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Xanadu (1980)

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1:56 | Trailer
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
4,251 ( 126)
1 win & 10 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--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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In Xanadu a golden goddess did decree... Welcome to your own musical fantasy. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Kira tells Sonny she is one of the Greek muses, she starts to say, "My real name is Terp" but Sonny shushes her and she never reveals her real name. She is there to help him open a dance club, and she is obviously a dancer, so her name is most likely Terpsichore, after the Greek muse of dance--although in the stage adaption of the film she was Clio, muse of history. See more »

Goofs

When Sonny arrives at work, he chats with the security guards as they open the gates for him, but their mouths are closed. See more »

Quotes

Danny McGuire: Well, where ever it is you go, let's go!
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Pornography: A Thriller (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Suspended in Time
Performed by Olivia Newton-John
Words and Music by John Farrar
Arranged by Louis Clark (undredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Give XANADU a Chance!
13 September 2003 | by cariartSee all my reviews

XANADU is one of the most critically and commercially panned films in Hollywood history, a 'Nouveau Art' musical with Art Deco themes, a weirdly conceived animated interlude, and performances of such widely varying caliber that a viewer might wonder if the actors were all reading from the same script! But all that being said, I would like to offer a minority opinion, and say that I didn't find the film THAT terrible, and there are some aspects of it I actually enjoyed...

First and foremost, it offers the legendary Gene Kelly, in his last musical, as charming and wonderful as ever. As retired musician/businessman Danny McGuire, Kelly has the film's best moments, including a 'classic' song-and-dance scene with Olivia Newton-John and some silly but endearing 'post-disco' routines with the talented young dancers of the cast (including future CONAN star Sandahl Bergman). Seeing him on roller-skates again, leading everyone around the club he builds, to the music of the Electric Light Orchestra, makes one realize just how irreplaceable he is. Kelly could do it all, and with style!

The premise of the film, of a Muse coming from Olympus to inspire an artist, is far-fetched, but had been done on film several times in the past (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, with Ava Gardner and Robert Walker, and DOWN TO EARTH, with Rita Hayworth, are the examples most often cited), and while Olivia Newton-John is oddly cast in the role, she tackles it gamely, with a smile and a wink, and isn't THAT bad. On the other hand, Michael Beck, best-known as the gang leader in cliched but powerful THE WARRIORS, is totally miscast as the artist she falls in love with. An actor with limited range and no singing or dancing talent, Beck lacks the charisma to pull off the role (one wonders why British pop star Cliff Richard, who voices Beck's animated duet with Newton-John, 'Suddenly', wasn't utilized to play the part).

While the film often veers off in bizarre directions, the 'Battle of the Bands' scene between popular 80s rockers, the Tubes, and a 'Tommy Dorsey/WWII'-style orchestra (as Beck and Kelly envision what the 'look' and 'sound' of their club, XANADU, should be), actually works, and is fun to watch. The entire score, by Barry De Vorzon and John Farrar, and Jeff Lynne (with ELO) is terrific (and made the soundtrack album a hit).

Sure, the ending is hokey, but it was also the same ending of ONE TOUCH OF VENUS and DOWN TO EARTH, so XANADU can't be totally faulted!

All in all, XANADU isn't the WORST film ever made, and if you give it a chance, you might find it a guilty pleasure!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Xanadu See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,471,595, 10 August 1980

Gross USA:

$22,762,571

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,762,571
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (London premiere Print)| Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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