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Dance 'Til Dawn (1988)

Unrated | | Comedy | TV Movie 23 October 1988
It's prom night and the kids of Hoover High will be having a night they will never forget. Popular girl Shelley ditches her prom and ends up spending the night with unpopular Dan; Popular ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Larry Johnson
Mary Frann ...
Nancy Johnson


It's prom night and the kids of Hoover High will be having a night they will never forget. Popular girl Shelley ditches her prom and ends up spending the night with unpopular Dan; Popular guy Kevin goes out with nerdy Angela because he heard she was easy; Patrice continues to blame her boyfriend Roger for everything that doesn't go the way she wants it to. The adults also have there problems to contend with: Nancy and Larry must find out a way to patch up their marriage or get a divorce; Jack spends the night tracking down his son Dan to find out why he didn't go to the prom; and overprotective Ed and Ruth keep tabs on their daughter Angela throughout the night. Written by Pat McCurry <ccgrad97@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dancing 'Til Dawn  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alyssa Milano and Chris Young dated shortly while filming, according to Milano. She said that they later drifted apart. See more »


Doug: Oh dude, you're not really gonna wear a pink tuxedo, are you?
Kevin McCrea: It's not pink - it's salmon.
See more »


Features Them! (1954) See more »


You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Written by Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil
See more »

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User Reviews

This Has Got To Be The Best Teen Movie Of All Time!
10 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

When this comic Made-For-TV movie was released in 1988 with all these stars from popular TV shows from all four networks, we didn't have a VCR and so, I couldn't tape it. But when it replayed in 1989, we did, and I taped it, but it was a bad recording--out-of focus picture all full of lines. In the 1990's, I got a better taping of it when it replayed on FOX, but frames had been cut out to allow for commercials that had been included in earlier viewings, ruining this recording. Two years ago with everything released to DVD these days, I took a chance and entered its title into my browser and was shocked to find it on video which I ordered from Amazon.com, only to discover upon its receipt that it had been released by Turner Broadcasting in 1993!

It has been two years since I received "Dawn" from Amazon.com, and I love it as much as I did the first time I saw it on TV back in 1988. Alan Thick as the insensitive psychiatrist dad to the misunderstood school nerd son Dan played by Chris Young; Kelsey Grammar as the overprotective pharmacist dad who along with wife Edie McClurg is hiding an eighteen-year-old secret from Angela; Mary Frann and Cliff De Young's outrageous bickering in the wake of trying to pacify spoiled daughter Christina Applegate's character Patrice; and Allyssa Milano as the harried girlfriend Shelly Sheridan forced to spend prom night hiding the fact that she and boyfriend Kevin McCrae had split up the day of the prom, because she could not sleep with him, from everyone. The way she found herself in the theater crying over her popcorn seated two rows down from class nerd Dan whose name she remembered as Don, only for him to have to rescue her while she is forced against her desire to use him to hide her out all night. What happened with them after that was inevitable and beautiful as she learned the fast lesson on a starry night that there was more to nerd Dan than met the naked eye without benefit of a telescope. And the whole idea of most popular guy Kevin McCrae asking nerdiest girl in school Angela Strull to take Shelly's place as his prom date because he was told that she was easy, only to find himself falling deeply in like with her as the evening progressed doubly enhanced the lesson that one can't judge a book by its cover.

In this, Brian Bloom's role of the guy who made a bet with his friends that he could get a girl to go out with him for the wrong purpose of sex at the last minute only to find himself falling for her is what every classic movie is made of; we have all experienced the angst of being targeted and taken advantage of by someone we have adulated. But writers Guerdat and Kreinberg had the same opportunity to write Bloom's character as changed and no longer out to hurt Angela, therein conveying the message of respect of girls and standing up to do what was right the same as had Elvis Presley in the 1960 movie, "G.I. Blues." When on furlough in West Germany, Elvis was roped in to replace an army buddy who had been shipped out at the last minute after making a bet with the entire army platoon that he could bed down a shapely dancer at The Club Europa who was played by the fabulous Juliet Prowse, whose character of Lily was spoken of as "an iceberg no man could melt." Elvis was not interested in the bet and didn't want to do it but had no choice other than capitulate, only to find himself liking too much this cold-hearted West German girl he was supposed to use and then dump who was not what he's thought she'd be. But when he saw that her learning the truth would hurt her, he did the most selfless and gracious thing and went against his own desires and broke it off with her, to the dismay of his entire army platoon and all their lost money. But because of Elvis' decency, he felt no remorse when a babysitting situation for a friend got out of control and he had no choice other than call back on Lily for help. Of course, when she learned the truth of his deception and thought he'd used the baby as a gimmick to get her a second time, she told him he'd underestimated his attraction and dumped him, but his action in foiling his friends' bet got him a commendation from the army along with Lily learning the baby had not been a plant. And thus, by his honesty, Elvis ended up getting the girl, with the movie ending with Juliet Prowse telling him that naturally she would marry him. But unlike Presley in "G.I. Blues," in "Dawn," Bloom's character of Kevin; in failing to recognize in his position of most popular guy in school, whose friends had all looked up to him anyway that he could have looked down on them and said no; by his cowardice and refusal to own up to the truth, turned Angela's most magical night into her worst nightmare while stabbing himself all over with pains when she dumped him without preamble even after he had apologized, told her he really liked her and begged for a second chance. Yet with the lesson to be learned stultified by his setup of himself to the mockery of the friends he had tried to impress, very few guys have learned the straightforward lesson Angela herself told Kevin in her hurt disappointment that "he should have liked her first."

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