Down 878 this week

Dance with a Stranger (1985)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  9 August 1985 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,854 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 17 critic

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.



0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 21 Aug 2011
a list of 36 titles
created 11 Aug 2012
a list of 33 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 29 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Dance with a Stranger (1985)

Dance with a Stranger (1985) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Dance with a Stranger.
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Scandal (1989)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An English bon-vivant osteopath is enchanted with a young exotic dancer and invites her to live with him. He serves as friend and mentor, and through his contacts and parties she and her ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Stars: John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
    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
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)
    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 6/10 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
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
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Imprisoned Harry Lomart is a vicious, brute of a man and yet he is prepared to do his long jail term as he is confident that on his release his beautiful wife Pat will be waiting for him, but a visit from Pat brings him his worst nightmare.

Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Oliver Reed, Jill St. John, Ian McShane
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A recently widowed woman is on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Mia Bendixsen
Heartland (1979)
Western | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A widow with a young daughter travels to a ranch in Wyoming to manage the household of a rancher. After a while the man and woman develop a relationship that leads to a marriage. But life in the harsh place takes its toll.

Director: Richard Pearce
Stars: Rip Torn, Conchata Ferrell, Barry Primus
Soursweet (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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


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


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

Plot Keywords:

night | love | 1950s | true crime | tragedy | See All (90) »


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


Biography | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bailar con un extraño  »

Box Office


$138,359 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This motion picture's opening title card reads: "Spring 1954 London". See more »


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 »


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 »


I Came, I Saw, I Conga'd
Written by John Redmond, Frank Weldon and James Cavanaugh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Last user review
11 March 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I've just read the last user review on this film & I would advise anyone who has any knowledge of the Ruth Ellis story to ignore it. There were legal reasons why everything was not explained. The boy was a result of a war time romance. Ruth Ellis also had a husband (& daughter) who for legal reasons could not be named or mentioned. Ian Holm played the part of her lover who did exist & did nothing to help her once she was arrested.

If you don't understand the film read the following books first & then watch the film: Ruth Ellis: The Last Woman to Be Hanged (Robert Hancock) Ruth Ellis: My Sister's Secret Life (Muriel Jakubait, Monica Weller) Ruth Ellis, My Mother: A Daughter's Memoir of the Last Woman to Be Hanged (Georgie Ellis, Rod Taylor)

Personally I think the film is excellent but of course I did know the story before I watched it.

26 of 32 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: