6.2/10
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60 user 24 critic

Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 30 June 1989 (USA)
The life and career of wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis.

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(book), (book) (as Murray Silver) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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J.W. Brown
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Jud Phillips
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...
...
Himself
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Lois Brown
Joshua Sheffield ...
Rusty Brown
Mojo Nixon ...
James Van Eaton
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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:

 »
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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 is playing at the Cotton Jamboree he pulls his coat off, but in the next two shots he is wearing the jacket again See more »

Quotes

Lois Brown: "Jerry Lee here's a married man, ain't that right, Jerry Lee?"
Jerry Lee: "Well, that's not necessarily so, Lois."
Lois: " And just what do you mean by that?"
Jerry Lee: "Well, you see I was still married to my first wife when I married my second wife,so I never really was married to my second wife. And since I divorced my first wife a couple of years ago, I'm as free as a bird in a tree!"
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Real ....: Winona Ryder (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Real Wild Child (Wild One)
Written by Johnny O'Keefe, Johnny Greenan and Dave Owen (as Dave Owens)
Performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
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User Reviews

 
Immensely Entertaining & The Music Is Great
3 September 2001 | by (Durham Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

An excellent job by director Jim McBride of putting Myra Lewis's book about the life of legendary rock and roll star Jerry Lee Lewis (her husband) on film.

Dennis Quaid gives an over the top performance (sometimes a bit too over the top; but, then again, this is Jerry Lee Lewis) as Lewis, arrogant and child-like, trying to deal with sudden fame, having to deal with the consequences of having married his thirteen year old cousin (Myra, who authored the book). Quaid was truly excellent in this role. Yes, the lip-synching was perhaps a bit too obvious at times, but for the sake of hearing some great music performed by the real Jerry Lee Lewis, that was an irritant I could easily put up with. The relationship between Lewis and Myra (Winona Ryder) is developed sensitively and tastefully by McBride. Humour is added by exploring the complex love-hate relationship between Lewis and his cousin, the evangelist Jimmy Swaggart (Alec Baldwin). There is also great irony, given what ultimately happened to Swaggart, as we listen to him lecturing Lewis about the dangers of taking the "gold-paved streets of rock and roll."

I really enjoyed this movie. Perhaps it was guilty of portraying everyone in it as a bit of a caricature, but it still seemed to offer an entirely believable story of Lewis's life. Well worth the watching.

9/10


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