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Strictly Ballroom: Special Edition (1992)

Paul Mercurio , Bill Hunter , Baz Luhrmann  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)

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Strictly Ballroom Strictly Ballroom 4.7 out of 5 stars (388)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Mercurio, Bill Hunter, Tara Morice, Gia Carides
  • Directors: Baz Luhrmann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Miramax Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00335EQ3Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,299 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Strictly Ballroom: Special Edition" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

While the plot of this Australian film may seem a bit familiar (The Ugly Duckling meets Dirty Dancing), the whimsical 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 laughable romp that's sure to be a crowd pleaser. --Jenny Brown

Product Description

From Baz Luhrmann, the director of the award-winning hits Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! comes the hilariously funny romantic comedy that will leave you singing, laughing and cheering for more. Experience the magical story of a championship ballroom dancer who's breaking all the rules in a fantastic new special edition, complete with never-before-seen bonus features! A hit with fans and critics all across the globe, Strictly Ballroom will hold you tight and dance straight into your heart. Revisit this high-stepping comedy classic with a new and exclusive documentary, featuring Baz Luhrmann and his close collaborators discussing the extraordinary journey of the film. In a fabulous special edition, it's a dream come true!

Bonus Features Include: Strictkly Ballroom from Stage to Screen documentary, Samba to Slow Fox, Design gallery, Filmmaker commentary, Deleted scenes

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
172 of 172 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Baz Luhrmann at his finest. This terrific film is really three movies in one. First, there's the tremendous dance movie whcih centers on Scott Hastings (Paul Mecurio) and his struggles to introduce 'new steps' to the sheltered world of Austrailian ballroom dancing. For dance afficiandos, despite the broad comedy that infuses the movie, the dancing is the real thing. Mecurio is a formally trained dancer and you simply can't fake, edit, or body-double the moves he pulls off in this film. Even if you're not a dancer, Mecurio's athletiscism alone is worth seeing.
The second movie is a Dirty Dancing-style, boy-meets-ugly-duckling tale. The story allows you to peek behind the covers of a first generation Australian and her awkward attempts to fit into a new culture while maintaining her European ties at home.
The third movie is what sets Strictly Ballroom apart from the field - tremendously funny, broad caricatures squabbling around the periphery of Scott and his struggle to bring his 'new steps' to the Pan-Pacific Championships. Pat Thompson is hysterical as Doug's mother Shirley, and Bill Hunter is wonderfully over-the-top as dancing kingmaker Barry Fife ('There are no new steps!'). But attention first-time viewers - keep your eyes on Barry Otto as Scott's father, Doug Hastings. This odd, seemingly shell of a man is actually the emotional core of the film. He provides the movies funniest moments (particularly - as other reviewers have alluded to - a flashback sequence so over-the-top hilarious that it defies description) and its most relevatory ones.
Play this film over and over again and you will never be disappointed.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My anti-depressant June 6, 2003
By Wanda D
Format:VHS Tape
Okay, maybe that's an overstatement, but the first time I watched this movie, I checked it out of the library. I was a recently divorced single parent of two, struggling with a house note and bills I couldn't pay. On this particular day, I was fighting a bad cold, and feeling generally tired and unhappy. I took this movie out based only on the "Two Thumbs Up" recommendation of Siskel & Ebert at the bottom of the case. After viewing this film, I felt energized and full of good humor. I eventually bought it and have shared it with my mom, sister, kids, friends, and new husband. They all loved it! Where do I start? 1. The performances. Everyone in this movie is wonderful. They are believable and credible even though the material is completely over the top so much of the time. I love these people. 2. Then there's the romance. The main love story is very sweet, but all throughout the film, you feel like romance is literally in the air. It's also amazing how much sensuality is conveyed without any overt sexuality. 3. The dancing. I never gave ballroom dancing a thought until I saw this movie. Now, I love watching it. 4. The family relationships. They may seem unbelievable, but that mother is all too familiar to me. 5. Paul Mercurio--he's hot! Enough said.
This movie is funny, touching, and like nothing I've ever seen before or since. I can't even compare it to anything else. I'm happy to see how favorably other people have reviewed it.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This Australian gem is one of those rare films that entertains, thrills and pokes fun at an established activiity (in this case, a ballroom dance federation).

To take this film seriously is to miss out on one of the great moviegoing/ moviewatching experiences of the 1990s.

In a nutshell, an up-and-coming champion ballroom dancer gets bored dancing the same tired steps that everyone has danced in competition the past 50 years and wants to break out and do things his way. Of course, his way is the better way, but that causes all the angst, high drama, dashed hopes and utter hilarity that ensues as forces clash to prevent the young man from taking the ballroom dancing world by storm and up to a new level.

Of course, it's what we've all, always, expected: Things don't change in such events because those who judge and teach can only judge/teach that with which they are familiar.

The cast is perfect, from the dashing young lead embodied by Australian ballet principal Paul Mercurio to the shy, at-first clumsy female lead played by Tara Morice (who also lends her vocals to Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" in a stunning rooftop pas de deux as she starts learning how to dance with him).

Paul's mother -- beautifully and hysterically portrayed by Pat Thomson -- and his seemingly introverted, odd father -- a wonderfully giddy Barry Otto -- are perfectly realized, as are all the other roles, including Bill Hunter's terrifically change-resistant Barry Fife, president of the dance federation.

This is probably Baz Luhrmann's most mainstream movie, since it's more firmly grounded in the now than anything else he's done.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived" March 20, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
A lot of good movies come out of Austrailia, & this is one of my favorites. An unlikely couple upset the comfortable (& lucrative) applecart of the ballroom dancing establishment. Champion dancer Scott has been groomed from birth by his domineering mother to realize her vicarious dream of winning the Austrailian Pan-Pacific Championship. But Scott has become bored with being "strictly ballroom"--the wretched boy wants to 'dance his own steps!' Not only is this heresy, but a threat to the very livelihood of his teachers & 'mentors', retired champion dancers themselves.
He's encouraged by ugly duckling novice dancer Fran, who wants to be his partner. Aided & abetted by Fran's Latin father & grandmother, the couple show the phoney world of ballroom dancing what 'Latin' dancing is all about--not glitz & formality--but passion & a feeling for the beat that comes straight from the heart.
Love & rebellion are in the air, & the dancing is spectacular. Some wickedly funny & campy parody deal the stilted & controlling world of competition ballroom dancing a well-deserved kick in the teeth. (Anyone who watched in disbelief as Torvill & Dean were cheated out of their comeback bid for Olympic gold in ice dancing [the figure skating equivalent of ballroom dancing] by the same sort of stupid & arbitrary rules about 'steps' will chortle with glee.)
But, more than anything, Strictly Ballroom is about having the courage to be yourself. As Scott's father (once a great & original dancer himself, now a sad & henpecked shadow of his former self) says to him: "Don't make the same mistake I did....a life lived in fear is a life half-lived." Truly uplifting to the spirit & heart!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars My daughter and I have enjoyed this movie so many years
My daughter and I have enjoyed this movie so many years, had it on VHS. I was disappointed that the sound track is different from the original.
Published 5 days ago by I. Norona
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
Very entertaining! It had a lot to it.
Published 6 days ago by Catherine Mapes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie. I had the Australian version back in ...
Great movie. I had the Australian version back in the old days, it was creepier and better for it, but still a great flick.
Published 9 days ago by a digital man
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Easy VIewing Good Music
Published 9 days ago by donb
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful dance, great characters, funny, poinient, great ending!
Published 9 days ago by Alfreda Alswowrth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this movie!
Published 16 days ago by Carolyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
wonderfully satiric.
Published 18 days ago by Mary K. Greenlaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love this movie
Published 19 days ago by theshamanswife
5.0 out of 5 stars ... movie was on TV and I immediately fell in love with it even though...
This first time I watched this movie was on TV and I immediately fell in love with it even though I don't know how to dance. It is so clean and very educational. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Teapot Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars strictly dancing
Classic dance movie and love story. It's better than watching dancing with the stars. It's s must-see for anyone who likes Baz Luhrman movies.
Published 27 days ago by Richard Blumstein
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