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A Dirty Shame (2004) - movie overview

A Dirty Shame (2004)

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(26 votes)
Critic Rating
(11 reviews)
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Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Original title: Dirty Shame, A

Release Date
• USA: Sep 24, 2004
• UK: 29 Oct 2004
DVD Release Date
• R1: Jun 14, 2005
BoxOffice: $1.3M

Official Website:
A Dirty Shame Website

MPAA Rating
Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content, including fetishes. (home entertainment version)

Running Time
1 hour, 29 minutes

Country USA

Production Companies
City Lights Pictures, John Wells Productions, Killer Films, This Is That Productions

Studio City Lights Pictures, John Wells, Killer Films, This is That Productions

More info on

Other Titles
• A Dirty Shame (2004)

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Genre: Comedy, Gay/Lesbian, Racy, Campy, Exploitation

Tagline: Threatening the very limits of common decency.

Plot: From the wondrously fertile mind of writer/director John Waters comes A DIRTY SHAME, America's first carnal concussion comedy. Set in the Harford Road area of Waters' native Baltimore, A DIRTY SHAME tells what happens when a horny horde of "sex addicts" invade a blue-collar neighborhood, to the shock and dismay of the "neuter" neighbors. Rude, joyous and full of sexual anarchy, A DIRTY SHAME is a movie with a generous heart and a dirty mind: in other words, a classic John Waters comedy.

Lust is in the air on Harford Road and Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman), a grumpy, repressed middle-aged Baltimorean, doesn't like it. Though Sylvia's handsome husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) still has marital urges, Sylvia couldn't be less interested - she has work to do. Isn't it enough that she has to run the family's "Pinewood Park And Pay" convenience store, and prepare proper meals for their exhibitionist daughter Caprice (Selma Blair), a go-go dancer known to her adoring fans as Ursula Udders? After several "nude and disorderly" violations, Caprice and her stupendously enlarged breasts have been sentenced to home detention in the mother-in-law apartment above the Stickles' garage and now, even the neighbors know.

Everything changes when Sylvia is involved in a freak accident on the way to

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 External Reviews
external linkIn ''A Dirty Shame,'' John Waters imagines a raucous battle between unruly, polymorphously perverse, life-affirming sex addicts and the uptight neuters who hate sexuality in all its many forms.

external linkIt can be convincingly argued that John Waters' oeuvre is an acquired taste. If that's the case, I haven't yet acquired it. I view Waters as a pre-adolescent male in a state of arrested development. 1/4
--James Berardinelli (ReelViews)

external linkWITH HIS SWEETLY sexed-up satire "A Dirty Shame," filmmaker John Waters may, among his many distinctions, have the honor of being the first person to have made an NC-17 film that can be honestly described as warm and fuzzy. It's just that the movie is sogosh-darned, I don't know, cuddly -- in a perverse, John Waters kind of way -- that it's hard not to like.
--Michael O'Sullivan (Washington Post)

external linkA Dirty Shame is a banquet, and, by the time it's done, none of the poor suckers are starving. Not for all tastes, to be sure.
--Les Phillips (CineScene)

external linkSeeing A Dirty Shame makes me wonder if Waters still has the ability to offend. I hope he takes my previous statement as a challenge. 2.5/5
--Lee Chase IV (

external linkJohn Waters has made a career out of being distasteful, but his new film, "A Dirty Shame," works so hard at it that you'd think the oily old man has lost his touch. Being raunchy shouldn't be this difficult. Dirty jokes are the EASY ones to come up with.Ask any 7th-grade boy. D
--Eric D. Snider (

external linkWaters' latest opus looks and sounds a little less dirt-cheap, but the direction is still incompetent and the acting atrocious. Again, the "plot" is only an excuse to fill the screen with perverted sex acts and idiotic gross-out gags.
--Kevin N. Laforest (Montreal Film Journal)

 Directed by
John Waters
Serial Mom, Cecil B. DeMented, Pecker
 Written by
John Waters
Hairspray, Serial Mom, Cecil B. DeMented
Tracey Ullman
Corpse Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Small Time Crooks
Johnny Knoxville
Men in Black II, The Dukes of Hazzard, Jackass: The Movie
Selma Blair
Cruel Intentions, Hellboy, Legally Blonde
Chris Isaak
That Thing You Do!, Little Buddha, Let's Get Lost
Suzanne Shepherd
Goodfellas, Requiem for a Dream, Jacob's Ladder
Mink Stole
Lost Highway, Serial Mom, Cecil B. DeMented
Patricia Hearst
Serial Mom, Bio-Dome, Cecil B. DeMented
 Music By
George S. Clinton
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers in Goldmember

external linkPERHAPS the funniest thing about "A Dirty Shame," John Waters' cheerfully smutty farce about a cult of sex addicts in his native Baltimore, is the highly restrictive NC-17 rating slapped on it by the MPAA. 2.5/4
--Lou Lumenick (New York Post)

external linkSo, while I have both things I love and things I hate about this film, I have to say it's worth checking out, but I'm only very mildly recommending this film to anyone... as long as you're not a prude, or afraid of a good sex joke that is... a good, long, 89 minute sex joke that happens to make fun of every straight-laced prude or religious ideal that's ever been presented. 4/10
--W. Andrew Powell (The

external linkFor those who like their humor campy and foul, A Dirty Shame is certainly a great way to spend a couple hours of your life. It’s ridiculous, silly, and even at its most serious, thoroughly tongue-in-cheek.
--Carl Lyon (

A Dirty Shame Wallpaper 6
©2004 Fine Line Features

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