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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
2,630 ( 222)
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:

Something happens when she hears the music...it's her freedom. It's her fire. It's her life. 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:

Flashdance 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

There is a cutting-room-floor scene between Alex and Hanna, which finds Alex admitting that she was too insecure - not too busy, as she claimed earlier - to apply for membership in Pittsburgh's Repertory Dance Company. Hanna then tells Alex that "Everybody runs sometimes...Eventually, you'll understand that - and then you'll stop running." This scene can be found in certain TV edits of the movie. See more »

Goofs

In the climactic dance, Alex is played by several noticeably different people. 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 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Manhunt
Performed by Karen Ichiuji-Ramone (as Karen Kamon)
Music and Lyrics by Doug Cotler and Richard Gilbert
Produced by Phil Ramone
See more »

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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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