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form y separately published work icon Strictly Ballroom single work   film/TV   humour  
Adaptation of Strictly Ballroom Baz Luhrmann , Andrew Bovell , 1986 single work drama
Note: Screenplay by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce, from a play by Baz Luhrmann and Andrew Bovell, from an original idea by Baz Luhrmann.
Issue Details: First known date: 1992... 1992 Strictly Ballroom
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A light-hearted look at the politics and intrigue of competitive ballroom dancing, the storyline focuses on Scott Hastings, who, his ambitious mother Shirley believes, will become champion with his current partner Liz. When Scott tries to introduce his own steps into their routine (against Pan-Pacific Championship rules), Liz leaves him for a rival partner. Without a partner, Scott eventually agrees to dance with Fran, a shy student at the academy run by his mother. When he meets her father and grandmother, Scott leans how to put passion into his movements, especially through the paso doble. In a last ditch effort to see her son become the Pan-Pacific Champion, Shirley convinces him to partner Tina Sparkle, which he reluctantly does. When he finally realises what he has done, he implores Fran to partner him. When they are disqualified from the competition, the audience (led by Scott's father, Barry) gives them a standing ovation and Scott and Fran go on to perform their version of the paso doble.

[Source: Australian Screen]



  • Study guides available.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Form: screenplay
    • Paddington, Kings Cross area, Inner Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press , 1992 .
      Extent: xiv, 81p.p.
      Description: illus. (some col.), ports
      • Includes an introduction by the producer, Tristram Miall, and reproductions of several previously published newspaper reviews of the film.

      • 'The full script is presented here with stills from the film and commentary from reviewers and film producer Tristan Miall.' (Back cover)

      • Dedication: This screenplay is dedicated to Ted Albert and Pat Thomson.

      ISBN: 0868193593 (pbk)

Other Formats

Works about this Work

How to Make the Australian Musical : from The Sapphires to Strictly Ballroom Steve Dow , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 15 June 2017;
'With Muriel’s Wedding the Musical making its debut in November, we take a look back at mainstage shows through the ages – the good and the bad.'
Great Australian Directorial Debuts Erin Free , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: FilmInk , 14 March 2016;
Where Did Baz Luhrman Go Wrong? Luke Davies , 2016 single work biography
— Appears in: The Monthly , October no. 127 2016; (p. 60-61)
'The article presents a brief profile of Sydney director Baz Luhrmann, while mentioning his working for films including "Strictly Ballroom" and "Romeo + Juliet" and also mentions his working in the film "Moulin Rouge!."' (Publication abstract)
Films Flicker Back to Life 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 30 August 2015; (p. 29)
It Isn't Like We're Lacking Inspiration in Our Books and Music : What's Happened to Great Aussie Movies? Nicolle Flint , 2014 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 23 September 2014; (p. 22)
'...Not Always Strictly Ballroom...' Kerryn Goldsworthy , 1992-1993 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , December/January no. 2 1992-1993; (p. 44-46)

— Review of Strictly Ballroom Baz Luhrmann , Craig Pearce , 1992 single work film/TV
Iconic Moments in Cinema : Australia, Part 1 : [Strictly Ballroom] Darragh O’Donoghue , 2008-2009 single work review
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , no. 49 2008-2009;

— Review of Strictly Ballroom Baz Luhrmann , Craig Pearce , 1992 single work film/TV
Culture of Difference Damien Cassar , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , September-October no. 9 2000;

— Review of Strictly Ballroom Baz Luhrmann , Craig Pearce , 1992 single work film/TV
Untitled Jonathan Dawson , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , October no. 25 1994; (p. 201-204)

— Review of Strictly Ballroom Baz Luhrmann , Craig Pearce , 1992 single work film/TV
Strictly Ballroom : Rewatching Classic Australian Films Luke Buckmaster , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 3 February 2014;

— Review of Strictly Ballroom Baz Luhrmann , Craig Pearce , 1992 single work film/TV
y separately published work icon A Student's Guide to Strictly Ballroom Richard McRoberts , Marcia Pope , Ballarat : Wizard Books , 2001 Z1612221 2001 single work criticism
Head On : Multicultural Representations of Australian Identity in 1990s National Cinema James Bennett , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , vol. 1 no. 1 2007; (p. 61-78)
'Suffused with a sense that earlier filmic imaginings of Australian identity were "beginning to look threadbare" (Turner 1994a: 68), 1990s Australian cinema provides a key site for the examination of Australian identity in multicultural terms. Drawing on the work of Ghassan Hage (1998, 2003), Stuart Hall (1990, 1993) and Daniel Nourry (2005), this article investigates how notions of Australian identity in a multicultural society are played out (and with) by Australian cinema of the 1990s. Particular attention is paid to Head On (Kokkinos, 1998) and Strictly Ballroom (Lurhmann, 1992), as examples of different approaches to this issue. Enlisting a Bakhtinian approach, whereby identity is conceived in terms of "thinking from the margins", I argue that whilst films such as Strictly Ballroom enlist a "good multiculturalism" to extend, through tolerance, the boundaries of Australian identity to the Other, Head On provides a way of thinking about Australian-ness that refuses to simply assimilate or incorporate its Greek-Australian protagonist. By co-opting the audience to a position on the margins of society, Head On opens up a notion of Australian identity that is not only or simply hybrid, but also never finally fixed (Hall 1990).

Source: Studies in Australasian Cinema 1.1 (2007): 61. (Sighted 01/09/2009).

y separately published work icon 'Strictly Ballroom' Lana Camporeale , Perth : Centre for Research in Culture and Communication (Murdoch University) , 2004 Z1668022 2004 single work criticism Research undertaken by a student of the Centre for Culture and Communication (Murdoch University) into Strictly Ballroom (1992). Includes aspects relating to the production phase, critical reception, principal performers and production crew, references and a synopsis.
form y separately published work icon Behind the Red Curtain Baz Luhrmann , ( dir. Baz Luhrmann ) Sydney : Bazmark Films , 2002 Z1668190 2002 single work film/TV An interactive 'behind the scenes' documentary, Behind the Red Curtain, gives director Baz Luhrmann an opportunity to provide insight into the making of Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet and Strictly Ballroom. Included is a tour of the unique space where he and his team work. One featurette, "Toulouse Tonight" is hosted by John Leguizamo (as Toulouse). In another, "Dubsy's Dirt" is presented by Luhrmann's personal assistant. The final scripts for all three films can be accessed, as are other Bazmark productions - a performance of "The Sunscreen Song" (by Lee Perry), and the music video clip "Now Until the Break of Day." The DVD also includes weblinks.
'Reffos, Wogs and Dagoes' : The Immigration Experience in Post-World War II Australia Susan Jacobowitz , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Lemuria , vol. 3 no. 2010; (p. 110-126) Ilha Do Desterro : A Journal of English Language , vol. 69 no. 2 2016;

'This article seeks to analyze the ways in which immigrants experienced Australia in the years following World War II, when the makeup of Australian society changed. In The Voyage of Their Life: The Story of the SS Derna and Its Passengers, Diane Armstrong – a child immigrant to Australia – writes, “Homogenous, conservative and almost entirely Anglo-Saxon in its origin, Australians were about to awake from there illusion of perfection” (274). Focusing on memoir, poetry and short stories, this article analyzes Andra Kins’ memoir Coming and Going: A Family Quest; Serge Liberman’s short stories “Home,” “Greetings, Australia! To You I Have Come,” “The Fortress” and “Two Years in Exile;” Peter Skrzynecki’s The Sparrow Garden; Lily Brett’s poetry; and Susan Varga’s memoir Heddy and Me. Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants from Russia, Poland, Latvia, Hungary and Ukriane struggled with trying to build new lives in a new land in the face of prejudice and “anti-refo” feeling. Measures were introduced to limit severely the number of Jewish refugees allowed to travel to Australia. Despite these obstacles, Australia was transformed. According to Mark Wyman, “Eventually, 182,159 DPs emigrated to Australia, led by 60,000 Poles and 36,000 Balts. Enough of an Eastern European mixture was admitted through Australian gates to constitute a small revolution in the nation’s much-publicized homogeneity. The long tradition of allowing only British stock down under was broken. By 1966 almost one in five Australians was a postwar immigrant or the child of one, and 60 percent of this group had non-British ethnic backgrounds” (191).' (Publication abstract)


1993 Nominated British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards Best Screenplay - Adapted
1993 Winner New South Wales State Literary Awards Script Writing Award
1992 Winner Australian Film Institute Awards Best Original Screenplay Best Screenplay - Original or Adapted
Last amended 30 Aug 2017 11:27:23