16 Fascinating Facts About Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Strictly Ballroom’

Strictly Ballroom danced onto screens in 1992 and stole the hearts of Australia and then the world over. It was the first time audiences has been exposed to the inner workings of Baz Luhrmann’s creative brain. Here are 16 fascinating facts about the Dance-A-Thon that is… STRICTLY BALLROOM, tadaaaa.


1. Strictly Ballroom was Baz Luhrmann’s directorial debut, and what a way to start.


2. When it premiered at Cannes Film Festival it got a 15 minute standing ovation.


3. It then went on to win the Award of Youth for a foreign film at Cannes.

4. Baz Luhrmann was inspired to write and direct the film after he performed in ballroom dances as a youth.


5. Pat Thomson was posthumously awarded an AFI award for best supporting actress. She sadly died before the film premiere.


6. The executive producer Ted Albert unexpectedly died of a heart attack before completion. His widow took over the executive producer position to finish the film.

7. Strictly Ballroom ran in Australian cinemas for almost a year.


8.  Paul Mercurio danced the entire last dance in the film with a sprained ankle.


9. Fran’s house was the most expensive set built on production because it was placed next to train station.

10. “Love is in the Air” jumped onto the Australian music charts again in 1992 strictly because it was used to end the film.


11. Baz Luhrmann had only a lunch hour to shoot the final scene because the ballroom was being used for an actual ballroom competition.


12. Extras were tired and had to leave the set and so the crew draped clothes over chairs to create the illusion of people.

13. It grossed $11 million in the US and $3 million in Australia.


14. Japan changed the name of the film to Dancing Hero, because Japan.


15. Strictly Ballroom was nominated for Best Musical at the 1994 Golden Globes and won three awards at the BAFTAs.


16. It remains the fourth highest grossing movie in Australia.