Adrian Lyne directs Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri and Sunny Johnson in this dance drama where a welder dreams of becoming a professional dancer.
A surprise smash in its day, this now looks and sounds bloody incredible. The setting and plot has zero grip on reality. Yet you don’t want to pick the glowing, pulsating, gritty yet tender fairy tale apart. It just glides and seduces, the persuasive pop soundtrack never giving you a chance but to submit to its charms. What a Feelin’. Gloria. Maniac. Joe Eszterhas gets an early screen writing credit here. His crude, brash, porno Cinderella attitude means there’s the constant threat of rape or exploitation in what should be a fluffy romance / empowerment B-release. Some of dialogue is painfully nasty. Yet you could see it as soft open for Showgirls in that respect, this is the more palatable flick but they share a lot of the same swagger and ambition. Beals makes a strong impression in her only lead role of note. Shame she chose not to capitalise on her one hit while the iron was hot. She’ll always be cinema’s only cabaret dancer with a steelworker’s union card. And her Kabuki meets Maxwell VHS performance art sequence is oh so eerie you wonder why it isn’t talked about more?
Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/