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Holy Smoke (1999)

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While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho ... See full summary »


2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Hamilton ...
Sophie Lee ...
Tim Robertson ...
George Rafael ...
Yani (as George Mangos)
Kerry Walker ...
Les Dayman ...
Bill-Bill (as Leslie Dayman)
Samantha Murray ...
Stan (as Austen Tayshus)
Simon Anderson ...
Eva Martin ...


While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho cult de-programmer who confronts Ruth in a remote desert hideaway. But PJ quickly learns that he's met his match in the sexy, intelligent and iron-willed Ruth! Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sex captive in desert hideaway...young beauty seduced by macho American twice her age. See more »


Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Holy Smoke!  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,307 (USA) (3 December 1999)


$1,758,780 (USA) (7 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On a fellow actor's advice, Kate Winslet drank 3 vodka-and-tonics for a scene involving her being drunk. See more »


As the pickup truck with Ruth and PJ pulls away near the end of the film, the camera rig and crane are reflected in the truck's rear window. See more »


Ruth Barron: Ok tampax tool, I'm gonna give it to you right up your arse. All this "man-hating" shit for a start. "Oh she criticised me, I'll call her a man hater!" I know what you want from me, you just want a youthful pussy transfusion, preferably one you can take home to show the men folk what a beautiful post you got to piss on. Jeans pressed, cowboy boots... is that a uniform for individuals, is it? I want a young man.
PJ Waters: Your physical superiority makes you unkind.
See more »


Referenced in Confessions of an R-rated Movie Maker (2004) See more »


Jo Tumhe Chahe Us Ko
(Music by Nadeem Saifi (as Nadeem) / Shravan Rathod (as Shravan) Lyrics by Sameer)
Performed by Kumar Sanu & Alka Yagnik
Courtesy of Harry Baweja & S.P. Creations
See more »

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User Reviews

In search of the Truth...
29 February 2000 | by (Newark, DE) – See all my reviews

Holy Smoke! follows two lost souls (Winslet and Keitel) over the course of three days. The Winslet character, Ruth Baron, is seduced by a not-so-handsome guru on a trip to India, and she intends to marry him. Eventually, her family tricks her into coming home and hires a famous "cult-exiter" named P.J. Waters (Keitel). Keitel's entrance, backed by Neil Diamond's "I Am, I Said," is priceless. Once Ruth agrees to the three-day exiting (because she doesn't believe that her views will be dislodged), debates on religion, truth, and sex commence between Ruth and P.J. The remainder of the film is an unexpected wild ride. Could P.J. learn a thing or two from a inexperienced but strong willed woman? Don't worry, Holy Smoke! isn't all seriousness. Ruth's wacky family provides most of the laughs in the film. At a family gathering, a sheep serves as a coffee table...no one even comments on it!

Holy Smoke! isn't nearly as grim or open-ended as The Piano or Portrait of a Lady (two films that gained and lost many Campion supporters). Underappreciated Winslet (unfortunately only well known for Titanic), gives the performance of her life. Keitel, too, is absolute perfection (as always). Campion recently said that she wanted to "seduce" the audience into thinking deeper...and she has.

13 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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