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Strictly Ballroom

Strictly Ballroom

4.6 22
Director: Baz Luhrmann, Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter

Cast: Baz Luhrmann, Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter


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This wildly off-beat comedy is about a male dancer (Paul Mercurio) who refuses to follow the accepted rules of ballroom dancing and creates his own style of choreography, which infuriates the ballroom dancing establishment. Before he's scheduled to compete in the Pan-Pacific ballroom championships, he's forced to take up a new partner (Tara Morice), a beginner who


This wildly off-beat comedy is about a male dancer (Paul Mercurio) who refuses to follow the accepted rules of ballroom dancing and creates his own style of choreography, which infuriates the ballroom dancing establishment. Before he's scheduled to compete in the Pan-Pacific ballroom championships, he's forced to take up a new partner (Tara Morice), a beginner who initially seems without promise. With his help, she turns into an assured and wonderful dancer. Baz Luhrmann's visual style may be too bright, gaudy and exaggerated for some tastes, yet he treats his characters with compassion, which makes Strictly Ballroom such an engaging comedy.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
In this delightful 1992 musical comedy, innovative director Baz Luhrmann exhibits the same visual flair and iconoclastic spirit that made his more celebrated later hit, Moulin Rouge (2001), such a genre-bending treat. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at a contest for ballroom dancers at which the highly competitive Scott (Gus Mercurio) plans on breaking with tradition, much to the consternation of his conservative partner (Gia Carides), his overbearing mother (Pat Thompson), and the ballroom-dancing "establishment." He chooses a new partner, a bespectacled "ugly duckling" named Fran (Tara Morice) and stakes his reputation on her untested ability by choosing a complicated flamenco routine guaranteed to raise eyebrows. To an extent, Strictly Ballroom caricatures movie musicals, but the kidding is good-natured and the lead players are enormously likable. The film is also something of a Cinderella story, a little less credible than some might like, but no less entertaining for that. Luhrmann supplies a commentary for the DVD, whose other special features include deleted scenes (hidden "Easter egg" style), a featurette on dancing entitled "From Samba to Slow Fox,"and a gallery of images from the film presented in 3D.
All Movie Guide
A charmingly packaged dose of camp irony, Strictly Ballroom is equal parts witty satire, contemporary storybook romance, and expertly choreographed music video. Directed with exceptional assurance by first-time director Baz Luhrmann, the film was a surprise international hit, winning over audiences and critics with its giddy blend of tongue-in-cheek humor and exhilarating dance sequences. It was arguably Australia's most popular export since Crocodile Dundee, sparking a new fad for ballroom dancing and winning cult status on both sides of the Pacific. Part of the film's appeal stemmed from its inventive ways of avoiding the pitfalls of its unapologetically familiar plot; in this conventional triumph-of-the-underdog/unlikely romance, Luhrmann didn't so much avoid the story's cliches as wallop them with knowing irony. More important in explaining the film's appeal, however, was its overwhelming sense of fun, and a genuine streak of mad exuberance. A paean to bucking the rules and following your heart, Strictly Ballroom is anarchy wrapped in gold lamé.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

What's best about the movie is the sense of madness and mania running just beneath its surface.

Product Details

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Special Features

Strictly Ballroom: from stage to screen; Deleted scenes; Design gallery with narration; Samba to slow fox dance featurette; Audio commentary

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Mercurio Scott Hastings
Tara Morice Fran
Bill Hunter Barry Fife
Barry Otto Doug Hastings
Pat Thompson Shirley Hastings
Gia Carides Liz Holt
Peter Whitford Les Kendall
John Hannan Ken Railings
Sonia Kruger-Tayler Tina Sparkle
Pip Mushin Wayne Burns
Leonie Page Vanessa Cronin
Kris McQuade Charm Leachman
Antonio Vargas Rico
Armonia Benedito YaYa
Jack Webster Terry
Paul Bertram J.J. Silvers
Peter Lynch Extra: Kendall's Studio
John O'Connell Try-out Coach
Bob Adams New Steps Family
Michael Burgess Merv

Technical Credits
Baz Luhrmann Director,Screenwriter
Antoinette Albert Executive Producer
Jill Bilcock Editor
Andrew Bovell Screenwriter
David Hirschfelder Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Phil Judd Sound/Sound Designer
Bill Marron Production Designer
Faith Martin Art Director
Catherine Martin Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer
Steve Mason Cinematographer
Tristram Miall Producer
John O'Connell Choreography
Craig Pearce Screenwriter
Jane Scott Producer
Angus Strathie Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Strictly Ballroom
1. Opening Titles/Waratah Championship [:00]
2. Takes Two to Tango [:00]
3. Dance Your Own Steps [:00]
4. The Try-Outs [:02]
5. A New Partner [:00]
6. Tina Sparkle [:00]
7. Scott and Fran? [8:28]
8. Paso Doble [8:25]
9. "New Steps Rumored" [6:43]
10. The Truth About Doug Hastings [5:58]
11. Pan Pacific Grand Prix [3:47]
12. The Latin Finals [6:28]
13. Disqualification [7:43]
14. "Love is the Air"/End Credits [8:33]

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Strictly Ballroom 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Movie-Phan More than 1 year ago
This is such a fun, uplifting, flowing enjoyable movie. The characters are spot-on and the music fits like a glove. The dance is part of the story, not a dance for the sake of dance. Absolutely loved this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
slimikin More than 1 year ago
This is unquestionably my favorite movie. I'm not someone who can watch films over and over and over again, but I've seen this one at least 15 times and it never gets old. Part mockumentary, part romantic comedy, Strictly Ballroom never takes itself too seriously. Which means it comes on pretty strong the first time you see it---fairly standard Baz Luhrmann fare. But the dancing is always fun and occasionally even beautiful, the humor quirky and unpretentious, and the romance honest and fresh. Every time I watch it, I find something new, and I especially enjoy following the threads of love woven through every relationship, even the villain's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I normally don't go for ''quirky'' as a genre, but I can honestly say I can almost quote lines from this movie. I first saw it on cable as an ''Import Special.'' I was floored and immediately started my search to find this wonderful movie. I even purchased the sound track that's how intrinsic the music is to this movie. This movie gets you so involved in Scott's (Paul Mercurio) and Fran's journey, you totally accept his over-the-top former ballroom queen mother, snotty dance partner, and his father's constant ''shuffling about.'' It also reminds me of how children can feel the responsibility of fulfilling dreams of parents. I love the way that relationship is handled and the ultimate understanding that only what your heart wants and fearlessness can shape who we become as people. I love, buy it, you'll love it. The music and dance sequences make you want to sign-up for lessons. My personal favorite sequence is performed to Doris Day's version of ''Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.'' This movie has been on my shelf for years! I can not wait for the DVD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is an original. It was romantic, smart, and funny, how could anyone not love it? I loved this movie. It made me want to dance, to follow my dreams. And who wouldn't want to dance with such a great looking guy?
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is the most amazing film i have ever witnessed. it blows my mind. the pace and colour is exilarating! i cack my pants at the endless satirical aspects of australian people.i am addicted to baz and his creative film techniques. i want him, i need him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a great movie a classic of its time
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great dancing and good acting. A feel good movie that makes you want to get up and dance with the one you love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wanted just-great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie rocks!! I love australians and there similarities to the americans. This is Baz Luhrman's first big hit and in my opinion his best. It stays true to his home land and the characters have real chemistry. I also love the song 'Love is in the Air'. Great theme song!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this movie. In the tradition of corny movies with heart, this is one movie you just can't stop watching. I've seen it over ten times (at least) by borrowing it and renting it, but now, at last, I will own it on DVD. It seems a little pricey at over twenty dollars, but I assure you, this movie is well worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story that tells the underdog tale in a fresh way. The dancing is wild, but my favorite scene is the true Spanish dancing on the porch of Fran's house...passion, drive, love, rhythm and dance all in one scene!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie. Rooting for the underdog and Ballroom dancing combined - what's not to like? I really do consider it a classic because it is enjoyable over and over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love it and I enjoyed it. I plan to vacation to Puerto Rico and I am taking the movie so my family can enjoy it also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best dance movie in a very long time!! The cast was perfection and the intensely talented leads were electrifying!!!! It doesn't get better than this!! See it once, I suggest it won't be you last.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had never even heard of this movie before today. I was flipping channels and saw it come on and i got interested. I love dancing of any kind. Latin is wonderful. I have fallen in love with this movie. It is excellent;andit being a love story helps a lot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is the greastest movie i have ever seen. I LOVE Paul Mercurio, and i LOVE dancing! It shows viewers how it's okay to follow what you know is right, and not just go along with what everyone else wants you to do. It also displays courage, self-esteem, and pride. Baz is the greatest director ever!
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