Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool: A True Love Story by Peter TurnerOn 29 September 1981, Peter Turner received a phone call that would change his life. His former lover, Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, had collapsed in a Lancaster hotel and was refusing medical attention. He had no choice but to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric familys home in Liverpool.
Liverpool born and bred, Turner had first set eyes on Grahame when he was a young actor, living in London. Best known for her portrayal of irresistible femme fatales in films such as The Big Heat, Oklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful, for which she won an Oscar, Grahame electrified audiences with her steely expressions and heavy-lidded eyes and the heroines she bought to life were often dark and dangerous. Turner and Grahame became firm friends and remained so ever after their love affair had ended. And it was to him she turned in her final hour of need.
Film Stars Dont Die in Liverpool is an affectionate, moving and wryly humorous memoir of friendship, love, and stardom.
Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool reviewed by Mark Kermode
I n the late s, Peter Turner was a young actor living in digs in Primrose Hill. It escalated from there. The image of a Hollywood legend breathing her last in a tough, riot-racked northern port is so surprising, so camera-ready, that when Peter wrote his poignant, thoughtful memoir , he was besieged by offers.
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
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Sign in. Watch now. A wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm to see her husband receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Based on Ian McEwan's novel. In England, a young couple find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night. On the eve of retirement a middle class, judgmental snob discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and is forced into exile with her bohemian sister who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate.
The rise of talking pictures coincided with the Great Depression. The ostensible golden age of the studios paralleled the darkest days of the thirties. Current-day Hollywood contrives its public self-image from the phantoms and the fumes of the classic studio era; in the process, it evokes, with a fallacious longing, the hard-knock times that high-studio movies symbolize. Turner, a working actor of local renown, found himself in contact with a legend whose way of life had become surprisingly ordinary but whose personality retained its grandeur, whose every casual remark resonated with the weight of a past that was populated by potentates and geniuses and by fierce conflicts—intimate, public, and historical. When Turner and Grahame meet—in real life, in ; the film has it as —her career was greatly reduced. Grahame, whose onscreen default expression, in her years of peak performance, was a proud sneer that transcended peevishness and defied the world at large, was a tighter, snarlier character than the open, receptive Bening.
It is based on the memoir of the same name by Peter Turner, which tells of his relationship with aging Academy Award-winning American actress Gloria Grahame in s Liverpool and, some years later, her death from breast cancer. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on 1 September On 27 June , the film began filming in Liverpool and London.
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During a stint on the London stage in The Glass Menagerie , the year-old Grahame travels to Liverpool to visit the family of her ex-boyfriend, the decades-younger actor Peter Turner Jamie Bell , and stays … and stays … and stays, her bed becoming her deathbed. The frequent flashbacks give Bening something to play besides denial and dementia. When Grahame meets Peter at an upscale London boarding house, Bening makes the actress ostentatiously girlish, a whirligig cartoon. Her voice is high and breathy and beckoning: She seems to be leaning forward even as she waltzes away from him to turn on a phonograph. The director, Paul McGuigan Victor Frankenstein , has plainly prevailed upon the production designer Eve Stewart to elevate the mood with color, especially purples and pinks. The story is too bounded, like a theater piece.