The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Infobox Film
name = The Adventures of Priscilla,
Queen of the Desert


caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Stephan Elliott
producer = Al Clark
writer = Stephan Elliott
starring = Terence Stamp
Hugo Weaving
Guy Pearce
Bill Hunter
Julia Cortez
music = Guy Gross
cinematography = Brian J. Breheny
editing = Sue Blainey
distributor = Gramercy Pictures
PolyGram
released = flagicon|USA
August 10, 1994
flagicon|Australia
September 8, 1994
runtime = 104 minutes
country = flagicon|Australia Australia
language = English
budget = $2 000 000
gross = $11,059,700
amg_id = 1:133443
imdb_id = 0109045

"The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is a 1994 Academy Award-winning Australian film about three drag queens (two gay men and a transsexual woman) driving across the outback from Sydney to Alice Springs in a large bus they have named Priscilla. The film stars Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp. It was written and directed by Stephan Elliott. Since its release it has retained its popularity and opened as a major musical in Star City Casino Sydney, October 2006.

Plot

Anthony "Tick" Belrose, a.k.a. Mitzi Del Bra, a drag queen, accepts an offer to perform at a casino in Alice Springs, a remote town in central Australia. After persuading his friends and fellow performers, Bernadette Bassenger - a recently bereaved transsexual woman, and Adam Whitley, a.k.a. Felicia Jollygoodfellow - an irritatingly flamboyant and obnoxious drag queen - to join him, the three set out for Alice Springs in a large tour bus which Adam/Felicia christens "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert".

They encounter on the way the less accepting attitudes of rural Australia, sexual violence, and the problems of vehicle breakdowns. The troupe eventually arrives at their destination with costumes and dance routines prepared. Before they arrive, Tick reveals that he is married (it is revealed that his wife is gay or possibly bisexual), and that the trip is a favor for his wife, who runs the casino where they will be performing. Upon arriving, they learn that Tick and his wife also have a young son.

Cast

*Terence Stamp as Ralph / Bernadette Bassenger
*Hugo Weaving as Anthony "Tick" Belrose / Mitzi Del Bra
*Guy Pearce as Adam Whitely / Felicia Jollygoodfellow
*Bill Hunter as Bob
*Julia Cortez as Cynthia

Interviewed on BBC London on 17 September 2008 about his role as Tick in the UK stage version, Jason Donovan said that he was the original choice for the movie role, with Michael Hutchence as Adam and Richard E. Grant as Bernadette.

Cultural impact

The film is regarded in the gay community as a camp classic, portraying Australia's outback in an idyllic way, showcasing its beauty and remoteness. The story also brought together the travelling troupe with an Aboriginal tribe, a powerful image of two often socially outcast peoples singing and dancing together under unlikely circumstances. The film was ranked as number 11 on Logo's 50 Greatest Films.The film also employed unusual casting with Terence Stamp, who has otherwise portrayed masculine characters, often villains. This film was the first large-scale venue for Pearce and Weaving, both of whom have gone on to larger film success.

In 1995, an American film, "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar", was released, and featured a similar plot line and is commonly mistaken as an "American version of Priscilla." However, "To Wong Foo" began production during the middle of "Priscilla's" filming.

During the 2000 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, "Priscilla" was part of a parade of images of Australian popular culture. A refurbished and decorated 1980 Ford Denning (the same make of bus used in the movie) featuring a giant steel Stiletto heel which extended from and retracted into the roof -- inspired by some of the scenes from the film -- was paraded around the Olympic Stadium. The bus was also accompanied by several stiletto heels tricycle floats and drag queens donning big wigs as a tribute to the film's international success and the local gay community. [http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=504130]

Production

Much of the movie was filmed on location on a bus owned by The Whitlams and in various places in Australia. The opening and closing scenes were both filmed on the same day at the Imperial Hotel in Erskineville, a Sydney suburb.

The filming was plagued by many problems due to time and location constraints. For example, Bill Hunter was filming "Muriel's Wedding" and "Priscilla" at the same time, each requiring him to have different length hair and beard, and to be in different parts of the country. The heavy filming schedule also required much of the filming to be done while the entire crew was on the road. Because the bus was such a small set, there was little room for the crew. Therefore, in many scenes, they are actually in shot, hiding under clothes and other props.

During its initial run, some cinemas used a mirror-ball and colored lighting during the "Finally" dance number. This was acknowledged by the line in the closing credits "Shown in Dragarama at select theatres."

Trivia

* During the performance on the top of the bus, the character Felicia performs an edit of the aria "È strano! è strano..." (It's strange — the aria is also known as "Sempre libera") from the opera "La Traviata" by Giuseppe Verdi.

* In the video store is a poster for "Frauds" (1993), also directed by Stephan Elliott and also starring Hugo Weaving.

* The famous thong dress, which led to the movie winning an Academy Award, cost only $7 to make. Originally a credit-card dress was wanted but was refused by all companies.

* Hugo Weaving's character was based on Sydney drag-queen Cindy Pastel, who like the character has a son and female companion.

* Tim Curry turned down the role of Mitzi.

* The film was banned in South Korea for fears it might encourage homosexuality.

* Julia Cortez, Bob's mail-order bride, Cynthia, provided her own cat suit costume complete with the strategically placed zipper for the scene in the bar after the "Shake Your Groove Thing" number. She also played Rita Repulsa in the

* Nikki Webster starred as an extra in the film.

* Referenced in "The Drew Carey Show" episode "New York and Queens" when Mimi and her cohorts have a dance-off in full Priscilla costume against Drew and his friends in their "Rocky Horror Picture Show" costumes.

* A clip from Felicia's operatic performance atop the bus was featured briefly in a montage of famous film clips at the 2007 Academy Awards.

* Priscilla is made reference to in Saw V when an Australian drag queen tourist is kidnapped and set in a trap.

* There is a subtle reference to Priscilla made in the Nintendo DS remake of Dragon Quest IV. An old man named Psaro refers to himself as "Psaro, Queen of the Desert".

Alternate versions

* A joke - explaining where Bernadette's recently deceased boyfriend, Trumpet, got his name - was omitted for the film's US release, but included on most home video versions. The gag - that Trumpet lacked any musical ability, and instead had a foreskin so large that it could wrap around a biscuit - was also reintroduced to the Live Musical as performed at Star City.
* The flashback to Adam's childhood was originally longer, revealing more clearly that he had been molested as a child. Producers felt that it was not funny and demanded it be excised. Rather than being cut entirely, it was made shorter and more humorous.

tage adaptation

The film was adapted into the stage musical "" and premiered 2006-10-07 at the Star City Casino, Sydney. The opening cast was as follows:

:Bernadette Bassenger - Tony Sheldon (The Producers):Anthony "Tick" Belrose / Mitzi Mitosis - Jeremy Stanford (Buddy, High Society):Adam Whitely / Felicia Jollygoodfellow - Daniel Scott (Dusty: The Original Pop Diva):Bob - Michael Caton

The stage show features live performances of the songs featured in the film including 'I Love The Nightlife', 'I Will Survive', 'Finally', 'I've Never Been To Me', 'Shake Your Groove Thing' and 'Go West' as well as some new additions, such as 'Confide In Me', 'Downtown', 'What's Love Got To Do With It', 'Hot Stuff' and 'Macarthur Park'.

The beauty of the outback appears on stage with over 20 full-scale production numbers and the famous battered bus itself 'Priscilla' which is on a revolving stage. The costumes of Bernadette, Mitzi, Felicia and the entire cast have been re-designed by Oscar-winning duo Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner.

"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is produced by Back Row Productions, a UK-based company owned by Australians Liz Koops and Garry McQuinn, best known for Dein Perry's Tap Dogs; two time Tony Award winning impresario John Frost, Michael Hamlyn of Specific Films, an original producer of the film "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"; and acclaimed screenwriter and playwright Allan Scott, well known for the Julie Christie / Donald Sutherland psychological thriller "Don't Look Now". It is directed by New Zealander, Simon Phillips.

This show is now held at The Civic, The Edge in Auckland, New Zealand but will return to Sydney (at the Lyric Theatre, Star City) for a 12 week season beginning on the 7th of October 2008.

ee also

* Cross-dressing in film and television
* The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (soundtrack)

References

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert — Priscilla, folle du désert  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Priscilla. Priscilla, folle du désert Titre original The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Réalisation Stephan Elliott Acteurs principaux …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Priscilla – Königin der Wüste Originaltitel: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Produktionsland: Australien Erscheinungsjahr: 1994 Länge: 102 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (soundtrack) — Infobox Album Name = The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Type = Album Artist = Various Artists Released = 1994 Recorded = Genre = Disco, Pop, Dance Length = 1:06:36 Label = Polygram Producer =… …   Wikipedia

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  • Priscilla, reine du désert — Priscilla, folle du désert  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Priscilla. Priscilla, folle du désert Titre original The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Réalisation Stephan Elliott Acteurs principaux …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Priscilla folle du désert — Priscilla, folle du désert  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Priscilla. Priscilla, folle du désert Titre original The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Réalisation Stephan Elliott Acteurs principaux …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Priscilla — is an English female given name adopted from the italian Priscilla , derived from the Latin priscus (old) . [cite web last=Harper | first=Douglas | date=November 2001 url=http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Priscilla accessdate=2006 08 10 |… …   Wikipedia


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