Movie Details

This unadorned biography of playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman) charts his bawdy, dangerous relationships. Alfred Molina plays Orton's brutish lover, Kenneth Halliwell, a pathetic figure who becomes horrific and then tragic before the film is over. The hilarity of scenes from such Orton plays as Loot and What the Butler Saw is evenly balanced by the bleakness of the playwright's tormented (and tormenting) off-stage existence, which ended suddenly at age 34 with half a dozen blows to the head from a hammer. Prick Up Your Ears is based on the book by theater critic John Lahr, who is played in the film by Wallace Shawn. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi