4.5/10
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40 user 37 critic

Roller Boogie (1979)

PG | | Drama, Music | 21 December 1979 (USA)
Skaters band together to keep their roller-disco open.

Director:

Mark L. Lester

Writers:

Barry Schneider (screenplay), Irwin Yablans (story)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Blair ... Terry Barkley
Jim Bray ... Bobby James
Beverly Garland ... Lillian Barkley
Roger Perry ... Roger Barkley
James Van Patten ... Hoppy (as Jimmy Van Patten)
Kimberly Beck ... Lana
Sean McClory ... Jammer Delany
Mark Goddard ... Thatcher
Albert Insinnia ... Gordo
Stoney Jackson ... Phones
M.G. Kelly M.G. Kelly ... D.J.
Christopher S. Nelson Christopher S. Nelson ... Franklin (as Chris Nelson)
Patrick Wright ... Sgt. Danner
Dorothy Meyer Dorothy Meyer ... Ada
Shelley Golden Shelley Golden ... Mrs. Potter
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Storyline

Beyond ensuring that she makes it into Julliard as a flautist for the upcoming fall term, wealthy Lillian and Roger Barkley largely neglect their teenaged daughter, Terry Barkley. Although Terry doesn't try to hide the facts from them, her parents have no idea that she hates the flute and the associated music, has no desire to attend Julliard, and spends all her time on the proverbial wrong side of the tracks with her friend Lana roller skating on the Venice Beach boardwalk with the legions of other roller skaters. There, she attracts the attention of Bobby James, the hotshot skater who rightly believes he is headed to the next Olympics. Terry initially rebuffs Bobby's advances, until she asks him to teach her how to dance so that they can compete in the upcoming roller boogie contest at Jammer's, the local skating rink owned by Jammer Delaney, a former roller derby star. Terry and Bobby's relationship eventually becomes more than just about skating. But the roller boogie contest and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's love on wheels!

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Roller Boogie See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$767,854, 25 December 1979

Gross USA:

$13,253,715

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,253,715
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This was the second roller-disco movie of the late 1970s. Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979) premiered a few months earlier. See more »

Goofs

When Terry falls during the conga line scene, her wheel comes off. When she holds it up, the bearings are missing. When she goes upstairs to Jammer's supply room to get a lock nut, the wheel is on her skates. When they overhear a conversation and run down the stairs without the lock nut they went for, the wheel is still intact on her skates. See more »

Quotes

Terry Barkley: What's wrong?
Bobby James: Nothing's wrong. I just don't understand you. You comin' on so strong and all. What do you want from me?
Terry Barkley: What does any woman want from a man?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob Movie (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Fire
by Mavis (as Aller)/Bob Esty (as Esty)
Performed by Bob Esty
Courtesy of Casablanca Records and Filmworks Inc.
Special guest performance by Mavis (as Michele Aller)
See more »

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User Reviews

It delivered the "B" movie cheese factor I craved! And that was it...
7 June 2004 | by domenicaroseSee all my reviews

I was positively giddy when this flick came on T.V. yesterday afternoon because it wasn't something that I would actually go out and rent, wasting precious time and money. I have a morbid curiosity about stinker movies and I had heard about this one's notorious stinkiness for a while now. It was just the laugh I needed to cheer me up on a cloudy, gloomy day: the plot was ludicrous, the cast's wardrobe was just as gloriously tacky as expected, the skating was decent (but in the context... so silly!), and the script was absolutely ridiculous! Plus I loved the heavy-handed use of clichés used to hit the audience over the head, "Hey, in case you haven't figured it out yet, these people are RICH" when showing Terry Barkley (Linda Blair) and her family: 1.) her 1920's(?) era car--Hey, I know the Beverly Hills rich bitches of today drive Beemers and such, but back in the late 70's, it had to be kind of the same situation with similar model cars driven. Why would Terry's rich daddy want his precious little girl driving around L.A. in such an impractical and most likely unsafe fossil of a car! 2.) The Barkley household's princess phones--another impractical device. 3.) Terry's typical "poor little rich girl"/"my mommy and daddy don't care about me" issues.

Other gleeful love/hate moments of sheer comedy: the opening sequence where the Roller Boogie "gang" is rolling though the streets to a Cher song (an obvious effort to get the audience pumped up and lured into the "magic" of the film... it only had me and my boyfriend rolling in laughter), the roller boogie guy with the radio strapped to his shoulder and the HUGE headphones on ALL the time, the one mobster heavy who always wore that awful-looking plaid jacket in every scene he's in (isn't that what ALL mob heavies wear???), Bobby James' lone tribute skate routine to the rink's owner Jammer that was supposed to get the audience all emotional(?!?), the shirt that he wore during this scene with his sequined "BJ" monogram on it (sooooo cheesy!), the chase scene when Bobby and Terry are skating for their lives from the mobsters and they jump over the car (can you say, WIPEOUT??? I mean, their neat little landing without any stumbling whatsover was sooooo unbelievably funny!), plus too many more to mention.

I gotta mention here that I'm even a HUGE fan of 'Xanadu,' another roller skating movie from the same time. But that movie had the redeeming factor of more charismatic actors, better plot, much better soundtrack, and awesome costumes and stage sets. It also had a dreamy, hopeful, and inspirational feel that 'Roller Boogie' never even came CLOSE to achieving. I just can't see how ANYBODY could have written the script for, acted in, or directed this classic piece of crap with a straight face. But it DID deliver the cheese factor I was craving. Thanks for the laughs, 'Roller Boogie!' May you live on as an undisputed masterpiece of bad cinema... a deliciously cringe-inducing time capsule of that age.


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