Prick Up Your Ears
Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: May 8, 1987
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2004
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice

As a portrait of a relationship and a creative partnership, Prick is ever alert to the shifts in power, to the narcissistic wounds that can never be salved when a teacher is surpassed by his pupil.

Full review…
Vincent Canby
New York Times

The film covers the main events of the Orton life in a manner that is nothing less than distracted. One has little understanding of the fatal intensity - and need - that kept Orton and Halliwell together.

Full review…
Kevin Maher
Times (UK)

A perfect storm of talent collides to create one of cinema's great doomed love dramas.

Full review…
Variety Staff

Gary Oldman is excellent as Orton, right down to remarkable resemblance, while Alfred Molina creates both an amusing and tormented Halliwell. Vanessa Redgrave takes top honors, though, as a compassionate and benign agent.

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The great performances in the movie are, of course, at its center. Gary Oldman plays Orton and Alfred Molina plays Halliwell, and these are two of the best performances of the year.

Full review…
Peter Bradshaw

Gary Oldman's superb livewire performance is now virtually an authentic testament of the man himself.

Full review…
Dave Calhoun
Time Out

Oldman is brilliant; Molina's Halliwell less subtle; and the film's dissection of cottaging quaintly amusing.

Full review…
Hal Hinson
Washington Post

The filmmakers have shown great intellectual taste. But it's not the kind of taste that's illuminating.

Full review…
Kevin Harley
Total Film

Saucy, smart, deliciously snarky.

Full review…
More reviews for Prick Up Your Ears

Flixster Audience Score: 80% Flixster User Reviews
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic][color=darkred]"Revengers Tragedy" is a movie based on the 17th century play by Thomas Middleton. In this version, it is updated… More
Alec Barniskis
I felt the film could have explored more of the brief career of Joe Orton because the film tends to brush over those parts a bit. However the performances of… More
Emily B.
Good little film about the life of Joe Orton. Alfred Molina is great as his lover Kenneth Halliwell. Plus an excellent script by Alan Bennet.