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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
3,012 ( 287)
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 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, Limited Release

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Production had to be briefly halted so that John Travolta could attend the funeral of his girlfriend Diana Hyland. The couple had earlier appeared in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976), their only ever joint venture. It was Hyland who encouraged Travolta to take the role of Tony Manero. See more »

Goofs

When Tony talks with Stephanie in her apartment after the "lonesome subway ride" scene. 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

For the PG version some of the language replacement goes as follows: 1. Near the beginning when Tony and his boss are shutting up shop, his boss says to him to 'save his money, build a future', and Toni's response being 'oh fuck the future'. The PG version replaces it as 'to hell with the future'. The entire sequence plays out with the word 'hell' instead of 'fuck' when they talk, it seems like it's an entirely different take shot especially for this version. But also it's a lot darker, you can't see as much compared to the uncut version as if they've maybe darken it so their mouths aren't obvious which may suggest they re-dubbed it but using the same take. 2. When Tony and Annette walk down the stairs to the dance studio and Tony asks if she's 'a nice girl or a c**t?' but the PG version changes it to 'a nice girl or a pig?' 3. When the guys jump off the bridge and Annette runs to the side to look over she yells at them 'you fucker's', the PG version changes it to 'you fakers'. 4. The scene after Tony and Stephanie win the dance contest and Tony doesn't believe they should have won seems to be a different take in the PG version as a boom can briefly be seen at the top of the frame, plus the swearing is replaced, but in the uncut version the boom can't be seen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Love the '70s (2003) 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

 
Modern, and Misunderstood, Classic
17 June 2003 | by notarepublicanSee all my reviews

While the movie is more apt to be recalled for its impact on American pop culture, few who watch the movie will ever see beyond the admittedly fantastic dance sequences. As a result, many people might never recognize Saturday Night Fever as perhaps one of the best movies ever made about class struggles among white ethnics.

While his quick study under Denny Terrio for those dance sequences showed a great deal of determination, Travolta's Tony Manero shines in so many other way. The looks of embarrassment and exasperation that his character expresses when confronted with the possibility of working in a Bay Ridge paint store all of his life, or the prejudice and regional chauvinism of his friends, or the behavior of his friends at White Castle or his initial inability to express himself to Stephanie in any way that might impress her, all of these and more contribute to a fully realized character.

While Tony's friends idolize him, the movie never really does, but it does allow empathy for his plight, because even Tony realizes that he is virtually trapped by the current conditions of his existence. While much might be made of the homophobia, racism, and misogyny of the protagonist and his friends, these things are never excused and the movie goes to some lengths to express Tony's own recognition that these are shortcomings in not only his character, but those borne of a provincial mentality which he desperately longs to escape.

Forget those who call this a musical. While the music is an intricate part of the film and setting, Travolta's performance is what sets this film apart.


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