61 user 38 critic

Hairspray (1988)

A 'pleasantly plump' teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.



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7 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruth Brown ...
Amber von Tussle (as Colleen Fitzpatrick)
Leslie Ann Powers ...


'Pleasantly Plump' teenager Tracy Turnblad achieves her dream of becoming a regular on the Corny Collins Dance Show. Now a teen hero, she starts using her fame to speak out for the causes she believes in, most of all integration. In doing so, she earns the wrath of the show's former star, Amber Von Tussle, as well as Amber's manipulative, pro-segregation parents. The rivalry comes to a head as Amber and Tracy vie for the title of Miss Auto Show 1963. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


1962... JFK was in The White House... John Glenn was in orbit... Cadillacs had fins... Beehives were in... And girls really knew how to tease! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

White Lipstick  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)


$6,671,108 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The principal's office that Tracy Turnblad was sent to was a real principal's office. See more »


When Seaweed visits Penny after the riot at Tilted Acres, he only cuts one bar with the bolt cutters but breaks out 2 bars. Also, when he dropped the bars behind him, the sound is of them hitting immediately behind him, not on the ground below, as he was breaking in on the 2nd floor. See more »


[first lines]
Tracy Turnblad: Come on! Come on!
Penny Pingleton: Okay, all right.
Tracy Turnblad: Will you hurry up?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the ending credits, there are footsteps moving to the beat of the song playing in the background. See more »


Referenced in Joan of Arcadia: State of Grace (2004) See more »


I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)
Written by Ike Turner
Performed by The Ikettes
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Special Projects
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Waters' talent undeniable.
2 May 1999 | by (Marietta, GA, USA) – See all my reviews

After an abomination like 'Pink Flamingos' it was a surprise for me to learn that this guy had talent. Like Spike Lee or Oliver Stone, you've got to admit that John Waters, like him or not, is a born moviemaker. Also like those two (and ultimately all great directors) he knows how to speak with his own voice and translate his vision to the screen.

His writing is most impressive here as he manages to point up the evils of racism and segregation while not abandoning his wacked-out comedic style. And his eye for period detail is uncanny (as long as the period wasn't too long ago!) 'Hairspray' is great entertainment, fun to watch and edifying, too. Who would have thought that?

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