Until its last ten minutes or so, this filmed biography of controversial recording star Jerry Lee Lewis plays like a live-action cartoon. As played by Dennis Quaid, "the killer" is a very mixed-up individual: a saintly sinner, a world-wise nanf, a skilled performer with zero sense of discipline, a loving husband who uses his wife for a punching ...Read MoreUntil its last ten minutes or so, this filmed biography of controversial recording star Jerry Lee Lewis plays like a live-action cartoon. As played by Dennis Quaid, "the killer" is a very mixed-up individual: a saintly sinner, a world-wise nanf, a skilled performer with zero sense of discipline, a loving husband who uses his wife for a punching bag. The story takes place during the years 1956 through 1958, as Lewis rises to the top of the charts with such hits as "Crazy Arms," "A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," and the title tune. Along the way, he falls in love with his second cousin, Myra (Winona Ryder), eventually marrying the girl. When it is revealed that Myra is only 13 years old, Lewis is condemned as a molester and pervert by the public (his disastrous tour of England during this crisis is depicted in hilarious Tex Avery fashion). After establishing a brisk, satirical tone through most of the proceedings, the film plummets into heavy dramatics in its final portions, jarring disastrously with all that has gone before. Otherwise, Quaid is terrific as Lewis (expertly lip-synching to the original records,) and Ryder is equally good as the long-suffering Myra. Featured in the cast are Alec Baldwin as Jerry's cousin Jimmy Swaggart (the same!), Michael St. Gerard as Lewis' great rival Elvis, and Steve Allen as himself. Hal Erickson, RoviRead Less
Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, John Doe, Stephen Tobolowsky, Trey Wilson. New in new packaging. Language: English. Run time: 108 mins. Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1/1.33: 1. Originally released: 1989. They called it "the devil's music." To this, Jerry Lee Lewis whooped: "If I'm going to hell, I'm going there playing the piano! " Dennis Quaid gives a "rousing performance" (Gene Shalit, "The Today Show") as the defiant rock 'n' roll superstar who broke all the rules. Co-starring Winona Ryder as Jerry Lee's teenage bride and Alec Baldwin as Jerry Lee's evangelical cousin Jimmy Swaggart, and featuring scorching BRAND NEW FACTORY SEALED! ! ! piano and vocals re-recorded by the legendary Lewis himself, Great Balls of Fire! is a wild ride back to the early days of rock 'n' roll that will leave you "B-B-B-Breathless"! In 1956, Louisiana bad boy Jerry Lee Lewis (Quaid) moves to Memphis, determined to dethrone Elvis with his "ferocious, God-given talent." When Jerry Lee bangs out the bass chords with his feet, fans howl for more. When he finishes a performance by setting his piano ablaze, they mob the stage. But when he marries his 13-year-old second cousin Myra (Ryder)...the scandal nearly kills "The Killer's" career.