6.5/10
3,040
27 user 17 critic

Beat Street (1984)

PG | | Drama, Music | 8 June 1984 (USA)
An aspiring DJ, from the South Bronx, and his best friend, a promoter, try to get into show business by exposing people to hip-hop music and culture.

Director:

Stan Lathan

Writers:

Steven Hager (story) (as Steve Hager), Andrew Davis (screenplay) (as Andy Davis) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rae Dawn Chong ... Tracy Carlson
Guy Davis Guy Davis ... Kenny 'Double K' Kirkland
Jon Chardiet ... Ramon
Leon W. Grant Leon W. Grant ... Chollie
Saundra Santiago ... Carmen Cararro
Robert Taylor Robert Taylor ... Lee Kirkland
Mary Alice ... Cora (as Mary Alice Smith)
Shawn Elliott ... Domingo
Jim Borrelli Jim Borrelli ... Monte
Dean Elliott Dean Elliott ... Henri
Franc Reyes Franc Reyes ... Luis
Tonya Pinkins ... Angela
Lee Chamberlin ... Alicia
Antonia Rey ... Flora
Duane Jones ... Robert
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Storyline

An upbeat, lets-put-on-a-show musical about the wonders of hip-hop music and culture that tells the story of Kenny, a young hip-hop artist living in the rough slums of the Bronx with his younger brother Lee and their mother Cora. Kenny dreams of making it big as a disc jockey and playing in the most swank of Manhattan nightclubs, the Roxy. Into their lives comes Tracy, a composer and assistant choreographer from the City College of New York, who inspires him to try to continue his dream while romance begins to grow between them, despite coming from different neighborhoods and worlds. Meanwhile, Lee is part of a break-dancing crew set on dominating the scene of their street. The rest of their friends include Ramon, a graffiti artist determined to spread his painting to every subway car in the city while dealing with his girlfriend Carmen and Chollie, a fellow disc jockey who becomes Kenny's manager after he lands him a gig at a Bronx club. Many hip-hop groups, electro artists, break ... Written by Matt Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Capture the energy, excitement, and rhythm on.... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 June 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Perfect Beat See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,218,040, 10 June 1984

Gross USA:

$16,595,791
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the graffiti art that was displayed all throughout the film was not done by real graffiti artists - it was airbrushed by set decorators, however, two grafitti artists were hired as creative consultants for the film, including Bill Cordero - aka "Blast", and Lonny Wood - aka "Phase II", (who is also referenced in the movie, during the subway graffiti scene) See more »

Goofs

During the Roxy breakdancing battle, the three actors to the left of Rae Dawn Chong - a brunette woman, a blonde woman, and a man with a mustache - keep change the order they are standing next to one another. See more »

Quotes

Ramon: [quoting his father] "When are you going to stop writing on the walls and make some money, when are you going to stop tagging the subway cars, when are you going to make your son legitimate... legitimate shit."
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK theatrical prints were edited by four seconds to obtain a "PG" rating. The 1986 and 2002 video releases were uncut and received a "15" classification, though in 2008 the rating was downgraded to "12," again without cuts. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Boondocks: Riley Wuz Here (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Beat Street Strut
Performed by Juicy
See more »

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User Reviews

Bronx Old School
26 September 2002 | by murphyguideSee all my reviews

Great time-capsule of the Bronx and 'hood in the 1980s, and the b-bop culture/dress/dance. Kids walking the snowy streets, abandoned buildings (sealed with concrete, then broken into), marked-up subway cars...New York as it was then. It's a well put-together, but not "slick", movie, with a good, believable story and characters with some depth. The breakdancing is "real" and pretty thrilling. I taught at Roosevelt High in the Bronx at this time, and this movie catches the scene. Interesting to note how upbeat, pleasant it all was, too, vs. today's more sinist


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