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Strictly Ballroom (1992)

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A maverick dancer risks his career by performing an unusual routine and sets out to succeed with a new partner.


Baz Luhrmann


Baz Luhrmann (original idea), Baz Luhrmann (earlier screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 19 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Mercurio ... Scott Hastings
Tara Morice ... Fran
Bill Hunter ... Barry Fife
Pat Thomson ... Shirley Hastings
Gia Carides ... Liz Holt
Peter Whitford ... Les Kendall
Barry Otto ... Doug Hastings
John Hannan ... Ken Railings
Sonia Kruger Sonia Kruger ... Tina Sparkle
Kris McQuade ... Charm Leachman
Pip Mushin Pip Mushin ... Wayne Burns
Leonie Page Leonie Page ... Vanessa Cronin
Antonio Vargas Antonio Vargas ... Rico
Armonia Benedito Armonia Benedito ... Ya Ya
Jack Webster Jack Webster ... Terry


Scott Hastings is a champion caliber ballroom dancer, but much to the chagrin of the Australian ballroom dance community, Scott believes in dancing "his own steps". Fran is a beginning dancer and a bit of an ugly duckly who has the audacity to ask to be Scott's partner after his unorthodox style causes his regular partner to dance out of his life. Together, these two misfits try to win the Australian Pan Pacific Championships and show the Ballroom Confederation that they are wrong when they say, "there are no new steps!" Written by Rowena Young

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's something in the air. It might be love -- but it isn't. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site




English | Spanish

Release Date:

12 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballroom - Gara di ballo See more »


Box Office


AUD 3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


There are only a few professional dancers among the principal cast, including Paul Mercurio, Todd McKenney, Antonio Vargas, Sonia Kruger, and Leonie Page. See more »


When Doug leads Shirley onto the dance floor he asks, "Shall we dance", but his lips don't move at all. See more »


Liz: Where the man goes, the lady must follow...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Preceding the end credits is the note: This film is dedicated to Ted Albert See more »


Referenced in Getaway: Episode #17.38 (2008) See more »


Londonderry Air
Arranged by David Hirschfelder
(c) T.W.O./Polygram Music Publishing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An extravagant, original piece of film.
22 September 2005 | by mad_mandonnaSee all my reviews

Baz Lurhman's first film is a piece of film that is worthy of more that it is given. It is absolutely cheesy in every way shape and form, however you love it more because of this. The attention to detail in the direction is fantastic, each scene is done with glistening sense of bewilderment and beauty. The acting is very plausible and energetic, the dance is done with with verve and style. The music fits in well within the story. From the beginning it's all very heart warming, but the end scene gave me tingles up and down my arm. It's an enjoyable film, but at times you wonder whether your feeling bewildered, entertained or thrilled.

What ever you feel for this film, you cannot put it down for the stylised direction, and the extravagant behaviour of the characters.

See if you like Moulin Rouge, Dirty dancing or Romeo and Juliet.

*original review written by me at 15, re-written at 22*

Of all the reviews I wrote in my teens this has to be my favourite, namely because I still whole-heartedly love this film. I called it cheesy, but I'm retracting this its not cheesy, its flamboyant and its flamboyant in the best possible way. Strictly Ballroom will alienate some with how over-the-top the whole thing is, but there is no denying that this makes it all the more engaging.

Like a fantasy film, it manages to take you to a new world. It takes you to a place only film and(to lesser extent)stage can take you. Strictly Ballroom gives you a window to look through, a world of dance and instead of tentatively peering through it, forces you right up against it, where a sea of multicoloured dresses and sequins lie.

Strictly Ballroom is a all hands on deck movie that will either leave you wide-eyed and bewildered or alienated and scared. But whatever it ends up leaving you, I would highly recommend watching if you have not already seen it. And this is coming from me 7 years later, as an adult, a film-making student and someone who isn't usually a fan of this kind of film.

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