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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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jud Phillips
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Joshua Sheffield ...
Rusty Brown
Mojo Nixon ...
James Van Eaton
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Roland Janes
David Ferguson ...
Jack Clement
Robert Lesser ...
Alan Freed
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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>

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The true story of a legend. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

30 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Great Balls of Fire  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$13,741,060
See more on IMDbPro »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sean Penn was considered for the lead role. See more »

Goofs

The song "Great Balls Of Fire" is shown climbing the Billboard charts to number one. The song only made it to number two. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Lee: Follow that, Killer!
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Soundtracks

Beat Guitar
Written by John Greek and Richard Dangel
Performed by The Wailers
Courtesy of Golden Crest Industries
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User Reviews

 
Shake My Nerves, Rattle My Brains
21 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

Great Balls Of Fire is the title song of the greatest hit by legendary rock and roller Jerry Lee Lewis who couldn't quite handle the sudden fame and wealth thrust into his hands. It serves as a singularly appropriate title for a film about his life.

Jerry Lee is played by Dennis Quaid and the role is quite a stretch for him. I'm used to seeing an older and more mature Quaid in films like Swimmer and The Express. Still he does do very well capturing the essence of Lewis as I remember him as a lad.

The key to understanding Jerry Lee Lewis is in remembering that what he did in marrying those child brides was quite normal behavior from where he came from. Young girls in the more rural sections of the south frequently got married at 13 to 15 and the success rate wasn't any better or worse than in the more sophisticated parts of the country. I do well remember the scandalous stories back in the late Fifties that put a halt to Lewis's meteoric career.

Lewis came back and of course never got quite the same success, but music trends change in any event. He's still doing well on the nostalgic circuit, playing more for the love of it than the need for money. Playing that honky tonk piano and singing meant more to him than the trappings of success.

Winona Ryder got a big break in her career playing Lewis's notorious child bride Myra. Interestingly enough at the same time Lewis's stories were in the news, Errol Flynn at 48 escorting young adolescent Beverly Aadland was also making headlines. And Flynn was still married to Patrice Wymore.

Great Balls Of Fire is a good film, but really without an ending because Jerry Lee is still making music. May he continue to make it.


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