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Xanadu (1980)

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A struggling artist living in Los Angeles meets a girl who may hold the key to his happiness.

Director:

Robert Greenwald
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Popularity
4,464 ( 1,724)
1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia Newton-John ... Kira
Gene Kelly ... Danny McGuire
Michael Beck ... Sonny Malone
James Sloyan ... Simpson
Dimitra Arliss ... Helen
Katie Hanley Katie Hanley ... Sandra
Fred McCarren ... Richie
Renn Woods ... Jo (as Ren Woods)
Sandahl Bergman ... Muse #1
Lynn Latham Lynn Latham ... Muse #2
Melinda Phelps Melinda Phelps ... Muse #3
Cherise Bates Cherise Bates ... Muse #4 (as Cherise Bate)
Juliette Marshall Juliette Marshall ... Muse #5
Marilyn Tokuda Marilyn Tokuda ... Muse #6
Yvette Van Voorhees Yvette Van Voorhees ... Muse #7
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, artist Sonny Malone reluctantly returns to his job at Airflow Records - his job to do poster-sized exact renderings of album covers for on-site promotions, the renderings to be as close to the originals as possible - as he could not make a living as a freelance artist, where he could truly use his artistic vision. On his first day back at Airflow, he gets sidetracked by the thoughts of a young woman who literally roller skates into him. What he is unaware of is that their initial encounter and subsequent encounters are not by accident as she, Kira, a muse, was awakened by his lamentations about his art, she sent to help him achieve his artistic vision. This day, Sonny also meets aging Danny McGuire, a former big band musician turned construction company owner, he who wants to return to his roots by owning a live music venue. Danny initially and Sonny also do not know that their meeting is not by accident as Sonny will soon discover that Kira was part of his past. Sonny... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where time stops and the magic never ends. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Xanadú See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,471,595, 10 August 1980, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,762,571
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (London premiere Print)| Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Famously received the one sentence review: "In a word, Xana-don't". See more »

Goofs

When Sonny first roller skates to the auditorium, the "No Trespassing" sign has the name of then-LA County Supervisor Edmund B. Edelman on it. When Sonny skates across the sign, the camera cuts to a zoomed-in shot in which the bottom quarter of the sign, including Edelman's name, is covered by what appears to be a white piece of paper. See more »

Quotes

Sonny: Hey I've been asking about you all day. You may not believe this but I'm painting an album cover and you're on it.
Kira: Why shouldn't I believe it?
Sonny: Because before today I never laid eyes on you. Now I've seen you 3 times in one day. That's a little too coincidental.
Kira: Sounds like you don't believe it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"THE END" comes up on the screen, in big old fashioned letters, before the end credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in David Walliams' Awfully Good: Awfully Good Movies (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Suddenly
Performed by Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard
Words and Music by John Farrar
Arranged by Steve Vining (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Enchanted by the schmaltz
3 October 2004 | by jan-wibergSee all my reviews

A word of advice to any movie producer: if you have a big-budgeted production that you hope will become a hit, don't hire a director whose only previous experience is on TV. Director Robert Greenwald had directed only TV movie dramas before being assigned to this job, and it shows painfully. The camera either stays still or moves slowly and gracefully, when they should have flung it around and experimented with camera angles to create some oomph for the movie-going audience to feast upon. The only department that really tried here was the art department that created the arty scene-shifts with the accompanying sound effects, and the neon-colored special effects flashing around Kira and the other muses. Don Bluth also provided an animated sequence that offers the only magical moment in the whole film - makes you wish the whole movie had been made in the same style. That would have had so many advantages: the whole superficial story would have been easier to take for instance. Michael Beck would have had a movie career, and we would have been spared from watching "Oh-I'm-so-cute-but-so-poor-at-moving-my-legs-around" Olivia in a second film (or maybe not).

That said, I'm particularly ashamed to admit that I actually like "Xanadu". Very much. The music is the main reason - years before I had seen this film or even heard of it, I had heard "Magic" in the radio, and managed to get a two-minute snippet of it on tape, thinking it was an Abba song I hadn't heard before (no, I'm not an Abba fan - they have a few good songs, but I hate their albums). One day years later, "Xanadu" was on TV in the hotel room I stayed at during a holiday in Sweden - and I happened upon the very scene where "Magic" is heard, where Sonny meets Kira for the first time. Sadly, I couldn't stay to watch the rest, but I immediately wanted to catch the film from beginning to end. Now I have it on tape, and I regularly pop it on my VCR and enjoy the pretty photography, beautiful music, and the irresistibly corny 1980 kitsch "Xanadu" is so chock-full of. A guilty pleasure of the highest magnitude - after all, I'm a nostalgia freak and always will be one.


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