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Saturday Night Fever (1977)

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Anxious about his future after high school, a 19-year-old Italian-American from Brooklyn tries to escape the harsh reality of his bleak family life by dominating the dance floor at the local disco.

Director:

John Badham

Writers:

Nik Cohn (story "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night"), Norman Wexler (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,726 ( 521)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Tony Manero
Karen Lynn Gorney ... Stephanie
Barry Miller ... Bobby C.
Joseph Cali ... Joey
Paul Pape ... Double J.
Donna Pescow ... Annette
Bruce Ornstein Bruce Ornstein ... Gus
Julie Bovasso ... Flo
Martin Shakar ... Frank Jr.
Sam Coppola ... Dan Fusco (as Sam J. Coppola)
Nina Hansen ... Grandmother
Lisa Peluso Lisa Peluso ... Linda
Denny Dillon ... Doreen
Bert Michaels ... Pete
Robert Costanzo ... Paint Store Customer (as Robert Costanza)
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Storyline

Nineteen-year-old Brooklyn native Tony Manero lives for Saturday nights at the local disco, where he's king of the club, thanks to his stylish moves on the dance floor. But outside of the club, things don't look so rosy. At home, Tony fights constantly with his father and has to compete with his family's starry-eyed view of his older brother, a priest. Nor can he find satisfaction at his dead-end job at a small paint store. However, things begin to change when he spies Stephanie Mangano in the disco and starts training with her for the club's dance competition. Stephanie dreams of the world beyond Brooklyn, and her plans to move to Manhattan just over the bridge soon change Tony's life forever. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He is Tony Manero, king of the discos. Every guy wants to dance like him. Every girl wants to be with him. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, sexuality/nudity and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

16 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Saturday Night See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,878,099, 18 December 1977

Gross USA:

$94,213,184

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$237,113,184
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (PG)

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were no special effects in the film, except for the smoke rising from the dance floor. Bill Ward, the film's sole gaffer, explains that it wasn't from dry ice or a smoke machine but a toxic mix of burning tar and automobile tires, pinched from a Bay Ridge alley." It created such heat and smoke that at one point they had to wheel in oxygen for John Travolta. The filmmakers also went to great trouble and expense--$15,000--to put lights in the dance floor, designed to pulsate to the music. The walls were covered with aluminum foil and Christmas lights. When the club's owner saw the dailies for the first time, he said, "Holy shit, you guys made my place look great!" See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, Stephanie lets Tony into her apartment. Tony walks in and stops in front of a yellow chair and in front of the first window. In the next shot, he is behind the yellow chair and in front of the second window. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pizza Girl: Hi ya, Tony. Two or three?
Tony Manero: Two. Two. Give me two. That's good.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the title appears on screen, it is done in the style of a neon sign. The word "Fever" is blinking. See more »

Alternate Versions

Saturday Night Fever has two ratings: The R-rated version is 119 minutes, it had contained the offensive language, nudity, and sexual content. In 1978, the film was re-issued as a 109 minute PG-rated version with extensive edits. This print removed all uses of 'fuck', 'cunt', 'shit', 'assholes', 'Jesus' and sexual dialogue references, as well as editing shots of the topless dancer, sex scenes in the car (notably the repeated rape of Annette), a groin kick and a head beating during the fight sequence, a shot of Tony waking and scratching his groin, and a closeup shot of a woman's breast on the poster in Tony's bedroom. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Fatal Games (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

More Than a Woman
Courtesy of RSO Records, Inc., Stigwood Music, Inc. (Unichappell Music, Inc.) BMI and Bros. Gibb, B.V.
Written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb
Performed by The Bee Gees
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Tough, gritty and touching
20 February 2003 | by brownjaySee all my reviews

On a purely visceral level, SNF is a joy to watch, as Travolta, Gorney, Pescow and others all demonstrate that they can move to the sound of the beat, and the music etched by the Bee Gees and others (don't miss out on the Trammps "Disco Infereno") provide a riveting backdrop for the performers to strut. However, on a more human level, the movie expresses in simple and sometimes violent terms, the struggle that kids on the edge of being adults face everywhere in this country and others -where do I fit in, how do I make my way in life? For Tony, the dance floor provides an outlet that undergirds his self esteem and gives him plenty of opportunities to score with chicks (Pescow even prompts him for sex by bringing the rubbers), but it does nothing to address his desire to make his mark as an adult. Living at home, kicking in for food, working at a paint store and blowing $20 or $30 a night at the 2001 Odyssey leaves a void that only becomes apparent when he meets Stephanie (Gorney) and tries his best to score with her by asking her to be his partner in the upcoming dance contest. It is a boy meets girl, boy gets girl? story, laced with compelling dialogue and subplots. PARENTS BEWARE: this movie features an extreme amount of profanity, a rape sequence, depicts women in a largely unfavorable light and contains a tough death scene.

In short, it is a movie that has stood the test of time since its release in 1977. It made Travolta a star (he was nominated for the Best Actor oscar as was Gorney for best supporting actress) and it deserves high marks on many levels. Please stay away from the sequel "Staying Alive". Stallone discards everything from the original but Travolta and the story is mundane and predictable.

Note: Rent the 25th anniversay DVD as it contains 3 deleted scenes and commentary from director John Badham, which offers insight into Badham's thought process as he directed and edited the movie.


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