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A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.



446 ( 522)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Willard (as Christopher Penn)
Elizabeth Gorcey ...
Jim Youngs ...
Douglas Dirkson ...
Lynne Marta ...
Arthur Rosenberg ...
Timothy Scott ...
Alan Haufrect ...


Classic tale of teenage rebellion and repression features a delightful combination of dance choreography and realistic and touching performances. When teenager Ren McCormack and his family move from big-city Chicago to a small Midwestern town, he's in for a real case of culture shock. Though he tries hard to fit in, the streetwise Ren can't quite believe he's living in a place where rock music and dancing are illegal. However, there is one small pleasure: Ariel Moore, a troubled but lovely blonde with a jealous boyfriend. And a Bible-thumping minister, who is responsible for keeping the town dance-free. Ren and his classmates want to do away with this ordinance, especially since the senior prom is around the corner, but only Ren has the courage to initiate a battle to abolish the outmoded ban and revitalize the spirit of the repressed townspeople. Fast-paced drama is filled with such now-famous hit songs as the title track and "Let's Hear It for the Boy". Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All he wanted to do was dance. See more »


Drama | Music | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Foot-loose  »

Box Office


$8,200,000 (estimated)


$80,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Christopher Atkins was originally signed to play Ren McCormack. See more »


When Ren is dancing in the factory and is swinging on the high bar-type pole, he is wearing gloves. During the rest of the sequence he is bare-handed. See more »


Willard: Woody over here don't know a dance from a dipstick.
Woody: And you do? You do, huh? Which way is left? Willard, which way is your left?
[Willard looks perplexed]
Woody: He don't know his left foot from his right foot.
See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'Tremors' (1998) See more »


Written by Kenny Loggins and Dean Pitchford
Performed by Kenny Loggins
See more »

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User Reviews

Sure it's silly but it's an 80s teen musical
6 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Teenager Ren (Kevin Bacon) moves to a small mid Western town with his mom after his parents divorce. It seems the Reverend Moore (John Lithgow), of the town's only church, has totally banned rock and roll music from the entire town. He has a daughter named Ariel (Lori Singer) who is basically a hell-raiser--yet loves her father. Rem decides to stop the ban and bring the town back to life.

OK--we're not dealing with reality here at ALL! A town banning rock music entirely is ridiculous and the town only has ONE church? And the game of chicken using tractors was just silly. And don't get me started on how Bacon, Singer, Chris Penn and Sarah Jessica Parker look WAY too old to be high school students--Singer was THIRTY when she did this! And how the heck did all the kids from the town learn how to dance so quickly? But, as a no brain musical, this does work.

The opening sequence alone is great (it shows various feet dancing to the title tune). Also the acting helps a lot. Bacon is just great--he doesn't take the movie too seriously and gives out a very good performance. He also has a big dance number (to a song called "Never") which is him and THREE different stuntman doing the more unrealistic moves. Singer is too old for her role but she tries. Penn is pretty good as Bacon's best friend--his learning how to dance sequence is a highlight. Parker did this before she was known and she's not bad. Lithgow and Wiest are just great as the Reverend and his wife--Wiest has a great scene where she calmly tells him off and Lithgow (wisely) does not play the Reverend as a one-note character. You see him trying to understand his daughter and slowly realizing that music isn't bad.

So--this is no "Singin in the Rain" but for a 1980s teen musical it's lots of fun. Great songs too. Just turn off your brain and enjoy!

44 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What religion are they practicing? Heyitsjennnnnn
So Ariel's Dad didn't like Ren but never said anything about her BF? jerelvis
Footloose hater did not grow up in the 80's Beedlebard
Isn't dancing protected by the first ammendment JAlexa9898
The Drive in dancing scene makes me cringe ambrosesmith44
John Lithgow is Terrifying! toothfairy8505
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