Nineteen-year-old Brooklyn native Tony Manero lives for Saturday nights at the local disco, where he's king of the club, thanks to his stylish moves on the dance floor. But outside of the club, things don't look so rosy. At home, Tony fights constantly with his father and has to compete with his family's starry-eyed view of his older brother, a priest. Nor can he find satisfaction at his dead-end job at a small paint store. However, things begin to change when he spies Stephanie Mangano in the disco and starts training with her for the club's dance competition. Stephanie dreams of the world beyond Brooklyn, and her plans to move to Manhattan just over the bridge soon change Tony's life forever.Written by
Courtesy of Philadelphia International Records Inc., Dunbar Music Inc. and Rutri Music, Inc.
Written by Harvey Fuqua and Charlie Hearndon
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Beautifully Defines An Era On The Backdrop Of A Realistic Class Study and Dynamic Music
Although it may seem dated and cheesy to some viewers today Saturday Night Fever remains one of the most underrated examples of '70s pop-culture. It is undoubtedly the quintessential dance flick and remains one of the most entertaining films of all-time. Yet, behind all the music and entertaining aura you are actually viewing a drama studying the American class system and young rebellion. Though at times it is slightly exaggerated, it still manages to capture a vast amount of authenticity and ultimately the sights and sounds of the time.
Saturday Night Fever follows self-proclaimed "dance king" Tony Manero (John Travolta) and his love of dancing and the trials and tribulations of his life in the Bronx. He soon meets an arrogant fellow dancer named Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney). Quickly becoming attracted and influenced by the women he starts questioning the way he lives his life.
The film is not always upbeat and at times can be depressing, particularly the scenes depicting peer-pressure. Although both have their differences, both are very alike and ultimately want to be something "big". There are also the elements of jealously, rivalry, religion, rebellion, respect and racism added into the film. This captures the realism of the time and with more accuracy and honesty than a lot of films. Just take a look at the brief scene where Tony is on the tube, this is an oddly poignant, effecting and compelling scene presenting Tony's confused emotions.
Saturday Night Fever still carries the vibe, rhythm and atmosphere it did back in '77. It remains one of the most influential films for both the film-world and pop-culture. Infamously holding some of the greatest dance sequences ever committed film; you can feel the energy, emotions, time and determination that were spent perfecting the dance scenes to the finest detail. The lighting is perfect at creating the "disco world", the set-piece of the 2001 Disco is one of the film's many iconic highlights.
John Travolta dedicates himself to his dancing and character, fitting the role with a graceful ease. The film goes into depth at studying characters too, it shows how desperate everyone is to fit in and be able to make an impressive image. The fantastic shots on character's feet show the "strut" in their walk, representing their desire to maintain their reputation of being "cool". All the characters want to be something, while a lot of them will never add up to anything due to their working-class backgrounds. There are a fair amount of American social-comments scattered throughout the film and retaining a surprising amount of intelligent value.
The gloriously groovy and funky soundtrack is possibly the film's finest element. The music accompanies the dance sequences with an amazing amount of memorably robust imagery. The use of The Bee Gees' music is wonderful to listen to and also for helping to create an ambiguous atmosphere of love, drugs and sex. The shooting techniques in the disco are magnificent for filming the dance scenes and fit perfectly alongside the other technical elements.
Saturday Night Fever is a far more professional film than one might expect, it has intelligence as well as entertainment, which is something that makes a more than just admirable achievement. It is a truly remarkable triumph and a film that deserves more appreciation than it gets.
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