A Dirty Shame


A Dirty Shame

Critics Consensus

John Waters casts his provocative eye toward libido in a sex satire that won't leave audiences feeling too Dirty, but this sophomoric farce doesn't strike a nerve like his best work -- a real Shame.



Total Count: 117


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,539
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Movie Info

Lust is in the air on Harford Road and Sylvia Stickles, a grumpy, repressed middle-aged Baltimorean, doesn't like it. Though Sylvia's handsome husband Vaughn still has marital urges, his wife could not be less interested -- she has more important things to do. Not only does Sylvia run the family's Pinewood Park and Pay convenience store, she's also responsible for watching over her exhibitionist daughter Caprice. A go-go dancer known to her adoring fans as Ursula Udders, Caprice and her stupendously enlarged breasts are currently under house arrest after several "nude and disorderly" violations. But Sylvia's world is turned upside down one day after suffering a concussion in a freak traffic accident. Sexy tow-truck driver Ray-Ray Perkins rushes to her aid, and the stricken Sylvia realizes he is no ordinary service man; he's a sexual healer who brings Sylvia's hidden cauldron of lust to the boiling point.


Tracey Ullman
as Sylvia Stickles
Johnny Knoxville
as Ray-Ray Perkins
Chris Isaak
as Vaughn Stickles
Selma Blair
as Caprice Stickles
Mink Stole
as Marge the Neuter
Nicholas E.I. Noble
as Weird Paperboy
Susan Allenbach
as Betty Doggett
Lucy Newman-Williams
as Neuter Yuppie Woman
Scott Morgan
as Neuter Yuppie Man
Wes Johnson
as Fat Frank
James Ransone
as Dingy Dave
David A. Dunham
as Mama Bear
Dave Moretti
as Papa Bear
Alan J. Wendl
as Officer Alvin
Jonas Grey
as Warren the Mailman
Ricki Lake
as Herself
Susan Allenback
as Betty Doggett
Paul DeBoy
as Wendell Doggett
Channing Wilroy
as Male Motorist
Rosemary Knower
as Female Motorist
Michael Gabel
as Mr. Pay Day
Jewel Orem
as Loose Linda
Mary Vivian Pearce
as Unjudgemental Ex-Sex Addict
Kevin Reese
as Ronnie the Rimmer
Susan Rome
as Messy Melinda
Michael Willis
as Tony the Tickler
Liam Hughes
as Coffee Sex Addict
Hari Leigh
as Gay Woman #2
Richard DeAngelis
as Neuter Man With Sub-Titles
Gwendolyn Briley-Strand
as Anti 'Oral Sex' Neuter
Kate Kiley
as Anti 'Bear' Neuter
Grace Nalls
as Vaughn's Mother
Ty Ford
as Taxi Driver
Randall Boffman
as Neuter Businessman
Patsy Grady Abrams
as Neuter Old Maid
Douglas Roberts
as Driving Neuter Husband
Joyce Flick Wendl
as Driving Neuter Wife
Jean Schertler
as Neuter Grandmother on Bus
Brilane Bowman
as Cow Patty
David DeBoy
as Dr. Arlington
John Shields
as Chesapeake Cooking Man
Gaelan Connell
as Horny Kid
Fred Strother
as "Strange" Sex Addict
Jean Hill
as Woman on Fire Escape
Britt Prentice
as Fat Boy B
Nathan Fulord
as Tire Lick Boy
Lynn McCune
as Neuter Mom #4
Steve Mack
as Injured Neuter Man #1
Don Hewitt Sr.
as Injured Neuter Man #2
Jeanette Chivvas
as Fan on Airplane
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Critic Reviews for A Dirty Shame

All Critics (117) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (55)

  • This exercise in bad taste is the Dawn of the Dead of nymphomania. Never mean-spirited, A Dirty Shame has some big laughs, but it's a one-joke movie that shows its strain well before the finish line.

    Mar 13, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • The story is trite and uninteresting. And the humor is only occasionally funny, and that's largely because it's almost impossible not to be impressed by Tracey Ullman's manic energy.

    Oct 6, 2004 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • Makes sex seem the least exciting thing in the world. And that's a dirty shame, indeed.

    Sep 30, 2004 | Rating: F
  • ... you can have an open mind and hate this movie because I good well hated this movie.

    Sep 27, 2004
  • [Waters] hasn't let slick technique take over as has Hollywood, and he retains his radical sensibility and his willingness to go where others haven't.

    Sep 24, 2004 | Full Review…
  • Ray-Ray says it best: 'It's like Noah's Ark around here; there's one of every perversion. Alas, it's all been done.'

    Sep 24, 2004 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Dirty Shame

  • Oct 22, 2013
    Mediocre comedy with a few laughs strewn throughout, A Dirty Shame directed by Pink Flamingos director John Waters should have been much better considering its premise. Unfortunately, the film has a weak script that just doesn't deliver what it should have. I really wanted to enjoy the film, but most of the gags fell flat, and Waters can't seem to construct something memorable here. I will say this, this is far better than the awful mess Pink Flamingos, and he has managed to make something with a bit of humour, but overall due to its script, and lack of effective ideas, the movie as a whole suffers. The cast could have been better as well, and there is no one that stands out. This film should have been much better than what it turned out, and it's a shame because it could have been something really amusing. Aside from a few laughs, the film lacks something to make an effective comedy. I really wanted to enjoy the film, and I can see that this was a film that had plenty of great ideas that was halted due to a lacking script. If the script would have been significantly tighter, with better gags, I think A Dirty Shame would have a very good film. Instead we get a mediocre comedy with mild laughs and so-so acting. The cast is varied enough, but there is just no spark to really make this film take off. A Dirty Shame is a film that has plenty of potential, but ultimately just disappoints the viewer that wants something more out of their viewing experience.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2011
    Waters try to make this film a extremely funny and dirty. The thing is: he transform A Dirty Shame in a very silly movie. However, still commit some laughs.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2010
    The film as a whole has all the uninteresting raunch you'd expect with a John Waters film, but the mere fact that this isn't a shell shocked nation, and Divine isn't drag queening it up made an unimpressive impact. That the film has a NC-17 rating probably drew in some unsuspecting viewers, and possibly the film was making some sort of statment, but that statement just seemed to be "trying too hard."
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2010
    A very very VERY weird movie about various sex addicts in different situations of life. This pack of people are lead by character played by Knoxville. This movie was very exadurated in many ways and a bit catchy. I was packing my suitcase to prepare for a trip and I just had to sit down to watch this movie because it was extremely weird.
    Naughtia N Super Reviewer

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