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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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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:

The true story of a legend. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

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 »
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Details

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Release Date:

30 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Great Balls of Fire  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$13,741,060 (USA)
 »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Jerry comes off the plane from New York, there's a lot of girls gathering around. One of them kisses his cheek right by the ear, but in the next shot the mark after the lipstick is far nearer his mouth. See more »

Quotes

Myra: All I ever wanted was a little pink house with a blue door... a little baby sittin' in a high chair.
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Connections

Referenced in Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Honey Don't
Written and Performed by Carl Perkins
Courtesy of Sun Records
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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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