A young girl is on top of the world until a tragic accident dashes her hopes and dreams of becoming a world-class figure skater. Only with the help of those who love her can she prove to ... See full summary »
Good girl Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John) and greaser Danny Zuko (John Travolta) fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?
Feature length comedy about Richard Butler, a reclusive writer who becomes trapped inside his own novel. Surrounded by characters from his best selling pulp books Richard undergoes a ... See full summary »
In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.
In Los Angeles, artist Sonny Malone reluctantly returns to his job at Airflow Records--doing poster-sized exact-as-possible renderings of album covers for on-site promotions--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 thoughts of a young woman who literally rollerskates into him. He's unaware that their initial encounter and subsequent encounters are not accident: she is Kira, a muse who was awakened by his lamentations about his art and sent to help him achieve his artistic vision. Later that day he meets aging Danny McGuire, a former big-band musician turned construction-company owner who wants to return to his roots by owning a live music venue. This meeting too is no accident; Sonny soon discovers that Kira was part of Danny's past. Sonny and Danny achieving their dreams is threatened by Kira knowingly breaking the rules.Written by
Famously received the one sentence review: "In a word, Xana-don't". See more »
In the opening shots of the "All Over the World" sequence, outside the entrance to the clothing boutique, the mannequin furthest from the camera shouts out counts to keep the dancers together. The only audio heard at that point is the prerecorded song, but his lips are very clearly moving. See more »
The spaceship shown in the Universal Logo was also used on the Quinn Martin Series, The Invaders. See more »
The original theatrical release uses the 1963 Universal logo at the end and then shows the PG rating slide. The 1994 VHS release (while retaining the Universal logo at the end), strangely replaces the PG rating slide with a GP rating slide (the original name for the PG rating from 1969 to 1972). The 1999 DVD restores the proper PG rating slide, however the 1963 Universal logo is removed. The 2008 DVD restores both the 1963 Universal logo and the original PG rating slide, making it a more accurate representation of the original theatrical release. See more »
Xanadu, which has received some scathing one-sentence reviews, flopped in a big way at the box office, and even helped inspire the creation of the Razzies, is underrated. Not as underrated as that statement would normally imply, but enough. The reason why it is underrated is similar to the reason why it stinks. Xanadu consists of two parts, each of which can be divided into two parts depending on how successful each scene making up those two parts are.
The first part is all dialogue, in which Michael Beck, Gene Kelly, Olivia Newton-John, or combinations thereof, spend a lot of screen time talking about the importance of following one's dreams. The success of this part of the film depends largely on how tightly integrated it is with the musical part. When the male leads discuss music in particular, it starts to fall flat as the artistic sentiment of a bygone era tries unsuccessfully to gel with the lowest-common-denominator mentality of what was then the present. The music sequences that fit in with this rule tend to suffer a lot, too. The attempt to blend a 1940s jazz band with Electric Light Orchestra, who were never really that representative of any culture, even those of the 1980s, is especially embarrassing. It dates the whole film beyond return.
On the other hand, when the musical and dialogue sequences are not connected to one another, they work so well. Michael Beck's dialogues with the supporting cast about how his dreams of artistic freedom failed are brilliantly executed. The dialogue between Beck and Kelly in which the latter basically tells the former that quitting now will leave him with a lifetime of regret is pure gold. The conversation in which Beck's and Newton-John's characters argue with the voices of the gods, performed by Wilfrid Hyde-White and Coral Browne, works wonderfully in spite of the ludicrous costume on Beck. But the real gem in this flick is the climactic rollerdisco scene. I don't know how long it took them to coordinate and stage this myriad of sequences, but the result was worth every bit of effort.
Unfortunately, the film is not without its problems. Many sequences are either boring or outright ludicrous. The animated part in particular fails to fit in with the rest of the film. Major rewrites began close to production as the producers tried to distinguish the production from other rollerskating-themed films of the time. According to Olivia Newton-John, the film was literally being written as it was shot, and nowhere does this show more than in the final musical sequences of the aforementioned rollerdisco scene. It was as if the makers decided to put in as many shots of Olivia singing and dancing in as many costumes as they could. Perhaps the problem was in the editing, as the aforementioned on-the-spot writing would have caused a problem with knowing exactly when to call it over. Truth be told, it does stretch a little past its welcome, if only by a few minutes. But then, show me a film that is not guilty of the same offense, and I will show you a masterpiece.
Truth be told, this film is nowhere near as bad as the IMDb rating would have you believe. It is not all that good, either, but it gets a little bit more right than wrong. Compared to excruciatingly bad musicals that take themselves far too seriously, such as the recent Chicago adaptation, this is pure gold. Hence, in spite of a lot of problems, I rated Xanadu a seven out of ten. It is a real guilty pleasure of a film, and really needed more time in pre-production, but it is entertaining for more than half of its running time, which is more than I can say for a lot of other films. Especially of this genre.
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