Flashdance (1983) Poster



Jennifer Beals' trend-setting collarless sweatshirt came about by accident. The sweatshirt, which Beals brought from home, had shrunk in the wash and she had to cut the collar off in order to get it over her head.
Based on the life of construction worker/welder-turned-dancer Maureen Marder.
Marine Jahan was Jennifer Beals' body double for the dancing scenes. Jahan was kept hidden from the press because the filmmakers did not want to ruin the illusion. Alex's leap through the air in the audition scene was done by gymnast Sharon Shapiro and the break-dancing was done by Crazy Legs. Jahan appeared in the music video for "Maniac".
In 1982, Maureen Marder, whose life the film loosely is based on, signed an agreement with Paramount releasing it from any claim regarding her life story. In return she received a cheque for $2,300. The movie later grossed over $150 million.
Sunny Johnson, who played Jeanie, died at the age of 30 in 1984, a year after the release of the movie, from a cerebral hemorrhage.
Irene Cara wrote the lyrics to the film's Oscar-winning theme song while riding in a car to the recording studio the day she recorded the song.
There is a cutting-room-floor scene between Alex and Hanna, which finds Alex admitting that she was too insecure - not too busy, as she claimed earlier - to apply for membership in Pittsburgh's Repertory Dance Company. Hanna then tells Alex that "Everybody runs sometimes...Eventually, you'll understand that - and then you'll stop running." This scene can be found in certain TV edits of the movie.
During Jeanie's (Sunny Johnson) ice dancing routine the song being played was "Gloria" performed by Laura Branigan. Both Sunny and Laura would succumb to cerebral aneurysms.
Michael Sembello had intended that the rhythm of "Maniac" be too fast to dance to.
In the early years of home video, Paramount tried an experiment in which this film was given a heavily promoted home video release while the film was still playing in some cinemas. The box office was expected to drop off to nothing as soon as the tape became available for rental. Instead, the heavy promotion caused an increase in box office receipts.
The soundtrack to the movie sold 700,000 copies in its first two weeks of release.
Brian De Palma was set to direct, and was a few weeks into preproduction before dropping this film to do Scarface (1983).
Paramount Pictures gave production rights to the original script for the film to Don Simpson after he was fired from his executive job with the studio, and many observers felt Paramount deliberately gave him a terrible property in hopes he would fail and his career would be ruined. In addition, Paramount had so little faith in the box office potential of the film that they sold off 25% of the project days before it opened.
Then-struggling actor Kevin Costner auditioned for the part of Nick Hurley but lost out to Michael Nouri. He was the runner-up for the part.
Adrian Lyne and talent scouts had narrowed the female leads down to four women which included Jennifer Beals. They each had their favorite one and could not decide. Lyne brought in a few secretaries from the front office and had them choose. This is straight from Lyne's interview in the 2007 Blu-ray copy. Oddly enough, Beals does not appear in the biography of the film.
Before Kyra Sedgwick auditioned for a role here, she was instructed by her agent to wear a leotard, heels and no tights. She wore, instead, a miniskirt and heels and auditioned for director Adrian Lyne whom she berated when he took a call during her audition.
Jennifer Beals was literally half Michael Nouri's age when they made this film. She was 18, he was 36.
Director Adrian Lyne decided that Alex's back story included her having been molested when she was a child. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas was horrified, saying it would "sink the entire story", and fought furiously with Lyne. The producers later sided with Eszterhas and Lyne gave up on the idea.
The hit song "Maniac" was originally intended for the film Maniac (1980), but was cut out. Soon after the lyrics were toned down and used for this movie.
Earlier drafts of the screenplay included Alex having a gay man for a best friend. Director Adrian Lyne liked this story because it was rare at that time for films to show straight women having close friendships with gay men. The story line was cut from the final script.
Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS was offered the lead male role as Nick Hurley but turned it down in fear of hurting his "demon" image.
The film was inspired by a trip to a Toronto strip club.
The original cut of the film was 2 hours 20 minutes long. Against the protests of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and director Adrian Lyne, studio heads Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg insisted that the film be cut down to its actual length.
Paramount held dancer auditions for a proposed sequel to this film. That film was never made.
Al Pacino turned down the part of Nick Hurley, because it would compromise with his "gangster" image.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Pierce Brosnan, Robert De Niro, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, Joe Pesci and John Travolta were considered for the role of Nick Hurley. Burt Reynolds was offered the role, but declined due to scheduling conflicts.
Bo Derek, Daryl Hannah, Heather Locklear and Tatum O'Neal were considered for the role of Alex Owens.
Phil Collins turned down the opportunity to write a song for the film.
A nationwide search for a young actress was narrowed down to three finalists: Leslie Wing, Demi Moore, and Jennifer Beals. Reportedly, a Paramount executive took pictures of the three actresses to a group of construction workers on the studio lot, asking them "Which of these women do you most want to fuck?" and being given the answer "Jennifer Beals".
Crazy Legs was willing to wear a wig and shave his legs to assume the role of Alex's stunt double for the break-dancing move in her audition dance, but absolutely refused to shave his mustache. If you pause at the end of the backspin, you can clearly see Alex with a mustache.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director Adrian Lyne turned down the project twice.
David Cronenberg was offered the chance to direct but turned it down.
When Alex is filling out the application for the dance school, her parents' names are listed on it as "Alfred Owens" and "Jeanne Therese Anderson". The real-life parents of Jennifer Beals, who is playing Alex, are named Alfred Beals, and Jeanne Therese Anderson Beals.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Debra Winger turned down the role of Alex Owens in order to star in Terms of Endearment (1983).
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
This movie has been widely acknowledged as the first film ever to become a smash hit largely due to MTV. When it opened in the spring of 1983, it had a decent but modest $6 million+ weekend, but the soundtrack immediately became a best-seller in the U.S. The film's music producers and credited artists like Irene Cara then worked very quickly to film videos for songs such as "What a Feeling" and "Maniac" to get them on MTV. The huge draw of MTV with younger viewers led to the film sustaining its audience well beyond what was then expected for films that were released outside of the summer or winter holiday periods, were rated R, or didn't have major stars involved. And the cycle of songs-videos continued for several months, resulting in "Flashdance" having a wide-for-1983 release slate until that September and becoming a massive hit with over $90 million box office receipts.
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Holly Hunter turned down the role of Alex Owens because she didn't like the script.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film is included on the film critic Roger Ebert's "Most Hated" list.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to his autobiography "Is That It?" Bob Geldof was offered a role in this film, after director Adrian Lyne was impressed by his performance in Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982). Geldof turned it down.
Andie MacDowell was considered for the role of Alex Owens.
Janice Dickinson was offered but turned down the role of Alex.
9 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The date of birth Alex fills in on the application form is 12/19/63. This is the real date of birth of Jennifer Beals.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
American electronic music duo Deep Dish released a song called Flashdance in 2004, long after the film was released. It features the same music that plays over the opening credits of Flashdance (1983).
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page