Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This was the "unofficial" Liberace biopic, as opposed to the error-ridden "official" Liberace (telecast one week earlier in October of 1988). The star of Liberace: Behind the Music is Broadway actor Victor Garber, who later scored a personal triumph as the devilish Mr. Applegate in the revival of Damn Yankees. Behind the Music is an unauthorized TV movie based on the recollections of the pianist's business manager, giving scriptwriter Gavin Lambert far more leeway in delineating the title character, warts and all. The closing sequences delve much deeper into the AIDS question than was possible in the family-approved Liberace starring Andrew Robinson (who, to be fair, looks more like the real entertainer than does Victor Garber). Liberace: Behind the Music could have descended into tabloidism ("Behind the rumors and the secrets" read the advertising copy), but emerges as a work of conspicuous dignity and (reasonably) good taste.
AIDS, celebrity, entertainer, fame, homosexual, pianist, prodigy