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Xanadu (1980)

5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 8,392 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 281 user | 42 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

The story of a girl who makes dreams come true.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Simpson
Dimitra Arliss ...
Helen
Katie Hanley ...
Sandra
Fred McCarren ...
Richie
...
Jo (as Ren Woods)
...
Muse 1
Lynn Latham ...
Muse 2
Melinda Phelps ...
Muse 3
Cherise Bates ...
Muse 4 (as Cherise Bate)
Juliette Marshall ...
Muse 5
Marilyn Tokuda ...
Muse 6
Yvette Van Voorhees ...
Muse 7
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Storyline

The Greek muses incarnate themselves on Earth to inspire men to achieve. One of them, incarnated as a girl named Kira, encounters an artist named Sonny Malone. With the help of Danny McGuire, a man Kira had inspired forty years earlier, Sonny builds a huge disco roller rink. Written by Randy Goldberg <goldberg@nymc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

muse | disco | artist | robot | ufo | See All (49) »

Taglines:

The Music, The Film, A Place Where Dreams Come True. [UK] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 August 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Xanadú  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$10,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(London premiere Print)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mural in the film was created in post-production. A digital image was superimposed over a shop in an alleyway on Dudley Avenue and Ocean Front Walk in Santa Monica, California. See more »

Goofs

Danny shows Sonny an old 78 rpm multi-disc album he recorded during WWII, but when he plays the record, it is obviously a 33 1/3 disc playing on modern turntable that wouldn't play 78 rpm discs in first place. See more »

Quotes

Sonny: [Sonny hears a clarinet being played, and goes to investigate, finding Danny McGuire sitting on some rocks] Hey mister, what are you doing up there?
Danny McGuire: Hope you don't mind a little noon-time music, kid. A little lunch time serenade.
Sonny: Oh, I don't mind. It's kinda nice. But I was just wondering where they laid out the body. I mean, you got something a little more upbeat?
Danny McGuire: Sure!
[Plays a short, lively upbeat piece]
Danny McGuire: Better?
Sonny: [chuckles] Well, at least it's faster!
Danny McGuire: [chuckles] Here, gimme a hand kid.
Sonny: Sure.
Danny McGuire: Boy ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

"THE END" comes up on the screen, in big old fashioned letters, before the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Whenever You're Away From Me
Performed by Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly
Words and Music by John Farrar
Whistling by Lou Halmy (uncredited)
Arranged by Richard Hewson (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Give XANADU a Chance!
13 September 2003 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

XANADU is one of the most critically and commercially panned films in Hollywood history, a 'Nouveau Art' musical with Art Deco themes, a weirdly conceived animated interlude, and performances of such widely varying caliber that a viewer might wonder if the actors were all reading from the same script! But all that being said, I would like to offer a minority opinion, and say that I didn't find the film THAT terrible, and there are some aspects of it I actually enjoyed...

First and foremost, it offers the legendary Gene Kelly, in his last musical, as charming and wonderful as ever. As retired musician/businessman Danny McGuire, Kelly has the film's best moments, including a 'classic' song-and-dance scene with Olivia Newton-John and some silly but endearing 'post-disco' routines with the talented young dancers of the cast (including future CONAN star Sandahl Bergman). Seeing him on roller-skates again, leading everyone around the club he builds, to the music of the Electric Light Orchestra, makes one realize just how irreplaceable he is. Kelly could do it all, and with style!

The premise of the film, of a Muse coming from Olympus to inspire an artist, is far-fetched, but had been done on film several times in the past (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, with Ava Gardner and Robert Walker, and DOWN TO EARTH, with Rita Hayworth, are the examples most often cited), and while Olivia Newton-John is oddly cast in the role, she tackles it gamely, with a smile and a wink, and isn't THAT bad. On the other hand, Michael Beck, best-known as the gang leader in cliched but powerful THE WARRIORS, is totally miscast as the artist she falls in love with. An actor with limited range and no singing or dancing talent, Beck lacks the charisma to pull off the role (one wonders why British pop star Cliff Richard, who voices Beck's animated duet with Newton-John, 'Suddenly', wasn't utilized to play the part).

While the film often veers off in bizarre directions, the 'Battle of the Bands' scene between popular 80s rockers, the Tubes, and a 'Tommy Dorsey/WWII'-style orchestra (as Beck and Kelly envision what the 'look' and 'sound' of their club, XANADU, should be), actually works, and is fun to watch. The entire score, by Barry De Vorzon and John Farrar, and Jeff Lynne (with ELO) is terrific (and made the soundtrack album a hit).

Sure, the ending is hokey, but it was also the same ending of ONE TOUCH OF VENUS and DOWN TO EARTH, so XANADU can't be totally faulted!

All in all, XANADU isn't the WORST film ever made, and if you give it a chance, you might find it a guilty pleasure!


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