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
In the episode of VH1's Behind the Music (1997) about the movie, John Travolta addressed the rumors that the below-the-waist shots of Tony in the opening title sequence were done by a body double. Travolta said that it was all him during the sequence except for the one shot where Tony stops and lifts up his shoe to compare it to the shoe in the corner window of the shoe store. That one shot upset him quite a bit because the body double was unsteady on his feet, and Travolta was anything but unsteady on his feet. See more »
When the (former) Father Frank Jr is leaving the Monero household to go to a settlement home in the first shot, the car he is about to enter is a Ford Country Squire (full size) station wagon. In the next shot when he gets in the car and it pulls away, it is a different car: a Ford LTD II (mid size) station wagon. See more »
1977 was the year in which iconoclastic punk and hedonistic disco dominated the music scene. How ironic then that the final number one single in the U.S. of that year was Debbie Boone's "You light up my life". While I think that the punk movement has never been well documented in film fiction, the more popular and mainstream disco culture had several major films dedicated to it. The best of these was Saturday Night Fever (SNF).
The snag is that SNF was NOT a disco movie. Yes, it had dazzling dance sequences, yes, it had a pulsating soundtrack, and, yes, many of the scenes were shot in a disocteque, but I have always felt that the disco theme was peripheral to the real story; the alienation of youth and the acceptance and sanctuary they find in each other and their chosen surroundings. In fact, Nik Cohn's article on which the film was based (and which he later admitted was faked), "Tribal rites of the new Saturday night" would have been a more apposite title. John Travolta perfectly captures this. As Tony Manero he almost ritually prepares himself for his night out, preening himself in front of the mirror, donning his warrior's uniform, and then escaping the drudgery of his existence to his battleground, the local disco where he is the tribal chief.
Gritty, foulmouthed and somewhat downbeat, SNF starkly presented the darker underbelly of the disco subculture.
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