4.4/10
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41 user 32 critic

Roller Boogie (1979)

PG | | Drama, Music | 21 December 1979 (USA)
Skaters band together to keep their roller-disco open.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

About 300 roller skaters auditioned to work on the movie. About 50 were ultimately cast. See more »

Goofs

When Terry falls during the conga line scene, her wheel comes off. When she holds it up, the bearings are missing. When she goes upstairs to Jammer's supply room to get a lock nut, the wheel is on her skates. When they overhear a conversation and run down the stairs without the lock nut they went for, the wheel is still intact on her skates. 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.
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Connections

Featured in TCM Underground: The Apple/Roller Boogie (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Evil Man
Words and Music by Mavis (as Aller) & Bob Esty (as Esty)
Special guest performance by Mavis (as Mavis Vegas Davis)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exploitation Film with a Documentary Look
2 February 2007 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Before the days of "in-line" skates there was a less forgiving variety that went in and out of fashion for a century with everyone but elementary school age children. "Roller Boogie" (1979) caught one of the periods when the activity had once again become trendy, especially with teenagers. Skate shops opened all over the place but the really trendy location was Venice, California. "Roller Boogie" involves a bunch of teens who hang around on the Venice boardwalk and do a lot of roller skating; and burn their eyeballs girl and boy watching.

Because much of the film is composed of many cinema verite ("fly on the wall film-making" where the filmmakers attempt to make their presence as unobtrusive as possible) documentary shots of real skaters engaging in real skating at this real location, the film is more interesting and impressive now than at the time of its release. "Breakin" was a similar film from the same time period which also unintentionally documented a portion of social history (insert break dancing here).

Of course those who went to "Roller Boogie" at the time of its release were mostly there to see Linda Blair in her abbreviated skating outfits; which had been widely showcased in the film distributor's marketing campaign. "Roller Boogie" was basically a cheap exploitation film that disappointed very few viewers because it delivered exactly what it promised and maybe a little bit more.

Rich girls Terry (Blair) and Lana (too old television actress Kimberly Beck) do their slumming on the boardwalk, where they skate up and down to the pop music beat from their now ancient looking transistor radio headphones. The plot is mostly about Terry's puppy love romance with Bobby (real life super-skater Jim Bray) the summer before she heads off to college.

There is also a story about developers conspiring to tear down the old roller rink. One of these is played by former "Lost in Space" pre-teen heartthrob Mark Goddard, whose career never took off after his adventures with Dr. Smith and the robot had made him famous. MST3K favorite Beverly Garland has a small part as Terry's rich mom.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child


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