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Paris Is Burning (1990)

R  |   |  Documentary  |  August 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 3,353 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 18 critic

A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.


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Credited cast:
André Christian
Dorian Corey
Paris Duprée
David The Father Xtravaganza
Eileen Ford ...
Junior Labeija
Pepper LaBeija ...
(as Pepper Labeija)
Sandy Ninja
Willi Ninja
Avis Pendavis
Freddie Pendavis
Kim Pendavis
Sol Pendavis
Stevie Saint Laurent
Octavia St. Laurent ...
(as Octavia Saint Laurent)


This is a documentary of 'drag nights' among New York's underclass. Queens are interviewed and observed preparing for and competing in many 'balls'. The people, the clothes, and the whole environment are outlandish. Written by Robbie Smith <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Having a ball...wish you were here



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

August 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Children Are  »

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)


$3,779,620 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A young Pepper LaBeija can be seen very briefly as a contestant in the 1968 documentary The Queen, about a drag beauty pageant held in New York City. The legendary Crystal LaBeija, original mother and founder of the House of LaBeija, is also featured giving a fierce and shady reading. See more »


Dorian Corey: I always had hopes of being a big star. But as you get older, you aim a little lower. Everybody wants to make an impression, some mark upon the world. Then you think, you've made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name. Then you've left a mark. You don't have to bend the whole world. I think it's better to just enjoy it. Pay your dues, and just enjoy it. If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.
See more »


References Dynasty (1981) See more »


Got To Be Real
Written by Cheryl Lynn (as C. Lynn), David Paich (as D. Paich) and David Foster (as D. Foster)
Performed by Cheryl Lynn
Courtesy of Cheryl Lynn Productions
Published by Cotaba Music, administered by Peermusic, Ltd. (BMI)/Butterfly Gong Music (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

15 July 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

to give folks an update on the individuals interviewed in "Paris Is Burning", Angie Xtravaganza, Dorian Corey & just last year(or early this year?), Pepper LaBeija all passed-away, unfortunately. ...they will all be missed.:(

Willi Ninja's still on the performing scene. is Sade Pendavis(from my understanding). ..i'm not sure what has become of the rest of the cast, though.

to this day, i watch this film as if it's the first time seeing it....i, personally, would like Ms. Livingston to make a follow-up film, catching back-up with the surviving i'm sure a good many of you would like to see as well.;)

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

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