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
Per Kevin Bacon, Peter Tramm, his credited main dance double in the famous warehouse scene, was married at the time to Marine Jahan, the famously uncredited dance double for Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (1983). See more »
When Ren and Willard are driving away from the gas station (before they're pulled over by the police), you can see one of their heads in the rear view mirror. They're talking, but their lips never move. See more »
"a time to mourn and a time to dance" - Ecclesiastes 3:4
I stayed away from this film for 29 years because of Roger Ebert's scathing review and the fact that I thought the story was about some big city fop moving to a small town and dancing on the tables of the local high school, etc. I was wrong (and so was Ebert). The main character, Ren (Kevin Bacon), is no dandy -- in fact, he can kick some arse if necessary -- and he's not dancing through the halls of the high school every other scene.
THE PLOT: Dancing and loud music have been banned in the remote Utah town of Bomont because of an accident that killed the son of the town's main pastor (John Lithgow). His daughter, Ariel (Lori Singer), rebels against her father's legalistic measures through fornication and daring -- near suicidal -- acts. Ren and Ariel take a liking to each other while the former endeavors to free the town of its stifling legalism.
Also on hand are Chris Penn as Ren's country boy pal, Willard, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Ariel's friend, Rusty. Penn's character is real fun and Sarah was a real cutie back in '84.
Although I didn't see "Footloose" for almost 30 years, the film has acquired a respectable following. Maybe this is what inspired me to finally give-in and view it. I now understand why it's been so popular. "Footloose" has that cinematic magic that pulls you in and gives you a good time. This is just a really entertaining movie.
I also like the depth. We understand Rev. Shaw's grief, but his legalism isn't doing his people or town any good. I also like how Shaw isn't made out to be the clichéd villain. This is a good man thinking he's doing the right thing for his town, and in many ways he is, but the legalistic spirit he cops is sapping the life out of him, his family, his congregants and his town. Does he have the wisdom to see his error and re-route?
The film runs 107 minutes and was shot in areas 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City, on the eastern side of Utah Lake.
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