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Dance With a Stranger

Catalog Number
VA 5137
-
Primary Distributor (If not listed, select "OTHER")
Release Year
Country
VHS | SP | Slipcase
101 mins (NTSC)
N/A | N/A | N/A
N/A | N/A
Dance With a Stranger (1985)
Additional Information
It wasn't simply love. It was a case of cold-blooded passion.

This darkly haunting slightly fictionalized film is a retelling of the life and death of Ruth Ellis (Miranda Richardson), the last woman to be executed in England. Ellis, a divorcee and ex-prostitute works as a "hostess" in a tacky nightclub. There she meets and begins an obsessive love affair with upper-class David Blakely (Rupert Everett), who eventually discards her. Still obsessed and jealous because of David's upcoming marriage to a woman of his own class, Ellis murders him. Miranda Richardson, in a stark, knock-out performance is outstanding as the cold, calculating Ellis, unscrupulous in her use of everyone to get what she wants. Ian Holm, in an often-overlooked performance, is superb as the man who loves Ellis, supporting her and her teenage son, without ever gaining her love. He is her mainstay and the surrogate father to her teenage son, who Ellis has little time for. In his own, quiet way he is as obsessed as Ellis. The screenplay, adapted by Shelagh Delaney remains faithful to the true story, taking only minor dramatic license. Dance With a Stranger is an uncompromising look at obsessive love and its consequences on others. The story is made even more poignant because of the sad life and eventual suicide of Ellis' real son.

Dance with a Stranger is a 1985 British drama film, directed by Mike Newell. Telling the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain in the 1950s, this moving biographical British film won critical acclaim, and brought particular notice to the careers of both Miranda Richardson and Rupert Everett. The screenplay was by Shelagh Delaney, author of A Taste of Honey, and her third major screenplay. The story of Ellis, which this film dramatises, has very considerable resonance in Britain since it provided part of the background to the long-term national debates which eventually led to the effective abolition of capital punishment in 1965.
The theme song "Would You Dance With a Stranger" was performed by Mari Wilson, and provided her with a hit single in the same year.

Release Date: August 9, 1985

Distrib: Samuel Goldwyn

Boxoffice: $2,174,622 2014: $5,115,000

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