Stanley Donen, director; Rex Harrison and Richard Burton, actors

Staircase (USA; 1969)

Original U.S. insert poster

 

Starring two paragons of Hollywood heterosexual masculinity, Staircase attempted to be a comedy about a gay couple, but instead became a much reviled example of negative gay stereotyping.  The film, which includes a suicide attempt, a solicitation arrest, endless hostile bickering, and nary a hint of tenderness, is unable to elevate its view of homosexuality above the pathetic.  The tag line of the film’s poster, “A Sad Gay Story,” only underscores the bleak portrait of homosexuality that the movie paints.

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