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Dance With a Stranger

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Original title
Dance With a Stranger
Running time
102 min.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Shelagh Delaney
Richard Hartley
Peter Hannan
Film Four International, First Film Company, Goldcrest Films, National Film Finance Corporation (NFFC), National Film Development Fund, Shooting Lodge
Drama | Based On A True Story. 1950s
Synopsis / Plot
On July 13, 1955, Ruth Ellis became the last woman to be hanged in England. With a smart, tough little script by Shelagh Delaney, Mike Newell's noir-ish film is a dissection of the human frustration and complex class issues surrounding her crime. Miranda Richardson, looking like some delicious, chilled confection, plays Ellis, the hostess to a "glorified brothel" who plans for a better life with her young son until she meets David Blakely (a young, gorgeous Rupert Everett), the wealthy ne'er-do-well whose fitful attentions chip away her armor. Their vicious attraction and its constant tug-of-war lose some dramatic pull as the story heads toward its inevitable climax, but Richardson's performance holds your attention. She plays the entire film in a kind of stunned ardor, a feisty little animal caught in the headlights of Everett's sullen magnetism. By the time she's plugging bullets into his body, she's already hit you a few time with her heated, fatal despair.
1985: Cannes Film Festival: Award of the Youth
1985: David di Donatello Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Actress (Richardson)
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