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The Forbidden Dance (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  16 March 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 3.3/10 from 1,243 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 13 critic

Filmed during the Lambada dance craze (if there really ever was one), this film tries to have a social conscience. A princess (Laura Herring) in the Amazon rain forests tries to fight a ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nisa (as Laura Herring)
Jeff James ...
Barbra Brighton ...
Miranda Garrison ...
Ángela Moya ...
Carmen (as Angela Moya)
Benjamin Maxwell
Katherine Anderson
Linden Chiles ...
Bradley Anderson
Ruben Moreno ...
The King
Gene Mitchell ...
Tom Alexander ...
Weed (as Steven Lloyd Williams)


Filmed during the Lambada dance craze (if there really ever was one), this film tries to have a social conscience. A princess (Laura Herring) in the Amazon rain forests tries to fight a conglomerate threatening the forests by going to Los Angeles. There she links up with a rich kid (Jeff James) who tells her that she must get on tv to succeed with her mission. Quick as a wink the two come up with the idea of winning a lambada dance contest that is getting tv attention. Sid Haig also co-stars as a witch doctor who accompanies the princess and provides some humor. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


LAMBADA...If it got any hotter, it wouldn't be dancing!


Drama | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lambada, el baile prohibido  »

Box Office


$1,823,154 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Written in 10 days, based on an idea writers John Platt & Roy Langsdon came up with in the car on the drive to producer Menahem Golan's office. The script was commisioned in December of 1989, was in production by the end of January, 1990, and hit theaters on March 17th that same year, all in an attempt to beat rival lamdada flick Lambada (1990) to theaters. Both films were eventually released on the very same day! See more »


At one point, Nisa calls the villain "matador". It is intended as an insult. But "matador" is a bullfighting term. What Nisa really means to say is "asesino" (murderer). See more »


Nisa: You want to see the lambada? I'll SHOW you the lambada!
See more »


Referenced in NewsRadio: Rap (1997) See more »


Stop, Look, Listen and Think
Performed by Exposé
Appears Courtesy of Arista Records Inc.
Written by Lewis A. Martiné (as Lewis A. Martinee)
See more »

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User Reviews

Amazingly bad, from what I remember
11 December 2005 | by (Big Ol' New York City, baby!) – See all my reviews

Ten out of ten stars? Sure, for AMAZINGLY BAD and HIDEOUS. OK, I'm going from memory, but in 1990 I was a projectionist at a six screen multiplex theater in NH for about 6 months before I moved to NYC Those few months allowed me to witness some horrendous films I would never volunteer to go see like "Joe vs the Volcano" (rember that hilariously putrid waste of celluloid? Funniest part was seeing Abe Vigoda dressed up to play a native chief. Honest.) Well, "Forbidden Dance" was easily the worst film I had seen that year (maybe in years), thus becoming one of the best unintentional comedies I had seen up to that point. Incredibly stupid dialog, horrendous acting, terrible script, absolutely ignorant and insulting to Brazilian culture (which disturbs me now to think of, but at the time I just saw it as another element of ineptness and stupidity exercised by the director/writer/producers.) Anyways, I raved about this film to friends, as in "Ya gotta see this, it's unbelievable, goes beyond the bottom of the barrel." Alas, it stayed maybe a week at the theater, so the planned orgy of a gang of us laughing our heads off at the abomination never materialized.

So I'm going by memory now. Is the film as horrendous as I remember it? I have half- hearted plans to try and dig up a copy to see again and show my wife how truly bad films can be. Yeah, OK, I'm one of those "gotta see a horrible film now and then to get some laughs at its expense" sort of guy, though as I get older, maybe I have a little less time to waste doing that. I am going to try and rent this if I can, to see if it is as hilarious as I remember it. One sad note: one of my favorite character actors, Sid Haig, is in it. A low point in his movie career. All is forgiven, Sid!!!!!!

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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