23 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.




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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Carroll ...
Jane Bertish ...
Carole Findlater
Cliff Davis
Paul Mooney ...
Clive Gunnell
Morrie Conley
Susan Kyd ...
Sallie Anne Field ...
Claudette (as Sallie-Anne Field)
David Beale ...
Man in Little Club
Tracy-Louise Ward ...
Girl with David Blakely


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


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

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie was significant in escalating the film careers of Rupert Everett and Miranda Richardson. 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 »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Buried Treasures - 1987 Edition (1987) See more »


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 »

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User Reviews

26 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

This is a haunting, finely-crafted film that transports the viewer to another time and place from the very first frames of the movie. The sets, lighting, fashions, and make-up all unify to create a special cinema experience. It is restrained, refined, mature, and civilized. In its dark way, this film captures a type of story-telling magic that only movies can create. It is an eternal, personal favorite, and one of the best films of the decade. Miranda Richardson is irreplaceable; she inhabits the role, completely. The supporting cast is equally effective. Unfortunately, the latest DVD cover lacks the powerful, simple black-and-white design of vintage promotional material. The original imagery was as classic and elegant as the film, itself. It is a fine piece of movie-making. I wish more directors aspired to this type of work.

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