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Saturday Night Fever More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sad and Frustrating

Author: wildebeest-2
2 March 2002

I have to say I watched this movie in the hopes of seeing some good dancing. Well... some of the dancing wasn't too bad. But what disturbed me the most were the going-nowhere characters in this movie. If you enjoy watching young people who have poor role models and the emotional maturity of three-year-olds screw up their own lives and each others' lives, watch this movie. I found it quite depressing. Possibly the last moment was slightly redeeming but not enough (for me) to have made watching the movie worthwhile.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What makes Saturday Night Fever a great film?

Author: jtrom7838
19 August 2001

What makes Saturday Night Fever a great film? Before this can be answered, it must be acknowledged that this is far from perfect film making, and that there is more than one weak spot in the plot structure. On top of that, the performance quality is fairly uneven, in regards to the supporting cast.

Again – What makes Saturday Night Fever a great film? First and foremost, it is the stellar performance by John Travolta. Travolta's portrayal of Tony Manero is all at once, vulnerable, crass, intelligent (his portrayal, NOT Tony), and tragic. Travolta's dancing some 25 years later is still of the more memorable in cinematic history.

As far as the soundtrack – forget everything OTHER than the Bee Gees. The music is not only still great, but is the only quality disco music period.

Finally, the opening sequence in which Travolta steps off a Brooklyn subway car and begins a swagger back to the paint store in which he works is in my opinion, the most tantalizing scene of the film. This is I would argue, one of the most powerful and dazzling opening scenes in movie history, and Travolta plays it to perfection.

Sure…Saturday Night Fever is a dated film. The clothing is ridiculous by today's standards and there is more than one scene that would have the politically correct movement of today be up in arms. Despite this, Travolta's best performance of his career (at 23, Travolta was nominated for Best Actor), along with the mostly-Bee Gees soundtrack, make Saturday Night Fever a great film today.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Keep On Dancin'

Author: Bob-376 from Eastbourne, Sussex
5 February 1999

John Travolta is excellent in his first main role. He stars as a shop assistant in a paint shop who dreams of dancing at the local disco and winning a dance contest. The film is set to the famous soundtrack, which is mostly written by the Bee Gees and includes the songs "More than a woman", Stayin' alive" and the excellent ballad "How deep is your love". It is excellent in the cinema but great fun to see on video also.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Travolta with cool dance moves and the Bee Gees

Author: Petri Pelkonen ( from Finland
16 April 2012

Tony Napero is a real smooth Brooklyn fellow, who likes to dance some disco.Then he finds this perfect dance partner, Stephanie Mangano.This could be his dream girl.Saturday Night Fever (1977) is a disco movie classic, directed by John Badham.You can't think of a better guy to act the lead than John Travolta.His mother Helen and sister Ann are also seen in the movie.Karen Lynn Gorney makes a really good female lead.Great work by guys who play Tony's friends, Barry Miller (Bobby C.), Joseph Cali (Joey) and Paul Pape (Double J.).Donna Pescow is terrific as Annette.Val Bisoglio and Julie Bovasso are brilliant as Tony's parents Frank and Flo.Martin Shakar is very good as the priest brother Frank.And Lisa Peluso as sister Linda.Sam Coppola is great as the boss Dan Fusco.Robert Costanzo is in a small role as Paint store customer.Fran Drescher makes her movie debut as Connie.What makes this a really great movie is the music by the Gibb brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice.The group is known as the Bee Gees.Their hits like "Stayin' Alive", "How Deep Is Your Love" and "More Than a Woman" really get you going.And Travolta really has the dance moves.He really rocks the dance floor.The drama of this movie works, too.Like when they're on that bridge and something dramatic takes place there.Watch this movie once, twice or as many times as you like and you will find that disco will never be dead.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Saturday Night Respite

Author: tieman64 from United Kingdom
3 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"An avowal of poverty is no disgrace to any man; to make no effort to escape it is indeed disgraceful." – Thucydides

"The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it." – Alan Saporta

John Badham directs "Saturday Night Fever". The plot? A group of frustrated 1970s working class youths escape the drudgery of life by disappearing into a world of sex, drugs and the pulsating lights of local disco clubs. One of these kids, a guy called Tony Manero (played by John Travolta), meets a girl called Stephanie, a cute dancer who aspires to greater things.

Being with Stephanie causes Tony to gradually become disillusioned with the life he is leading. Stuck in a dreary job and living with deadbeat parents, Tony finally decides to skip town, drop his loser friends and start afresh. Afterall, maybe he can be somebody. Maybe he can achieve something for himself.

The film ends with Tony and Stephanie living together, both determined to help one another climb the ladder to success. Like most films, "Saturday Night Fever" makes the mistake of suggesting that some external change in location will bring about some internal state of happiness, but perhaps its ending isn't meant to imply change. The film hints that this couple will forever be stuck in a rut.

Directed by John Badham ("War Games"), "Saturday Night Fever" is of course famous for its soundtrack and its groovy dance scenes. Yes, Travolta's portrayal of Manero comes across as being a bit camp nowadays, but this doesn't hamper the film. Virtually every shot, every cocky pose he strikes, is iconic.

Ironically, beneath the film's razzle-dazzle is one depressing movie, very much akin to the gritty "kitchen sink" and "New Wave" dramas churned out by British and French film makers in the late 50s and early 60s. This kind of murky social realism would prove influential on Hollywood directors, giving birth to a string of neo realist Hollywood films in the late 1960s and 70s - though most masked depoliticization behind faux grit - arguably the most interesting period of American cinema.

What's most interesting about "Saturday Night Fever", though, is this: most films within this genre align their song and dance numbers with their audience's own desires. IE - we celebrate those succeeding on screen because we secretly yearn for that special brand of Hollywood escapism. The audience's act of escaping drudgery via cinema then becomes, in theory, the on screen act of Travolta escaping his grimy life via dance. But "Saturday Night Fever" short circuits this fantasy at every turn, the film incrementally peeling back its disco lights to reveal a world of rape, drugs, suicide, class based frustrations and violent race wars. There is no escape, and the audience is always aware of what exactly its craving's are consoling.

In this way, the film highlights the urgency with which man clings to easy, manufactured escapes. More importantly, the film demonstrates how the frustrations of the working classes are built up and then channeled down the social hierarchy, animosity misdirected and aimed at equally or less unfortunate people. Travolta articulates this during his "cycle of s**t" speech toward the end of the film, in which he explains how his father's bitterness at having lost his job causes the old man to "take a s**t" on his son, who passes "the s**t" on to his Italian friends, who passes "the s**t" on to the Mexican gangs etc etc. The film's cure to this cycle of animosity is a kind of working class brotherhood. It suggests the forging of an empathic connection, born of collective suffering, between all men. Recognise the basic antagonistic struggle in which we are all caught, and join forces in a sort of mutual struggle.

8.5/10 – The 70s were odd. Even the silliest films had a kind of social urgency or attachment. Nowadays we have "Slumdog Millionaire" and "High School Musical", then we had "Rocky" and "Saturday Night Fever". Is it because films then seemed to be about real people, or because today's people aren't really real?

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Classic movie.

Author: PWNYCNY from United States
18 August 2007

Karen Lynn Gorney's performance in this movie is worthy of accolades. She carries this movie and makes this movie into a powerful dramatic story about two young persons who are forced to confront the truth about themselves and as a result grow up.

There aren't enough accolades to describe this movie. It is one of the great movie musicals not only because of the great acting, exceptional music, excellent musical numbers and exceptional choreography, but because of the story itself. Instead of fluff, the movie presents a strong, engaging story that is timeless. As a result, the movie avoids becoming a period piece which makes it as watchable today as when it was first released in 1977.

The term "classic" is a word that should be used sparingly, especially for Hollywood movies which for the most part are pot-boiler remakes of remakes of remakes, crass commercial products utterly devoid of any artistic originality. However, this movie is a classic. It has withstood the test of time and presents a complex story with themes that are as relevant today as they were when this movie was released thirty years ago. This surprisingly unique movie dramatizes a wide range of social issues that still plague society today. These issues include alienation, racial strife, family discord, class conflict and other symptoms of social pathology that if anything have intensified. The movie's power is further enhanced by the excellent acting and timeless music that together with a compelling story make this movie something special, not just another commercial product but a work of art, a true classic.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

a movie in conflict with itself

Author: owenfrancin9 from United States
22 April 2006

having recently seen 'saturdy night fever' for the first time since adolescence i was struck by how much i previously had failed to see in the this movie. when i was a kid 'saturday night fever' was a movie about dancing, about going out, and about being young and with your friends. now, when i see this film, what i see instead is a man grappling with his identity as he separates from the world he was given. despite his realization that there may be more to life then working at the hardware store, travolta's character is unaware that one can evolve without losing sight of who they were. the only figure he has to look to for guidance in this is a woman who has sold out her past in an effort to be bought by the future she believes will save her.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

the days of wine and disco.....

Author: triple8 from Conn
3 May 2004

Saturday Night Fever. Just the name evokes memories. It's hard not to feel nostalgic remembering this movie. Being someone who grew up knowing the magic of disco, I definetly remember the glittziness and glitter of this early travolta movie. But I still wouldn't call it one of the best pics ever made as many reviewers before me had indicated.

I think this movie stands up as being a major influence on other movies as well as having some of the best music ever seen in a movie-and that's for sure-the music is addicting. And the dance numbers were pretty cool to.

But the story itself is just good for me-ok maybe VERY good-I'll admit I am a much bigger fan of "Grease" then Saturday Night Fever. I will say the movie nailed the atmosphere to a tee. Another reviewer recently posted on here talking about aspects of superficiality and I agree. In the disco era, as in many others, image is everything. That's the type of environment that can have more then a little negative impact after awhile if it gets into your skin.It's hard to see this now and not be taken back in time but even now, I like this less for the story then for the incredible sizzling music that very few movies before and after have ever been able to duplicate so effectively.

I give Saturday Night Fever a 12 out of 10 for the music but about an 8 for the movie as a whole. But hearing that great music never fails to make me wanna get up and dance!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A good history lesson, however.......

Author: Douglas (dogge84) from Sweden
16 March 2004

Saturday Night Fever may indeed be the one movie from the seventies which had the greatest influence on people. This doesn't keep it from being a very bad movie.

It's not altogether bad though. The cinematography is great, especially the interior scenes from the nightclub where Travolta is dancing. And of course there isn't words enough to congratulate the choreography for the dancing scenes. The props, the haircuts and the clothing is so in keeping with the time, and at the same time it created the fashion for the time to come. The music is simply outstanding with the soundtrack being the best selling for many years. They even manage to fit the music in with the movie.

These are the good things about this movie and neither of them are a good reason to watch it today. It's simply out of time and not just from a fashion point of view. The characters are bad developed and every one of them, except for Travolta occasionally and his brother, is either a lame unpleasant prick or just plain stupid. The language the characters use speaks for itself.

In the beginning of the film, Travolta is one of those "pricks" but he goes through some level of growth and you can actually manage to discern some sort of intelligence and humanity in him. This is, as I said before, more than you can say about the rest of the characters in this mess. If people in the seventies were like the gang which Travolta hangs out with, I'm glad that I was spared from that age (being born in 1979).

The story is about Tony (and NO, he does not look like Al Pacino!); a dreaming young man who lives in Brooklyn. Daytime he is working in a paint store and at night he is driving around with his "cool" gang, fighting with (and sometimes tries to kill!!) another gang and hanging out at a disco called "2001". Here Tony is the king of the dancefloor. Actually he is so good that the dancing crowd disperses and makes a space in the middle for him to "shake his thing" while they stand around and watch him. Then there is a dance contest and Tony teams up with a girl who he falls in love with and they start to practice together. This leads up to a number of circumstances and situations around which the movie circulates.

In spite of all the terrible things Tony do throughout the movie, you actually care for him in the end (and that's quite an achievement).

However, this movie is just sad. It's vulgar, sexistic and even boring at some parts. Don't watch it! Unless you are about my age and want to see what it looked like when your parents were young and went out dancing. Also, Travolta does a fine job and was indeed very well casted. So if you have a small budget and have to choose between the movie or the soundtrack......Well, you know what my choice would be.

** 1/2 out of *****

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Little Film that Could...and Did

Author: lambiepie-2 from Los Angeles, CA
4 February 2004

I was NOT a fan of this film when it came out. I was a teen, and this lifestyle didn't apply to me. But in speaking with many "twenty" and "thirty" something New Yorkers at that time, they could fully identify with this film and find little bits and pieces that reflected their own lives as teens.

What appealed to me the most in this film was the music and the dance scenes. John Travolta pulled this off well, slickly and is clearly one of the main reasons for looking at this film. I absolutely HATED the dance his character Tony picked for the BIG dance contest, but that is part of the charm this picture had.

There is no mistaking now that this film bust discos and disco music wide open in the late 70's. Disco was made to be fun, free, expressive, fashion. And like all things that get over exposed, it died in just a few years to Punk/New Wave of the late 70's and throughout the 80's.

Saturday Night Fever produced the second biggest Soundtrack of that decade (Curtis Mayfield's Superfly was the first...) with hit after blinding hit, mostly led by The Bee Gees. This was fun stuff.

The movie was okay (I too feel that little Ms. Soap Opera star of that time Karen Lynn takes the film down..), but there IS something in it for everyone from the lead character Tony just trying to find his way and loving to dance, to the "fat" girl (I did NOT think she was all that fat, but again, that is one of the charms of this film) doing all the wrong things to get noticed, to the friends, the family and how they all intertwine on Saturday Nights to shake it all off and away...if only for a few hours. Disco or not, I think at some point in our youths, we can all identify.

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