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A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family.

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2,833 ( 129)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 54 wins & 63 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jean Heywood ...
Jamie Draven ...
...
Dad
Stuart Wells ...
Mike Elliot ...
George Watson
Billy Fane ...
Mr Braithwaite
Nicola Blackwell ...
...
Carol McGuigan ...
Librarian
Joe Renton ...
Gary Poulson
Colin MacLachlan ...
Mr. Wilkinson (as Colin Maclachlan)
Janine Birkett ...
Billy's Mum
Trevor Fox ...
PC Jeff Peverly
Charlie Hardwick ...
Sheila Briggs
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Storyline

County Durham, during the endless, violent 1984 strike against the Thatcher closure of British coal mines. Widower Jackie Elliot and his firstborn, fellow miner Tony, take a dim view of 11 year-old second son Billy's poor record in boxing class, which worsens when they discover he sneakily transferred to the neighboring, otherwise girls-only-attended ballet class. Only one schoolmate, closet-gay Michael Caffrey, encourages Billy's desire, aroused by the teacher, who judged him talented enough for private lesson, to train and try out for the world-renowned Royal Ballet audition. Only the prospect of a fancy career unimagined in the pauper quarter may twist pa and big brother's opposition to indispensable support. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inside every one of us is a special talent waiting to come out. The trick is finding it.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dancer  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,541,109 (UK) (29 September 2000)

Gross:

ESP 1,227,765,776 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burberry celebrated the 15-years anniversary of the film by using it as the inspiration for their 2015 Christmas campaign, starring Julie Walters, Elton John, Michelle Dockery, Naomi Campbell and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. See more »

Goofs

The punch-bag in the dimly lit shot of the gymnasium when Mrs Wilkinson is talking to Billy is moving in one shot (at around 39 mins), then stationary in the next (00:39:21), then moving again (00:40:20). See more »

Quotes

Billy: I think I'm scared, Dad.
Dad: That's okay, son. We're all scared.
Billy: Well... if I don't like it, can I still come back?
Dad: Are you kidding? We've let out your room.
[straight face then laughter]
See more »

Connections

References Metropolis (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love to Boogie
Words and Music by Marc Bolan
Performed by T. Rex
Issued under license from Crimson Productions, a division of the Demon Music Group Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

From Ugly Ducking to Beautiful Swan

Billy Elliot is a truly inspirational movie. It reminds us of the human potential to transcend our economic surroundings and the expectations of society by doing something so simple, and yet sometimes so very difficult, as simply being ourselves.

Born in a socially and economically repressed mining town, Billy is told that boys box or wrestle; boys don't dance. But Billy loves to dance and does so every chance that he gets.

Does a love of ballet make you gay? Does it matter if your best friend is a crossdresser? How far will a father go when he realizes the truth about his son? This is a movie of change, growth and emotion, with characters and actors so real and fully developed that they pull your heart forth and place it firmly upon the screen. We literally feel the brittleness of judgement, the despair of lost hope, and the joy of acceptance.

It is easy to see why this small British film has won so many foreign awards and nominations, and I only hope it will be given the chance it deserves to inspire and transform US audiences as well.


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