John Waters (2) (1988)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Ricki Lake may be better known for her weird and wonderful US chat show (that ran until 2004), but it was director John Waters who launched her into stardom with this kitsch classic. Waters tones down his usual excesses, but his mischievous black sense of humour is still very much to the fore in this affectionate salute to Z-grade teen movies. Lake is the fun-loving Tracy Turnblad, who becomes the new teen dancing queen much to the horror of wealthy snobs Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono, who want their daughter to shine. The soundtrack is a constant delight, as is the eclectic cast, which ranges from Waters' regulars Divine (his last movie) and Mink Stole, through to Pia Zadora and former Cars singer Ric Ocasek.


An overweight teenager in 1960s Baltimore achieves her dream of appearing on a TV dance show. However, she soon creates controversy by using her newfound fame to demand racial integration, and makes bitter enemies with the show's previous star and her pro-segregation parents. John Waters' comedy, starring Ricki Lake, Deborah Harry and Divine, in his last film role.

Cast & Crew

Tracy Turnblad Ricki Lake
Edna Turnblad / Arvin Hodgepile Divine
Franklin von Tussle Sonny Bono
Motormouth Maybell Ruth Brown
Amber von Tussle Colleen Fitzpatrick
Velma von Tussle Deborah Harry
Link Larkin Michael St Gerard
Penny Pingleton Leslie Ann Powers
Seaweed Clayton Prince
Wilbur Turnblad Jerry Stiller
Beatnik girl Pia Zadora
Director John Waters (2)
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Palace PicturesAvailable on: video and DVD