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Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 30 June 1989 (USA)
Trailer
1:08 | Trailer
The life and career of wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis.

Director:

Jim McBride

Writers:

Myra Lewis (book), Murray Silver Jr. (book) (as Murray Silver) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Quaid ... Jerry Lee Lewis
Winona Ryder ... Myra Gale Brown
John Doe ... J.W. Brown
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Jud Phillips
Trey Wilson ... Sam Phillips
Alec Baldwin ... Jimmy Swaggart
Steve Allen ... Self
Lisa Blount ... Lois Brown
Joshua Sheffield Joshua Sheffield ... Rusty Brown
Mojo Nixon Mojo Nixon ... James Van Eaton
Jimmie Vaughan ... Roland Janes
David Ferguson David Ferguson ... Jack Clement
Robert Lesser ... Alan Freed
Lisa Jane Persky ... Babe
Paula Person Paula Person ... Sam's Secratary
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Storyline

The story of Jerry Lee Lewis, arguably the greatest and certainly one of the wildest musicians of the 1950s. His arrogance, remarkable talent, and unconventional lifestyle often brought him into conflict with others in the industry, and even earned him the scorn and condemnation of the public. In 1956, Louisiana bad boy Jerry Lee Lewis moves to Memphis, determined to dethrone Elvis Presley with his ferocious, God-given talent. When Jerry Lee bangs out the chorus with his feet, huge fans howl out for more. When he finishes his performance by setting his piano ablaze, they mob the stage. But when he marries his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gale Brown...the scandal nearly destroys the Killer's career. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The music was hot. The man was wild. The name was Jerry Lee Lewis... and he was born to raise hell! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Murray Silver Jr. and Myra Lewis sold the film rights to the book for $115,000 plus a share of the profits. The two were supposed to serve as script consultants, but after the rights were sold three times, director Jim McBride and producer Adam Fields decided to put some distance between the film crew and their real-life counterparts. See more »

Goofs

The song Jerry Lee performs in Europe is "I'm on Fire". While the setting for this scene was 1958, the song was not released until 1964. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Lee Lewis: England can kiss my ass!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Late Show with David Letterman: Episode #20.30 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Lover
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Performed by Les Paul and Mary Ford
See more »

User Reviews

 
Dennis Quaid's low point
11 May 2011 | by katykw-2See all my reviews

This is quite possibly the worst performance of Dennis Quaid's career. The rubber-faced mugging he does neither looks like Jerry Lee nor does the phony "voice" he uses during this performance. His lip-syncing is always just a half-beat behind the music. Although Dennis had the wavy hair like The Killer, it wasn't long enough in the back to look like Jerry. His acting was a farce when he'd throw back his head in an apparent attempt to look arrogant. He failed. Alec Baldwin is also not very believable as Jimmy Swaggart (I actually knew the man in my youth). The storyline was okay but it could not overcome Quaid's awful acting. Especially at the airport when they are leaving England and he tells England to kiss his ass. Dennis, why did you sink so low?


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 June 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Great Balls of Fire! See more »

Filming Locations:

Somerville, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,807,986, 2 July 1989

Gross USA:

$13,741,060

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,741,060
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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