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Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 30 June 1989 (USA)
1:08 | Trailer

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



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



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


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


The true story of a legend. See more »


Biography | Drama | Music


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Great Balls of Fire  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,741,060 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


At one point, Mickey Rourke was considered to star as Jerry Lee Lewis with Michael Cimino directing. See more »


There is a shot of The plane jerry is flying in from England to the US. It clearly shows a TWA logo, yet when the shot jumps to Jerry coming off the plane, the plane changes from white to silver and from TWA to American airlines. However, the plane he flew across the ocean (London to New York) would not be the plane on which he landed in Nashville; there were no direct London-Nashville flights in the 1950s. See more »


Jerry Lee: England can kiss my ass!
See more »


Spoofed in Muppets Tonight: Dennis Quaid (1997) See more »


Happy Organ
Written by Kurt Wood, James Kriegsman and Dave 'Baby' Cortez (as David Clowney)
Performed by Dave 'Baby' Cortez
Courtesy of Clock Records/Doug Moody Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

Quaid Plays a Monkey with a Nervous Disorder as Film Dies
25 August 2005 | by (Minneapolis, MN) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen this film in years, but the awful "taste" of Quaid's performance still lingers on my tongue. Some have commented on how Quaid has Jerry Lee Lewis "to a tee" but the fact is he only appears to have the most extreme stage Jerry in mind. Nobody acts that way all the time, and the performance comes off as hopelessly clownish, reducing Lewis to a buffoonish caricature. The nuances of a man's life are lost in the rubble of sheer over-acting.

The author of the book this is based on (Nick Tosches) is a good writer, who has written several fine musical bios (I particularly liked "Dino" on Dean Martin); in the books Tosches gives us a full human being, both separate from and involved in the "biz." Quaid's acting seems to imply that Jerry never acted like a human being. If people were like this, no one would bother to hang around them. As cartoons go, it is mildly amusing, but otherwise it is one of the most egregious, film-destroying performances I have had the "honor" of viewing. Terrible...

13 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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