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Xanadu (1980)

PG  |   |  Fantasy, Musical, Romance  |  8 August 1980 (USA)
5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 8,645 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 282 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:

Where time stops and the magic never ends. 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:

XanadĂș  »

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 movie was heavily promoted in the months leading up to its release. In May 1980, Cliff Richard and Gene Kelley appeared on the TV special Olivia Newton-John: Hollywood Nights (1980). In August, Newton-John, Richard and The Tubes appeared on The Midnight Special (1972). The same week, "Making Xanadu," a 30 minute making-of TV special, aired in syndication, and there were also tie-in radio specials on Newton-John and E.L.O. See more »

Goofs

In "The Fall" musical sequence, Sonny roller skates alone along a beach-side boardwalk. In the opening shot, heat waves shimmer up from the ground, and passersby are dressed in bathing suits and other warm-weather clothing. In subsequent shots the sky is grey and the people in the background are wearing heavy winter coats. See more »

Quotes

Danny McGuire: You know, I used to be in the music business, but now I'm what you might call retired. It's a refined name for bum.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opens with the 1930s-era Universal logo, with an airplane circling a globe; then it becomes a 50s-era passenger plane, then the Concorde, then the fourth time around as it becomes a spaceship. Instrumentals of "Whenever You're Away From Me" and "Xanadu" play under this, with musical styles matching the period of each aircraft. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Deadly Premonition (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Magic
Performed by Olivia Newton-John
Words and Music by John Farrar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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!


104 of 117 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How old were you... diannelise
favorite song? swimfan404040
Xanadu's Deleted Scenes?! mielr
Replica of the Pan Pacific Auditorium MSanderfoot
What Sonny says at end -- credits / audio off pantheonzeus
Great Nostalgia darlawriter
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