Skaters band together to keep their roller-disco open.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

A mother and daughter who run a brothel for truckers fight back when the Mafia tries to take over their operation.

Director: Mark L. Lester
Stars: Claudia Jennings, Lieux Dressler, John Martino
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Mark L. Lester
Stars: Steve Friedman, Dennis Fimple, Perry Cook
Xanadu (1980)
Fantasy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

The story of a girl who makes dreams come true.

Director: Robert Greenwald
Stars: Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, Michael Beck
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A United States Navy destroyer escort participates in a Navy "invisibility" experiment that inadvertently sends two sailors 40 years into the future.

Director: Stewart Raffill
Stars: Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas
Certificate: M Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.

Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Irene Papas
Trapeze (1956)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A crippled circus acrobat is torn emotionally between two ambitious young trapeze artists, one a talented young American and a less-gifted but beautiful Italian.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida
Speedway (1968)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Poor bookkeeping saddles stock car driver Steve Grayson with a huge bill for back taxes which hampers his ability to continue racing competitively.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Elvis Presley, Nancy Sinatra, Bill Bixby
Airport '77 (1977)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Art thieves hijack a 747, hit fog and crash into the ocean, trapping them and the passengers under 100 feet of water.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Joseph Cotten
Ruckus (1980)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Kyle Hanson is a Vietnam veteran whose traumatic war-time experiences have left him unable to rejoin mainstream society. When Kyle, unkempt and in dirty fatigues, stops in a small town for ... See full summary »

Director: Max Kleven
Stars: Dirk Benedict, Linda Blair, Richard Farnsworth
Night Nurse (1931)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A nurse enlists the help of a petty criminal to foil a sinister plot to murder two children.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

At a roller disco competition, two rivals find themselves becoming good friends while competing for a prize of $1000 in cash.

Director: William A. Levey
Stars: Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Ron Palillo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Mark L. Lester
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jim Bray ...
...
...
...
Hoppy (as Jimmy Van Patten)
...
Sean McClory ...
...
...
...
M.G. Kelly ...
Christopher S. Nelson ...
Franklin (as Chris Nelson)
Patrick Wright ...
Dorothy Meyer ...
Ada
Shelley Golden ...
Edit

Storyline

Beyond ensuring that she makes it into Julliard as a flautist for the upcoming fall term, wealthy Lillian and Roger Barkley largely neglect their teenaged daughter, Terry Barkley. Although Terry doesn't try to hide the facts from them, her parents have no idea that she hates the flute and the associated music, has no desire to attend Julliard, and spends all her time on the proverbial wrong side of the tracks with her friend Lana roller skating on the Venice Beach boardwalk with the legions of other roller skaters. There, she attracts the attention of Bobby James, the hotshot skater who rightly believes he is headed to the next Olympics. Terry initially rebuffs Bobby's advances, until she asks him to teach her how to dance so that they can compete in the upcoming roller boogie contest at Jammer's, the local skating rink owned by Jammer Delaney, a former roller derby star. Terry and Bobby's relationship eventually becomes more than just about skating. But the roller boogie contest and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's love on wheels!

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Challengers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The house that Linda Blair's character lives in is the same one that later housed Charlton Heston and Barbara Stanwyck in the Dynasty (1981) spin-off, The Colbys (1985). See more »

Goofs

Bobby keeps talking about going to the Olympics, but roller skating is not an Olympic sport. See more »

Quotes

Bobby James: Do you have a mental problem or something? First you want to skate then you don't want to skate.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Roller Boogie
Words and Music by Mavis (as Aller) & Bob Esty (as Esty)
Performed by Bob Esty
Courtesy of Casablanca Records and Filmworks Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The "Citizen Kane" of Roller Disco Films
3 February 2006 | by (San Francisco, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

This one is a complete hoot. I caught this low-budget, formulaic 1979 film this past weekend on the big screen at the fully packed Castro Theater in San Francisco as part of a roller-disco midnight madness program. The crowd went wild at every absurd turn of the plot, and it's no wonder. Directed by potboiler specialist Mark L. Lester, this ultimate cheese of a roller disco musical avoids a permanent home in the video junk heap simply because of the sheer idiocy of the storyline and the wealth of unintentional humor permeating the film. There are movies that are intentionally vile and not worthy of reviewing, but this one is actually full of good spirits albeit with nothing in the way of taste, wit or common sense.

In what has to be the steepest career free-fall for a former Oscar nominee, an extremely nubile, twenty-year old Linda Blair stars as Terry Barkley, a prodigious flautist on her way to Juilliard, who tires of being ignored by her wealthy, 90210-based parents and decides to run away for a whole night. Upon meeting Bobby James in Venice Beach, the king of the disco-driven roller skaters, she decides she wants to learn some moves to win the big roller boogie contest at Jammer's, the local roller disco rink. My favorite plot point is Bobby's aspiration to become an Olympic roller skating gold medalist...even though no one tells him it isn't an Olympic event. Of course, Terry is rich, Bobby is poor, and consequently, romantic sparks are inevitable. Complications, however, occur when a thuggish land developer blackmails Jammer to sell his rink, so he can raze the building and build a shopping mall. The rest of the plot is not worth disclosing except to say that it is as preposterous as the convoluted set-up, and thanks to the wooden acting, horrendous dialogue and hilarious skating sequences, it makes for grade-A camp entertainment.

In skin-tight leotards and enough make-up to scare off a Santa Monica Boulevard hooker, Blair makes a sincere attempt at portraying Terry's teen-aged angst. Of course, it helps her professional standing that she is playing opposite real-life roller skating champion Jim Bray, a non-actor who was cast as Bobby only because the producers could not find a leading man who could actually skate. Innately geeky, the never-to-be-seen-again Bray certainly tries hard, though he is defeated by the film's numerous skating sequences which have been inserted so we can be impressed by his expertise. Instead, they provide the film's biggest laughs - the opening where he leads dozens of fellow skaters to the boardwalk to the strains of Cher's disco-diva anthem, "Hell on Wheels"; the ridiculous chase sequence through the streets of Venice where Terry and Bobby are chased unsuccessfully by a speeding car; the concluding roller boogie contest (of course); and in what has to be the absolute nadir, a solo skating number full of cornball treacle dedicated to the drunken Jammer.

Familiar faces from the baby-boomer TV generation dot the supporting cast, among them Beverly Garland ("Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and "My Three Sons") and Roger Perry ("The Facts of Life") as Terry's parents; and Mark Goddard ("Lost in Space") as the villainous land developer. If all that is not enough, there are other lures to consider - the blaring disco music; the groovy, circa-1979 clothes; the forced slapstick (in particular, a fruit-throwing mêlée and a very non-spontaneous pool dunking at a garden party). It's hard to think of a movie more execrable, yet the film has an endearing charm for all its misguided inanity. It's worthwhile just for the unintended guffaws. In the 1979-80 holy trinity of roller disco cinema, "Xanadu" may be "Gone With the Wind" and "Skatetown U.S.A." may be "West Side Story", but this one must certainly be "Citizen Kane".


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Way better movie than I remembered... bettiegia
So, who wants to make out on a garbage container? rlingenf
Linda Blairs car Miklos7
Jumpin' Jack Flash jimminysnickety
Venice Beach's Finest Movie Role? Arthur_2323
Soundtrack on CD?? Roadcat01
Discuss Roller Boogie (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page