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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.


4,659 ( 672)
1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Kira
... Danny McGuire
... Sonny Malone
... Simpson
... Helen
Katie Hanley ... Sandra
Fred McCarren ... Richie
... Jo (as Ren Woods)
... Muse 1
Lynn Latham ... Muse 2
Melinda Phelps ... Muse 3
Cherise Bates ... Muse 4 (as Cherise Bate)
Juliette Marshall ... Muse 5
Marilyn Tokuda ... Muse 6
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


The Music, The Film, A Place Where Dreams Come True. [UK] See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 August 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Xanadú  »


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:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(London premiere Print)|



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the start of the movie, Sonny goes walking along the boardwalk looking for Kera. He stops to ask "Lou" if he has seen her. Lou replies no, and proceeds to show Sonny photos of his children. Lou was in real life the owner of Sound City Studios in L.A. He is featured heavily in Sound City (2013). See more »


When Sonny first visits the painter's workshop, Richie is working on a painting, which is only partly done. When Richie turns to greet Sonny, the painting is almost compete. See more »


Sonny: I've come to take you out of here.
Kira: It can't be done. No one's ever taken anyone out of here. Not in the whole history of... the whole history!
Sonny: I'll make them let you go. Zeus! Zeus, you hear me?
Kira: Oh, God.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opens with the 1930s-era Universal logo, with an airplane circling a globe; then it becomes a 50s-era passenger plane, then the Concorde, then the fourth time around as it becomes a spaceship. Instrumentals of "Whenever You're Away From Me" and "Xanadu" play under this, with musical styles matching the period of each aircraft. See more »


Spoofed in American Dad!: G-String Circus (2009) See more »


You Made Me Love You
Written by James V. Monaco and Joseph McCarthy
Performed by Olivia Newton-John
Produced by Barry De Vorzon
See more »

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User Reviews

In Xanadu did ONJ a campy guilty pleasure film decree!
18 August 2004 | by See 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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