A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.



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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonia Franceschi ...
Steve Inwood ...
François Lafete
Miss Berg


At the New York City High School for the Performing Arts, students get specialized training that often leads to success as actors, singers, etc. This movie follows four students from the time when they audition to get into the school, through graduation. They are the brazen Coco Hernandez, shy Doris Finsecker, sensitive gay Montgomery MacNeil, and brash, abrasive Raul Garcia. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If they've really got what it takes, it's going to take everything they've got. See more »


Drama | Music | Musical


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

16 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Lunch  »

Box Office


$21 (USA) (2 January 1981)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the first film in the history of the Academy Awards to have two songs nominated in the Best Song category. The nominated songs were the title song, written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford and "Out Here On My Own" written by Michael and Lesley Gore. The title song won. It has since happened several times. See more »


When François starts talking to Coco in the café, the donut on her plate and items on the bar next to her keep moving between shots. See more »


Rocky Horror Announcer: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to The Rocky Horror Picture Show!
See more »


References White Heat (1949) See more »


Music by Michael Gore
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Performed by Irene Cara (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Game Of Fame
12 November 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Alan Parker's 'Fame' beautifully showcases college-life of eight aspiring artistes. Many seem to have a problem with the open ending and ponder on questions like what happened to Coco after the porn shoot or what happened to Ralph and Doris etc. However, I think this works well as it points to the uncertainty of their future as that's how life is. The point was to show their struggles during the college years and Parker captures that very well making it easy for the viewers to relate to and bringing a nostalgic feel.

'Fame' starts with some audition scenes which are hilarious. Then it shows which candidates are selected and that's when the story starts. Though it is labelled a musical drama, it doesn't follow the traditional musical genre. The songs do not appear out of nowhere. They are well situated within the context of the film and quite nice to listen to. 'Fame' also has that wild 70's feel. If this movie is the last of the 70s then it 'rounds' up the decade well.

The actors, most of them in their 20s, do a fine job. There are those who are shy, naive and afraid, those who are wacky, wild and a little reckless and those who put a front but all these characters are striving for their dream which is to become an artiste. The actors brilliantly demonstrate this. I particularly liked Barry Miller, Paul McCrane and Maureen Teefy who play the three close friends and Irene Cara who as the vulnerable singer Coco.

I had heard a lot about 'Fame' but I was under the impression that it would be a flimsy musical. I got a chance to watch it last night and I was certainly under the wrong impression. Even though many won't appreciate it, To me it is great.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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