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The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

 -  Comedy | Music  -  10 August 1994 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 30,730 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 125 user | 49 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Two drag queens and a transsexual travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret.

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Title: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ralph Waite / Bernadette Bassenger
...
Logowoman (as Rebel Russell)
John Casey ...
Bartender
June Marie Bennett ...
Shirley
Murray Davies ...
Miner
Frank Cornelius ...
Piano Player
Bob Boyce ...
Petrol Station Attendant
Leighton Picken ...
Young Adam
Maria Kmet ...
Ma
Joseph Kmet ...
Pa
Alan Dargin ...
Aboriginal Man
...
Julia Cortez ...
Cynthia Campos
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Storyline

Two drag-queens (Anthony/Mitzi and Adam/Felicia) and a transexual (Bernadette) contract to perform a drag show at a resort in Alice Springs, a resort town in the remote Australian desert. They head west from Sydney aboard their lavender bus, Priscilla. En route, it is discovered that the woman they've contracted with is Anthony's wife. Their bus breaks down, and is repaired by Bob, who travels on with them. Written by Randy Goldberg <goldberg@nymc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bus | desert | drag | drag queen | road movie | See more »

Taglines:

It's the Australian film that blitzed overseas box offices. It caused a near riot at the Cannes Film Festival. It won an Academy Award®. It's fun, daring, over-the-top and unforgettable. It's a road movie with attitude and the occasional frock. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sex-related situations and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

10 August 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las aventuras de Priscilla, reina del desierto  »

Box Office

Gross:

£823,293 (UK) (11 November 1994)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Julia Cortez (Bob's mail-order bride, Cynthia) provided her own cat suit costume complete with the strategically placed zipper for the scene in the bar after the Shake Your Groove Thing number. See more »

Goofs

After the bus breaks down for the first time in the Australian outback, and Tick (Hugo Weaving) has just given up on trying to fix it, he sits down to eat breakfast with Bernadette (Terence Stamp). In the exchange, a cameraman and some crew members are visible in the reflection of Bernadette's sunglasses. See more »

Quotes

Bernadette: [to Tick about Felicia] One more push, I'm gonna to smack his face so hard he'll have to stick his toothbrush up his arse to clean his teeth!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Big Cheese...Michael Kuhn See more »

Connections

Featured in 20 to 1: Scene-Stealing Songs (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

A Fine Romance
Written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields
Performed by Lena Horne
Published by PolyGram International Publishing Inc.
Courtesy Castle Communications (Australasia) Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

My take on Priscillianism
21 October 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Exemplify a wacky dress without being tacky, and beyond, could be the film's tag. Whether you wear it on a frock or naked, should be aimed at people who say the film is OK, nicely done and frothy and all, but without much to it. Wrong. Wrong viewers they are that downplay the film's witty heart.

I do not think there has ever been a film that delivers its ethos in the tag-line "a cock in a frock on a rock - that's what our country hardly needed". The smashing alliteration outwits the scenario-in-a-capsule phrase of this more kind-than-kin road movie. It must have to do with something else. Queering the deadpan or deadpanning the queer? I am not sure I can fathom Terence Stamp's take on delivering what he says.

All three actors bless the idea of casting and based on their choice there should be a new kind of lifetime achievement award, bestowed by the Vatican, for the film should be included in all discussions of trinitarian discourse: Bernadette as a very dignified Holy Spirit or as trans-gendered Godhead, Adam as a reckless Holy Spirit or Son in drug-fueled high heels, Tick as Father, for sure. It should - the least

  • provoke a wave for re-evaluating the doctrines of Priscillian, the


early Church heretic, or martyr depending on your appreciation of controversial matters, who was the first person in the history of Christianity to be executed for heresy: he mostly lived in the desert like Adam, Bernadette and Tick, but being a strict ascetic, had failed to watch the film and be converted.

It is a sly achievement to which one gives up and surrenders intelligently, when you realize that the film is a tender plea for man's precarious status, his always tenderness-seeking or wildly avoiding identity: the women in the film range from the bully in the bar to the inane, almost extra-terrestrially squeaking runner, to the unintelligible vagina performer, and when in the and at last we encounter a human being, Tick's wife, the rich ambiguities are neither explained nor skimmed: we now understand that these women with their full range of caricature and sexual being, are there to put into relief the three characters' embattled manhood (Tick trying to sell the odious face-creams totally drunk in that bar, by his drawl rightfully pronounces the product: woe-man): Bernadette still clutches to some core of enjoyment in what concerns her pre-operation self, as her rage whenever Adam calls her by her earlier name (and this somehow counter-contrasts, to call the effect by that name, with Adam's counter-molestation flash-back), Ralph, erupts, Tick has an amazingly human face charting all delicate and anxious hesitations concerning what is to be a father, drawing a line to procreation, and this, in turn, has an uncanny resonance to and with the fact that Adam seems peculiarly parentless. Perhaps it is this difficult to grasp effect that from the three performances the one that stayed with me was Pearce's with all its reckless abandon.

Terence Stamp has not demonstrated that he is from another solar system that well even in Pasolini's "Theoreme" - it is surely a system of stellar poise and dignity, and we rarely see that around here; and how difficult it is to have Hugo Weaving's strong, unmissable face playing a humane character without something leaking into false notes. The story is perfect in being a pilgrim's progress and its queering of it: Stephan Elliott touched genius with this film, and so did the leads, and so do we. Thank you.


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