"Too much of a good thing is wonderful!" famously exclaimed the flamboyant pianist Liberace, and director Steven Soderbergh's glittery, music-filled biopic Behind the Candelabra, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray September 17th from HBO Films, takes a look at the flamboyant entertainer's private world, focusing on his tempestuous relationship with Scott Thorson, his young live-in lover for five years.
Based on Thorson's tell-all memoir "Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace," the film features electrifying performances by Academy Award winners Michael Douglas (Wall Street) as Liberace and Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) as Thorson.
Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace: virtuoso pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. A name synonymous with showmanship, extravagance and candelabras, he was a world-renowned performer with a flair that endeared him to his audiences and created a loyal fan base spanning his 40-year career.
Liberace lived lavishly and embraced a lifestyle of excess both on and off stage. In summer 1977, handsome young stranger Scott Thorson walked into his dressing room and, despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds, the two embarked on a secretive five-year love affair.
Behind the Candelabra captures the essence of Liberace's appeal, while reminding viewers how different attitudes were at the time, as he and his management fiercely protected his public persona.
The film features an all-star supporting cast including Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee Dan Aykroyd, Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Scott Bakula, SAG Award winner and multiple Golden Globe nominee Rob Lowe, Tom Papa, multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Paul Reiser and Academy Award Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Debbie Reynolds.
Executive produced by Emmy-winning producer Jerry Weintraub from a script by Academy Award nominee Richard LaGravenese, the film is produced by Gregory Jacobs, Susan Ekins and Michael Polaire (Contagion, Haywire) and music was adapted by the late Marvin Hamlisch.
The Blu-ray with Digital Copy includes "The Making of Behind the Candelabra" which explores the legacy of Liberace through costumes, sets, locations, and prosthetics with several cast and the crew members including Douglas and Damon.