6.1/10
41,533
139 user 52 critic

Flashdance (1983)

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A Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school.

Director:

Adrian Lyne

Writers:

Thomas Hedley Jr. (screenplay) (as Tom Hedley), Joe Eszterhas (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,108 ( 590)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Beals ... Alex Owens
Michael Nouri ... Nick Hurley
Lilia Skala ... Hanna Long
Sunny Johnson ... Jeanie Szabo
Kyle T. Heffner ... Richie
Lee Ving ... Johnny C.
Ron Karabatsos ... Jake Mawby
Belinda Bauer ... Katie Hurley
Malcolm Danare ... Cecil
Philip Bruns ... Frank Szabo (as Phil Bruns)
Micole Mercurio ... Rosemary Szabo
Lucy Lee Flippin ... Secretary
Don Brockett ... Pete
Cynthia Rhodes ... Tina Tech
Durga McBroom Durga McBroom ... Heels
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Storyline

Alex Owens is a female dynamo: steel worker by day, exotic dancer by night. Her dream is to get into a real dance company, though, and with encouragement from her boss/boyfriend, she may get her chance. The city of Pittsburgh co-stars. What a feeling! Written by Stewart M. Clamen <clamen@cs.cmu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cabaret | ballet | dancer | dance | cook | See All (48) »

Taglines:

What a feeling. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Electrodanza See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$94,900,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$205,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original cut of the film was 2 hours 20 minutes long. Against the protests of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and director Adrian Lyne, studio heads Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg insisted that the film be cut down to its actual length. See more »

Goofs

In the restaurant scene where Alex is eating lobster, her nails are painted red. In the following scene (later that night) where she is playing with Nick's watch in bed, her nails are unpainted. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nick: l'll tell you what. l'll give you the Cowboys and three.
Pete: Three and a half.
Nick: Take three, be happy.
Pete: Three and a half. l'm ecstatic.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Make It Happen (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Carmen Suite No. 2: Garde montant
(uncredited)
Music by Georges Bizet
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User Reviews

 
Lively Popular Entertainment
14 January 2004 | by JamesHitchcockSee all my reviews

In recent years there have been a number of British films based on the theme of working-class people who find fulfilment through their cultural activities; examples being Educating Rita (the first and most distinguished), Brassed Off, The Full Monty and Billy Elliott. Such films are frequently described as `quintessentially British' or `something that we can do and Hollywood can't', whereas the truth is that twenty years ago Hollywood was indeed making very similar films, mostly centred upon dancing, such as Saturday Night Fever, Dirty Dancing or Flashdance. Whereas these American films may not have had the covert (or, in the case of Brassed Off, highly overt) political message of their British counterparts, they nevertheless concentrated on differences in social class far more than Hollywood movies usually do.

The heroine of Flashdance, Alex, is a young woman who works as a welder and whose main joy in life is dancing. She moonlights as a dancer in a local nightclub, but her great ambition in life is to become a ballet dancer. The film tells the story of how she achieves that ambition, as well as the story of her romance with a wealthy middle-class divorcee, set against frequent dance sequences as Alex and her ice-skating friend Jeanie go through their paces. The climax comes with a scene in which she auditions for a place at a prestigious ballet academy and treats the judging committee to a bravura display of breakdancing. (Would a ballet school really be prepared to offer a place to a candidate whose dance skills owe more to the disco than to Swan Lake and who seems completely ignorant of balletic idiom?)

The film has its weak points. Although the plot is not as non-existent as some reviewers have felt, it nevertheless tends to take second place to the showpiece dance numbers; at times, it felt as if I were watching an extended series of pop videos. Potentially interesting themes are ignored; for example, Alex is a practising Catholic, but this seems to be a plot device to enable scenes set in the confessional to be used as soliloquies in which she can air her emotional problems. No attempt is made to explore the possible conflict between the demands of her religion and her sexually provocative dancing or her love for a divorcee.

The acting is undistinguished; Jennifer Beals makes an attractive and personable heroine, but it is clear why, despite the success of this film, she did not go on to become a major star. Her acting is too weak to enable her to carry a film; certainly I felt that she would be out of her depth in one that depends more upon plot and less upon song and dance. The other characters are little more than ciphers, with the exception of Hanna, the old lady who acts as Alex's mentor. I could certainly have done without the tasteless ethnic jokes told by Alex's comedian friend.

Yet, despite its faults, I enjoyed this film. Its redeeming feature is the zest and energy of its dance sequences, set to some well-chosen music such as Laura Branigan's Gloria or Irene Cara's title song. It may not be deep or significant, but it is an enjoyable, well-made piece of popular entertainment. 6/10.


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