Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2017) Review


The unlikely romance between young actor Peter Turner and former Hollywood leading lady Gloria Grahame.


The film takes the story of the romance backwards and forwards to show the build up to Gloria being in Liverpool needing Peter’s help when she has started to feel very unwell again whilst in Manchester doing a play. When Peter receives a call he heads across straight way and takes her to his home.

It is very clear that she is extremely unwell and needs to be in hospital, she keeps refusing this and Peter does not want to push the situation. Helped out by his parents and at times brother to take care of the aged star. It takes quite a while to find out exactly what is wrong with her but I am sure you can easily work it out.

I loved the flashbacks to the happier times and how they first got to know each other and ended up falling in love. I guess we don’t very often see this type of relationship with the man being the younger of the pair. Gloria was still very obsessed with how she looked and needed to know that she was beautiful. Peter was very devoted to her, the build up to why they were no longer together was something I was interested to see. The reasons behind it really tug at your heartstrings as she felt like she as pushing him away to save him from more pain, which obviously was never really going to work.

The performances were absolutely fantastic Jamie Bell really was something else and put in such a heartfelt and emotional effort opposite the always impressive Annette Bening. They really did bring the romance alive and I thought it was very good to watch from start to finish. Throw in Julie Walters as his mother, that seems to be her key role in films now and that added some humour and comedy. I cannot believe it took me nearly the whole film to remember the Billy Elliot connection, a little bit slow with that one! I was also really pleased to see Kenneth Cranham in the film as well after seeing him on stage in The Father a couple of years ago now.

This is certainly the type of film I have really grown to like and appreciate over the years and I find it such a shame that it has been on a limited release in the UK. Which is going to happen in the US as well. Going from Liverpool to LA and New York, we get some fantastic shots and I guess you would never really link Liverpool to film stars and Hollywood so it was nice to find out more about this story which is based on the memoir of Peter Turner. Parts of it reminded me of My Week with Marilyn as the stories share some similarities.

If you can catch this film I really would recommend it for the very strong performances and a truly fantastic love and romance. I would certainly hope to see BAFTA appreciate this film and see it mentioned around awards season!

10 thoughts on “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2017) Review

  1. I really enjoyed that movie. It’s odd that the age difference is commented on since so many mainstream films make couples of actresses in their 20s and men in their 50s. Gloria Grahame was in her 50s when she died so not really “aged” at all. And Turner and his brother went to Lancaster to get her and not to Manchester. I am glad you enjoyed it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I thought they said Manchester and that she was on stage there!

      The reason I commented on the age gap as that we don’t often see it this way round, it’s always a much older man which younger woman.

      Liked by 1 person

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