Dance with a Stranger is a 1985 British drama film, directed by Mike Newell. Telling the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain in the fifties, this moving biographical British film won critical acclaim, and brought particular notice to the careers of both Miranda Richardson and Rupert Everett. The screenplay was by Shelagh Delaney, author of A Taste of Honey, and her third major screenplay. The story of Ellis, which this film dramatises, has very considerable resonance in Britain since it provided part of the background to the long-term national debates which eventually led to the effective abolition of capital punishment in 1965.
The theme song "Would You Dance With a Stranger" was performed by Mari Wilson, and provided her with a hit single in the same year.
- Miranda Richardson as Ruth Ellis
- Rupert Everett as David Blakeley
- Ian Holm as Desmond Cussen
- Stratford Johns as Morrie Conley
- Joanne Whalley as Christine
- Tom Chadbon as Anthony Findlater
- Jane Bertish as Carole Findlater
- David Troughton as Cliff Davis
- Matthew Carroll as Andy
- Lesley Manville as Maryanne
- David Beale as Man in Little Club
- Charon Bourke as Ballroom Singer
Mike Newell won Award of the Youth at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival for Dance with a Stranger. Miranda Richardson won Best Actress at the Evening Standard British Film Awards, while Ian Holm won Boston Society of Film Critics Awards 1985 for this and other films.