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Salome's Last Dance (1988)

Guy Fawkes Day, 1892. Oscar Wilde goes to a performance of his controversial, banned play 'Salome'. The 'theatre's a brothel and the performers... prostitutes.


Ken Russell


Oscar Wilde (play), Vivian Russell (translation) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenda Jackson ... Herodias / Lady Alice
Stratford Johns ... Herod / Alfred Taylor
Nickolas Grace ... Oscar Wilde
Douglas Hodge ... John the Baptist / Lord Alfred 'Bosey' Douglas
Imogen Millais-Scott Imogen Millais-Scott ... Salome / Rose
Denis Lill ... Tigellenus / Chilvers
Russell Lee Nash Russell Lee Nash ... Pageboy
Ken Russell ... Cappadocian / Kenneth (as Alfred Russell)
David Doyle ... A. Nubin
Warren Saire Warren Saire ... Young Syrian
Kenny Ireland ... 1st Soldier
Michael Van Wijk ... 2nd Soldier
Paul Clayton Paul Clayton ... 1st Nazarean
Imogen Claire Imogen Claire ... 2nd Nazarean
Tim Potter ... Pharisee
Learn more

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Oscar Wilde goes to a performance of his controversial, banned play 'Salome, on Guy Fawkes day, 1892. A bordello's the theatre and the performers are prostitutes.Lord Alfred (Bosie) Douglas. who's Wilde's lover is John the Baptist. Soon, Wilde's interactions with some of the cast ignite Bosie's jealousy. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Ken Russell: a stagehand. See more »


John the Baptist: People are beginning to talk.
Oscar Wilde: There is only one thing worse than to be talked about, and that is not to be talked about.
See more »


Referenced in Jubilee: A Time Less Golden (2003) See more »


Le Parfum de la Nuit
Music by Claude Debussy
See more »

User Reviews

Much better than initially thought
19 January 2014 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Salome's Last Dance is one of those films that will fascinate people or repulse them very like director Ken Russell's directorial style. First viewing I disliked it, seeing it again in a better mood just recently it was much better than remembered, though for me one of Russell's weaker films. A few things stop it from being a masterpiece. Russell does go overboard with the excess at times- not unusual for Russell- and some of those excessive images are disgustingly ugly, especially with Salome licking saliva off her face. Russell also writes himself in an acting role as a photographer and is rather embarrassingly bad and in a somewhat creepy way. Imogen Millais-Scott I had mixed feelings on, she is gorgeous, seductive and age-appropriate, though with a tendency to mug. Even with the excess, Salome's Last Dance does maintain the spirit of Oscar Wilde's play Salome with its beauty and ability to shock. The film is expertly filmed and the production values are a mix of the hypnotisingly beautiful and the decadent, which is hardly inappropriate(Strauss' opera Salome, which I personally love, has those qualities too). The music is a hodgepodge of classical music, and a wonderful hodgepodge at that, Rimsky-Korsakov and especially Debussy the prime composers and they further add to the beautiful yet shocking atmosphere. They are performed very well and mostly fit within the film. The script is witty and uproarious, Herodias has some truly hilarious lines, and the story is interestingly structured with a good touch of the theatrical and the cinematic. You cannot take your eyes away from the dance scene either. Most of the acting is better than its given credit, Glenda Jackson and Stratford Johns especially. Jackson is a little bizarre but also very regal and authoritative and Johns is suitably wry and mischievous, making a potentially tiresome character interesting. Nickolas Grace is a witty Oscar Wilde and Douglas Hodge a mostly effectively warning John the Baptist though he does over-compensate a bit. Overall, easy to see why people will dislike it, it's far from perfect but has interest points and entertainment value. 6.5/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

June 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Salome's Last Dance See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Technical Specs


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Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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