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Stepping Out (1991)

Stepping Out is a 1991 musical-comedy film directed by Lewis Gilbert, starring Liza Minnelli, written by Richard Harris and based on a play also written by Harris. Minnelli plays the role ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robyn Stevan ...
Carol Woods ...
Mavis Turner
Mrs. Fraser
Luke Reilly ...
Géza Kovács ...
Raymond Rickman ...


Stepping Out is a 1991 musical-comedy film directed by Lewis Gilbert, starring Liza Minnelli, written by Richard Harris and based on a play also written by Harris. Minnelli plays the role of a has-been Broadway performer who gives tap lesson to a group of misfits who, through their dance classes, bond and realize what they can achieve. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Your dreams are just a step away


Comedy | Drama | Musical


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 October 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A scuola di ballo  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$242,014 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bev Mahon, the well-known (in film circles) owner of the equally well-known Varsity Theatre in Des Moines, Iowa, was so interested in booking this film he began negotiations with Paramount in March 1991, as the film was originally slated to open the next month. When the movie came and went in October 1991, Mahon stuck to his guns and booked it for his Christmas release that year. With his customary, individualized, savvy marketing (Mahon used only portions of Paramount's ad campaign and essentially wrote his own), the movie was a surprise smash at the Varsity, where it eventually ran for an incredible ten weeks. Mahon wanted to run it indefinitely (he ran "Doctor Zhivago" in 1965 for 50 weeks), but Paramount needed his print for another engagement. Since Paramount had only made eight prints of the picture, Mahon had no choice but to end the engagement, but Mahon was able to coerce the studio to allow him to keep "Stepping Out" for a final two weeks, since it had done so well, which he promoted quite heavily. You can see Mahons' savvy ad campaign on the Varsity website (google Varsity Theatre Des Moines) if you go to the website's "History" page and click on "newspaper ads", scroll down to the bottom of the page under the "Enchanted April" ad, and click on "More Newspaper ads and the 'Stepping Out' story. The story is a fascinating example of what might have happened to this film if Paramount had gotten behind it intelligently. It's also a rather sad story, as Liza Minnelli, as of December 2014, has never made another major Hollywood film, much less a musical one, which, it must be said, is everyone's loss. Still, the ten-week, well-attended engagement at the Varsity does exist as some of vindication for this overlooked gem, a fabulous mash-up of "Rocky" and "A Chorus Line." See more »


Referenced in Murphy Brown: Stepping Out (1996) See more »


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User Reviews

"STEPPING OUT" revisited
29 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There are movies they you just love.

This is one of them, for me.

Stupidly and ineptly "released" by Paramount Pictures in October 1991, "Stepping Out" is a movie that should have been a profound critical and commercial success. I'm not saying this film is anything more than it is. But "Rocky" and "Saturday Night Fever" mined this mother-lode with similar results. Alas, for "Stepping Out," the boxing and disco dancing flicks had savvy PR guys, and "Stepping Out" had--I dunno.

"Feel good" movie beyond completely applies to "Stepping Out."

This film, properly marketed, would have rejuvenated Liza Minnelli's film career.

And we would have had a wonderful Liza movie every few years or so, instead of--well, sequels.

Anyone reading this thread, who was or is still working for Paramount and could explain how they dropped the ball on this film's release? I'd love details.

UPDATE: I just stumbled upon an article about a theatre in Des Moines, the Varsity, that ran "Stepping Out" for a jaw-dropping TEN WEEKS. It was their Christmas release in 1991. The legendary theater owner, Bev Mahon, was undeterred about the unsuccessful platform release in October, and booked the movie anyway. He rewrote his own ad campaign (apparently he did this a LOT when he championed a movie underdog), and the movie was a big hit at this theatre. It would have run indefinitely (he ran "Doctor Zhivago" for 50 weeks in 1965), but Paramount wanted the theatre's print returned for another engagement. Since only 8 prints had been made of this film (what confidence, Paramount!), Bev Mahon had to comply, but since "Stepping Out" had been a bonafide smash at his theatre, Paramount did allow him to announce a final 2-week engagement. Nice story. Kind of vindicates Liza and her film and makes Paramount look even stupider than I thought they were back in 1991.

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