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Strictly Ballroom [VHS]

Paul Mercurio , Tara Morice , Baz Luhrmann    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
Price: £14.00
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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter, Pat Thomson, Gia Carides
  • Directors: Baz Luhrmann
  • Writers: Baz Luhrmann, Andrew Bovell, Craig Pearce
  • Producers: Antoinette Albert, Jane Scott, Tristram Miall
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Carlton
  • VHS Release Date: 28 Jan 2002
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UQW1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,813 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

While the plot of this Australian film may seem a bit familiar (the Ugly Duckling meets Dirty Dancing), the humourous tone and superb dance sequences will make you forget the movie's predictability. Scott (Paul Mercurio) is a champion ballroom dancer who wants to dance "his own steps". Fran is the homely, beginning dancer who convinces Scott that he should dance his own steps...with her. Complicating matters are Scott's domineering mother (Pat Thompson), a former dancer herself, who wants her son to win the Australian Pan-Pacific Championship (the same contest she lost years ago), and a conniving dance committee that is determined that "there are no new steps!" The dancing is enjoyable, yet not overwhelming, and the movie strives hard not to take itself too seriously (the beginning of the film is even styled as a pseudo-documentary). Strictly Ballroom, while not so subtly imparting its moral ("A life lived in fear is a life half-lived"), is a funny romp that's sure to be a crowd pleaser. --Jenny Brown, Amazon.com

Product Description

This film was the surprise hit of 1992, playing for months in London cinemas. Paul Mercurio plays Scott, a talented dancer with a streak of individualism that does not endear him either to his partners, the judges of the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix, or his ambitious dance tutor mum. Frumpy Fran (Tara Morice) is the only woman who will partner him, and she utilises her Spanish background to bring heart, soul and pasa doblé rhythm to Scott's ambitious style.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strictly Ballroom 23 April 2006
This perceptive and well-executed film still after nearly 15 years since its release comes over as one of the most original films I've ever watched. The storyline is nothing more than a re-working of a classic fairy tale of handsome princes and ugly frogs (or dance partners) and yet the magical retelling make this film the success it is.

Scott Hastings is the ballroom dance prodigy who since being groomed to win the all important Pan-Pacific Grand Prix championship from the age of 6 looks like he could be throwing it all away by continuing to use un-registered and therefore illegal dance steps in his routine. His mother is shocked and dismayed that Scott could throw his chance of the title, his dance coach, Les Kendell is similarly gob smacked but most effected of all is Scott dance partner, who quits dancing with Scott and takes up with arch rival, the peroxide blonde Ken Railings.

Scott on the other hand is less concerned and seems more bothered with trying to dance true to the tune in his heart, a feeling that is shared by plain beginner dancer Fran. Scott and Fran begin to practice in secret, Scott deciding that his mother and Les wouldn't approve of such an unattractive and unorthodox partner and Fran deciding that her authoritarian and unforgiving Latino father would definitely not approve of her associating with such a boy. The backdrop the whole film is the outrageous and colourful world of Australian Ballroom Dance championships. There's more sequins and fake tan going on here than ever seen in one place before. Overseeing it all is chairman of the dance association, the toupeed and orange Barry Fife.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Low Budget Masterpiece 26 Oct 2001
By A Customer
It's not that Baz Luhrman's success has gone to his head, far from it....it's just that his other two movies to date...Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge...are not a patch on Strictly Ballroom. This film reeks of warm sentimentality that crawls onto you and sinks into your every pore. It's full to the brim with quirky comedy moments that flood effortlessly from the entire cast, who are all Australian...not a Leonardo or Nicole amongst them. The fact that no heavy weight star is present only serves to enforce the feeling of empathy that you build for the main protagonists. Scott Mercurio is fantastic as the tortured classical dancer who strives to break free from the established laws of Ballroom and redefine it's expression. Tara Morice is equally as impressive in the role of Fran, who's only a trainee dancer but shares Scott's passion for flare and free movement. Of course the love plot bubbles quietly beneath them as they try to take the dance world by storm. All in all it's a wonderfully balanced film of heart, wit, great dancing and outstanding performances. You can see that Luhrman has an undoubted ability to dazzle with dance, music and comedy it's therefore such a shame that Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge lean heavily into a more serious genre. It's not that they're bad movies but personally I'd like to suspend my disbelief with the help of laughter and not suspense. Especially where dance is concerned. Strictly Ballroom is NOT TO BE MISSED!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A smash hit at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, this hugely enjoyable film launched director Baz Luhrmann's career, created a renaissance of popular interest in latin and ballroom dance - and named a host of television talent shows! I love Strictly Ballroom. I've seen it about six times since it was released in 1992, each time with mixed amusement and exhilaration. Paul Mercurio is superb in the lead role as Scott Hastings, a sizzling dance talent torn between his - and his mother's - lifelong ambition to win the prestigious Pan-Pacific Dance Championship, and the subversive urge to dance his own original steps. Tara Morice plays his 'ugly duckling' dance partner Fran to perfection, his whimsical father is endearingly eccentric, and the entire cast of engaging characters never misses a beat. This brilliantly quirky, fast-paced film manages to combine spectacular dancing, tongue-in-cheek visual humour and John Waters-style camp kitschness with a gentle romantic subplot. Not to mention some striking cinematic moments - for example the camera movement as Scott and Fran dance together for the first time, while above them, Scott's father prances gleefully around the washing line alone on a moonlit rooftop. Even by the generally high standards of the Australian film industry, Strictly Ballroom shines. If you haven't yet seen it, you've a real treat in store!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film! 16 April 2002
It's a shame this film had to wait for Moulin Rouge's success to be noticed by the world at large. However, let's just be thankful it has now been spotted! A real feelgood movie, amazing dance sequences and a heartwarming plot make it a real gem.
If you're thinking, "but it's about ballroom dancing!" - well, don't! I watched this film many years ago before I'd even seen Baz's R&J, and to be honest I thought I'd hate it - I just couldn't be bothered to turn the TV off (sad but true). However, itt soon had me in its grasp and it's one of my favourite films, and more than worthy of comparison with Baz's later offerings, much as I love MR in particular.
The only reason I would give this film less than 5 stars (which I couldn't possibly bring myself to do anyway!!) would be the DVD extras. The behind the scenes documentary is informative, but unfortunately narrated by an unbearably cheesy American voice such as you get on the very worst tackiest film trailers - painful! And aside from that there's not a huge amount on offer. It's almost worth the cringe-worthy voice, though, to see Baz looking decidedly young and whipper-snapper-ish... any Baz fans will be amused! It's a shame that the film originally came out before DVDs and extras were a consideration - they seem to be cobbled together somewhat.
All in all - worth getting on DVD for the sound and picture quality, especially in this music-driven colourful film, but Baz should be ashamed to have let a film of his go out with less than excellent extras.
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