Saturday Night Fever (1977)

John Badham directs John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney and Donna Pescow in the iconic film of the disco era.

The dance sequences get boring very quick. The music is fantastic. The disco itself manages to capture the seedy excess of the scene. The dancing seems to takeover the characters at times, like they are well co-ordinated zombies. A time capsule. Someone has stuffed in a load of rape, racism, self loathing and abortion from 1977 into the time capsule too. The framing story is a sexist mess, too schizophrenic to concentrate on any single thread long enough for it to have purposeful meaning. For example… the last ten minutes see; A nice girl has a train run on her in the backseat of a car. She protests but all our lead can do is look forward out the windscreen. Suddenly another troubled character darts out the driver’s side and kills himself and she, a witness to this death, is being comforted and taken home by her rapists. It is a wake up call for thrusting but strangely frigid John Travolta… he gets the subway to his pretentious dance partner’s house, holds her hand in the sunlight of Manhattan and agrees to be her friend. Has he learnt to respect women? Or just that living on the wrong side of the bridge will turn you into a suicide case or a rape victim? Where the fuck did his brother go after the first 40 minutes? His night at the 2001 Odyssey club wasn’t so awful that he ran out of the film like he did the priesthood, did he? Visuals that define an era, dialogue by madman genius Norman Wexler… nothing to see here that Mean Streets or A Bronx Tale doesn’t do with more class, heart and soul.

5 

My Top 10 John Travolta Movies

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

2. Grease (1978)

3. Face / Off (1997)

4. The Thin Red Line (1998)

5. Blow Out (1981)

6. Broken Arrow (1996)

7. Mad City (1997)

8. Carrie (1976)

9. In a Valley of Violence (2016)

10. Saturday Night Fever (1977)

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