Friday, April 19, 2013

"Strictly Ballroom" Plot Summary

Looking for something new to watch? Here's a short summary of Strictly Ballroom. See if you'd be interested in it...

Director: Baz Luhrmann 
Stars: Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Gia Carides, Bill Hunter, Barry Otto, Pat Thomson, Peter Whitford 
Released in 1992

Summary by Helen Sherlock

Plot summary:

Scott Hastings is a ballroom dancing wonder who loses an important competition, and subsequently his dancing partner Liz Holt (Gia Carides), when he decides he is bored of the rigid rules constricting ballroom dancing and chooses to break free and dance his own steps in the middle of a competition dance. The competition is won instead by Scott and Liz’s rivals, Pam Short and Ken Railings Scott’s father Doug Hastings (Barry Otto) proudly watches the film footage taken at the competition, but Scott’s mother Shirley (Pat Thomson) and his dancing teacher Les (Peter Whitford) are furious with Scott, and implore him to apologize to Liz and focus his thoughts on the upcoming Pan Pacific Grand Prix competition. Liz, however, decides to start dancing with Scott’s rival Ken Railings, after his partner suffers an accident. 

Meanwhile, Fran (Tara Morice), an inexperienced student at the Hastings ballroom school, has been watching Scott from afar. Seeing him practice alone one evening, she convinces Scott to try dancing with her, and together they form a plan to enter the Pan Pacific Grand Prix with their own steps. Unaware of this plan, Shirley and Les begin tryouts to find a new partner for Scott. 

By the time of the next competition, Scott tells Fran she is ready to officially tryout for Shirley and Les that night at the competition. But Les has already arranged with Barry Fife (Bill Hunter), president of the dancing board, to put Scott with Tina Sparkle, a champion ballroom dancer who is also in need of a partner. When this news is delivered to Scott and Fran, Fran is shocked and runs off close to tears. Scott finds her and confesses he knew nothing of the proposed pairing between him and Tina Sparkle. They start dancing and are discovered by Shirley and Liz. Scott is hauled off to be spoken to by Barry Fife, while Fran is taken away by Shirley, Liz and another dancer Vanessa. Shirley makes clear to Fran that whatever is going on between Scott and her has to stop. Barry tells Scott that he is being given a golden opportunity after causing a stir dancing his own steps and that he shouldn’t blow it. 

Scott leaves to find Fran, and goes to her house where there is a party taking place. Whilst talking to Fran, they are discovered by Fran’s father who is suspicious of Scott, and tries to throw him out. After Scott claims he is just Fran’s dancing partner and nothing more, Fran’s father challenges Scott to show his dance moves. Scott and Fran attempt to dance the Pasadoble, to much amusement from the party guests. At this point, Fran’s father reveals he is a very talented Flamenco dancer and Fran’s grandmother and father start to teach the couple how to really dance the Pasadoble. At the end of the night Scott and Fran share a kiss before he returns back home. 

A crisis meeting is held between Barry, Shirley, Les and Doug as to what to do about Scott’s behavior. Barry tells them the only thing left to do is to tell them the truth about Doug. Arranging a meeting with Scott, Barry tells him that Doug was also a champion dancer who started having ideas about using his own steps in the Pan Pacific Grand Prix, and that losing the competition broke his heart. Barry convinces Scott to compete just once in the Grand Prix, with Liz (who is now solo after Ken Railings dumps her for Tina Sparkle), and win the trophy that Doug never did. 

The night of the Pan Pacific Grand Prix, Scott is dancing again with Liz. Scott’s father keeps trying to have a quiet word with his son but he is repeatedly interrupted by Shirley. Scott sees Fran at the competition, competing in a beginner class. He tries to apologize and explain the situation but she refuses to listen to him. The final Latin dance, the Pasadoble is almost starting. Scott’s father finally manages to tell Scott that years ago, he had planned to dance his own steps at the Grand Pacific Grand Prix, but that Shirley had danced instead with Les instead of risking failure. Scott chases after Fran and asks if she still wants to dance with him. Together they head to the dance floor to dance the rule-breaking steps they have worked on. 

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