Take the Lead

April 7th, 2006


Take the Lead

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Still of Antonio Banderas in Take the LeadTake the LeadAntonio Banderas at event of Take the LeadStill of Antonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard in Take the LeadTake the LeadStill of Antonio Banderas in Take the Lead

The real story of a dance teacher who believed in the talent of a group of problem kids.

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 6.5/10 (12,602 voted)

Critic's Score: 55/100

Director: Liz Friedlander

Stars: Antonio Banderas, Rob Brown, Yaya DaCosta

In New York, the polite dance instructor Pierre Dulaine sees a black teenager vandalizing the car of the director of a public school and on the next day he volunteers to teach dance to students to give respect, dignity, self-confidence, trust and teamwork. The reluctant director Augustine James offers the troublemakers that are in detention expecting Pierre to give-up of his intentions. Pierre struggles against the prejudice and ignorance of the students, parents and other teachers, but wins his battle when the group accepts to compete in a ballroom dance contest.

Antonio Banderas - Pierre Dulaine
Rob Brown - Rock
Yaya DaCosta - LaRhette
Alfre Woodard - Augustine James
John Ortiz - Mr. Temple
Laura Benanti - Tina
Jonathan Malen - Kurd
Jasika Nicole - Egypt
Shawand McKenzie - Big Girl
Dante Basco - Ramos
Elijah Kelley - Danjou
Jenna Dewan-Tatum - Sasha (as Jenna Dewan)
Marcus T. Paulk - Eddie
Brandon D. Andrews - Monster
Lauren Collins - Caitlin

Taglines: Never Follow.


Official Website: Metropolitan Films [France] | Official site [Taiwan] |

Release Date: 7 April 2006

Filming Locations: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Opening Weekend: $12,051,277 (USA) (9 April 2006) (3009 Screens)

Gross: $65,742,529 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Antonio Banderas and Laura Benanti, whom both star in this film together, were previously on Broadway together in the 2003 Revival of Nine the Musical. Banderas received a Tony Award nomination for his role in this production.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): In the dance scene with Pierre and Morgan during the detention, they dance Argentine tango, which is not considered a ballroom dance. American and international tango, both ballroom dances, are completely different.

Pierre Dulaine: Thank you.
LaRhette: Uh-huh.
Pierre Dulaine: I believe the appropiate response is "you're welcome"
LaRhette: Uh-huh.

User Review

Surprisingly really good!

Rating: 8/10

I just returned from seeing this film at a preview/test screening.

This film was much better than I had expected. The story brings to mind movies such as Mad Hot Ballroom or Dangerous Minds, but is different enough that it is able to stand on its own.

Overall I thought the acting was well done. The dancing was great (both the hip hop dancing and the ballroom). And while I am not a huge Antonio Banderas fan, I thought he was excellent, and I really liked him. He was able to be the star of the movie, but not the center of attention at all times. He looked good and seemed to provide a different element to what could have been the same old "help the inner city kids find hope" story.

The script and dialogue had nothing too cheesy or corny, which is usually found in "feel good" films, or movies about highschool students. There are plenty of funny parts, as well as enough drama and interesting character conflicts to keep everything interesting.

My only complaint was that the ending didn't seem to wrap up everything - there were some back story lines and issues that weren't resolved. But a few unanswered questions can sometimes be better than a cheesy, unbelievable ending where suddenly all is right in the world. I'll be curious to see if they make any changes before it is released in theatres.

I give it an 8 out of 10, because I was genuinely entertained.


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