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I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can

3.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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(Jun 21, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

One of today's most gifted and brilliant actresses, Jill Clayburgh, brings her special sensitivity to the role of Barbara Gordon, a successful television documentary producer who became hopelessly dependent on tranquilizers. But this is much more than a story of addiction and withdrawal; it is an examination of the success syndrome that affects the lives of people whose career triumphs are achieved at great personal sacrifice. It is the dramatic and suspenseful story of one woman's survival in a battle for her sanity- and her life. In this urgent quest, she must discover her inner strength, independence, and ability to be truly happy.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jill Clayburgh, Nicol Williamson, Dianne Wiest, Joe Pesci, Geraldine Page
  • Directors: Jack Hofsiss
  • Writers: David Rabe, Barbara Gordon
  • Producers: David Nicksay, David Rabe, Edgar J. Scherick, Scott Rudin
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 21, 2005
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008KLVCI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,406 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The subject matter is obviously heavy and weighs the audience down as much as the protagonist, but this is a mostly successful (if highly earnest) adaptation of the famed memoir by prize-winning documentarian Barbara Gordon. With such a lukewarm endorsement, my five-star rating may seem unwarranted, but this movie deserves a wide audience for one reason, as far as I'm concerned, and that's Geraldine Page's stunning supporting turn as the cancer-ravaged poet about whom Gordon is producing her latest work. The scene in the hospital, when Page explodes at Clayburgh, for the sentimentality of the documentary, will raise all the hair on your body and is further proof of Page's greatness. That she was not nominated for an Academy Award for this lacerating performance is an irrevocable blight on the movie industry.

One day Page will get her due. Watch I'M DANCING AS FAST AS I CAN, with all its flaws, to see this acting genius at full throttle.
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Format: VHS Tape
I lived her life and it is almost 20 years since I read the book and saw the movie and it still haunts me. Today I am fine, and I can say nothing more than that book really helped me to believe in myself.
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Format: DVD
This movie requires insight and empathy for the lead character, otherwise it does appear the director did not adequately present what is the groundfloor to such addictions. However, there is alot of character development here for those who listen carefully. Barbara is tortured due to being unwanted and unloved and has used her career to cover it up along with Valium use. She finally hits rock bottom and gets treatment via examining the sources of her rage filled inner-self. This movie really stands out in memory from the 80's as a frank presentation of addiction, multiple competing roles, and the culture-of-Narcissm we live in and the sickness it can really create. It shows that "success" is merely another cover up, another addiction with some people. Lovinging oneself is unconditional if it is real and yes you "don't have to cripple yourself to be loved."
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I read this book in the seventies and really liked it. I read it again recently when I found it in the Kindle store. When I saw it as a video I had to watch it. It not only gives a lot of insight into the world of drug addiction and withdrawal, but also how mental illness can be swept under the rug by the use of drugs such as valium. It's a great story and definitely worth watching.
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Format: Amazon Video
If you've been taking this stuff for a while, a doctor is necessary in order to wean yourself off slowly, or else you end up with this accurately portrayed withdrawal nightmare, which isn't easy even with a supportive partner.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Although her screen persona in such films as Starting Over and It's My Turn was being the nice girl next door, Jill Clayburgh
also took some chances. Just think of her vomiting in An Unmarried
Woman and her incestuous opera singer in Bernardo Bertolucci's
Luna. This film is based on Barbara Gordon's book and what probably
helped Clayburgh to deliver her searing performance is that her
husband playwright David Rabe both produced and did the screenplay,
and the director was Jack Hofsiss who did The Elephant Man on stage to
such acclaim. Her Barbara is barely likeable - obsessive-compulsive,
hostile, chain-smoking and valium addicted. It's fascinating to see
how she conceals her pills, and clear that she lacks the support to
accomodate her impulsive decision to withdraw. She is told that valium
withdrawal is as traumatic as opiate withdrawal, and having an
alcoholic abusive lover doesn't help. As Barbara withdraws, Clayburgh
goes all out - convulsing, drooling, shrieking, maniacal, with wild
mad eyes and Frances Farmer hair. When she is eventually
institutionalised we see the anger that the valium had suppressed as
she rages at her therapist played by Dianne Wiest, who matches
Clayburgh. Wiest's first film had been Clayburgh's It's My Turn and
it's generous to think that Clayburgh helped her along with this role,
before she found greater success with Woody Allen. The film is
actually full of interesting actors in small roles - John Lithgow,
David Margulies, Kathleen Widdoes, Daniel Stern, Joe Pesci, Anne de
Salvo, Ellen Greene, Richard Masur, Jeffrey de Munn, and Geraldine
Page as a poet with cancer who Barbara is making a doco on. The poetry
we hear her recite is by Marsha Rabe.
Read more ›
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Format: Amazon Video
Good acting by Jill, but the story goes in too many directions. A bit dated now too. I had a hard time getting thru it. I don't know what the rave is about on this one. Like I said, Jill kept me in the movie and even she overplayed it at times.
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Format: Amazon Video
Geraldine Page was incredible as usual. Her acting is timeless, thoughtful and sensitive. It is no different in this movie, though the treatment of the movie's issues was different than it would be now. Back then they were just putting their toe in the water. However Ms. Page was all in for her character. She DOES deserve 5 stars...always!

The movie brushed lightly over a lot of topics that stem from the main plot but cannot follow them all in 90 minutes. Over the time since this was made, many have attempted to address the RX related issues. we are told from childhood to trust completely and never question the doctor's conclusions. The patient that went to his family doctor, putting his life and health in their hands has made themselves vulnerable to everyone.

In the rush to blame the patient for any poor result, no one recalls the drug companies shilling their drugs on T.V. or paying doctors to push their products regardless of whether it was the ideal treatment. From the patient begging for real help, he is now a junkie supposedly manipulating the poor innocent doctor to get the drugs advertised and promoted by the drug company as his cure. He is judged as a person of weak and wicked character for needing the medication that was specifically prescribed and is making drug companies and doctors rich in the market they created. The patient just wants what he has been led to expect from seeing a licensed physician... appropriate medical care that makes him better, not worse.

And yippee! another opportunity...the rehab facilities, propaganda, products all blossoming to make more money to care for the use or misuse of the miracle product that they created and spent tons of money convincing everyone was the cure!
Read more ›
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