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Saturday Night Fever Academy Award Nomination! 

By Robert Horton

Saturday Night Fever is one of those movies that comes along and seems to change the cultural temperature in a flash. After the movie's release in 1977, disco ruled the dance floors, and a blow-dried member of a TV-sitcom ensemble became the hottest star in the U.S. For all that, the story is conventional: a 19-year-old Italian American from Brooklyn, Tony Manero (John Travolta), works in a humble paint store and lives with his family. After dark, he becomes the polyester-clad stallion of the local nightclub; Tony's brother, a priest, observes that when Tony hits the dance floor, the crowd parts like the Red Sea before Moses. Director John Badham captures the electric connection between music and dance, and also the desperation that lies beneath Tony's ambitions to break out of his limited world. The soundtrack, which spawned a massively successful album, is dominated by the disco classics of the Bee Gees, including "Staying Alive" (Travolta's theme during the strutting opening) and "Night Fever." The Oscar-nominated Travolta, plucked from the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, for his first starring role, is incandescent and unbelievably confident, and his dancing is terrific. Oh, and the white suit rules.

Academy Awards

Saturday Night Fever received an Academy Awards nomination for Best Actor (John Travolta)!

Share Your Memories!

Is Saturday Night Fever one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"This was such a wonderful movie - I loved it and still consider it one of my favorites!! When this came out the disco faze had hit and this movie added to it. I remember doing the dances from this movie and having so much fun. This has got to be one of the all time greats!!"

--Anonymous

"This movie had a HUGE impact on my life. When the R rated version came out, I was 13 years old and begged my mother to take me to see it; thinking it was just about dancing. She took me, and we sat through it, and although I loved it, sitting next to my mother during a few of those scenes was quite uncomfortable... at the end, she looked at me and said, "What did you think?" I thought I'd better get her opinion first, so I said, "What did you think?" Her eyes lit up, she smiled so big and said, "I LOVED IT!" Then she looked carefully around the theater, then back at me, and said quietly, "Do you want to stay and see it again?" That was one of the first moments in my life where I thought, my mom is SO cool!

I was going to boarding school at the time, and I became the coolest girl in my dorm, because I was the first one to get the soundtrack, and teaching all the girls the New York Hustle in my dorm room, with someone on light switch duty - turning it on and off like a disco while the music played, which was a privileged position!

Lastly, I told my best friend that she had to get her mother to take her to see it like mine did; not realizing at the time what "devout Catholic" meant... she told me after seeing it that her mother covered her eyes throughout most of the film, and then told her that I was going to hell and she wasn't allowed to play with me anymore because I was a very bad influence.

I think I saw it about 14 times in the theaters, and now, of course, I own it."

--Elizabeth

"I had graduated High School that year (1977) without attending a dance or even having a single date. That summer I made a concerted effort to 'get out more.' I learned to dance in the discos of Atlanta and when I finally went off to college at the end of the Summer I was actually a fairly good hoofer.

I am Italian and at the time had long black hair. I fed off the Travolta-image and my love life wasn't hurt by it either. I remember doing the Saturday Night line dance with about fifty of my closest friends. It was an awesome time."

--Groth

"I saw the movie in Spring Valley New york with my uncle and cousin back in '77. Early on when the movie got to the part where Tony and this other chick (I forget her name but she ended up having a sitcom) was sort of making out in the back of the car, my uncle grabbed us and pulled us out of the movie theatre. he refused to let us see the rest of the movie which totally sucks. When I got back home to Philly I saw the movie with my buddy.

P.S. Weirdest thing about this movie theatre in NY, everybody, I mean eveybody there was over 6'4", men and women. I was zonked out of my freakin' mind. The girls were monstrous. I found out years later that there is such a thing as a "Tall People's Club", I guess for emotionally abused giants. Hmmmm?!?"

--jahari

"I saw SNF the week it opened in Albany, NY...my friend & I practically danced our way to the car! Before its run ended here, I had seen the movie 3 times, and have since watched it countless times, sometimes from start to finish and sometimes not. This hit me on so many levels, being a teen disco queen myself (Italian Catholic too!) struggling with identity and so forth, that I jokingly call it "an anthem for my life." Given my propensity for movies in general and ability to quote movie dialog to the amusment of others, SNF provides hours of enjoyment: "My girlfriend Pauline loves the taste of communion wafers." On a more serious note and in the words of Roger Ebert: "There are movies that represent what I yearned for at one time in my life, and to see them again is like listening to a song that was popular the first summer you were in love." SNF is one of mine!"

--Hipstermomma

" I'm only 16, an Italian Catholic. The movie hit me emotionally unlike anyother movie has. I became to realize, the disco generation, was the last good generation, people were classy, they danced and sang classy, and they knew how to live. It makes me sad going to school and seeing so many unclassy people. I know every generation had their delinquent kids, but times have changed, society has changed, now one knows how to live like the previous generations. That's how much this movie has affected me, it let me see how sociey has changed, how people changed so much. But no matter what happens in my day, I can always come home and listen to the music of Saturday Night Fever, and it comforts me."

--Anonymous

"I first saw it when I had just arrived in Manhattan from the West Coast. My Manhattanite friend took me to a really funky theater in the Village where she had already seen the movie a few times. The theater was packed and the audience wild for the movie, dancing in the aisles. A couple rows in front of us a drunk (at least I think he was drunk) stood on his seat jabbing the air with his right hand when Travolta did his solo. At the time, this was my idea of heaven. It struck a chord, and it still does. "

--Anonymous

"I personally think SNF is one of the best musicals ever. Even though I am still a teenager it has really influenced me to take up dancing! I have already learned the New York Hustle! I would say it is one of my favorite films of all times, and would of loved to have lived back in the Super70s!"

--Anonymous

"I was barely nine when the movie came out. It wasn't till a couple of years later that I got the chance to see the movie on a feature of the week slot, and man was I hooked, I have the disc now in my collection, and it's probably the most watched one in the lot."

--robert

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: John Badham

Stars: John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller, Sam Coppola, Fran Drescher

Released: December 16, 1977

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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