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Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  30 June 1989 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 11,119 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 22 critic

The life and career of the wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star, Jerry Lee Lewis.

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(book), (book), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
J.W. Brown
...
Jud Phillips
...
...
...
Himself
...
Lois Brown
Joshua Sheffield ...
Rusty Brown
Mojo Nixon ...
James Van Eaton
...
Roland Janes
David Ferguson ...
Jack Clement
Robert Lesser ...
...
Babe
Paula Person ...
Sam's Secratary
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Storyline

The story of Jerry Lee Lewis, arguably the greatest and certainly one of the wildest musicians of the 1950s. His arrogance, remarkable talent, and unconventional lifestyle often brought him into conflict with others in the industry, and even earned him the scorn and condemnation of the public. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jerry Lee Lewis: He Rocked The Nation... And Shocked The World. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Great Balls of Fire  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$13,741,060 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dennis Quaid did some of his own piano playing. Pianist/singer Jason D. Williams, often compared to Jerry Lee Lewis in looks and musical performance, also served as Quaid's piano double. The filmmakers used Williams' hands for the piano parts in the film. Williams also found himself teaching Dennis Quaid how to play a few parts, which Quaid quickly picked up. At the time of filming, Quaid had played the guitar for 20 years but had only played the piano for two years. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry plays at the burning piano, he stops playing clearly before the piano-sound is gone. It keeps on a few more seconds, then it stops too. See more »

Quotes

Myra: Why won't they go away?
Jerry Lee: They just want to see the new king of rock'n'roll.
See more »

Connections

References High School Confidential! (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

That Lucky Old Sun
Written by Haven Gillespie and Beasley Smith
Performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Good & Bad Of 'Great Balls Of Fire'
27 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Being a fan of Jerry Lee Lewis since he began rockin' way back in the 1950s, this movie is a bit of a disappointment overall. The "bad" outweighs the "good" in here, story-wise.

GOOD - The music - naturally! There is some great music in here, featuring Dennis Quaid as the entertaining rockabilly-rock-country singer who surely will go down as the one of the great entertainers of his generation. Quaid lip-syncs the songs, but that okay. They sound better with Lewis doing the singing. The movie is colorful, entertaining and fast-moving. Wynona Ryder looks really cute, too.

BAD - There is a little bit too much emphasis on Lewis' brother, Jimmy Swaggart (Alec Baldwin) and, of course, they make him look like some fanatical religious preacher. Hey, I'm not a "charismatic" follower but there was an obvious bias in here and it wasn't necessary. Also, the writers actually made Lewis look a sympathetic victim for the criticism he got marrying his 13-year-old cousin! Only in the film-making world do we see poor morals given the thumbs-up. Sorry, Jerry Lee, but marrying your 13-year-old cousin warrants a bit of criticism! I later discovered this movie was based on a book by that the same "girl," so it's no wonder it makes that relationship look "legitimate."

The ending was not appropriate, either. Most of the characters in this film were exaggerated to the degree that they all look cartoonish. This movie could have been so much better with a more objective look at Jerry Lee's life and people in it.


22 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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