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A Dirty Shame (NC-17 Rated Theatrical Version)

3.6 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Dirty Shame, A (DVD) (WS)

From the outrageous John Waters, writer-director of Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, comes another signature exercise in bad taste. Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman), the owner of a convenience store in a working-class Baltimore neighborhood, suffers a concussion. The injury causes a drastic change in her sexual drive, turning her into a sex addict with crazy, wild and urgent desires and compulsions, much to the joy and then frustration of her husband (Chris Isaak), who has trouble keeping up with her. As Sylvia's insatiable libido reaches fever pitch, her new oversexed personality threatens to tear apart the remnants of what wasn't an entirely perfect family to begin with. And that's A Dirty Shame.

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Special Features

Audio Commentary: Feature commentary with John Waters Documentary: "All the Dirt on A Dirty Shame" documentary Audio Commentary: Feature commentary with John Waters Documentary: "All the Dirt on A Dirty Shame" documentary Audio Commentary: Feature commentary with John Waters Documentary: "All the Dirt on A Dirty Shame" documentary Audio Commentary: Feature commentary with John Waters Documentary: "All the Dirt on A Dirty Shame" documentary Audio Commentary: Feature commentary with John Waters Documentary: "All the Dirt on A Dirty Shame" documentary Audio Commentary: Feature commentary with John Waters Documentary: "All the Dirt on A Dirty Shame" documentary Audio Commentary: Feature commentary with John Waters Documentary: "All the Dirt on A Dirty Shame" documentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Tracey Ullman, Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair, Chris Isaak, Suzanne Shepherd
  • Directors: John Waters
  • Writers: John Waters
  • Producers: John Wells, Christine Vachon, Ted Hope, Fisher Brothers, Mark Ordesky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NC-17
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000929UOQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,110 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Dirty Shame (NC-17 Rated Theatrical Version)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm a John Waters fan. I was unaware that the R rated version is called the "neuter" version because it has been censored. (Cut scenes and some foul words replaced with more "acceptable" ones.) Now I have to purchase the NC-17 Version to get the true John Waters experience. LOOK CLOSELY AT THE PICTURE, THE R RATED VERSION SAYS "NEUTER VERSION" ON IT!
To add insult to injury, IT WAS MORE EXPENSIVE!
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Don't bother with the R-rated dvd you'll find at most movie store chains. It's awful, with most of the best scenes cut out for whatever reason. Try to find the theatrical release, or just buy it online, well worth the effort if you have a strange sense of humor.
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Before I begn this review, let me say that I love John Waters' films. Especially, the early ones. I feel his best film is "Female Trouble," but all of his films from "Pink Flamingos" up to and including "Hairspray" are great (his pre-"Flamingos" titles, "Mondo Trasho" and "Multiple Maniacs" are rough but have their moments). Then, he made "Cry-Baby" - still very entertaining but a step down from "Hairspray." "Serial Mom" was a step down from "Cry-Baby," for me, but, again, there were great bits. Unfortunately, even though I'm always rooting for Waters, "Pecker" and "Cecil B. Demented" were pretty rotten. So, now he brings us, "A Dirty Shame." The good news is, it's a vast improvment over "Demented" and "Pecker." This is largely due to his strongest cast in years. As much of a novelty as it was to see Kathleen Turner slicing and dicing in "Mom" and Melanie Griffith bitching and cursing in "Demented," those actresses (and others, like Christina Ricci in "Pecker," for example) never quite grasped the way Waters dialogue needed to be played (meaning, really over-the-top and hysterical). However, Tracy Ullmann nails it, milking every scene she's in for maximum comedic value. The rest of the cast is up to par, as well, with Suzanne Shepherd especially standing out in her role as the typical, suburban, outraged prude that Waters frequently writes into his films. The bad news is, it's still a few notches below his greatest work. It's very, very funny for about 35-45 minutes, then it slowly runs out of steam. There is barely a third act to speak of and the payoff is quite weak (the film kinda just stops rather than ending properly). The set-up is great but then it has nowhere to go.Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that if you are one of those uptight moviegoers who has been brainwashed into thinking that such snooze-inducing fare as Shrek, Harry Potter or anything starring Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise is the be-all-end-all, this movie is definitely not your speed. For the small percentage of you who actually "get it" and can watch Desperate Living, Serial Mom or Polyester multiple times and never get bored, you will find lots to love here.

That trademark Waters' vibe starts buzzing as soon as the dialogue begins. The soundtrack, peppered with obscure novelty ditties, and raunchy instrumental oldies is bullseye-perfect.

Just like Melanie Griffith in Cecil B. Demented, Ullmann sinks her teeth into the role and her rubbery face and sketch comedy background allow her to immediately adjust her style to Waters' material. Johnny Knoxville is wickedly charismatic, and Selma Blair is hilarious yet surprisingly vulnerable as the ridiculously over-endowed "Ursula Udders". (You just wanna put a raincoat over that poor girl at times). Mink Stole returns in a meatier role than she's had in years (plus a purposely-unflattering hairstyle to say the least).

The story was well paced and let it not be said this film dragged in certain spots. Waters' knows how to keep the action going and purposely keeps all his movies within a 90-minute running time. The finale featuring the head-butting was sort of lost on me during my initial viewing and some may be put off by its somewhat repetitive nature, but it wasn't until I realized that this was the "new sex act", that I accepted it for what it was. (See, even a Waters' junkie like me needs multiple viewings to catch everything!
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John Waters's films have always been excessive, over-the-top and juvenile. That's most of the fun. However, "A Dirty Shame" suffers from satirical excess and an unrelenting pace that seems forced and overdone. It's laborious instead of fun. The dialogue and script reads like a bemusing encyclopedia of twisted erotic dysfunctions. Tracey Ullman was a good choice, but she's so manic, I wondered if she has a `meth' problem. There were a few moments of inspiration, like the `bears' orgies and the guy who craps in the wrong part of the toilet, but they were few. I suspect this was just a quick mistake for John Waters. The featurette is almost more amusing than the film! I still look forward to his next movie!
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Like many John Waters fans, I enjoy his 1970s movies the most. But this one is a lot of fun, and not to be missed. Some say that the last part is overdone, but that's one of his trademarks. Others say that his brand of humor is 30 years out-of-date, but if you like it anyway then see this one.
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