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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.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Bagnall ... Pete Willis
... Steve Clark
... Rick Savage
... Phil Collen
... Joe Elliott
Tat Whalley ... Rick Allen
... Peter Mensch
... Lorelei Shellist
... Mutt Lange
Brett Watson ... Tony Kenning
Danette Mackay ... Mrs. Elliot
Matt Cooke ... Barry Clark
... Joe Elliott Sr.
Emma Stevens ... Mrs. Allen
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 »





Release Date:

18 July 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Histeria - A História do Def Leppard  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 »


Phil: So, let me get this straight. You're her mum, and you want to do what to me?
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User Reviews

Clumsy, uninvolving melodrama
23 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

We never really get to know the characters in this herky-jerky patchwork story that skips years in moments then dwells far too long on short periods. There is never any sense that any of this is really happening to the young lads of Def Lep; they just suddenly change their hairstyles and start driving flashy cars while we're reminded they've sold millions of records. If one were to sit down and watch this low-budget, low-interest potboiler with no knowledge of the band, one would come away not understanding how they got to be such stars. And why did the band's music get steadily less complex and emotionally empty even as their personal lives became more difficult and filled with tragedy? It's an interesting question that was never addressed in this movie. Of course, there were only 90 minutes of screen time to squeeze the story of six or seven characters into, so Phil Collen and Rick Savage were more or less ignored. Mutt Lange's influence on the band's sound was only briefly touched on. All in all, this movie does a disservice to those wishing to learn more (or anything) about Def Leppard. It also fails as entertainment. A poor effort.

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