This film, which won the Best Foreign Film Award at the Cannes Film Festival, offers a riveting portrait of obsessive love. The drama, directed by Mike Newell, is based on the true story of Ruth Ellis, a former nightclub hostess who after murdering her upper-class lover, David Blakely, was hanged for the crime in 1955. She was the last woman to be executed in England.
In her first screen role, newcomer Miranda Richardson is mesmerizing as the highly sensual, working-class platinum blonde manager of "The Little Club." Ruth lives with her son Andy above the place and is courted by Desmond (Ian Holm), a dull businessman who takes her dancing.
Ruth's life is turned upside down when she meets David Blakely (Rupert Everett), a handsome young amateur racing car driver. They begin a steamy affair, which brings passion to the drab world in which her spirit is immured. The wealthy Blakely's true colors emerge as the sex grows hotter. Soon they cannot exist except in an attempt to annihilate the separateness which exists between them due to age and class difference.
Ruth's infatuation with Blakely plunges her into a sea of trouble; she casts aside Desmond even after he's given her shelter and paid for her son's boarding school; she has a miscarriage and reaches the end of her rope. Dance with a Stranger, thanks to a laser sharp performance by Miranda Richardson, convincingly depicts the peculiar anguish of destructive passion.