6.6/10
19,876
113 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
1,623 ( 590)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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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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

Debbie Allen's one line in the movie was "Wicked." (Ironically, it was a response to when the dance teacher, Miss Berg, asked "What do you call that?", when Leroy was dancing around very provocatively). See more »

Goofs

After four years of school, Doris Finsecker's little brother never gets any older. See more »

Quotes

Farrell: There are 50,000 people walking around calling themselves actors and maybe 500 are making a living at it. Most of those do commercials to pay the rent. The rest wait tables, clean other people's apartments, living on welfare and hope. And don't think talent's enough to get you through. You've gotta have a strong technique, a good agent, and, most of all, a thick skin; because, now you're part of an underprivileged minority and you're going to suffer.
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Alternate Versions

Following the success of the TV series in the UK, an alternate PG-rated version was released theatrically with all of the swearing, sexual and drugs references removed. See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Teens (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Fame
(1980)
Music by Michael Gore
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Performed by Irene Cara (uncredited)
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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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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