Great Balls of Fire!

  • Film
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The trouble with this biopic is that it attempts to convey too many aspects of the Jerry Lee Lewis legend. His marriage (to his 13-year-old second cousin)and the ensuing scandal are the focus and deserve serious treatment, but instead the pace is disrupted by the kind of spontaneous musical routine that is more at home in a light-hearted romantic comedy. When the film switches to London, the playful approach is utterly out of keeping with the unfolding drama. And what is Peter Cook doing as a newspaper hack? Stranger yet is the miscasting of Quaid, whose attempts to affect Lewis' boundless energy and Southern naiveté are alternately amusing and perplexing. Taken in isolation. Quaid's keyboard scenes are splendidly carried by the strength of the music, but alas, such moments are short-lived. Other performances are better, notably from Alec Baldwin as Lewis' Bible-thumping, disapproving cousin, and Ryder as his winsome bride.

Release details

Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jim McBride
Screenwriter: Jack Baran, Jim McBride
Cast: Dennis Quaid
Winona Ryder
John Doe
Joe Bob Briggs
Stephen Tobolowsky
Trey Wilson
Alec Baldwin
Steve Allen
Lisa Blount
Peter Cook
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