Prick Up Your Ears

Prick Up Your Ears

Stephen Frears (1987)

15 Certificate


Our Score
The life of doomed gay British playwright Joe Orton gets a no-holds-barred but sure-handed telling by director Stephen Frears in this funny and moving biopic, with Gary Oldman giving a marvellous performance as the promiscuous cheeky chappy. Alan Bennett's wonderful script is full of hilarious one-liners, and is more interesting when focusing on what it meant to be homosexual in the 1960s rather than on Orton's lauded theatrical achievements. Yet, with Alfred Molina also punching his acting weight as jealous lover Kenneth Halliwell, this is still British film-making at its finest.


Biopic of controversial 1960s playwright Joe Orton. The budding writer forms a close romantic and creative relationship with Kenneth Halliwell, an older man with literary ambitions of his own. However, as the sexually promiscuous Orton's talent blossoms, Halliwell becomes increasingly consumed with jealousy and professional frustration that drive him to fatal ends. Starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina.

Cast & Crew

Joe Orton Gary Oldman
Kenneth Halliwell Alfred Molina
Peggy Ramsay Vanessa Redgrave
Leonie Orton Frances Barber
Mrs Sugden Janet Dale
William Orton James Grant
Elsie Orton Julie Walters
John Lahr Wallace Shawn
Anthea Lahr Lindsay Duncan
Mr Sugden Dave Atkins
Anthea's Mother Joan Sanderson
Director Stephen Frears
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Park CircusGuidance: Contains violence, swearing and sex scenes.Available on: video and DVDReleased on: 4 Aug 2017