150 user 62 critic

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

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


Stephan Elliott


Stephan Elliott
4,025 ( 432)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





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
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young social outcast in Australia steals money from her parents to finance a vacation where she hopes to find happiness, and perhaps love.

Director: P.J. Hogan
Stars: Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three drag queens travel cross-country until their car breaks down, leaving them stranded in a small town.

Director: Beeban Kidron
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A transgender punk-rock girl from East Berlin tours the U.S. with her band as she tells her life story and follows the former lover/band-mate who stole her songs.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Stars: John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, Stephen Trask
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter
The Birdcage (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée's right-wing moralistic parents.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A newly-engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must seek shelter at the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-n-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman
Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jamie is a shy teenager, often bullied at school. His neighbour Ste has a rough time at home, being beaten by his father and brother. This issues bring them together and they find that what they feel for each other is more than friendship.

Director: Hettie Macdonald
Stars: Glen Berry, Linda Henry, Scott Neal
Shortbus (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A group of New Yorkers caught up in their romantic-sexual milieu converge at an underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics, and carnality.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Stars: Sook-Yin Lee, Peter Stickles, PJ DeBoy
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The last days of Frankenstein (1931) Director James Whale are explored.

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave
In & Out (1997)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A midwestern teacher questions his sexuality after a former student makes a comment about him at the Academy Awards.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck
Latter Days (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A promiscuous gay party animal falls for a young Mormon missionary, leading to crisis, cliché, and catastrophe.

Director: C. Jay Cox
Stars: Wes Ramsey, Steve Sandvoss, Mary Kay Place
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Six unemployed steel workers form a male striptease act. The women cheer them on to go for "the full monty" - total nudity.

Director: Peter Cattaneo
Stars: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy


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


It's the Australian film that blitzed overseas box offices. It caused a near riot at the Cannes Film Festival. It won an Academy Award®. It's fun, daring, over-the-top and unforgettable. It's a road movie with attitude and the occasional frock. See more »


Comedy | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


David Bowie, John Cleese, Tim Curry, Tony Curtis and John Hurt were all considered to play Bernadette. See more »


When they are in the bar in Broken Hill, Old Shirl comes over and slaps her right hand down on Bernadette's. Then, in the next camera shot, it's her left hand. See more »


Felicia: [to Tick and Bernadette] So... All dolled up and nowhere to go.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the greetings, they distinguish some people: Extra Special Thanks (with cream on top) Special Thanks (no cream, cherries optional) Quite Special Thanks (hold the sweetener) See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was "Shown in Dragarama" at select theatres at the time of release. This involved some theatres using a mirror-ball and colored lighting during the "Finally" dance number. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return: Mac and Me (2018) See more »


This Old Man
Performed by Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving
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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 150 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »


Official Sites:





English | Filipino

Release Date:

10 August 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Priscilla See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$219,433, 14 August 1994

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed