Home > Hairspray

Hairspray

In the “Pope of Filth’s” most commercially successful film, John Waters is at his best directing an eclectic cast of musicians (including Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono), actors and drag queens in 1960s Baltimore, where dance-loving teenager Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) auditions for a spot on “The Corny Collins Show”, a popular American Bandstand-style programme, watched by thousands of young dreamers each day after school. Being chosen to dance on it is the ultimate status symbol and every young girl’s dream, and when Tracy wins a featured spot, she decides to make her mark by leading a movement to racially integrate the show. In typical Waters style he notes: “It was a sneak attack. It was a Trojan horse. It was the only radical movie I ever made, because it snuck in middle America. And they didn’t notice. I mean, they didn’t notice the message.”