4.4 14
Director: John Waters

Cast: John Waters, Ricki Lake, Michael St. Gerard, Divine


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Forever interested in the kitsch built into past eras, director John Waters chooses the TV dance show craze of the early '60s for his playful focus in Hairspray. Ricki Lake plays Tracy Turnblad, just one of several alliteratively named characters coming of age in 1962 Baltimore, where "The Corny Collins…  See more details below


Forever interested in the kitsch built into past eras, director John Waters chooses the TV dance show craze of the early '60s for his playful focus in Hairspray. Ricki Lake plays Tracy Turnblad, just one of several alliteratively named characters coming of age in 1962 Baltimore, where "The Corny Collins Show" is the most popular American Bandstand-type program, watched by hundreds of young dreamers each day after school. Being chosen to dance on it is the ultimate status symbol and every young girl's dream, and Tracy improbably wins a featured spot when she infiltrates a dance contest and makes a better impression than her favored rival, the catty Amber von Tussle (Colleen Fitzpatrick). Always able to have fun, even when she's being mocked by the jealous popular girls, Tracy wins the affections of Amber's boyfriend and soon begins leading a movement to integrate the dance show, which has previously featured blacks only in a once-weekly theme night. She is arrested following a demonstration at a local theme park owned by Amber's father (Sonny Bono), who subscribes to the same theory of race relations as "The Corny Collins Show." Tracy's adventures are also filtered through her loving but eccentric parents (Divine and Jerry Stiller) and involve a humorous cultural clash with pot-smoking beatniks (Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora). ~ Derek Armstrong

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Editorial Reviews

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Given his fondness for unrestrained envelope pushing, including one of the most graphic films ever to receive wide release (1973's Pink Flamingos), Hairspray seems like a real departure for John Waters, in content if not sensibility. Even with its PG rating and overarching cheeriness, it's still not for everyone -- and Waters wouldn't have it any other way. Future talk-show mainstay Ricki Lake has Waters to thank for her breakthrough into popular awareness, and has rewarded him with several collaborations even after achieving large-scale success. In her first prominent role, she embodies the grinning damn-it-all mentality of her director, achieving fantasy-level acceptance despite her ample proportions. In empowering several disenfranchised groups, including fat girls (Lake), drag queens (Divine, in his last film appearance), and African-Americans (segregated on a popular music show in the film), Waters gleefully snubs his nose at the natural order of things, preferring to imagine a world where their ascension would be unfettered by prejudice. The cast seems to be having a terrific time, even if the material is sometimes too giddy for its own good. Fans of glorious kitsch -- the only audience Waters is concerned with impressing -- will no doubt consider Hairspray a fond favorite. Others may find it more of a whimsical curiosity than an effective social satire, but one gets the impression that the iconoclastic style-over-substance director might agree with them, too.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Line Home Video
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ricki Lake Tracy Turnblad
Michael St. Gerard Link Larkin
Divine Edna Turnblad,Arvin Hodgepile
Colleen Fitzpatrick Amber von Tussle
Sonny Bono Franklin von Tussle
Ruth Brown Motormouth Maybell
Deborah Harry Velma Von Tussle
Leslie Ann Powers Penny Pingleton
Clayton Prince Seaweed
Jerry Stiller Wilbur Turnblad
Mink Stole Tammy
Shawn Thompson Corny Collins
Ric Ocasek Beatnik Cat
David Samson WZZT Official
Leo Rocca Governor
William Rose Amusement Park Patron
Mary Vivian Pearce Hairhopper Mother
Joey Perillo TV Secruity Guard
James Parisi Governor's Aide
Alan J. Wendl Mr. Pinky
Kim Webb Carmelita
Michael Willis Governor's Mansion Newsman
Brook Yeaton Tough Guy #1
George Stover Governor's Mansion Policeman
June Thorne Von Tussle Picket
Darrell Taylor Governor's Mansion Picket
John Waters The Psychiatrist
Adam Tucker Cop
Carolyn Walker Trinklette #3
Pia Zadora Beatnik Chick
Keith Douglas Lead Lafayette
Joseph Eubanks Governor's Mansion Picket
Holter Graham I.Q. Jones
Brenda Alford Trinklette #2
Jeff Gardner Tough Guy #2
W.H. Brown Governor's Mansion Picket
Josh Charles Iggy
Rick Anderson Von Tussle Picket
Scheryll Anderson Amusement Park Patron
Mark Oliver Geometry Student
Brooke Stacy Mills Lou Ann
Toussaint McCall Himself
Susan Lowe Angry Mother
Patrick Mitchell Teen Street Fan
Matt Myers Singing Bum
Dan Griffith Brad
Mary Jefferson Street Lady #1
Charlie Hawke Amusement Park Patron
Peter Koper Governor's Mansion Policeman
Kevin Joseph Joke Store Customer
Rosemary Knower Mrs. Shipley

Technical Credits
John Waters Director,Co-producer,Original Story,Screenwriter
Rick Angelella Sound/Sound Designer
Willa Bassen Songwriter
Anthony Battaglia Songwriter
Ray Bryant Songwriter
Stanley F. Buchthal Co-producer
Aaron Collins Songwriter
Mary Colquhoun Casting
Jerry Dallman Songwriter
Milton Grant Songwriter
Bonnie Greenberg Musical Direction/Supervision
Janice Hampton Editor
Otis Hayes Songwriter
Hugo and Luigi Songwriter
David Insley Cinematographer
Edward Love Choreography
Robert Maier Producer
Curtis Mayfield Songwriter
Toussaint McCall Songwriter
Pat Moran Casting
Eddie Morrison Songwriter
Barbary Lynn Ozen Songwriter
Vincent Peranio Art Director
Verlie Rice Songwriter
Sara Risher Executive Producer
Robert Shaye Executive Producer
Van Smith Costumes/Costume Designer,Makeup
Rachel Sweet Songwriter
Rachel Talalay Co-producer
Ike Turner Songwriter
Kenny Vance Score Composer
Kathie Venetoulis Songwriter
George David Weiss Songwriter
Alonzo B. Willis Songwriter

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Scene Index

Vintage interviews with John Waters, Ricki Lake and Divine


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Hairspray 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie has to be one of the best movies ever! Ricki Lake does a really good job, unlike some of her movies and plays a great character. Over all I would say if you are in to comedys and enjoy musicals I highly recommand this movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for any of the songs that were in the Broadway musical, you won't find them here. Other than that, the story line is the same and it's a fair watch.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie! I just saw it 2 weeks ago and I have been watching it every day. And the dancing is awesome. My favorites are the bug, the madison time, and shake a tail feather. And I really want 2 c the play and the new movie that's coming out. I don't kno about u, but I feel like dancin'!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I buying this movie because i saw it at a friends house and loved it. I'm watching it before the new one comes out to really get into the music and it really makes u want to dance!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have loved this movie since the first time I saw it and while the new one is good in its own right it can not match the love I have for the original just remebering the first time I watched it and knowing now that my children are entering a world were they can love whoever they want no matter what they look like is so inspiring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie and the music in it. It makes me want to get up and dance! This was one of my favorite movies when I was a child. This is a fun movie for both kids and adults alike! I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've seen this movie Its got Riki Lake in it Ok so People like the new movie of Hairspray but trust this one is better I mean come on if your gonna do a remake of a movie you know that the first one is the best Cause on the second one John Travolta dressed up as a woman now that's stupied The original Hairspray from 1988 is much better and it has Rikii Lake who also played on the movie Crybaby So this movie is better than the new one Much better
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Waters shows off more of his weirdness in this movie about a dancing show during the civil rights movement. It's alright, nothing special, and nowhere near as good as the praise it gets. And to the less than intelligent person who complained about the Broadway songs not being in the movie...hahahahhaahahha, the broadway play was BASED on this movie, fyi.
san_dan More than 1 year ago
Although I will never rate this version of "Hairspray" higher than the Riki Lake version I feel as though it is definitely almost as funny. The best part is that while it does not change the overall plot of the movie the writers of the script changes just enough to not make the viewer feel as though they are just not watching an exact duplicate of the first movie. I strongly reccommend watching this movie.
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