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Holy Smoke (1999)

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While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire P.J. Waters, a macho ... See full summary »

Director:

Jane Campion
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Winslet ... Ruth
Harvey Keitel ... PJ Waters
Julie Hamilton ... Mum
Sophie Lee Sophie Lee ... Yvonne
Dan Wyllie ... Robbie
Paul Goddard ... Tim
Tim Robertson Tim Robertson ... Dad
George Rafael George Rafael ... Yani (as George Mangos)
Kerry Walker Kerry Walker ... Puss
Les Dayman Les Dayman ... Bill-Bill (as Leslie Dayman)
Samantha Murray Samantha Murray ... Prue
Sandy Gutman ... Stan (as Austen Tayshus)
Simon Anderson Simon Anderson ... Fabio
Pam Grier ... Carol
Eva Martin Eva Martin ... Devotee
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Storyline

While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire P.J. Waters, a macho cult de-programmer who confronts Ruth in a remote desert hideaway. But P.J. quickly learns that he's met his match in the sexy, intelligent, and iron-willed Ruth.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He had only one thing on his mind... but so did she! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax | Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Holy Smoke! See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,307, 5 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,758,780, 9 April 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lead producer Jan Chapman said of location filming in outback South Australia: "The Flinders Ranges shoot was physically hard, with long distances between locations, dusty difficult roads, freezing temperatures, and constant rain when it wasn't supposed to be raining. It was wild, strange, dirty, but beautiful. I have to say, that the extreme beauty of the place tended to overpower the stresses. [Cinematographer] Dion [Beebe] did a wonderful job of capturing those figures in that brutal majestic landscape: the colours, the light, the scale." See more »

Goofs

When PJ is driving in the red outfit, he is on the left-hand "driver" side. When the lady gets in the car, he then has switched to the right-hand side (still driving). The lady is then in the left driver side where PJ was originally. See more »

Quotes

PJ: I don't hate women. I love ladies.
Ruth Barron: Ha! Ladies! You wouldn't know any. I bet you date little Barbie dolls, don't you? "Oh, you're so brainy, you're so big! Can I suck your dick?" Can I be alone now?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The sex scene between Keitel and Winslet has been trimmed in the U.S version. On the Australian VHS, Keitel is seen putting himself between Winslet's legs and reaching down to his crotch before thrusting. As they are making love, Winslet says "Don't come, don't come", then there is the sound of Keitel doing so. He stops, and Winslet moans for a bit before the film cuts to the next scene. In the U.S version, they trim Keitel getting inbetween her legs and reaching for his crotch. The scene plays out as normal just until Keitel "comes" and the sound of Winslet moaning is also trimmed. The U.S version also misses some of the thrusting and related sounds. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Celebrity Naked Ambition (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Holly Holy
Written by Neil Diamond
Prophet Music Inc.
Performed by Neil Diamond
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Australia
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In search of the Truth...
29 February 2000 | by LeSamouraiSee all my reviews

Holy Smoke! follows two lost souls (Winslet and Keitel) over the course of three days. The Winslet character, Ruth Baron, is seduced by a not-so-handsome guru on a trip to India, and she intends to marry him. Eventually, her family tricks her into coming home and hires a famous "cult-exiter" named P.J. Waters (Keitel). Keitel's entrance, backed by Neil Diamond's "I Am, I Said," is priceless. Once Ruth agrees to the three-day exiting (because she doesn't believe that her views will be dislodged), debates on religion, truth, and sex commence between Ruth and P.J. The remainder of the film is an unexpected wild ride. Could P.J. learn a thing or two from a inexperienced but strong willed woman? Don't worry, Holy Smoke! isn't all seriousness. Ruth's wacky family provides most of the laughs in the film. At a family gathering, a sheep serves as a coffee table...no one even comments on it!

Holy Smoke! isn't nearly as grim or open-ended as The Piano or Portrait of a Lady (two films that gained and lost many Campion supporters). Underappreciated Winslet (unfortunately only well known for Titanic), gives the performance of her life. Keitel, too, is absolute perfection (as always). Campion recently said that she wanted to "seduce" the audience into thinking deeper...and she has.


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