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Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

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

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jerry Lee Lewis
... Myra Gale Brown
... J.W. Brown
... Jud Phillips
... Sam Phillips
... Jimmy Swaggart
... Himself
... Lois Brown
Joshua Sheffield ... Rusty Brown
Mojo Nixon ... James Van Eaton
... Roland Janes
David Ferguson ... Jack Clement
Robert Lesser ... Alan Freed
... Babe
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. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

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Taglines:

The true story of a legend. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

30 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Great Balls of Fire  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$13,741,060
See more on IMDbPro »

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Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Scorsese was going to make a Jerry Lee Lewis biopic starring Robert De Niro at one point. See more »

Goofs

The song "Great Balls Of Fire" is shown climbing the Billboard charts to number one. The song only made it to number two. See more »

Quotes

Myra: Why won't they go away?
Jerry Lee: They just want to see the new king of rock'n'roll.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Real ....: Winona Ryder (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm On Fire
Written by Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer
Performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Good & Bad Of 'Great Balls Of Fire'
27 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Being a fan of Jerry Lee Lewis since he began rockin' way back in the 1950s, this movie is a bit of a disappointment overall. The "bad" outweighs the "good" in here, story-wise.

GOOD - The music - naturally! There is some great music in here, featuring Dennis Quaid as the entertaining rockabilly-rock-country singer who surely will go down as the one of the great entertainers of his generation. Quaid lip-syncs the songs, but that okay. They sound better with Lewis doing the singing. The movie is colorful, entertaining and fast-moving. Wynona Ryder looks really cute, too.

BAD - There is a little bit too much emphasis on Lewis' brother, Jimmy Swaggart (Alec Baldwin) and, of course, they make him look like some fanatical religious preacher. Hey, I'm not a "charismatic" follower but there was an obvious bias in here and it wasn't necessary. Also, the writers actually made Lewis look a sympathetic victim for the criticism he got marrying his 13-year-old cousin! Only in the film-making world do we see poor morals given the thumbs-up. Sorry, Jerry Lee, but marrying your 13-year-old cousin warrants a bit of criticism! I later discovered this movie was based on a book by that the same "girl," so it's no wonder it makes that relationship look "legitimate."

The ending was not appropriate, either. Most of the characters in this film were exaggerated to the degree that they all look cartoonish. This movie could have been so much better with a more objective look at Jerry Lee's life and people in it.


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