Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

1994 Australian Feature

Cast: Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp, Bill Hunter, Sarah Chadwick, Mark Holmes, Ken Radley and Julia Cortez
Writer/Director: Stephan Elliott

Invited to perform at a casino in remote Alice Springs, Australia, drag queens Mitzi and Felicia and transsexual Bernadette hit the road in a broken-down lavender bus named Priscilla.


  • Internet Movie Database: 7.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 93% / Audience: 84% 
  • Metacritic - Critics: 68% / Audience: 7.7
  • OMG rating: 8/10

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Books: Available


  • Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
  • Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Costume Design and Production Design.
  • BAFTA Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup & Hair; also nominated for Best Actor (Stamp), Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design and Film Music.
  • GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film.
  • Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical and Actor - Comedy/Musical (Stamp).
  • L.A. Outfest Audience Award for Outstanding Narrative Feature.
  • Writers Guild of America nomination for Original Screenplay.

  • Casting Call: David Bowie, John Cleese, Tim Curry, Tony Curtis, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and John Hurt.
  • The iconic flip-flop dress cost only $7.
  • Prior to filming, director Stephan Elliott took his three leads out in drag, where none of them were recognized. Guy Pearce took the opportunity to be outrageously rude, Terence Stamp eventually forgot he was in drag and started hitting on girls, and Hugo Weaving got very drunk and lay under a table for hours, tapping his finger in time to the music. This last detail was incorporated into the film in the hotel room scene.
  • Cameos include director Stephen Elliott, as a doorman, and costume designers Lizzy Gardiner, as the "naughty" maid, and Tim Chappel, as the draq queen in the barber chair during the finale.
  • The line in the closing credits "Shown in Dragarama at select theatres" is a reference to some theatres using a mirror-ball and colored lighting during the "Finally" dance number.
  • Adapted into the stage musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, with a book co-written by Stephen Elliott. It had its world premiere in Sydney, Australia in 2006. The show's 2011 Broadway production, starring Tony Sheldon and Nick Adams, was nominated for two Tony Awards; the film's Oscar winning costume designers, Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, repeated their win for recreating their work for the stage adaptation.

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