6.8/10
1,915
21 user 18 critic

Dance with a Stranger (1985)

A stormy relationship, complicated by the strictures of 1950s social class and gender roles, ends in death. Based on the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Soursweet (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Just married Hong Kong couple Chen & Lily emigrate to England, soon to become parents to a little baby boy and generally struggle through life. Chen works long days in a restaurant, while ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Sylvia Chang, Danny Dun, Jodi Long
Bad Blood (1981)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During World War 2, a farmer in New Zealand murders seven people, and the police, along with local Maori trackers, hunt him in the bush country.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Jack Thompson, Carol Burns, Denis Lill
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Bill is a man who's very bitter about his divorce and losing custody of his son. So, when one of his friends is being sued for divorce by his wife so that she can enter a lesbian ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter
Scandal (1989)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Based on the Profumo Scandal of 1963, an affair between an exotic dancer and the Minister of War shakes up the British government.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Stars: John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A little league player named Chuck refuses to ever pitch again until nuclear weapons are disarmed. Basketball star "Amazing Grace" Smith follows the boy's example, and starts a trend.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Gregory Peck, Dean Alexander
The Awakening (1980)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

An archeologist discovers his daughter is possessed by the spirit of an Egyptian queen. To save mankind he must destroy her.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Charlton Heston, Susannah York, Jill Townsend
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In a staid English seaside town after the Second World War, young Lynda grows up with her widowed father and younger sister. Rebellious Lynda has been swearing constantly from an early age.... See full summary »

Director: David Leland
Stars: Emily Lloyd, Trudi Cavanagh, Clare Clifford
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Set right after World War II, a naive teenage girl joins a shabby theatre troupe in Liverpool. During a winter production of Peter Pan, the play quickly turns into a dark metaphor for youth... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Georgina Cates
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This slow-paced gem is about the civilizing influence of Italy on beleaguered Londoners both male and female and has its own civilizing influence on the viewer. It's almost like taking a ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Alfred Molina, Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The life and times of Albert Pierrepoint - Britain's most prolific hangman.

Director: Adrian Shergold
Stars: Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson, Eddie Marsan
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

True story of a transatlantic business correspondence about used books that developed into a close friendship.

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, Judi Dench
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
Director: Di Drew
Stars: Rupert Everett, Hugo Weaving, Arthur Dignam
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
David Blakeley
...
Desmond Cussen
Matthew Carroll ...
Andy
...
Anthony Findlater
Jane Bertish ...
Carole Findlater
David Troughton ...
Cliff Davis
Paul Mooney ...
Clive Gunnell
Stratford Johns ...
Morrie Conley
...
Christine
Susan Kyd ...
Barbara
...
Maryanne
Sallie Anne Field ...
Claudette (as Sallie-Anne Field)
David Beale ...
Man in Little Club
Martin Murphy ...
Roy
Edit

Storyline

Ruth Ellis lives with her 10-year old son Andy next to a night club. One night she meets David Blakely, and they start a love affair. However, for David with his upper-class background it is impossible to uphold the relationship. He breaks up with her, something which makes Ellis, obsessed by him, very upset... Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It wasn't simply love. It was a case of cold-blooded passion.

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bailar con un extraño  »

Box Office

Gross:

$138,359 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Miranda Richardson won the Best Actress award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards for her performance in this film. See more »

Goofs

Ruth switches on a radio which begins to play immediately. In those times, vacuum-tube radios had to warm up for about 20 seconds. See more »

Quotes

Anthony Findlater: She
[his wife]
Anthony Findlater: eats like a bird...
Ruth Ellis: Really? My son tells me birds eat twice their own weight every day.
See more »

Soundtracks

Would You Dance With a Stranger? (Sotto un cielo di stelle)
Written by Giovanni D'Anzi and Alfredo Bracchi
English Lyrics by Ray Miller
Performed by Mari Wilson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Compelling
24 October 2010 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

A grim slice of 1950s Britain is expertly recreated in Mike Newell's film 'Dance with a Stranger'. Miranda Richardson gives an expertly judged performance as Ruth Ellis, an ageing nightclub hostess whose desire to keep a little glamour in her life, coupled with a powerful mutual sexual attraction, led her into a relationship with a man who, while not exactly evil, was utterly self-absorbed and prone to intermittent violence. The story ends in murder, and Ellis is now famous as the last woman to be executed in Great Britain. Obviously, the film is sympathetic to her, and while her victim scarcely deserves death, the tale is compelling; and it makes one wonder how many of those killed by the state may have done a terrible thing, but may also have had a tale of their own. Some will argue that in cases such as these, there is no alternative in judgement but to assign absolute individual responsibility; personally, I think it's a more civilised country that retains the capacity to forgive.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Miranda Richardson at her best Flatbread
I loved this film!! Blondfashionisto
Discuss Dance with a Stranger (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?