Directed by: Jim McBride
Written by: Myra Lewis (book), Jack Baran (screenplay)
Other cast: Dennis Quaid, Alec Baldwin, Steve Allen, John Doe
Release date: June 30, 1989 (Wide)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Music
Running time: 108min
The killer, 22-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis, comes to Memphis to be recorded by Sam Phillips of Sun records. He stays with a cousin and meets 13-year-old Myra Gale. Love and a promising carer as the King of Rock and Roll grow, until he marries Myra and the world finds out and he's blacklisted.
Winona has won the Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture award for this film in 1990. She was also nominated by Chicago Film Critics Association Awards as Most Promising Actress.
The story was co-written by Myra Gail Lewis (her autobiography Great Balls of Fire!), the former wife of Jerry Lee Lewis, with Murray Silver. Despite this, co-writer Silver was upset by the lack of accuracy in the film, claiming it was “phoney”. Director Jim McBride admitted that it was never his intention to tie his film to the facts, and stated “This movie does not represent itself in any way to be a historical documentary. We use the book as a jumping-off point.”
Lewis has openly stated that he hates the film and the book it was based on. Lewis did, however, praise Quaid’s portrayal of him in the film, saying “he really pulled it off”. Quaid even learned to play “Lewis-style” piano for the role.
The film was shot on location in Marion, Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee, and West Memphis, Arkansas.
Winona about Hollywood
Myra Gale Lewis to Winona after a test-screening of Great Balls of Fire
Winona about the Love Scene