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Saturday Night Fever (1977)

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Anxious about his future after high school, a 19 year old Italian American from Brooklyn tries to escape the harsh reality of his bleak family life by dominating the dance floor at the local disco.

Director:

John Badham

Writers:

Nik Cohn (story "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night"), Norman Wexler (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,372 ( 1,185)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Tony Manero
Karen Lynn Gorney ... Stephanie
Barry Miller ... Bobby C.
Joseph Cali ... Joey
Paul Pape ... Double J.
Donna Pescow ... Annette
Bruce Ornstein Bruce Ornstein ... Gus
Julie Bovasso ... Flo
Martin Shakar ... Frank Jr.
Sam Coppola ... Dan Fusco (as Sam J. Coppola)
Nina Hansen ... Grandmother
Lisa Peluso Lisa Peluso ... Linda
Denny Dillon ... Doreen
Bert Michaels ... Pete
Robert Costanzo ... Paint Store Customer (as Robert Costanza)
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Storyline

Nineteen-year-old Brooklyn native Tony Manero lives for Saturday nights at the local disco, where he's king of the club, thanks to his stylish moves on the dance floor. But outside of the club, things don't look so rosy. At home, Tony fights constantly with his father and has to compete with his family's starry-eyed view of his older brother, a priest. Nor can he find satisfaction at his dead-end job at a small paint store. However, things begin to change when he spies Stephanie Mangano in the disco and starts training with her for the club's dance competition. Stephanie dreams of the world beyond Brooklyn, and her plans to move to Manhattan just over the bridge soon change Tony's life forever. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sex | intolerance | racism | condom | slut | See All (136) »

Taglines:

He is Tony Manero, king of the discos. Every guy wants to dance like him. Every girl wants to be with him. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, sexuality/nudity and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

16 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Saturday Night See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,878,099, 18 December 1977

Gross USA:

$94,213,184

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$237,113,184
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (PG)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

There were no special effects in the film, except for the smoke rising from the dance floor. Bill Ward, the film's sole gaffer, explains that it wasn't from dry ice or a smoke machine-it was "a toxic mix of burning tar and automobile tires, pinched from a Bay Ridge alley." It created such heat and smoke that at one point they had to wheel in oxygen for John Travolta. The filmmakers also went to great trouble and expense-$15,000-to put lights in the dance floor, designed to pulsate to the music. The walls were covered with aluminium foil and Christmas lights. When the club's owner saw the dailies for the first time, he said, "Holy shit, you guys made my place look great!" See more »

Goofs

The night they take the priest to the club, Tony starts dancing solo (to the song "You Should Be Dancing") and the dance floor clears. His dance partner Connie (the woman in the green dress) is stood up by the stage and standing in place, as are the rest of the dancers off the dance floor as they watch him dance. The lady in the green dress briefly disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pizza Girl: Hi ya, Tony. Two or three?
Tony Manero: Two. Two. Give me two. That's good.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the title appears on screen, it is done in the style of a neon sign. The word "Fever" is blinking. See more »

Alternate Versions

In Belgium, due pressure from younger audiences, the 'rape' scene was cut. This permitted people younger than 16 to go and watch the movie. This happened a few months after it's initial release, giving Saturday Night Fever a second life. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Supernatural: Heaven Can't Wait (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

More Than a Woman
Courtesy of RSO Records, Inc., Stigwood Music, Inc. (Unichappell Music, Inc.) BMI and Bros. Gibb, B.V.
Written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb
Performed by Tavares
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Modern, and Misunderstood, Classic
17 June 2003 | by notarepublicanSee all my reviews

While the movie is more apt to be recalled for its impact on American pop culture, few who watch the movie will ever see beyond the admittedly fantastic dance sequences. As a result, many people might never recognize Saturday Night Fever as perhaps one of the best movies ever made about class struggles among white ethnics.

While his quick study under Denny Terrio for those dance sequences showed a great deal of determination, Travolta's Tony Manero shines in so many other way. The looks of embarrassment and exasperation that his character expresses when confronted with the possibility of working in a Bay Ridge paint store all of his life, or the prejudice and regional chauvinism of his friends, or the behavior of his friends at White Castle or his initial inability to express himself to Stephanie in any way that might impress her, all of these and more contribute to a fully realized character.

While Tony's friends idolize him, the movie never really does, but it does allow empathy for his plight, because even Tony realizes that he is virtually trapped by the current conditions of his existence. While much might be made of the homophobia, racism, and misogyny of the protagonist and his friends, these things are never excused and the movie goes to some lengths to express Tony's own recognition that these are shortcomings in not only his character, but those borne of a provincial mentality which he desperately longs to escape.

Forget those who call this a musical. While the music is an intricate part of the film and setting, Travolta's performance is what sets this film apart.


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