7.4/10
44,652
151 user 61 critic

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

Trailer
1:01 | Trailer
Two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret.

Director:

Stephan Elliott

Writer:

Stephan Elliott
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Popularity
3,828 ( 755)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugo Weaving ... Tick / Mitzi
Guy Pearce ... Adam / Felicia
Terence Stamp ... Bernadette
Rebel Penfold-Russell Rebel Penfold-Russell ... Logowoman (as Rebel Russell)
John Casey John Casey ... Bartender
June Marie Bennett June Marie Bennett ... Shirley
Murray Davies Murray Davies ... Miner
Frank Cornelius Frank Cornelius ... Piano Player
Bob Boyce Bob Boyce ... Petrol Station Attendant
Leighton Picken Leighton Picken ... Young Adam
Maria Kmet Maria Kmet ... Ma
Joseph Kmet Joseph Kmet ... Pa
Alan Dargin Alan Dargin ... Aboriginal Man
Bill Hunter ... Robert 'Bob' Spart
Julia Cortez Julia Cortez ... Cynthia Campos
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Storyline

Two drag-queens (Anthony/Mitzi and Adam/Felicia) and a transgender woman contract to perform a drag show at a resort in Alice Springs, a resort town in the remote Australian desert. They head west from Sydney aboard their lavender bus, Priscilla. En route, it is discovered that the woman they've contracted with is Anthony's wife. Their bus breaks down, and is repaired by Bob, who travels on with them. Written by Randy Goldberg <goldberg@nymc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Finally, a comedy that will change the way you think, the way you feel, and most importantly... the way you dress. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sex-related situations and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the bus arrives in Alice Springs and is seen driving down a the street it's actually driving in the opposite way to the casino See more »

Goofs

After the bus breaks down for the first time in the Australian outback, and Tick (Hugo Weaving) has just given up on trying to fix it, he sits down to eat breakfast with Bernadette (Terence Stamp). In the exchange, a cameraman and some crew members are visible in the reflection of Bernadette's sunglasses. See more »

Quotes

Felicia: [to Tick, when the Spencer's see all three and then take off] Oh, for goodness sakes, look at yourself, Mitz. How many times do I have to tell you? Green is not your color!
[laughs hysterically]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Best Naughty Boy...Matt Inglis See more »

Alternate Versions

A joke, explaining where Trumpet got his name, was omitted for the film's US release. See more »

Connections

References The Poseidon Adventure (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine
Written by Mack David
Performed by Patti Page
Published by PolyGram International Publishing Inc.
Courtesy PolyGram Records Inc. USA
See more »

User Reviews

My take on Priscillianism
21 October 2011 | by sandoverSee all my reviews

Exemplify a wacky dress without being tacky, and beyond, could be the film's tag. Whether you wear it on a frock or naked, should be aimed at people who say the film is OK, nicely done and frothy and all, but without much to it. Wrong. Wrong viewers they are that downplay the film's witty heart.

I do not think there has ever been a film that delivers its ethos in the tag-line "a cock in a frock on a rock - that's what our country hardly needed". The smashing alliteration outwits the scenario-in-a-capsule phrase of this more kind-than-kin road movie. It must have to do with something else. Queering the deadpan or deadpanning the queer? I am not sure I can fathom Terence Stamp's take on delivering what he says.

All three actors bless the idea of casting and based on their choice there should be a new kind of lifetime achievement award, bestowed by the Vatican, for the film should be included in all discussions of trinitarian discourse: Bernadette as a very dignified Holy Spirit or as trans-gendered Godhead, Adam as a reckless Holy Spirit or Son in drug-fueled high heels, Tick as Father, for sure. It should - the least - provoke a wave for re-evaluating the doctrines of Priscillian, the early Church heretic, or martyr depending on your appreciation of controversial matters, who was the first person in the history of Christianity to be executed for heresy: he mostly lived in the desert like Adam, Bernadette and Tick, but being a strict ascetic, had failed to watch the film and be converted.

It is a sly achievement to which one gives up and surrenders intelligently, when you realize that the film is a tender plea for man's precarious status, his always tenderness-seeking or wildly avoiding identity: the women in the film range from the bully in the bar to the inane, almost extra-terrestrially squeaking runner, to the unintelligible vagina performer, and when in the and at last we encounter a human being, Tick's wife, the rich ambiguities are neither explained nor skimmed: we now understand that these women with their full range of caricature and sexual being, are there to put into relief the three characters' embattled manhood (Tick trying to sell the odious face-creams totally drunk in that bar, by his drawl rightfully pronounces the product: woe-man): Bernadette still clutches to some core of enjoyment in what concerns her pre-operation self, as her rage whenever Adam calls her by her earlier name (and this somehow counter-contrasts, to call the effect by that name, with Adam's counter-molestation flash-back), Ralph, erupts, Tick has an amazingly human face charting all delicate and anxious hesitations concerning what is to be a father, drawing a line to procreation, and this, in turn, has an uncanny resonance to and with the fact that Adam seems peculiarly parentless. Perhaps it is this difficult to grasp effect that from the three performances the one that stayed with me was Pearce's with all its reckless abandon.

Terence Stamp has not demonstrated that he is from another solar system that well even in Pasolini's "Theoreme" - it is surely a system of stellar poise and dignity, and we rarely see that around here; and how difficult it is to have Hugo Weaving's strong, unmissable face playing a humane character without something leaking into false notes. The story is perfect in being a pilgrim's progress and its queering of it: Stephan Elliott touched genius with this film, and so did the leads, and so do we. Thank you.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Filipino

Release Date:

10 August 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Priscilla See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$219,433, 14 August 1994

Gross USA:

$11,220,670

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,224,491
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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