February 26th, 1988



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A 'pleasantly plump' teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 6.8/10 (9,826 voted)

Critic's Score: 76/100

Director: John Waters

Stars: Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine

'Pleasantly Plump' teenager Tracy Turnblad achieves her dream of becoming a regular on the Corny Collins Dance Show. Now a teen hero, she starts using her fame to speak out for the causes she believes in, most of all integration. In doing so, she earns the wrath of the show's former star, Amber Von Tussle, as well as Amber's manipulative, pro-segregation parents. The rivalry comes to a head as Amber and Tracy vie for the title of Miss Auto Show 1963.

Sonny Bono - Franklin von Tussle
Ruth Brown - Motormouth Maybelle
Divine - Edna Turnblad / Arvin Hodgepile
Deborah Harry - Velma Von Tussle (as Debbie Harry)
Ricki Lake - Tracy Turnblad
Jerry Stiller - Wilbur Turnblad
Colleen Fitzpatrick - Amber von Tussle
Michael St. Gerard - Link Larkin
Leslie Ann Powers - Penny Pingleton
Clayton Prince - Seaweed
Mink Stole - Tammy
Shawn Thompson - Corny Collins
Ric Ocasek - Beatnik Cat (special apperances)
Pia Zadora - Beatnik Chick
Joann Havrilla - Prudence Pingleton

Taglines: Baltimore, 1962. The heyday of hair-dos and hair-don'ts, Heartthrobs and hefty girls, hot dates and hip talkers, beatniks and hair hoppers, and one magical potion that keeps it all together.

Release Date: 26 February 1988

Filming Locations: Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $577,287 (USA) (28 February 1988) (79 Screens)

Gross: $6,671,108 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

John Waters' first PG-rated film.

Anachronisms: In his advertising spot on the Corny Collins show, Mr. Pinky states that his 'Hefty Hideaway' "clothes for the ample woman" are "available in size 12 to 26" which, in 1988, would have been considered 'plus size'. However, in 1962 sizing, a size 12 was not a 'plus size'. In fact the approximate measurements, in 1962, for a size 12 dress would have been 32-25-34.

[first lines]
Tracy Turnblad: Come on! Come on!
Penny Pingleton: Okay, all right.
Tracy Turnblad: Will you hurry up?

User Review



As a HUGE fan of John Waters films, I have nothing but praise for this film. So fun, so campy, so enjoyable ( and you know...there IS a real plot inside the film. It's not just music and hair! ) The characters are at once silly and loveable, esp. Divine as Edna Turnblatt. And who can't love Ricki Lake as the voluptous teen sensation, Tracy Turnblatt!?! It's such a great movie. The one liners alone make me howl, as well as the great 60's look they were able to COAT the film with ( like hairspray? ) The clothes, the furniture, the makeup, EVERYTHING. Stellar pseudo B-movie casting ( Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono ). It's a favorite!!!


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