- John Badham
- John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller, Joseph Cali, Paul Pape, Donna Pescow, Bruce Ornstein, Val Bisoglio
- 119 min.
- Release Date
The disco club in Saturday Night Fever supplies an irresistible metaphor for the film, which remains lauded for its dreamy dance sequences and memorable soundtrack. At the Brooklyn club 2001 Odyssey, primary-colored lights, reflective walls, flickering squares on the illuminated dance floor, and a glimmering disco ball create an atmosphere of sparkle. But look beyond the fog machine and cigarette smoke haze, and you see the cheapness of it all: the tacky tablecloths, the almost palpable stale stink in the air, the plastic décor. In the club’s bar, a sole stripper dances on a small stage rather sadly, mostly ignored. And while the music usually has a good beat and some catchy melodies, the dull lyrics hint at disco’s superficiality, which was proclaimed dead by 1980. Although the film deploys a compelling theme about the importance of personal expression in pursuing something you love, its protagonist, John Travola’s Tony Manero, goes from challenging the audience’s allegiance to becoming downright despicable by the conclusion, to the extent that one might stop caring whether he gets to pursue his dreams or not. But even today, Travolta’s signature dancing and the Bee Gee’s soundtrack epitomized the public’s general impression of the 1977 film, leaving its seedier elements either forgotten, suppressed, or conveniently ignored.
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