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    How Old Were the Actors

    Shows how old the actors were when making a movie.

    How Old Were the Actors?

    How Old Were the Actors? Shows how old actors were when making a movie.

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    Great Balls of Fire!

    Released: 1989Director: Jim McBrideIMDb Rating: 6

    Actor Age then Age now Died?

    Jim McBride 48 80 No

    Dennis Quaid 35 68 No

    Winona Ryder 18 50 No

    John Doe 35 68 No

    Stephen Tobolowsky 38 71 No

    Trey Wilson 41 Would've been 74 In 1989-01-16 (age 41)

    Alec Baldwin 31 64 No

    Steve Allen 68 Would've been 100 In 2000-10-30 (age 78)

    Lisa Blount 32 Would've been 65 In 2010-10-25 (age 53)

    Joshua Sheffield Unknown - -

    Mojo Nixon 32 64 No

    Jimmie Vaughan 38 71 No

    David Ferguson Unknown - -

    Robert Lesser 47 79 No

    Lisa Jane Persky 34 67 No

    Paula Person Unknown - -

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    Great Balls of Fire! (film)


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    Great Balls of Fire!

    Theatrical release poster

    Directed by Jim McBride

    Screenplay by Jack Baran Jim McBride

    Story by Myra Gale Brown

    Murray M. Silver Jr.

    Based on by Myra Gale Brown and Murray M. Silver Jr.

    Produced by Adam Fields

    Starring Dennis Quaid Winona Ryder Alec Baldwin Trey Wilson

    Cinematography Affonso Beato

    Edited by Lisa Day Pembroke J. Herring Bert Lovitt

    Music by Jerry Lee Lewis

    Distributed by Orion Pictures

    Release date

    June 30, 1989 (United States)

    Running time 108 minutes

    Language English

    Budget $16-18 million[1]

    Box office $13.7 million[2]

    is a 1989 American biographical drama film directed by Jim McBride and starring Dennis Quaid as rockabilly pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a biography by Myra Lewis and Murray M. Silver Jr., the screenplay is written by McBride and Jack Baran. The film is produced by Adam Fields, with executive producers credited as Michael Grais, Mark Victor, and Art Levinson.[3]

    The early career of Jerry Lee Lewis, from his rise to rock and roll stardom to his controversial marriage to his 13-year-old cousin that led to his downfall, is depicted in the film. Until the scandal of the marriage depreciated his image, many had thought Lewis would supplant Elvis Presley as the "King of Rock and Roll" in the 1950s.


    1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production

    3.1 Filming locations

    4 Reception

    4.1 Critical response

    4.2 Accolades 4.3 Box office 5 Soundtrack 5.1 Singles 6 Home media 7 References 8 External links


    Jerry Lee Lewis (Dennis Quaid) plays piano, as opposed to a guitar like most other rock artists, during rock and roll's early years from 1956 to 1958. Jerry Lee is a man with many different sides: a skilled performer with little discipline, and an alcoholic.

    As Jerry Lee rises to the top of the charts with hits such as "Crazy Arms", "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On", and "Great Balls of Fire", he falls in love with Myra Gale Brown (Winona Ryder), the 13-year-old daughter of his first cousin and bass player J. W. Brown (John Doe), and eventually marries her (eloping to Mississippi), much to the anger and chagrin of her parents.

    Jerry Lee's other relationship is that of second cousin and televangelist Jimmy Swaggart (Alec Baldwin) who, during this period, was a struggling Pentecostal preacher. Jimmy's career kept him in constant conflict with his cousin's wild rock and roll career and brings out some uncomfortable exchanges between the two. The now-financially successful Jerry Lee buys a new car and gives it to his cousin, and when Jimmy praises the Lord for the gift, Jerry Lee replies, "Don't thank Jesus, thank Jerry Lee Lewis!"

    While Jerry Lee is touring in England, a reporter discovers he is married to the underage Myra Gale. Jerry Lee is then condemned as a child molester and a pervert by the public before being booed and ridiculed off stage at his opening concert; and as a result, the tour is cancelled and Jerry Lee is deported. Confident that his career will remain a success, Jerry Lee is undaunted; however, the scandal follows him back to the States.

    Jerry Lee then begins drinking heavily when record sales and concert attendances are significantly down. Jerry Lee becomes further furious when requested to print a public apology in and becomes increasingly abusive toward Myra. It is during one of these episodes that Myra informs Jerry Lee that she is pregnant, and he collapses into Myra's arms, crying hysterically.

    In a last-ditch effort to improve his life, Jerry Lee, with Myra in tow, attends one of Swaggart's church services. During the altar call, Jimmy offers Jerry Lee one more chance to become saved and get right with God; but Jerry Lee again refuses, declaring, "If I'm going to hell, I'm going there playing the piano!" The caption preceding the closing credits reads, "Jerry Lee Lewis is playing his heart out somewhere in America tonight."


    Dennis Quaid as Jerry Lee Lewis

    Winona Ryder as Myra Gale Brown

    John Doe as J. W. Brown

    Stephen Tobolowsky as Jud Phillips

    Trey Wilson as Sam Phillips

    Alec Baldwin as Jimmy Swaggart

    Steve Allen as Himself

    Lisa Blount as Lois Brown

    Joshua Sheffield as Rusty Brown

    Mojo Nixon as James Van Eaton

    Jimmie Vaughan as Roland Janes

    David R. Ferguson as Jack Clement

    Robert Lesser as Alan Freed

    Michael St. Gerard as Elvis Presley

    Lisa Jane Persky as Babe

    Peter Cook as British reporter

    Jerry Lee Lewis (credited as "The Killer Himself") performed vocals and piano


    The story was co-written by Myra Gale Lewis (her autobiography ), the former wife of Jerry Lee Lewis, with Murray Silver. Despite this, co-writer Silver was upset by the lack of accuracy in the film, claiming it was "phoney". Director Jim McBride admitted that it was never his intention to tie his film to the facts, and stated, "This movie does not represent itself in any way to be a historical documentary. We use the book as a jumping-off point."

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Great Balls of Fire! Jerry Lee Lewis biopic strikes wrong note on scandal

    Alex von Tunzelmann: Cheery film has great music but treatment of rock'n'roll singer's union with his young cousin makes for queasy viewing

    Reel history

    Great Balls of Fire! Jerry Lee Lewis biopic strikes wrong note on scandal

    Cheery film has great music but treatment of rock'n'roll singer's union with his young cousin makes for queasy viewing

    Alex von Tunzelmann @alexvtunzelmann

    Thu 23 Aug 2012 12.49 BST

    Director: Jim McBride


    Entertainment grade: D–

    History grade: C+

    Jerry Lee Lewis broke through as a rock'n'roll musician in the late 1950s. His career foundered after he bigamously married Myra Gale Brown, his first cousin once removed, when she was just 13 years old.


    Great Balls of Fire

    In 1956, the 21-year-old Lewis moves in with his cousin JW Brown in Memphis, Tennessee. Immediately, he clocks Brown's 12-year-old daughter, Myra Gale. It's not great for a 21-year-old to be macking on a 12-year-old, but the fact that the film casts Dennis Quaid, then 35 but looking raddled thanks to a bad peroxide job, opposite Winona Ryder, then 18 but looking much younger, makes it seem even worse. Quaid's performance is fine – the real Jerry Lee Lewis and the real Myra Gale Brown both found it convincing – but he is simply too old for the role. Whereas Lewis's brashness, selfishness and recklessness may be to some extent understandable in a young lad, it's desperate and creepy in a man who appears to be approaching middle age.


    Great Balls of Fire

    At Sun Records, Sam Phillips – the man who discovered Elvis Presley – listens to Lewis's demo, Crazy Arms. After just a few seconds, he says: "I can sell that." This is accurate. Looking for a song to launch his career, Lewis sneaks into a dance hall amid an otherwise entirely black audience to hear Big Maybelle (Valerie Wellington) singing Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On. Though the scene is fictionalised, it is a neat way of informing the viewer that the song was first recorded by a black singer, and that rock'n'roll involved a lot of white performers appropriating black music, usually without credit.


    Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On propels Lewis to overnight stardom. Elvis trudges into Sun Records, looking baleful. Anyone watching this film who didn't know about Elvis Presley would get the impression that Elvis's career ended in 1958 when he joined the army, and Jerry Lee Lewis then took over as the greatest star in rock'n'roll. Of course, there probably isn't anyone watching this film who doesn't know about Elvis Presley.


    Great Balls of Fire Photograph: C5 TV

    Despite the screaming teenyboppers, Lewis has set his sights on Myra. He takes her for something called a Kreme Cup. She starts talking about the H-bomb and crying. Thoughtfully, he makes a move on her. Not long afterwards, they're out for a drive when Lewis abruptly presents her with a marriage licence. "I'm only 13 years old," she says. It's too late – they're already heading across state lines into Mississippi, towards a rickety chapel. In real life, according to Myra's autobiography, Lewis did at least ask her two days before, rather than when they were already on the road.


    In 1957, the legal age for marriage in Mississippi was 14 for men and 12 for women, though it was revised upwards by a law passed that year. This particular marriage, Lewis's third despite his own still-tender years, was illegal on grounds of bigamy. Unfortunately, the real story gets a lot darker than the film is prepared to admit. Perhaps it hopes the viewer might somehow root for Lewis. By this point, that's quite a challenge.


    Great Balls of Fire

    At the height of Jerry Lee's fame, the Lewises travel to London for a tour. They're met at the airport by Peter Cook. Yes, that Peter Cook. He's playing a reporter. "I hate covering arrivals," he moans. "Didn't hear you complaining when it was Liberace," says a fellow reporter. "Oh, look here," Cook snaps back. "You're not suggesting that an artiste of Liberace's stature can be likened to the boogie-woogie of the gum-chewing country bumpkin?" Best moment in this movie by miles. The film is correct in suggesting that the London press exposed Lewis's marriage, that he cut short his tour, and that the scandal ended the superstar phase of his career. However, it apparently feels it must end on a happy note, so there's a rousing final sing-song. In real life, there was no happy note. As the real Myra wrote, "The good ol' days, of which there were exactly 569, were over."

    Source : www.theguardian.com

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