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 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
This film is listed among the "Ten Most Enjoyable Bad Movies Ever Made" in Golden Raspberry Awards creator John Wilson's book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE MOVIE GUIDE. See more »
Richie's large painting is in front of the stairs as Sonny enters. When Sonny leaves, the painting is beside the stairs. See more »
Look up "muse" in the dictionary. Go on, page seven twenty-eight. Read it!
Okay, all right. I'll read it.
"Muse; any one of the nine sister..."
Like the album cover? Mm-hmm?
"Any one of the nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology, presiding over song, and poetry, and the arts and do you believe me now, Sonny?" How'd you do that? What's going on?
[Points at the TV]
[...] See more »
"THE END" comes up on the screen, in big old fashioned letters, before the end credits. 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 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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