 days ago by jackie marquez
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Wish it was better but has it moments
Published 18 days ago by chris
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie.
Fast delivery, great movie
.
Published 19 days ago by ann biars
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
okay
Published 26 days ago by bianca whalen
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Movie......
Fantastic movie, I love watching this movie and have wanted to own it for a few years.
So finally while shopping for another movie I looked this one up also..... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Van Printy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Drama
Torch Song Trilogy is a fine drama that I was luck enough to see in the theatre. Harvey Fierstein stars in a story about a drag queen, and gay life. Read more
Published 2 months ago by K. Nolting
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
wonderful movie
Published 3 months ago by Robin Dupuie
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful work!
I have long been a fan of Harvey Fierstein; this movie is fantastic! I recommend it highly to anyone interested in a personal take on issues early in the LGBT community. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andrea Fallenstein
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
I bought this movie because I needed it for a class project.
Loved it!
It is hillarious!
A must see!
Item as described, and delivered on time.
Published 3 months ago by ADRIANA CANDELAS
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