6.6/10
19,741
112 user 55 critic

Fame (1980)

Trailer
2:54 | Trailer
A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.

Director:

Alan Parker
Reviews
Popularity
1,726 ( 122)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Barth ... Angelo
Irene Cara ... Coco
Lee Curreri ... Bruno
Laura Dean ... Lisa
Antonia Franceschi ... Hilary
Boyd Gaines ... Michael
Albert Hague ... Shorofsky
Tresa Hughes ... Mrs. Finsecker
Steve Inwood Steve Inwood ... François Lafete
Paul McCrane ... Montgomery
Anne Meara ... Mrs. Sherwood
Joanna Merlin ... Miss Berg
Barry Miller ... Ralph
Jim Moody ... Farrell
Gene Anthony Ray ... Leroy
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Based on the best-selling autobiography by Irish expatriate Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen
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Storyline

At the New York City High School for the Performing Arts, students get specialized training that often leads to success as actors, singers, etc. This movie follows eight students from the time when they audition to get into the school, through graduation. Among these are the brazen Coco Hernandez, shy Doris Finsecker, sensitive gay Montgomery MacNeil, and brash, abrasive Ralph Garcy. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Remember my name... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the scene where the kids dance to the song 'Fame' on the street over the cars, the song hadn't actually been written at the time. On location, the actual song used was 'Hot Stuff' by Donna Summer. This song was chosen because the beats were similar to the proposed song and the dancers moved their bodies in a similar fashion so it fit quite nicely. See more »

Goofs

At about 15:00, while Ralph is explaining that the reason he wants to attend the school is because Freddie Prinze went there, we see Michael open and begin to eat from a soup container. Then in the reverse shot we see Michael (from behind) not eating. Then back to the original front shot with Michael eating again. See more »

Quotes

Montgomery McNeil: Never being happy isn't the same as being unhappy. Is it?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Runs 133 minutes long on Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED), also commonly known as RCA Selectavision Videodisc. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Critic: Marty's First Date (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

I Sing The Body Electric
(1979)
Music by Michael Gore
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Arranged by Steve Margoshes
Performed by Laura Dean, Irene Cara, Paul McCrane, Traci Parnell, and Eric Brockington
See more »

User Reviews

 
Good. Could have been great.
10 January 2007 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

A recent survey of children in the UK re-enforced the notion put forth by this film 27 years ago. That being more than anything else, young people want to grow up to be somebody famous. It used to be doctors and firemen that kids wanted to be. Now, everyone wants to be famous. Fame is a story of a group of kids accepted into the High School for Performing Arts in New York City. We seen them first audition, then take classes and learn about life for the next four years. The film has a lot of fine qualities, but ultimately leaves you feeling a little unsatisfied.

Alan Parker's bold directorial style fits the story pretty well. The film has been classified as a musical, but more than anything it is a drama. Musical numbers and dance routines break out here and there, and Parker keeps them as close to realistic as they really could have been filmed. The acting is for the most part top-drawer with a few exceptions. The pacing is a little off, particularly toward the end of the film, but by that point, the story has already taken a few wrong turns anyway.

First off, the auditions at the beginning of the film should have weeded a couple of the principle characters out. It seems unlikely that anyone would show up and audition for one department, then stumble their way through admissions to another. Some of these people just don't look that talented or interested to begin with. Once the first year of classes gets going, the film settles into a nice groove. The interaction between students and teachers is very well handled, and it leaves you wanting more. The film begins to lose itself later on as we see more and more of the students' lives out of school. Some of these people just aren't worth caring about.

The film's biggest mistake is making the Ralph Garcy character so prominent. This guy is a boorish; self-centered jerk. A "professional a-hole" as he proudly declares on stage during his comedy routines. The audience is supposed to somehow feel for this guy and his tragic personal situation, but I was just hoping they'd throw his butt out of school. Irene Cara, Maureen Teefy, Paul McCrane and the late Gene Anthony Ray are the people you'll care about by the time this film is over. Try as I might, I still can't develop abs like Gene Anthony Ray had in this film.

Overall this film is good. It is memorable, interesting, and full of daring scenes and performances. It runs maybe a little too long, and perhaps some of the wrong characters get fully developed while others kind of hover in the background. The musical numbers are great, and there is even a surprise or two waiting to be discovered by the time the film is over. Though not perfect, Fame will be a film that lives on in one way or another for many years to come.

7 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French | Russian

Release Date:

16 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hot Lunch See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$118,160, 18 May 1980

Gross USA:

$21,202,829

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,202,829
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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