6.8/10
1,921
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
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
    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
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
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
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 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
Atlantic City (1980)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer finds themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Albert Steptoe and his son Harold are junk dealers, complete with horse and cart to tour the neighbourhood. They also live amicably together at the junk yard. Always on the lookout for ways... See full summary »

Director: Peter Sykes
Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Diana Dors
Lola (1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In post-war West Germany, the charming Von Bohm is appointed a city's new Building Commissioner. His morality is tested when he unknowingly falls in love with a brothel worker, Lola, the paid mistress of a corrupt property developer.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mario Adorf
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 extra├▒o  »

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

The film won the Award of the Youth for a Foreign Film at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival with the gong being awarded to director Mike Newell. 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

Dark Eyes
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Richard Hartley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not for the faint of heart
10 December 2000 | by (New Haven, CT) – See all my reviews

There is nothing sentimental about this story of obsession. Set in London in the 1950's--and what could be drearier--this bleak story based on the true story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in England, is a tour-de-force for Newell, the director, the two leads, Richardson and Everett, and the incomparable Ian Holm.

Miranda Richardson as Ellis gives a knockout performance in every scene. She has so perfectly captured the emotional pitch of a woman in love with a heel that one cannot help identifying with her. Her all-consuming love, even to the point of neglecting her son, makes it ridiculous to entertain the common query of "why doesn't she just get away from him?" Mike Newell captures all of the emotional highs and lows of a relationship of this kind, and the rakishly handsome Everett is both charming and destructive as Ellis's amor.

The beauty of this movie is that it is not just about two ill-fated lovers, the way many Hollywood movies are. It is also about England's class system. Ellis's attraction to Blakeley is more about her desire to be acknowledged by her "betters" than just by this one man. Perhaps the most heartrending scene comes at the end where one sees Ellis's painted finger going over a letter she is about to send on the eve of her execution to Blakeley's mother, apologizing for the misery she has caused her. The language of the letter is perfect, because it reveals volumes about Ellis's class aspirations, and the hopelessness of her ever achieving them.

This movie is a must-see for movie lovers, but it is not for the Meg Ryan set.


34 of 40 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:
?