Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  11 October 2001 (Israel)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 3,136 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 60 user | 38 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

A non-glamorous portrayal of the lives of people who make their living at a strip club.



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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nico (as Kristin Bauer)
David Amos ...
Carolyne Aycaguer ...
R.C. Bates ...
Jimmy (as RC Bates)


Angel is a dancer wishing to adopt a child. Stormy is a dancer with a secret with her brother Sully. Jasmine is a poetess who falls in love with Dennis. Jo is a dancer who became pregnant and Jessie is a woman fighting to survive in Hollywood. The link between them is the fact that they dance at Blue Iguana, a strip-club managed by Eddie. Their personal dramas are the theme of this movie. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


from the director of Il Postino See more »


Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive sexual content/nudity, language, some drug content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 October 2001 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

Historias de la noche  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$30,181 (USA) (19 October 2001)


$30,181 (USA) (19 October 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Partly filmed in an actual strip club called the Valley Ball Cabaret in Van Nuys, California (although the stage with the bar was a set). See more »


Jo frequently takes long swigs from her whiskey container, yet never swallows any drink and speaks immediately after taking the container away from her mouth. See more »


Angel: [Whistling and waving] Officer? Officer, could... could you help me with... I... Could you help take a picture of my... I want to take a picture of myself in front of this billboard.
Officer Pete Foster: Is that you?
Angel: Yeah.
Officer Pete Foster: Really.
Angel: I'm a lot smaller in person.
See more »


References Batman (1966) See more »


Written by Taime Downe
Performed by The Newlydeads
Courtesy of Taime Down by arrangement with Bug Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

A haunting, thought-provoking slice of life
12 January 2002 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

OK, so "Dancing at the Blue Iguana" features wall-to-wall naked gyrating women. But don't let that put you off. Despite the subject matter - the lives of five strippers who work in the eponymous club (played by Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Tilly, Sheila Kelley, Charlotte Ayanna and Sandra Oh) - and the frequent nudity, "Blue Iguana" is not a T&A movie. Rather, it's a compelling insight into the lives of the underclass of Los Angeles, or indeed, any one of the world's major cities.

If your cinematic tastes run to tightly plotted fare where all the loose ends are tied up with a big gift-wrap bow in the last five minutes, you'll probably it find frustrating. But if you can appreciate a film in which some issues are never quite resolved and some questions are never quite answered

  • just like real life - then you may be seduced by the "Blue


The film has been panned by so many critics that I must admit I started watching with some trepidation, expecting to be embarrassed for the actors. But I became so engrossed in the world of the Blue Iguana that I was actually disappointed when the film ended.

Much of the criticism of "Blue Iguana" is based on the fact that it was made without a script. The actors started with only two things: the title of the film and the fact that it was set in a strip club. Everything else, they worked out themselves - their characters, their storylines, and their dialogue - in an intense series of improvisational workshops. This approach may be unconventional, but it gives "Blue Iguana" a freshness and immediacy which is rarely found in mainstream films. As Michael Radford explains, improv relies on nailing the scene in the first take; once it becomes too polished, it loses its sense of realism.

The female cast has been another target for critics - not because they're not superb actors, but because, in their late 30's to early 40s, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Tilly and Sheila Kelley would be too old to work as strippers in LA where beautiful young women exist in a buyer's market. But they bring a depth of sadness to their characters - you can't help wondering where they'll be a few years down the track.

Sandra Oh's performance as Jasmine is a standout. Jasmine leads a double life, stripping on the Blue Iguana stage and secretly writing poetry in the dressing room. After persuading her to read one of her painfully beautiful works at his poetry group Dennis (Chris Hogan) starts to fall in love with her mind. But Jasmine realises the fledgling romance is doomed. In the film's most heartbreaking scene, when Dennis seeks her out at the club, she performs her routine to Moby's "Porcelain" with its haunting refrain "So This is Goodbye". The camera focuses on her face. It's an impassive mask, but her eyes betray incredible sadness. She's wordlessly saying to him, "This is the real me. Do you still want me now?"

Putting aside its improv-based development, "Blue Iguana" succeeds on its own merits. If you want to see a T&A film, rent a copy of "Showgirls". If you want to see a haunting, thought-provoking slice of life, see "Dancing at the Blue Iguana".

40 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Wow! I'm stunned. pattyjones736
is there a soundtrack rollicking-rita
does jennifer beat any one up in this movie? silviatorres
great movie nina_beretta
who was that guy that gave angel that money at the end? donland
Leonard Cohen?? cajunk
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