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Behind the Candelabra [Blu-ray]

Michael Douglas , Matt Damon , Steven Soderbergh    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
Price: 7.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Rob Lowe, Dan Aykroyd
  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Oct 2013
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,833 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace--infamous pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. A name synonymous with showmanship and extravagance, he lit up every stage he performed on, as bright as his candelabras and with a unique flair that gained him millions of devoted fans across the globe.

In the summer of 1977, handsome young stranger Scott Thorson walked into Liberace’s dressing room and, despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds, the two embarked on a secretive five-year love affair. To the outside world Scott was an employee, at most a friend, but behind closed doors his life with Liberace was an intense rollercoaster of hedonistic fun, flamboyance and excess.

Starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, Behind The Candelabra tells the fascinating true story of their glamorous life together and their tempestuous relationship--from the glitz and glamour of the early days in Las Vegas to their very bitter and public break-up.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
109 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Furs, facelifts & poodles 24 Jun 2013
By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER
What an unexpectedly pleasing, touching movie.
When I first heard Michael Douglas had been cast as arch showman Liberace (someone I remember on TV from my youth) I thought what inspired casting it was. What I didn`t suspect was just how moving and believable an impression of the man he would give.
Liberace was as camp as they come, and a very closeted gay man in an America not quite ready to embrace such a concept, particularly someone whose persona was that of an unthreatening, cosy, mildly outrageous middle-of-the-road entertainer. Things evidently haven`t come that far, as director Steven Soderbergh couldn`t get funding from the studios for a feature film (too overtly gay, apparently!) so his project became a TV movie, though you`d never know it, such is the lustre of the finished film he managed to make, despite the puerile queasiness of American sensibilities even now.
What is so effective about Douglas`s considered performance is that, rather than overplay his hand, making an already flamboyant, often flippant man into a vapid caricature - which is what I`d feared - he in fact underplays, to great effect, leaving the script, sets, costumes - oh, the costumes! - to go OTT, while he allows us to see the real man `behind the candelabra`. It`s an intelligent decision, which repays great dividends.
I`ve rarely seen Douglas so relaxed in a role. Like his dad, he`s quite an intense actor, and can be a showy one, so the fact that he reins it in here is to be applauded.
Matt Damon, as his younger lover Scott Thorson, on whose memoir the film is based, is a revelation. We are used to seeing Damon in buttoned-up, self-contained, rather unsmiling roles - from Ripley to Bourne - but here he lets rip, and then some!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bourne with gender identities 15 Oct 2013
It's hard to imagine super-spy Jason Bourne in a sparkly thong, throwing a hissy-fit at his older male lover. Perhaps that's why Matt Damon's performance has got him quite a lot of praise for his portrayal of the young man (Scott Thorson) who lived (and loved) Hollywood icon Liberace.
Michael Douglas too is on fine form as the man himself, displaying the voice and the mannerisms of the flamboyant entertainer to a tee.

It's a `rise and fall' tale of love that was probably doomed from the start. It's based on the `kiss and tell' book that Thorson wrote once Liberace had died, so we only have his word on it that this is the `truth.' But, truth or not, it's an entertaining piece of tragic drama that allows both him and Douglas to put in some stellar performances.

It probably isn't for everyone. If you look at internet message boards, you'll see a fair few people who found it `overly gay' in subject matter. However, if that sort of thing offends you, you really shouldn't even be considering watching a semi-biopic about a gay couple's life.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gets the tone just right 25 Jun 2013
By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER
As others have said, there is something very good about the tone Steven Soderbergh achieves in this film. The first part is particularly enjoyable, I felt, when the effect of the costumes and general flamboyancy matched the upbeat story of Liberace meeting Scott Thorson, the young man who would become his lover and general all-round assistant. As things go on and cracks begin to appear in the relationship, it is less entertaining, but always interesting, and even when things are desperate it never becomes hollow, with Scott's 'bad behaviour' always kept within the limits of his character - this is a man who, however hurt, can only go so far in the direction of unpleasantness. The way this is kept in view even at the most hysterical moments is very well handled. Michael Douglas is excellent and gives a brave performance as Liberace, making the showman appear human but not glossing over the less good sides of his personality. He has the necessary charisma to make him a magnet to the camera, not just by his clothes, in fact he is never upstaged by them! But for me the film gets its heart from the Matt Damon role. I thought he brought this rather lost character stunningly to life, and the film fills us in very well on his foster home background, his naivety and his neediness. Towards the end you are wondering whether he has been more loved or abused in the relationship, where in other hands it might unquestionably seem the latter, but this is related to the essential goodness of this man. Furthermore Damon is so lovely in the opening part of the film, I was reminded of how perfect his looks really are, and here he is quite beefed up. To see Damon in this role is quite something! Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising 10 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Could hardly believe the actors on the title were in the film so well was the charachterisation and acting in this movie. I felt a little uncomfortable at times with the sex scenes but that is my own hang up, it was a really good film that I could certainly watch again
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining. 10 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are superb! Brilliant, funny and at times, quite sad. Have recommended it to all my friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film. 9 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I watched this film on a long haul flight and really enjoyed it. Wanting to buy a little extra gift for the wife at Christmas I thought about this she had mentioned it when it came out and I didn't fancy it much but as I had now seen it and enjoyed it I bought it for her. What a triumph ,she loved it and I enjoyed it even more 2nd time around. A superb movie.
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