Swan Song | Udo Kier’s career-best turn gets a Peccadillo Pictures release – but who was the real Mister Pat?

Udo Kier fans rejoice! His career-best turn in writer/director Todd Stephens’ fabulously wonderful bittersweet comedy Swan Song is coming your way, courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures.

Udo plays retired hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger – AKA Mister Pat( a name I’m sure John Waters would love), who ‘escapes’ from his small-town nursing home after learning of the dying wish of a former client, Rita Parker Sloan (Linda Evans – yes! Dynasty‘s Krystle Carrington): for him to style her final hairdo. Soon, Pat embarks on a comical odyssey across town, encountering new and old friends and foes, including his former protege Dee Dee Dale (Jennifer Coolidge), who possesses a vital ingredient that Pat needs to complete Rita’s transformation. 

Check it out on Blu-ray and DVD and all UK VOD platforms, including Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play and PeccadilloPOD from 29 August.

• The Real Pat Pitsenbarger Featurette
• Casting Featurette
•  In Conversation with Writer/ Director Todd Stephens and Udo Kier
• Audio Commentary with Todd Stephens, Udo Kier and Producers Eric Eisenbrey & Tim Kaltenecker
• Udo Kier Iris Prize Acceptance Speech
• UK Theatrical Trailer

Director Todd Stephens found inspiration from a local childhood character of the same name that helped him create this affectionate ‘love letter to the rapidly disappearing ”gay culture” in America’. 

Todd offers some background thoughts on what Mister Pat has meant to him. He says, “Back in 1984, I walked into my small-town gay bar for the first time — The Universal Fruit and Nut Company. There he was, glittering on the dancefloor. Wearing a teal feather boa, fedora and matching pantsuit, “Mister Pat” Pitsenbarger was busting old school moves straight out of Bob Fosse. I was 17, and Pat was a revelation.

Swan Song_4_Udo Kier.JPG

“Years later, when I set out to write my autobiographical Edge of Seventeen, I immediately thought of Mister Pat. I went back home to hunt him down, only to discover Pat had just suffered an aneurism and was temporarily unable to speak. But his lover David told me stories about how Pat was once the most fabulous hairdresser in Sandusky, Ohio, about his legendary drag performances and about how he used to shop at Kroger’s dressed as Carol Burnett – in 1967! This was a man who always had the courage to be himself, long before that was safe.

“The truth is, Mister Pat inspired me to write Edge of Seventeen. I wrote a significant “Pat” character as my protagonist’s mentor, but midway through the shoot, the part got cut. I always knew my muse would return someday in my writing, and when he finally did many years later, I looked for Pat again only to learn he just passed away. Sadly, Pat’s legendary hand-beaded rhinestone gowns are all lost to time. Only a shoebox remains – filled with some tarnished jewellery and a half-smoked pack of Mores.

Swan Song is a love letter to the rapidly disappearing “gay culture” of America. As it has become more acceptable to be queer, what used to be a thriving community is rapidly melting back into society. Thanks to assimilation and technology, small-town gay bars like The Universal Fruit and Nut Company are becoming extinct. Swan Song is dedicated to all the forgotten flaming florists and hairdressers who built the gay community and blazed the trail for the rights many of us cling to today. But, above all, for me, this film is about learning that it’s never too late to live again”. – Todd Stephens 


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on August 29, 2022, in American Indie, Gay Cinema, Must-See and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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