Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool Review

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool Review

Starring: Jamie Bell, Annette Bening, Julie Walters, Kenneth Cranham, Stephen Graham, Vanessa Redgrave

Director: Paul McGuigan

Release date: 17th November 2017


It’s 1981, in Liverpool. A young guy called Peter is an actor just going about his daily business. We see an actress in a theatre, going through her routine of getting ready for her performance. She is Gloria Grahame, Hollywood starlet of stage and screen. Suddenly, she collapses. Cut back to Peter, who receives a phone call, giving him some awful news. The connection is made, that the two people know each other and Gloria asks Peter if she can come and stay with him and his family, to ‘get better’. She has discharged herself from hospital, against doctors’ advice and Peter is not happy she’s done that, but says she can stay. She is a shadow of her former self. Through a series of flashbacks, Peter and Gloria’s relationship story is told, beginning with their meeting in 1979, in a house in London that they both rented rooms in. They begin a passionate affair. Now in 1981, how has their relationship changed and how did their story unfold?


‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’ tells the amazing true story of the Oscar winning Hollywood actress, Gloria Grahame’s affair with a young actor called Peter Turner. Though there was an almost 30 year age gap between the pair, they were very open about their relationship. Gloria had been married four times previously and had two children but Peter didn’t care. In her heyday, she had appeared in movies such as; It’s A Wonderful Life, Oklahoma!, The Good Die Young and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square. She was extremely well known, mixing with actors such as Frank Sinatra, Joan Crawford and Jimmy Stewart.


I wasn’t really aware of the story before I watched ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’. I found the film to be really beautiful to watch and the cast is absolutely amazing. I mean seriously… Kenneth Cranham and Julie Walters as Peter’s parents? Brilliant! I think Jamie Bell was a great choice for the young Peter Turner and Annette Bening is fantastic as the aging Hollywood star that falls in love with a much younger guy. There isn’t really anything negative I can say about this movie, the story is great. The fact that it’s a true story makes it a little bit heart breaking as well. As the story unfolds, you feel a huge amount of empathy to the couple, and you do find yourself wondering how things all went wrong.


A love story, in every sense of the word, ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’ is gorgeous to watch. I shed a few tears at the end and I’d say you might do to. Please give this one a watch. Some seriously great acting chops on the big screen.


Overall: 8.5/10



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