Dance 'Til Dawn (TV Movie 1988) - Plot Summary Poster

(1988 TV Movie)


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  • It's prom night and the kids of Hoover High will be having a night they will never forget. Popular girl Shelley ditches her prom and ends up spending the night with unpopular Dan; Popular guy Kevin goes out with nerdy Angela because he heard she was easy; Patrice continues to blame her boyfriend Roger for everything that doesn't go the way she wants it to. The adults also have there problems to contend with: Nancy and Larry must find out a way to patch up their marriage or get a divorce; Jack spends the night tracking down his son Dan to find out why he didn't go to the prom; and overprotective Ed and Ruth keep tabs on their daughter Angela throughout the night.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • It is the day of the senior prom, and everybody is getting into the swing of things. First we meet Dan (Chris Young), who is buying a corsage for his "date", however he is not doing a very good job of it. When he leaves the florist, he runs into Patrice (Christina Applegate) and Roger (Matthew Perry). It is obvious from this confrontation that Dan is not the most popular guy in school and also that Patrice tells Roger exactly what to do. From there, we pan over to the girls, Shelly (Alyssa Milano), Lori, and Kerry, in the drug store, discussing the prom night and specifically who Shelly will be going with. She claims she will be going to a college frat party instead. They decide that Shelly will be the only senior missing the prom, until they see Angela (Traci Gold) and Margaret (Tempestt Bledsoe). These two are debating which movie to watch at the movie rental store for prom night. Then we meet the guys, Kevin (Brian Bloom) and Wallce, who are getting their tux rentals taken care of. It is then revealed that Kevin does not have a date, so Wallace claims that Angela is "easy." Kevin goes across the mall to ask Angela out to prom and Margaret convinces her to say yes. Then Kevin goes to buy condoms from the local drug store, whose pharmacist we find out later is Angela's dad (Kelsey Grammer). We then follow the various kids to their pre-prom routine, where Patrice is micro-managing her parent's party (Mary Frann and Cliff De Young), Dan is getting grief from his father (Alan Thicke) about being a man, Shelly is telling her family that she's really going to prom with Kevin, Angela can't find anything to wear (but she eventually finds a dress back in her mother's (Edie McClurg) closet). Kevin comes to pick up Angela, but her father remembers him from earlier at the drug store; Angela sneaks out anyway. Dan pretends to go to prom, but instead goes to an all-night movie marathon, as does Shelly. Patrice and Roger arrive at prom, with Patrice matching the prom theme ("Paris in Puce"). Angela and Kevin go out for dinner first, at a nice restaurant, with her parents following them and getting a bad table and not paying their dining check. Shelly sees some lower-leve high school students at the movie theater and tries to sneak out, and Dan stops the kids before they find out it is Shelly. Dan and Shelly then go to the Italian restaurant, but she sees Kevin and Angela and wants to leave. They then try to go to the local burger drive-thru, but she knows the drive-thru employee. Angela and Kevin arrive at the dance, with everybody not recognizing Angela until later. In the meantime, it becomes obvious that Patrice's parents, Nancy and Larry, are not enjoying their marriage and decide to start divorce proceedings the next Monday. Shelly and Kevin are announced as prom king and queen; however, since Shelly is not there, Patrice wants a revote (thinking she would get prom queen). In the meantime, Larry and Nancy start dancing to "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers and rekindle their romance. Angela wins the revoted prom queen contest and dances with Kevin and gets her first kiss, which her parents (who have sneaked into the dance) witness. Also, Margaret has gone back to return her previously-rented movie and get a new one and learns from the video store clerk that Kevin only asked Angela out because she is easy. Margaret goes off to find Angela at the prom. While this was occurring, Dan and Shelly went up to look at the stars and meet one of Dan's friends, a local toll booth collector. As Dan has forgotten the corsage for his "date," his dad and his dad's date go to the prom looking for Dan and find out he never bought tickets. Dan's dad and the date go up to the observatory; fortunately, Dan sees them before they get too close and he and Shelly leave. Dan's dad's date is fed up with the date, and asks the toll booth collector to take her home, which he does. Dan and Shelly find the makeout point and try to hide out there, just as the people from prom are arriving there to make out. In an effort to blend in, they begin to make out with each other. Margaret has since found Angela and told her about the things she heard, but Angela doesn't want to listen and leaves with Kevin to go to Patrice's party. Patrice and Roger run out of money for the limo and are stranded, where Patrice tries to pawn off her pre-engagement ring, finding out it is a fake. Everybody arrives at her party (her parents have gone off to realize their new romance) and somebody breaks in to get the party started. Kevin tries to seduce Angela, but she criticizes him for not liking her and leaves. Her parents have been found trying to sneak into the party and are carted off to jail, as are Patrice and Roger for the noisy party. Angela goes to Margaret's house to apologize for not believing her and they make up. Everybody eventually arrives at the local pancake house for breakfast, including Patrice and Roger (who breaks up with Patrice and leaves to become a fireman), her parents (who think the breakup was a good thing), Kevin (who slugs his friends for suggesting that Angela and he went "all the way"), Angela and Margaret (planning Angela's studies in Italy as a designer), Angela's parents (also released from jail), Dan's father (who tells the real story of how Angela's parents were married and they then tell the real story of Dan's dad's prom date), as well as Shelly and Dan, who have decided to go steady (Dan's dad presents him with his forgotten corsage) and the movie ends with Dan and Shelly kissing.

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