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Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story (2001)

A dramatization of the early years of the hard rock band, Def Leppard, the group faces both success and personal tragedies such as drummer, Rick Allen losing his arm in a car accident and guitarist Steve Clark's alcohol addiction.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Bagnall ...
Tat Whalley ...
Peter Mensch
Lorelei Shellist
Brett Watson ...
Tony Kenning
Danette Mackay ...
Matt Cooke ...
Barry Clark
Emma Stevens ...
Mrs. Allen
Ivan Smith ...


In the late 1970s Britain, Joe Elliot joins a small time rock band that becomes Def Leppard. Soon taking control of the band with his perfectionism, Elliot and his mates strive to reach the top despite their personal strife that drives the less determined members away for more driven ones. By 1982, Def Leppard becomes a rock sensation, only to find that success has its own problems. Whether it be drummer Rick Allen's dismembering accident or guitarist Steve Clark's equally self-destructive alcoholism, the band struggles to keep the loyalty, tenacity and creativity that would make the group one of the greatest in rock history. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Music made them legends. Tragedy made them heroes.


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »





Release Date:

18 July 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Histeria - A História do Def Leppard  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Includes an entirely re-recorded version of the early Def Leppard song "Getcha Rocks Off", which was recorded without involvement of any Def Leppard members. See more »


In the scene where Joe Elliott is driving and listening to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" he reaches down to rewind the tape. Immediately before he reaches down he passes a white car parked on the side of the road. When the shot cuts back to Joe from the tape deck, he passes that same white car again. See more »


Steve: Why'd you park your car so stupid?
Joe: How could I park it, if I lent it to him?
Phil: You lent me your car?
Joe: Yes,last night so you could take Lo back to the airport.
Steve: Why'd he take her?
Joe: You both took her, you were with him.
Steve: I was.
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User Reviews

Pour Some Sugar On Me!
27 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

When Def Leppard returned to MTV with Hysteria, it was a revolution. The band members were adolescent friends who aspired to leave their Sheffield lives behind them. Instead, they became a leader in the music industry. Hysteria's legacy still lives on to those of us who remember it. The film reminded me of their ability to triumph over tragedy. They were all young when they rose to success. Of course, they hit obstacles like alcohol, drugs, and money. When Rick loses his arm in a car accident, he is determined to return to the band. I admire the band for not turning their backs on their friend. When Steve Clark is battling alcoholism, his friends are there for him as well. The film is not great but I bet it could have been better. I liked the flashbacks in the end to show the change in their appearances. They have grown older, wiser, and better for it. The road to Hysteria was marked by tragedy and triumph at once. The song "Pour Some Sugar On Me!" was a hit video on MTV. I must have seen it a hundred times or more. In the 1980s, musicians and bands like Def Leppard created lyrics with music. Today, all there is vulgarity, sexual references, obscenity, and violence in the most popular music today. Gone are the music videos that inhabited MTV all those years. It was once a music station. I saw this film on VH-1 which was also begun as an alternative to MTV. Both now dedicate themselves to reality shows and other programming. I miss MTV and the videos like Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me, Hysteria, Photograph, Love Hurts, Animal, etc. Of course, young actors who play larger than life band members do a superb job in portraying. For a minute, I believed the band was actually playing themselves. I had to see the credits. I bet they could have marketed and released this film in the theaters and they would be rocking to the sound of Def Leppard. Too bad they placed it on television as documentary. To Def Leppard, keep rocking on.

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