The Dying Gaul

( 1 )

Overview

An artist who compromises his work for money finds his heart and soul are also being toyed with by his new patrons in this drama. Robert Peter Sarsgaard is a playwright who has recently lost his longtime lover and business partner, Malcolm Bill Camp, to AIDS-related illnesses. Robert has written a screenplay about their relationship, called "The Dying Gaul," and is interested in selling the project to powerful producer Jeffrey Campbell Scott. However, while Jeffrey likes the script, he tells Robert that he's not ...
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Overview

An artist who compromises his work for money finds his heart and soul are also being toyed with by his new patrons in this drama. Robert Peter Sarsgaard is a playwright who has recently lost his longtime lover and business partner, Malcolm Bill Camp, to AIDS-related illnesses. Robert has written a screenplay about their relationship, called "The Dying Gaul," and is interested in selling the project to powerful producer Jeffrey Campbell Scott. However, while Jeffrey likes the script, he tells Robert that he's not about to spend money on a film about a gay couple -- though he'll give him one million dollars for the screenplay under the condition he turns the character of "Maurice" into a woman so the film will be easier to sell. While Robert is secretly appalled by the idea, he's also deep in debt and wants the film to be made, so he agrees to make the changes. Robert is soon invited into the inner circle of Jeffrey and his wife, Elaine Patricia Clarkson, herself a talented screenwriter until their marriage put an end to her career. Jeffrey finds himself fascinated by Robert, and soon begins seducing him both physically and intellectually, while Elaine is also deeply attracted to him. As Robert and Elaine become close friends, she also begins pursuing him in on-line chat rooms, playing on his emotional weaknesses as she fashions a story of her own. The Dying Gaul was the first directorial credit for playwright and screenwriter Craig Lucas.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Includes deleted scenes and alternate ending
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
"No one is going to see The Dying Gaul," says studio exec Jeffrey Tishop (Campbell Scott) to screenwriter Robert Sandrich (Peter Sarsgaard) early on in Craig Lucas' film of the same name, after Sandrich balks at changing the characters' sexual orientation in his brilliant but unmarketable script (called The Dying Gaul). That quip turned out to be prophetic about the performance of Lucas' actual film, which earned less than $350,000 despite the presence of three respected actors, with Patricia Clarkson, as Tishop's wife, functioning as the third in an incestuous trio of damaged souls. Given his recognition that audiences fear gay subject matter, Lucas surely anticipated this fate for his adaptation of his own play, which a handful of tiny distribution companies pooled their resources to release. But The Dying Gaul is worth seeing, to a point. It starts out auspiciously, satirizing Hollywood's tendency to neuter bold scripts for mass consumption, and getting much mileage from an idealistic gay screenwriter seduced into selling off his integrity and betraying the memory of his dead lover -- seduced both figuratively (by the Tishops' extravagant Malibu home, with its picturesque infinity pool) and literally (by closeted bisexual Tishop himself). The film remains interesting, but starts to stray, when it takes on the trappings of a thriller, entering this genre through the world of internet chat rooms (which are appropriate to the film's 1995 setting). The resulting cat-and-mouse game points events toward an abrupt and suspect conclusion, one that relies on the characters acting far more sinister, with far more inorganic motivations, than their prior development would suggest. For what it does right -- its French New Wave stylings, its haunting choral soundtrack, its ambitious intellectual themes, its honest soul-searching -- The Dying Gaul is worth a look. Just brace yourself for a lousy third act.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/21/2006
  • UPC: 043396138155
  • Original Release: 2004
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 96,316

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Patricia Clarkson Elaine
Campbell Scott Jeffrey
Peter Sarsgaard Robert Sandrich
Robin Bartlett Bella
Ebon Moss-Bachrach Olaf
Bill Camp Malcolm
Linda Emond Dr. Foss
Elizabeth Marvel Kelli
Kelli O'Hara Liz
Thomas Jay Ryan
Dee Dee Flores Emad
Ryan Miller Max
Faith Jefferies Debbon
Don Jonson Male Guest
Technical Credits
Craig Lucas Director, Screenwriter
Douglas Aibel Casting
Douglas Aikean Casting
Simone Almekias-Seigl Makeup
Chad Birmingham Sound Editor
Mike Booke Asst. Director
Bobby Bukowski Cinematographer
Jonathan III Caruso Executive Producer
Joseph Caruso III Executive Producer
Danny Clicker Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul E. Cohen Executive Producer
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Inc. Muvi Films Executive Producer
Shawn Fitzgerald Executive Producer
Daniel Glicker Costumes/Costume Designer
Vincent Jefferds Production Designer
Andy Keir Editor
Elba Luis Lugo Executive Producer
John Machione Co-producer
Paul Manafort Executive Producer
David Newman Executive Producer
Simone Oliver Camera Operator
P.J. Posner Executive Producer
Joel Posner Executive Producer
Steve Reich Score Composer
Kimberly Reiss Associate Producer
Victoria Ruskin Art Director
Jerome Schwartz Executive Producer
Campbell Scott Producer
Kevin Sorenson Sound/Sound Designer
701 Sound Sound/Sound Designer
Ira Spiegel Sound/Sound Designer
Jerome Swartz Executive Producer
Haley B. Sweet Production Manager
George VanBuskirk Producer
David Waelder Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Dying Gaul
1. Start [4:09]
2. The Political Aspect [7:45]
3. Find and Replace [10:57]
4. Glint of a Human Being [6:43]
5. Confessions on a Park Bench [11:47]
6. "If You Really Knew Me" [6:41]
7. ArckAngell 1966 [5:04]
8. Who Is It? [10:09]
9. Malcolm's Forgiveness [7:05]
10. What's in Jeffrey's Head [7:51]
11. Looking for the Positive [4:58]
12. The Root of Death [12:10]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Dying Gaul
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Off
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Alternate Ending
      Deleted Scenes
         It's Not the Same
         The Screening Room
         The Worst I Ever Do
   Previews
      Where the Truth Lies
      The Confessor
      Chasing Ghosts
      The Tenants
      Saint Ralph
      The Secret Lives of Dentists
      Capote
      Memory of a Killer
      Breakfast on Pluto
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Extremely moving performances

    As a big fan of both Campbell Scott and Patricia Clarkson, I was eager to see them featured together. They did not disappoint. The acting is stellar and the dialogue eerily real. Be warned, however: This film is raw and painful, a tremendous helping of the hard truth about our motives in life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews