Dance with a Stranger

Dance with a Stranger is a 1985 British film directed by Mike Newell. Telling the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain (1955), the film won critical acclaim, and aided the careers of two of its leading actors, Miranda Richardson and Rupert Everett. The screenplay was by Shelagh Delaney, author of A Taste of Honey, and was her third major screenplay. The story of Ellis has resonance in Britain because it provided part of the background to the extended national debates that led to the progressive abolition of capital punishment from 1965.


A former nude model and prostitute, Ruth is manageress of a drinking club in London that has racing drivers as its main clients. Ruth lives in a flat above the bar with her illegitimate son Andy. Another child is in the custody of her estranged husband's family.