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Torch Song Trilogy (1988)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Kerwin, Matthew Broderick, Karen Young, Ken Page, Harvey Fierstein
  • Directors: Paul Bogart
  • Writers: Harvey Fierstein
  • Producers: Ronald Fierstein, Howard Gottfried
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 4.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 4, 2004
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001HAGRE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,580 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Torch Song Trilogy (1988)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

An on-screen adaptation of the Tony- award-winning play about a Jewish homosexual who, except for a different sexual preference, goes through the same struggles of love, jealousy and self-doubt that affect us all.

Customer Reviews

Good story line, and a great cast.
James Lee Ellis McKinney
This is an offbeat story of a gay female impersonator in his seach for love and a committed relationship.
Kerwin L. Schaefer
Both the play and the movie will make you laugh; they will make you cry.
H. F. Corbin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By I. Henzel on 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 By Kerwin L. Schaefer on 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 on May 25, 2004
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 20 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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