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Polyester (1981)

R | | Comedy | 29 May 1981 (USA)
A suburban housewife's world falls apart when she finds that her pornographer husband is serially unfaithful to her, her daughter is pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet.

Director:

John Waters

Writer:

John Waters
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Divine ... Francine Fishpaw
Tab Hunter ... Todd Tomorrow
Edith Massey ... Cuddles Kovinsky
David Samson David Samson ... Elmer Fishpaw
Mary Garlington Mary Garlington ... Lu-Lu Fishpaw
Ken King ... Dexter Fishpaw
Mink Stole ... Sandra Sullivan
Joni Ruth White Joni Ruth White ... La Rue
Hans Kramm Hans Kramm ... Heintz
Stiv Bators ... Bo-Bo Belsinger
Rick Breitenfeld Rick Breitenfeld ... Dr. Arnold Quackenshaw
Michael Watson Michael Watson ... Freddy Ashton
Derek Neal Derek Neal ... Pimp
Jean Hill ... Gospel Bus Hijacker
Jim Hill Jim Hill ... Picket Reporter
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Storyline

Francine Fishpaw is an upper middle class suburban housewife in Baltimore. Unfortunately for this "good Christian woman", the money to support her lifestyle comes from her husband's porno theater, the neighbors are protesting, her son is the notorious "Baltimore Stomper", her daughter is knocked up by a local hoodlum, and her husband is having an affair with his secretary. Written by Stephen J. LeBlanc <sjl@townsend.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It'll Blow Your Nose! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hullu haiseva maailma See more »

Filming Locations:

Severna Park, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter) takes Francine Fishpaw (Divine) to an "intellectual" drive-in theatre that is showing three Marguerite Duras movies. The drive-in marquee reads: "Dusk To Dawn - 3 Marguerite Duras Hits - The Truck - India Song - Destroy, She Said". [See: The Lorry (1977), India Song (1975) and Destroy, She Said (1969)]. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene in the living room, as the Fishpaws are arguing, a boom mic is visible. This was corrected for later DVD releases. See more »

Quotes

Elmer Fishpaw: How's my baby doin' in school?
Lu-Lu Fishpaw: I learned all about my cervix in sex education yesterday!
[Elmer's face drops]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, the title song "Polyester" describes the action seen on screen, leading the audience through a helicopter shot of the suburbs into Francine's house (commenting on its French Provincial decor) and upstairs to meet her. See more »

Connections

Referenced in In Bad Taste (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Polyester
(Title Song)
Words and music by Chris Stein and Debbie Harry
Vocals by Tab Hunter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Smells Good!!!
14 August 2002 | by Kelv-1See all my reviews

I had heard so much about this film that i was ecstatic to finally watch it. I thought it was brilliant and of Water's best. But it still took me a while to get to that conclusion. A lot of reviews and even the theatrical trailer lead you to believe the main plot is about Todd Tomorrow and Francine's relationship whereas that doesn't really come in until about the last 25 minutes(literally!). Still, i really enjoyed the performances, writing, acting, and the famed gimmick. Francine Fishpaw(Divine, in his best performance) is a suffering housewife. Her daughter is having an abortion, her son is a glue-sniffing foot stomper and her husband is a cheating porno theater owner. The only good thing in her life is her darling friend Cuddles(Edith Massey, in a memorable final performance) who recently inherited a lot of money and is now a millionaire. The film deals with all of Francine's problems including her disgusting husband who is constantly playing pranks on Francine with his slut secretary(John Waters regular Mink Stole, in a scene stealing performance) and the porno picketeers who stay outside. Francine also has a rather unlucky smelling sense and can smell stuff(mostly bad stuff) from almost miles away. Of course, these smells are dealt with by the infamous 'Odorama' card(I'd love to see Waters' use this more in other films) which can sometimes be quite repellant. The acting of this film was quite fabulous. Divine, Edith Massey and Mink Stole are all brilliant with co-stars also giving their memorable contributions. Tab Hunter is intentionally cheesy and over the top as Todd Tomorrow and it works! Of course, the scene where Francine and Todd meet at a car accident scene is one of the best scenes in the movie and should be remembered for years to come(Especially for the new car smell, one of the few good smells in the movie). All in all, this is one of Waters best despite the story somewhat falling apart in the end(Even John Waters admits "One more rewrite wouldn't have hurt" in the DVD commentary).


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