the fresh films reviews

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Saturday Night Fever (1977)

John Badham
United States
Saturday Night Fever
119 minutes
Roger Stigwood
Screenwriter (based on an article by Nik Cohn):
Norman Wexler

Cast includes:

Tony Manero John Travolta
Stephanie Karen Lynn Gorney
Bobby C. Barry Miller
Joey Joseph Call
Double J Paul Pape
Annette Donna Pescow
Frank Manero, Sr. Val Bisoglio
Flo Manero Julie Bovasso
Father Frank Manero, Jr. Martin Shakar
Connie Fran Drescher



The wonderful, glossy disco culture was abruptly killed off by some bitter dissenters insecure of their own manhood during the so-called "disco backlash" in the summer of 1979, but luckily it lives on thanks to this profound and stylish film from John Badham, starring a steamingly hot John Travolta and Bee Gees' immaculate music. The script by Norman Wexler may well include one or two slight cheesinesses (including the climax at the bridge), but the writing is completely eclipsed by the atmosphere, style and testosterone captured on camera here. Few films have captured an era better than Saturday Night Fever, and Badham recognises and makes the most of the purity and edge that is created at the intersection between 1970s youth culture, Travolta's buoyant energy, and the pulsating disco music. Today the film works as dual escapism, but it's no less relevant and no less valid than it was back in 1977 because the essence it captures is timeless even if the wonderful music turned out to be ephemeral.

Re-reviewed: Copyright 12.9.2014 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review:
Copyright 5.11.1996 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang