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Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story (2001)

A dramatization of the early years of the hard rock band, Def Leppard, the group faces both success and personal tragedies such as drummer, Rick Allen losing his arm in a car accident and guitarist Steve Clark's alcohol addiction.


Robert Mandel

On Disc

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Bagnall Nick Bagnall ... Pete Willis
Karl Geary ... Steve Clark
Adam MacDonald ... Rick Savage
Esteban Powell ... Phil Collen
Orlando Seale ... Joe Elliott
Tat Whalley Tat Whalley ... Rick Allen
Dean McDermott ... Peter Mensch
Amber Valletta ... Lorelei Shellist
Anthony Michael Hall ... Mutt Lange
Brett Watson Brett Watson ... Tony Kenning
Danette Mackay Danette Mackay ... Mrs. Elliot
Matt Cooke Matt Cooke ... Barry Clark
Larry Day ... Joe Elliott Sr.
Emma Stevens Emma Stevens ... Mrs. Allen
Ivan Smith Ivan Smith ... Doctor


In the late 1970s Britain, Joe Elliot joins a small time rock band that becomes Def Leppard. Soon taking control of the band with his perfectionism, Elliot and his mates strive to reach the top despite their personal strife that drives the less determined members away for more driven ones. By 1982, Def Leppard becomes a rock sensation, only to find that success has its own problems. Whether it be drummer Rick Allen's dismembering accident or guitarist Steve Clark's equally self-destructive alcoholism, the band struggles to keep the loyalty, tenacity and creativity that would make the group one of the greatest in rock history. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Music made them legends. Tragedy made them heroes.


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »



USA | Canada



Release Date:

18 July 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Histeria - A História do Def Leppard See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Includes an entirely re-recorded version of the early Def Leppard song "Getcha Rocks Off", which was recorded without involvement of any Def Leppard members. See more »


There are at least two scenes set in the U.K. in which U.S. Greyhound buses can be seen in the background. See more »


Steve: You really think we can play together?
Phil: I'll bet you a million pounds, mate.
Steve: I haven't got a million pounds.
Phil: Yeah, well, me neither. So if you're right and we muck up, you get squat. But if I'm right, I'm coming for me money, mate. You can bank on it.
See more »

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User Reviews

Absorbing and thoroughly entertaining biopic
20 July 2001 | by mermer72See all my reviews

Engaging look at one of the biggest bands of the '80's. Although peppered with some inaccuracies, the movie is well acted and quite absorbing. The band's rise is traced from their working-class roots to mega-platinum status, including their drummer's near-fatal car accident and triumphant return despite the loss of an arm, and their guitarists' battles with alcohol. The actors are far from look-alikes, but manage to bring through their real-life counterparts' personalities. Most noteworthy is a heartbreaking performance by Karl Geary as Steve Clark. While Orlando Seale dominates the film as the ambitious Joe Elliott, Adam MacDonald's portrayal of Rick Savage will send goosebumps down the arms of some fans. Die-hard fans will spot lots of gaps in the script, but should appreciate it for the tribute that it is intended to be.

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