Saturday Night Fever
Directed by John Badham / Screenplay by Norman Wexler
From a cynical perspective, Saturday Night Fever looks not so much like a movie as a merchandising assault on the youth market. The first film to exploit the latest disco craze, it stars a hot TV personality, John Travolta, and features a sound track overcrowded with highly pluggable Bee Gees songs. The sets are plastered with posters of Al Pacino and Farrah Fawcett-Majors; the script shamelessly ransacks American Graffiti and Rocky. The people behind Saturday Night Fever — or perhaps one should say the accountants — have not left much to chance.
Yet the movie is hard to dismiss, for its prefab ingredients are often stirred to a boil. Energetically directed and well-acted (largely by unknowns), Saturday Night Fever succeeds in capturing the animal drive of disco music and the social rituals of the people who dance to its beat. Were it not for some failures of dramatic nerve in the second half, this film might actually have been the rock-’n'roll Rocky it so desperately aspires to be… See more of this movie review below
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Saturday Night Fever movie trailer
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Publication date: December 19, 1977