Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  30 June 1989 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 12,221 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 23 critic

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



(book), (book) (as Murray Silver) , 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

La Bamba (1987)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

Director: Luis Valdez
Stars: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A small town prepares for the homecoming of superstar Roxy Carmichael, as does a young outsider, who believes Roxy is her mother.

Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Winona Ryder, Jeff Daniels, Laila Robins
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.

Director: Steve Rash
Stars: Gary Busey, Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith
Mermaids (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An unconventional single mother relocates with her two daughters to a small Massachusetts town in 1963, where a number of events and relationships both challenge and strengthen their familial bonds.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder
1969 (1988)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two friends, Ralph and Scott live in a small minded town at the onset of wide public dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war. While Scott's brother enlists, he and Ralph are outspoken in their... See full summary »

Director: Ernest Thompson
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Kiefer Sutherland, Bruce Dern
Square Dance (1987)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Gemma is 13 years old lives with her grandpa in the country, she has for many years. One day her mother shows up, and wants to take Gemma to the city. Her mother is married now, and can ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Jason Robards, Jane Alexander, Winona Ryder
The Big Easy (1986)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Set in New Orleans. Remy McSwain, lieutenant in Homicide finds that he has two problems, the first of a series of gang killings and Ann Osborne, a beautiful attorney from the D.A.'s police ... See full summary »

Director: Jim McBride
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin, Ned Beatty
Lucas (1986)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A socially inept fourteen year old experiences heartbreak for the first time when his two best friends -- Cappie, an older-brother figure, and Maggie, the new girl with whom he is in love -- fall for each other.

Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Bride-to-be Finn Dodd hears tales of romance and sorrow from her elders as they construct a quilt.

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Stars: Winona Ryder, Ellen Burstyn, Anne Bancroft
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from abusive husband, Ike Turner.

Director: Brian Gibson
Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly
Reality Bites (1994)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Generation X Graduates face life after college with a filmmaker looking for work and love in Houston.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A rancher, his clairvoyant wife and their family face turbulent years in South America in this adaptation of Isabel Allende's best-seller.

Director: Bille August
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Maria Conchita Alonso


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 <>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Murray Silver Jr. and Myra Lewis sold the film rights to the book for $115,000, plus a share of the profits. The two were supposed to serve as script consultants, but after the rights were sold three times, they lost that role when Director Jim McBride and Producer Adam Fields opted to put some distance between the film crew and their real-life counterparts. See more »


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 »


Myra: I don't even know what hydrogen is.
See more »


Referenced in E! True Hollywood Story: Winona Ryder (2002) See more »


Singing & Swingin' For Me
Written by Al Dexter and James Paris
Performed by Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Dennis channels Jerry Lee
27 May 2003 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

From some of the reviews here, I get the feeling many viewers of this film have never seen a Jerry Lee Lewis performance, much less have ever seen him offstage. Well, I can tell you, Dennis Quaid has the man down to pitch perfect. But it isn't just a great impersonation. Beneath every nuance and gesture is the frenzied heart and mind that probably would never have been able to function outside of the venue of rock and roll. Jerry Lee was the white man's Little Richard. He had rock and roll in his blood and he was BORN outrageous! He also made Elvis Presley look like a wind-up doll. `Great Balls of Fire' captures the essence of Jerry Lee's music, especially in the ‘musical' scene with the kids outside the high school. Rock and Roll breaks the rules, so why not have a film that breaks the rules by throwing in a musical number that obviously has no backup band? Those who have seen the high school rock and roll movies like `High School Confidential' and `Rock Rock Rock' will appreciate this spirited ode to them. Winona Ryder does a pretty good job for Winona Ryder, and it's fun to see John Doe (of the L.A. punk band `X') playing the somewhat stymied father of little Myra Gale. This film is not a biopic, it's a rock and roll movie, which is what the King of rock and roll (as far as I'm concerned) deserves. Is he a bad, bad man for marrying his thirteen-year-old cousin? Is it anyone's business? The marriage lasted longer then most marriages these days do. Even if it hadn't, I think people can be capable of respecting the artist and his music even if that artist's lifestyle offends them. That's this film's point of view, so no doubt, there will be viewers who will take offense. But to set the record straight, the whole world did not turn their back on Jerry Lee when the news got out about his marriage to his cousin. There were thousands of fans who actually embraced him more BECAUSE their parents and authorities hated him. And then there were just the fans (like myself) who will always love his music and audacious energy at the piano, and have decided to leave judgment of his personal life to whatever entity is in charge of such things.

32 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Love, not age eweloon
I really love this movie Toxic-Lip-Gloss
THE GESTURE AlexandreRomani
Cant believe the english! bornandbreedinNZ
Best Music Biopic ever... rmana247
What about their first child? shimmer_121
Discuss Great Balls of Fire! (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: