5.7/10
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62 user 39 critic

Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)

A non-glamorous portrayal of the lives of people who make their living at a strip club.

Director:

Michael Radford

Writers:

Michael Radford (screenplay), David Linter (screenplay)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlotte Ayanna ... Jessie
Kristin Bauer van Straten ... Nico (as Kristin Bauer)
W. Earl Brown ... Bobby
Daryl Hannah ... Angel
Chris Hogan ... Dennis
Sheila Kelley ... Stormy
Elias Koteas ... Sully
Vladimir Mashkov ... Sacha
Sandra Oh ... Jasmine
Rodney Rowland ... Charlie
Jennifer Tilly ... Jo
Robert Wisdom ... Eddie
David Amos David Amos ... Dave
Carolyne Aycaguer Carolyne Aycaguer ... Sophie
R.C. Bates R.C. Bates ... Jimmy (as RC Bates)
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Storyline

Angel is a dancer wishing to adopt a child. Stormy is a dancer with a secret with her brother Sully. Jasmine is a poetess who falls in love with Dennis. Jo is a dancer who became pregnant and Jessie is a woman fighting to survive in Hollywood. The link between them is the fact that they dance at Blue Iguana, a strip-club managed by Eddie. Their personal dramas are the theme of this movie. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

five souls exposed See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive sexual content/nudity, language, some drug content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

11 October 2001 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Historias de la noche See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,181, 21 October 2001

Gross USA:

$67,913

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$122,121
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

Several of the poems used in the film were written by cast members ("I Was Driving on the 403" by Ellyn Maybe; "Gone" by Chris Hogan), and Jasmine's poem "It's Only Love" was written by director Michael Radford. See more »

Goofs

Jessie uses her real name as her stage name at the Blue Iguana, something which is discouraged by the managers for safety reasons. This is made clear halfway through the film when Stormy is told off by Dave for having mail sent to her real name Marie Hughes. See more »

Quotes

Angel: [Whistling and waving] Officer? Officer, could... could you help me with... I... Could you help take a picture of my... I want to take a picture of myself in front of this billboard.
Officer Pete Foster: Is that you?
Angel: Yeah.
Officer Pete Foster: Really.
Angel: I'm a lot smaller in person.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the DVD commentary Michael Radford says there are enough deleted scenes to make 10 entire different versions of the whole movie. Each scene was re-filmed over 12 times as Dancing at the Blue Iguana was improvised and Michael got the actors to try each scene with alternate dialogue several times until the actors had no ideas left. However, only a select few deleted scenes/alternate takes are included on the DVD. See more »

Connections

References Behind the Green Door (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Hours Before Light
Written by Bocephus King (as B. King)
Performed by Bocephus King
Courtesy of New West Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Some really great moments
23 March 2003 | by penniahSee all my reviews

I was really impressed with Sandra Oh's performance in this film. Everything else aside, she was brilliant. Her Jasmine is a sensitive poet who has real potential, but she's stuck in the sex trade and, like so many real women in that position, is afraid of trying to get out. The familiar, even when it is terrible, is easier to face than the unknown. (For the same reason, battered women stay with the men who beat them.) She takes some steps, but when her boss cruelly tells her that her job is who she is, she gives up. Any tentative confidence she felt is gone. Later, she dances in front of her new boyfriend, not so much to say "This is who I am" but "How could you possibly love me?" It's like, on some level, she was daring him to still love her. How the audience, and especially her boyfriend, could not see how this was killing her soul, is not amazing, but typical - people see what they want to, and in a strip bar, it's T&A, not despair or no self esteem. Her poetry, beautiful, but so cynical and sad, also show the despair she feels. Having been in a damaging relationship, I can say for a fact that Sandra Oh's performance is right on the mark - from trying to be tough, to pushing away someone who cares (while hoping he'll "save" you by continuing to believe in you), to sharing feelings of despair with someone in the same boat - this is all so completely real.

I was also struck by Daryl Hannah's performance as the airhead, always high, who has hopes that are completely out of reach because her lifestyle is sabotaging her dreams. Without two brain cells to rub together, I wonder what she did with all that money...

Jennifer Tilly's character was good too, and provided some fairly uncomfortable humour - when she ripped into the happy mom at the doctor's office, saying "I'm gonna have this baby, and he's gonna sell your kid drugs in the schoolyard" I laughed, but it had an Oh-my-gawd-she's-completely-off-her-rocker quality to it. Plus her scene as the dominatrix trying to deal with her battered and boozed up stripper friend was priceless.

Yeah, the plot (what plot?) goes nowhere, but watch it as a very realistic few days in the emotional lives of some very sad characters.


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