292 user 44 critic

Xanadu (1980)

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


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





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


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


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


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

8 August 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Xanadú See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (London premiere Print)| Dolby


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


John Travolta turned down the role of Sonny Malone. See more »


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 »


Kira: A place where nobody dared to go / the love that we came to know / They call it Xanadu / And now, open your eyes and see / what we have made is real / We are in Xanadu / A million lights are dancing and there you are, a shooting star / An everlasting world and you're here with me, eternally / Xanadu / Xanadu / now we are here in Xanadu / Xanadu / Xanadu / now we are here in Xanadu / Xanadu, your neon lights will shine for you, Xanadu / The love, the echoes of long ago / you needed the world to ...
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Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 4 April 2008 (2008) See more »


All Over the World
Performed by Electric Light Orchestra
Words and Music by Jeff Lynne
See more »

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User Reviews

In Xanadu did ONJ a campy guilty pleasure film decree!
18 August 2004 | by mvidacSee all my reviews

C'mon ... all you people who insist on slamming this movie. Tell me, were you duped into thinking you were going to see something of Oscar caliber or did you know going in that it was a musical roller-skating fantasy? Yeah, bad acting abounded and the plot line may have had its issues if you're going to critique it but I'll bet you caught yourself tapping your feet along to the music more than once.

I saw this movie when I was about 8. I fell in love with it. I remember leaving the theater and wanting to be ONJ. I had the ribbons in my hair and I spent countless hours skating in the kitchen to the soundtrack. For years I thought I was odd but as time passes, I encounter more and more people who adore this film. It's good to know I'm not alone.

Now I have it on DVD and the soundtrack on CD. I still get that same feeling whenever I watch it or hear the music and THAT'S what it's all about. Try watching it one more time. Throw out your criticisms and opinions and watch it for what it is, pure entertainment - something that rarely exists these days in such an innocent and pure form.

Here's to all those who get it!!!

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