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
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 the father and son are talking in the taxi, his turns of the wheel do not cause the taxi to turn, as revealed by the view out the window, which of course is not real. See more »
It builds up--and then insults--its own characters
"Fame", about teenage kids in Manhattan's School for the Performing Arts, looks right, feels right, and it sometimes sounds right--but too soon the film becomes a muddled soap opera about talented children reaching too far for their stars. The large cast does good work, and director Alan Parker has alert eyes, but sharper editing might have left some of Parker's pretensions out of the mix. After one student admits to being homosexual (not just once, to a girl student, but twice, to his entire class and teacher), he is seen in tight close-up putting on lipstick; this is done for a sniggering effect, which is stupefying once you realize the ENTIRE CLASS is dolled-up to look like characters from "Rocky Horror". The gay kid, bullied by the class loudmouth, isn't the only one we see humiliated. This manufactured slapping-down is then used several more times, against the promising disco queen, the wealthy white ballerina, the talkative dancer, the stand-up comedian, and the illiterate who may not graduate because of his failing grades. It's a big, smelly cart full of aged clichés. If people respond, it's due to the cinematography (which captures some of New York's squalor and dusty classrooms with a bracing realism), the propulsive soundtrack, and the cynical-funny talk. The characters are quite a different matter; probably resembling no real student at the actual school, they are plot-mechanisms, their pitfalls punctuated by a director who can almost be heard saying, "Look! See!" ** from ****
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