• What unlikely trio to fall in love with, just as unlikely as the landscape. When a movie fits so well without a tag that links it to anything else in its historic film context, it can only be described as a happy accident. Premeditated for sure, but accident nonetheless. Terence Stamp, is an actor with a spectacular career. Varied and surprising. It defies description, but let me try. Peter Ustinov's "Billy Budd" William Wyler's "The Collector" Federico Fellini's "Spirit of the Dead" John Schlesinger's "Far From The Madding Crowd" Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Teorema" Joseph Losey's "Modesty Blaise" Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" Stephen Frear's "The Hit" Richard Donner's "Superman" "Steven Sodebergh's "The Limey" Am I making my point? He is an actor for all seasons, beautiful beyond belief to boot. In "The Adventures of Pricilla Queen of The Desert" he unveils another unexpected side to his considerable talents. A Woman. And what a woman, a Meryl Streep with a past and, thanks to director Stephan Elliot, with a future. Dressed by geniuses. More human than ever. He is flanked by two spectacular Aussies. Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) giving a performance of such tenderness that even my brother in law, a homophobic macho man of the first order,loved him. And Guy Pearce (L A Confidential) He is such a beautiful,sexy, funny girl that made me long for a her/he all to myself. Some other monstrously cloned movies were rushed into production trying to capitalize on the success of Pricilla. They all failed miserably and rightly so. Frank Capra, accepting his AFI Lifetime Achievement Award sent a profound and heartfelt advise to young filmmakers. "Don't follow trends, start new ones" Well done Mr Elliot. Well done.
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  • 1994 proved to be rather a good year for Australian movies, with both this and MURIEL'S WEDDING delighting international audiences with their cheeky over-the-top humour, panache, pathos, winning performances, and fun soundtracks. Both, of course, heavily featured the music of ABBA (Australia has long had a particular love-affair with the Scandinavian quartet - it was probably no coincidence that it was decided to shoot the group's own feature, ABBA: THE MOVIE, during the Australian leg of their 1977 world concert tour). In MURIEL'S WEDDING the band's music is perhaps treated with more reverence and respect - Muriel Heslop is, after all, a huge fan, and the film itself is of a far more serious, distinctly black nature. PRISCILLA, on the other hand, constantly revels in its own bitchiness and catty humour, and has countless memorable, and in many cases unprintable, lines of dialogue, including stabs at the supergroup - "I've said it once and I'll say it again - no more f***ing ABBA"; "What are you telling me - this is an ABBA turd?" Of course ABBA is merely one of MANY verbal targets for the film's three main protagonists, but far from this alienating us from any of them, we cannot help but be swept along by the sheer garish joy of the entire venture.

    The basic plot focuses on recently bereaved transsexual Bernadette (a magnificent, hardly recognizable Terence Stamp), who teams up with two younger drag artistes, sensitive Tick/Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) and screaming queen Adam/Felicia (Guy Pearce), so that they can travel half-way across Australia on board an all but dilapidated bus named "Priscilla", in order to perform a cabaret act at a remote casino run by an ex-partner of Tick's, soon revealed to be, horror of horrors, a WOMAN! Along the way they encounter all sorts of absurd situations and individuals almost as strange and unconventional as they themselves are, whilst Bernadette, against her better judgement, falls for gruff mechanic Bob (Bill Hunter, who also features in MURIEL'S WEDDING) that they pick up en route, and in so doing he loses his "mail-order" bride Cynthia (Julia Cortez), who in one especially memorable scene does things with ping-pong balls you just don't want to imagine!

    The performances are really the thing here - Terence Stamp (who won numerous accolades for his cast-against-type labours) is amazing and totally credible as the quietly dignified transsexual, and it is hard to believe that Weaving and (especially) Pearce have not worked as flamboyant, lip-synching drag queens all their professional lives! The gaudy, outrageous costumes won a well-deserved Oscar, and the photography of the barren, surreal landscape is also masterful, as is Stephan Elliott's creative direction and hilarious, ultimately poignant script. The soundtrack may not be to everyone's taste, but it has enough camp classics to satisfy anyone yearning to relive the tacky heyday of the '70s - including ABBA's "Mamma Mia", the Village People's "Go West", and Gloria Gaynor's superb "I Will Survive", given a gloriously inventive rendition to a bunch of appreciative aboriginals, with one of their number joining in most enthusiastically.

    A true kitsch classic, then - well worth re-visiting, again and again ... and again.
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  • This is a great movie! Not only are the actors wonderful but the dialogue keeps you watching the movie over and over again because you missed a great line the last time! The musical numbers are worth watching alone, but combined with the story and all the sub-plots and the funniest lines I have heard in a long time (The ABBA turd convo cracks me up every time), this is a movie to buy and watch over and over when you need to be entertained as well as dazzled!!!!!!!
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  • ...and that's a GOOD thing. Basically, before I truly became aware of "Priscilla", I had only thought of its three central actors as just regular, boring guys who were fine enough at acting, but really weren't anything special. Wrong. I had heard about this mysterious movie once or twice, but had no idea who was in it, nor what it was about (beyond the rather vague concept of drag queens/transvestites), and when I decided to read more about it, and find out who was in the cast - SURPRISE! Guy Pearce (of whom I had had a bad first impression when I discovered him in that travesty "The Time Machine"), Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith himself!!!), and Terence Stamp (whom I don't think I ever saw in any films, but whom I still knew a fair bit about)! How genius is that? I had to see this to believe it, and when I did, I was not let down! Beautiful scenes, costumes, dialogue and music made this probably one of the most interesting and memorable movie experiences of my life! I wasn't the least bit uptight about it (as some people were turned off by the flamboyant behaviour and distasteful jokes, which I found refreshingly great!), and delighted in the campy antics of this fantastic trio! It's a beautiful, feel-good comedy that I recommend to anyone with a catty sense of humour (and a VERY open mind).
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  • A relatively low budget Australian film about drag queens took the world by storm, almost caused a riot at the Cannes film festival and drove a million young queens to the dressing up box in the hunt for sequins, sparkles and pink flip-flops! The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of The Desert gave us such classic lines as, "Just what this country needs, another cock in a frock on a rock!" and "Listen here you mullet, why don't you just light your tampon and blow your box apart, it's the only bang you're ever going to get, sweetheart"

    It is without exception the best and arguably the most successful drag queen movie of all time, breaking box office records and capturing the top of the charts in numerous countries around the world. It was an Academy award winning extravaganza of glitter, glam and lip-syncing with the most outrageously camp costumes the world had seen outside Madame JoJo's or Funny Girls! Uproariously funny and yet deeply affecting it proved to be way more than just a camp outing of tried and tested queer humour.

    The late eighties was a bit of a coming of age time for Australia's gay population, especially Sydney, it really came alive and blossomed into one of the bigger gay populations in the world. Australia has a reputation for all the big butch manly men, which considering how the modern nation of Australia started, would seem pretty accurate, only it's not, it's completely different, ever so much more vibrant and colourful. It is that vibrancy, that colour and that hopefulness that is so perfectly depicted in Priscilla.

    Stephen Elliott, the director and writer, who incidentally has a small cameo in the movie as a cute door boy in Alice, says he saw drag shows in other places, like the US and England, which were essentially men in dresses lip-syncing to other peoples songs. In Australia they did the same, but took it in a completely new direction, it became a completely new strange variety of theatre, so much so that he even used to go to drag queen jelly wrestling, pushing the envelope to the maximum. It was this experience along with watching a drunken drag queen at the Sydney gay Mardi Gras, which gave birth to the movie idea, which took hardly any time at all to write.

    From the very opening you know this film has deep rooted soul, first shots of Hugo as Mitzi mouthing the words to the poignant Charlene song, 'I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me' give the impression of an emotively sad song, yet this is so rapidly defused by the appearance of a lethargic priest and Felicia nursing a baby rubber chicken. You have left in no doubt after that that is no ordinary Australian movie and the jokes and gags just tumble on from there in rapid succession. However it's not all giggles, there are some key moments of high emotion - seeing the graffiti sprayed on the side of the bus in pink paint the morning after shocks the trio along with the audience and strikes a chord with those of old enough to have lived through a time of such prejudice and discrimination and how true those word seem when they ring in our ears, that no matter how tough we think we are, such things still hurt.

    There are deeply moving scenes, such as the gay bashing of Felicia and the confrontation between Mitzi and his son in Alice, which really seem seep through the comedy to dance in your heart and make you fall in love with the film.  One of the key aspects of the movie is the superb casting; Terrence Stamp previously typecast as your typical British villain, took a risk on the role of Bernadette and knocked it out of the water in a downbeat, down trodden put upon yet completely resilient way. Hugo Weaving is the less visually striking member of the trio and the central character of Mitzi, who really is the lynch pin between the two worlds. The role of Felecia is taken by the simply stunning Guy Pearce who had literally just left long running soap Neighbours, in which he played goodie two shoes Mike and was an inspired choice and oh so pretty. Guy's superb performance takes the movie to new heights and is so good that the he has had trouble-convincing people he is actually straight in real life, even to this day. Bill Hunter a massive Australian character actor shines outstandingly as the gruff and butch Bob, the mechanic and unlikely love interest for one of the three.

    Priscilla is a beautiful magical combination of humour, catty bitchiness, kitsch costumes, stunning disco soundtrack and subtle sentiment with provocative thoughtful scenes and a delicate brush of honesty. Some jokes are obvious so too is the stereotypical veneer of the characters upon first glance, yet look a little deep as the film rolls on, you see more and more layers being unpeeled and exposed in a gently moving and comical way. It is one of the most enjoyable gay movies of all time; each subsequent viewing cements that sentiment further into fact. Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007FU7HPO
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  • vollenhoven9 April 2005
    This movie made laugh and does so every time I see it again. Perhaps it won't go down in history as a timeless classic is does deserve it so much. The original premise is a weird one, about transsexuals traveling through the desert of Australia. The sense of humor is very wicked and thank God for small favors not restrained to Hollywood standards. And I've never watched a game of table tennis without a smallish grin on my face which has little to do with the game in it self.

    The actors are great an absolute anti choice in the matters of typecasting . The scenery of the movie is great, the bus in the desert are two extra players that give this movie an extra beaut. The extra castmembers are great and unforgettable. Ever since when I watch an episode of Flying Doctors or things in his sort I wonder about the nutty folks out there. the costumes are great and gobsmacking, they perform very well in the musical numbers.

    I showed this to my mum, after the initial shock she was very amused and agreed with me that it was a very funny movie.

    I will watch this movie a lot in the future, why?? It keeps me laughing every time.
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  • This is a film that every straight person should see. The screenwriter created three drags queens from the cloth of everyday life — an older person (who happens to be transgendered), an average guy next door and a pretty muscle boy. You can say that this film is about "the great reach of little lives" (a comment originally applied by Donald Spoto to Tennesee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie.") We also see, in Anthony Bellerose's story, that sexuality is not a cut-and-dried affair. Underneath it all, we see that these people aren't much different from those we meet ion our daily lives. A screening of "Priscilla" would do more good than a hundred lectures to high school kids on the acceptance of diversity.
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  • i absolutely love this film, its one of my faves ever!!! i saw a small clip of it and it made me laugh so i bought the film and every time i watch it i sit there singing along to it and laughing so much that tears fall down my face.its hilarious the things that happen in it are great. the costumes are amazing and the acting is great they really did a good job. i swear that if you hear the opening song that you will sing it sometime without knowing it. I'm so glad i bought it if I'm bored or feeling down or sick them i watch this film and it cheers me up and i cant stop laughing; its that good. one of my faves in the film is with the "4th member?"
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  • didi-523 July 2003
    Two drag queens (Guy Pearce as bitchy Felicia, and Hugo Weaving as Mitzi) and a transsexual (Terence Stamp, marvellous as the widowed Bernadette) make a trip to Alice Springs in a pink bus called Priscilla.

    Cue a soundtrack of mostly Abba songs (plus an off-the-cuff 'I Will Survive', and C E Peniston's 'Finally' - a great set-piece) and three towering performances. From the initial hilarious premise we follow the trio through the Australian desert and meet the various inhabitants of places they pass through. It remains fast-paced and touching within the comedy. Wonderful.
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  • This film goes down in my books as one of the best. The emotion involved with everything that happens is just heartwrenching. One moment i was laughing the next in tears. I would reccomend this film to anyone who wants a realistic look at gay life in the 80's. It's amazing how narrow minded people can be, but these people show us the true meaning of life, love, fatherhood, and most of all friendship and loyalty. Using humor and good natured prodding of controversial issues, the filmmaker is able to break through the barrier of bias, and get to the core of these three magnificent people. Fantastic Job!

    Chris Rogers
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  • Warning: Spoilers
    As EVERY comment has pointed-out, "Priscilla" is about two drag-queens and a trans-gendered performer who get on the bus in Sidney and take a perilous journey through the outback of Australia to do a gig at "Alice Springs". I won't comment on too much of the plot, because that's the secret of this most entertaining movie. I am DELIGHTED there were so few negative reviews. I am NOT surprised that those who loved it, truly did - they were almost all female or gay, but also a couple of "heterosexual" males....plus some married folk who certainly have open minds and/or know some "dragons".....maybe some plain-ole gays.

    I particularly loved the innocent-but-wise attitude of "Mitzi's" (Hugo Weaving) son.....I think there are a lot more little guys like him, but mom and dad just don't know about it. "Mom" (June Marie Bennett ?) certainly was a wild-but-clever enough woman to educate him about his dad - why wouldn't he like him? "Alice Springs" looked a lot like Las Vegas - I think it had some off-color business going-on there; I'm sure you noticed one of the parking-attendants screamed "here are the drag-queens" without batting an eyelash, and the audience wasn't all that excited about the show. The situation between dad and son was one of the "tragi-comedies" which didn't materialize -one of the heart-warming sub-plot of this beautifully-told screamer. "Bob" (Paul Hunter) played his role with ultimate skill; that does happen, as "Brokeback Mountain" proclaims. Female-impersonators have "stage-door Johnnies" you wouldn't believe.......

    This is dangerous territory for me to write about: some of you will know from my other reviews that I am a retired drag-queen-female-impersonator......I could write volumes. However, some other "users" have poignantly written about the hidden tragedies in "Priscilla"; I hope others have read those reviews and understood the message. I just want to make a couple of factual remarks.

    These performers were outrageous "drag-queens", NOT "female-impersonators". The latter entertainers attempt to look and be as feminine as possible, in every detail - taking themselves dead-seriously. They see "drag-queens" as campy freaks - they seldom want to be associated with them, in comparison. In professional revues, however, it's the "freaks" who usually are most popular, if they get their stuff together. "Bernie" (Terrance Stamp), "Mitzi" (Hugo Weaving) and "Felicia" (Guy Pearce) gave fantastic performances, and would reign supreme in many American clubs, because it was apparent they did-but-didn't take themselves seriously.......in performing. Lizzy Gardner provided costumes ANY "drag-queen" would give their eye-teeth for (and maybe another vital part of their body) . BRAVA, Liz ! How do I know? I performed for decades as an attractive female-impersonator with gorgeous wigs and costumes - and talent - but, discovered how wonderful it was to be a "drag-queen" for the last part of my career (I really don't take that term seriously.) I called myself a "drag-queen", because I had the pleasure of working with many and admired them greatly.

    To "Michael-3B", "LesGirls" was a fabulously successful nightclub in Sidney that featured female-impersonators AND drag-queens. It toured all over the Asian-Pacific. There are several more clubs in a certain area of Sidney where "drag" is featured and many gay people congregate. "Bernie" portrays one of the original performers, who actually did become trans-gendered - she visited a club I worked in in Los Angeles. She did a "guest-performance".....a lovely person. That such an outrageous film would ever be filmed in Australia is astounding. Not too many years ago, ANY gay person could not get into that country, as could not Blacks nor Orientals. Homophobia was the country's second name. It wasn't until the AIDS-epidemic did it become acceptable for gays to even be recognized, but it took a lot of screaming and kicking. NOW-A-DAYS, Australia - especially Sidney - is full of "drag'........a second club was opened in Kowloon (China), to which I was going from Hawai'i. Sissy ME in China ? Not on your life.

    Americans cannot get it straight about men who dress as women; they are all lumped into the term "transvestites". SURPRISE; "transvestites" are straight men who like to dress-up in women's clothing, and would not dare to leave home in that attire until recent years. SURPRISE NUMBER TWO; their wives couldn't care less, and usually accompany their husbands when they go out into public, especially to gay bars. So, all you macho numbers, we've been onto you for a very long time.

    I agree that Terrance Stamp played his role with vivid feeling. There are so many people like that character, but we want to think of them as being eternally, ecstatically beautiful. T'ain't so - the most successful trangendered-sex-changes are the ones you don't know about.

    The cinematography of Australia was breath-taking - there was plenty of room for those miles of flying fabric on "Priscilla". I can attest every drag-show in THIS country tried to imitate it. Stephen Elliott certainly brought-out the very best in the entire cast; unlike some "users", I didn't find one weak scene in the entire movie; I DID in that American "Thank You, Julie Newmar" thing. The songs by Abba were so appropriate - who dares to think they're dated? The last song on MY VHS is one sung by Whitney Houston (I think), and is so appropriate. I worked with a performer who sang it "live", just as well. So touching....

    I shall inform you I have a "critic" of my reviews, whose opinion of this one should be scalding. "Priscilla" is delicious, may it live forever - yes, it did deserve an Oscar. I also suggest that those folk who didn't enjoy it should watch it several times again, to truly understand the sub-plots - and see Guy Pearce's fine buns.........you know I give it a 20.....
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  • In honor of pride month, I decided to watch a movie I could not believe I have never seen before. That movie is of course the adventures of Priscilla Queen of the desert. I can honestly say that it is one of the best LGBTQ films ever made. And just because this is an LGBTQ movie doesn't mean that that's all that it's, it's not. It's is a road trip movie about these three individuals. It's stars Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp. Weaving and Pierce play to gay drag queens and Terence Stamp plays an aging transgender woman. They all three decide to get in a bus that they have named Priscilla and drive across the desert to some drag shows they will be performing in in a town called Alice Springs. On this road trip they come across many things: homophobic assaults, they learn secrets about one another, and they get to know each other better through deep meaningful conversations. That's why I call it a touching road trip movie sprinkled with comedy, it is not strictly a comedic film, I would first call it a drama before I would a comedy. The acting is really what holds this movie up, along with the good dialogue and the fantastic costumes (for which the film won an academy award). The one that really shines the most in this movie is Terence Stamp, his performance as the transgender woman Bernadette was absolutely flawless, personally I think he should've gotten an Academy Award nomination. Hugo weaving and Guy Pearce were also very very good in their roles, it's just that Terence stamp really outshined everyone. Guy Pearce was not only very good looking in this role, but he was also very flamboyant and cheery character, so he was kind of the comedic relief of the film, not that the movie was making fun of his being gay or being flamboyant, he was just a very funny character, which was good because it's always good to have a balance of good touching drama with some comedy. The costuming absolutely deserved that Academy award win, they were fabulous and just perfect for the drag shows. The soundtrack is great too. All in all, this is a very well made film and I suggest it to any and everyone. 9/10. Happy Pride Month everyone!!
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  • Oh how I adore this film ! I found it to be enchanting & inspiring. This film is sooo special to me, I took my boyfriend Jun to see it & I must say that we hardly kissed at all as this wonderful piece of cinema was far too absorbing to take your eyes off the screen, not even for one of Juns sexy smooches.

    The costumes were the highlight, I was in awe of their delicious boldness & I continue, even to this day, to be inspired by this movies wardrobe ( or should I say 'closet' - tee hee ).

    On the man candy side, I couldn't get enough of Guy Pearce & his cheeky pout - what a saucy monkey. The other actors were equally good, but they lacked the hot cheekbones & bulging muscles of the gifted Guy Pearce.

    I would recommend this film to any man, gay or otherwise, as it is truly remarkable. Though, like me, you would probably better relate to the subject matter if you were a proud & fierce cross dressing queen.
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  • bbewnylorac15 November 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    There are many outstanding features in Stephan Elliot's legendary examination of prejudice and triumph relating to Australia's queer community. Firstly, of course, those incredible costumes by Lizzie Gardiner and Tim Chappell - you can't take your eyes off them. The lush colour and attention to detail is astounding. Next, the stunning landscape (although stunning seems an understatement) of outback Australia, with the light and perspectives used to amazing effect in every scene. The acting, with Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp and Hugo Weaving in the main roles, is impeccable. All of them inhabit their characters to such an extent that you forget they're acting. Terence Stamp, in particular, struck me as just perfect for his role. His character, an older transsexual, is brittle, yet witty and resilient, and later on shows she is supportive and empathetic of her friends. Guy Pearce gives an astonishing physicality to his role - he is so immersed in his character that he doesn't have to impersonate anyone, his IS the camp, flamboyant muscled up young drag queen. The role when he/she confronts the violent thugs chasing her in Coober Pedy is outstanding - it manages to be funny, disturbing, offensive, shocking and confronting all at once. The film's script is sharp and entertaining, although sometimes there is too much dialogue. Sometimes scenes are more like a play and the actors fall to reciting their lines, albeit with great wit. It's a very Australian film. There are many people who are encountered along the way who accept the three main characters, love them and help them, but also a lot of senseless hostility, and the film lays out those issues effectively. The film also shows how there are many grey areas with the characters, for example Hugo Weaving's character has a wife and child, and is conflicted in many ways in his sexuality. He's still working out who he is. He feels guilty and uncertain. It's a great portrait that the scriptwriters paint in his case. The films is amazingly assured and accomplished. A real landmark of Australian cinema.
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  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a fantastic movie with a very well developed plot and an outstanding cast. It is a really funny film, as we follow a group of drag queens lip syncing to famous pop songs while journeying across Australia. However, it is also has a very meaningful, heartfelt message, as it embraces the idea of doing what makes you happy, whether people like it or not, cause it is your life and you choose how you live it.

    The only issue I really had is that I felt we did not get to learn enough about the three main characters before they begin their journey. Very little is actually said about their past or personal life, which would have helped us connect with them more before their adventure begins.

    The three leads are stellar, it was a huge risk on all of their careers, as straight actors, to be taking on these roles, and they could not have performed them with more liveliness. Terence Stamp keeps a serious demeanour throughout, Hugo Weaving's characterisation is fantastic, while Guy Pearce's wild and energetic personality is the highlight of the film for me.

    There is nothing quite like it, big fun with big heart. Sweet, funny and meaningful, I would recommend The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to anyone looking for a good comedy.

    A trio of drag queens journey across Australia to perform their unique act.

    Best Performance: Guy Pearce
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  • Exemplify a wacky dress without being tacky, and beyond, could be the film's tag. Whether you wear it on a frock or naked, should be aimed at people who say the film is OK, nicely done and frothy and all, but without much to it. Wrong. Wrong viewers they are that downplay the film's witty heart.

    I do not think there has ever been a film that delivers its ethos in the tag-line "a cock in a frock on a rock - that's what our country hardly needed". The smashing alliteration outwits the scenario-in-a-capsule phrase of this more kind-than-kin road movie. It must have to do with something else. Queering the deadpan or deadpanning the queer? I am not sure I can fathom Terence Stamp's take on delivering what he says.

    All three actors bless the idea of casting and based on their choice there should be a new kind of lifetime achievement award, bestowed by the Vatican, for the film should be included in all discussions of trinitarian discourse: Bernadette as a very dignified Holy Spirit or as trans-gendered Godhead, Adam as a reckless Holy Spirit or Son in drug-fueled high heels, Tick as Father, for sure. It should - the least - provoke a wave for re-evaluating the doctrines of Priscillian, the early Church heretic, or martyr depending on your appreciation of controversial matters, who was the first person in the history of Christianity to be executed for heresy: he mostly lived in the desert like Adam, Bernadette and Tick, but being a strict ascetic, had failed to watch the film and be converted.

    It is a sly achievement to which one gives up and surrenders intelligently, when you realize that the film is a tender plea for man's precarious status, his always tenderness-seeking or wildly avoiding identity: the women in the film range from the bully in the bar to the inane, almost extra-terrestrially squeaking runner, to the unintelligible vagina performer, and when in the and at last we encounter a human being, Tick's wife, the rich ambiguities are neither explained nor skimmed: we now understand that these women with their full range of caricature and sexual being, are there to put into relief the three characters' embattled manhood (Tick trying to sell the odious face-creams totally drunk in that bar, by his drawl rightfully pronounces the product: woe-man): Bernadette still clutches to some core of enjoyment in what concerns her pre-operation self, as her rage whenever Adam calls her by her earlier name (and this somehow counter-contrasts, to call the effect by that name, with Adam's counter-molestation flash-back), Ralph, erupts, Tick has an amazingly human face charting all delicate and anxious hesitations concerning what is to be a father, drawing a line to procreation, and this, in turn, has an uncanny resonance to and with the fact that Adam seems peculiarly parentless. Perhaps it is this difficult to grasp effect that from the three performances the one that stayed with me was Pearce's with all its reckless abandon.

    Terence Stamp has not demonstrated that he is from another solar system that well even in Pasolini's "Theoreme" - it is surely a system of stellar poise and dignity, and we rarely see that around here; and how difficult it is to have Hugo Weaving's strong, unmissable face playing a humane character without something leaking into false notes. The story is perfect in being a pilgrim's progress and its queering of it: Stephan Elliott touched genius with this film, and so did the leads, and so do we. Thank you.
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  • ...and I don't say "great" lightly. This isn't merely some tired road comedy in drag, it's a fun, at times surprisingly moving story.

    Part of my immense surprise comes because I'd never really understood the appeal of drag shows. While I'm not sure I'm any bigger a fan, I definitely found myself drawn into the little universe created here.

    The central characters are real people who manage to play to stereotypes without succumbing to them. I was frankly amazed by Terence Stamp, an actor who has made a career playing dangerous, macho types, and made a surprisingly compelling and believable ageing transsexual. The novelty quickly wore off; it was one of those rare performances that was just totally without affect. Honestly, one of the best performances I've ever seen.

    Fun, as I expected, but there's a genuine affection and depth here. A very pleasant surprise.
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  • manjits18 September 2008
    This is my favourite Aussie movie of all times - a classic hilarious comedy in Australian tradition.

    There are 3 aspects of the movie which make it such an outstanding entertainer.

    Firstly, it's the brilliant screenplay by writer-director Stephan Elliott about 3 drag queens - a gay, a bisexual and a trans-sexual - from Sydney going on a bus to Alice Springs, a distance of over 2000 Kms to the centre of Australia, for a public performance. It's a road movie unlike any I have seen before, outrageously funny in one moment and poignant and touching the next.

    Second, the performances by the 3 lead actors are outstanding. It's hard to pick one which has outshone the others. My personal favourite, like a lot of others, is Terence Stamp as the trans-sexual.

    Third, the stunning costumes are worth watching just for themselves. Some of the scenes in the movie where we see the characters in their wildly colourful costumes against the background of an outlandish landscape are breathtakingly beautiful and memorable.

    It's a movie one can see many times, and enjoy it every time.
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  • no one has mentioned the Abba poop! Geez that was so funny-this film is on my top ten of all time...every actor was fabulous...the clothes were wonderful....the story was fantastic and it left me with such a happy feeling...I wanted to yell at my friends who were TERRIFIED to come out-to DO it!Terrence stamp made me cry....and later on in the film I wanted to cry with happiness....you have to love the kid near the end of the film...and of course the Mom-who reminded me of mine before my Ma was lost into the depths of Alzheimers....she encouraged me to be what I am...not what society said I should be....if anyone wants to come out for their kids and are not sure how to----take a break....sit down and watch this film with them.It is fabulous....a fun,kind,sweet movie.Buy it!
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  • Although this movie got a lot of good criticism when it was first released, I never watched it until now. I always thought that this wasn't a movie for me. I'm a straight guy and I was convinced that I didn't want to see weird men dressing up in women's clothes, play-backing seventies hits from ABBA or other groups. That's why I never rented it, but when it was shown on television, I decided to give it a try anyway. I could always switch it off if it was too terrible. But I didn't, I kept watching it until the end.

    The story that is told in "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" brings us to two drag-queens and a transsexual who will go to a resort in Alice Springs, a town in the middle of the Australian desert, to perform a drag show. As they travel from Sydney to Alice Springs, they encounter all kinds of people, but are almost always the subject of misunderstanding and hate, because the locals don't always understand or like the way these three men act. When the engine of Priscilla, that's how they called their bus, breaks down in the middle of the desert, they paint it lavender, waiting for help to come. Then they meet Bob who takes them for what they are and who fixes the problem with their bus. He travels on with them, protecting them for more problems...

    If you are looking for a not so average comedy, then you definitely should give this movie a try. A road movie about two drag queens and a transvestite isn't exactly something that you'll find every day, let alone a good one. And I admit that I started feeling completely different about this movie once I was seeing it. OK, it may not always be perfect and sometimes it is completely over-the-top, but it also offers some excellent laughs. And seeing Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving and Terence Stamp in this kind of roles is already great fun on itself. Normally you wouldn't expect them in such a role, but they did a very fine job.

    All in all I guess you have to be incredibly homophobic to hate this movie. I'm not saying that it's my favorite comedy of all times, but the story, the acting, the humor,... made it all worth watching. I give this movie a 7/10.
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  • When we talk about Hugo Weaving, we always talk about his famous roles like Agent Smith, V or Elrond. This is Hugo Weaving before he was Smith and he is playing as a drag queen. No kidding, he's playing a drag queen! Not only you get to see Hugo Weaving as a drag queen but also Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp. They're all playing drag queen. Now how often do we see Hollywood actors playing as a drag queen?

    Mitzi (Weaving), Felicia (Pearce) and Bernadette (Stamp) decides to go for a performance in a Hotel. They travel on bus across the desert and it breakdown in the middle of nowhere. They discovered that the owner for the hotel they are performing for is owned by Mitzi's wife. They soon meets Bob who help them fix the bus. They bring him along on their journey to fix the bus. Soon they made it to the hotel and Mitzi finds out that he has a son and he doesn't want his son to know what he is working as.

    This is a wonderful sing-a-long movie with lots of laugh out loud jokes. I watched this movie once and I've already end up singing along with the movie. The soundtrack of the movie is great. Lots of famous songs like 'Mamamia' or 'I Will Survive'. This is a soundtrack worth buying. The characters are well crafted and the acting is brilliant. It is so good and so believable they deserve a best actor award.

    The camera works are simple but great. It matches well for the film. The editing is great for some of the scenes like the performances scenes. The art direction for this film is excellent. The costume for the performance scenes are well done. The script is well written with lots of jokes that can make you laugh till you drop. You will not get bored of the jokes.

    I hardly watch movies about drag queen and I'm not really a fan of it but after watching this movie, I like it even if it is not my cup of tea. Fans of Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp must watch this film to believe it. If you are looking for some good laugh this is strongly recommend. Drag queens have never look this good.
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  • This movie is a must see for anyone who loves rollicking good time. The crazy adventures of two drag queens and a transsexual as the traverse Australia in a converted bus is hilarious. The music is nearly all ABBA and the costumes are simply over the top and deserving of the Oscar that they won - and who remembers the costume designer in her American Express Gold Card dress? This is a touching movie about self acceptance and true love despite all the odds. And all three of the main characters are straight but completely believable as gay men. The scene that contains the ping pong balls is, alone, worth the price of a rental but the film in its entirety is a fun-filled road show with a new twist.
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  • Gen-918 June 1999
    This happens to be one of my all time favorite movies. It is truly amazing. Pricilla is witty, and all together the greatest comedy ever. I am in total awe of it, I know almost every line by heart and have watched it countless times. I recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor!
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  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is always being trotted out as a masterpiece of Australian cinema. I found it quite disappointing. The lead actors are great - Terence Stamp is aging beautifully, Guy Pearce should do more comedy instead of the dour roles he chooses and I've been a fan of Hugo Weaving since I saw him play Oberon eons ago. The cinematography is great, but if you've ever been to the Australian outback, you'd know that the air is so clear and the light so brilliant that they could have shot it on the movie equivalent of a Box Brownie and it still would have looked spectacular.

    So what's my problem? Well, three things. First, there is not a sympathetic female character in the whole film. A woman who has to earn her living shooting ping pong balls out of her privates in a roadside pub deserves our sympathy. Tick's wife doesn't get much better treatment.

    Second, the scene when they sing "I Will Survive" to a group of Aboriginals is offensive. To try to draw any sort of parallel between the struggles of drag queens and trannies and the almost total destruction of Aboriginal culture, which is what I assume the scene is supposed to do, shows a level of historical understanding worthy of Paris Hilton.

    Last of all, and the greatest defect of the film is that it just isn't funny enough. Did Stephan Elliott actually talk to any drag queens when writing the film? Anyone who knows a drag queen (or three or four) knows that most of them have rapier-like wits and they're not afraid to use them. Now, I can understand that a lot of drag queen banter probably would have got the film refused classification but Elliott should have been able to gather enough "fit for the kiddies" material to complete his film.

    So, all in all, a waste of a good idea and a great cast.
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