Wednesday, October 01, 2014
At Flashbak: You Should Be Dancin’: The Five Movie Musicals that Killed Disco at the Box Office
My new article at Flashbak remembers the five musicals that killed disco at the box office.
Here's a snippet (and the url: http://flashbak.com/you-should-be-dancin-the-5-movie-musicals-that-killed-disco-at-the-box-office-21497/ )
In 1977, John Badham’s Saturday Night Fever took the box office and pop culture by storm.
Based on the New York article “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” the movie depicted the story of blue-collar Brooklyn-native Tony Manero (John Travolta), “the king” -- or perhaps God -- of disco. Audiences thrilled to Manero’s attempt with his dance partner (Karen Lynn Gorney) to win a dance contest at the local disco, a victory that made Manero set his eyes beyond the lights of Brooklyn, on something bigger.
Scored wall-to-wall with Bee-Gees tunes like “Stayin’ Alive,” Saturday Night Fever was an authentic phenomenon that made Travolta a movie star and sold more than twenty-million copies of the film’s soundtrack.
As one might expect, the success of Saturday Night Fever also meant that Hollywood was soon attempting to cash in on a new trend. Before long, a whole cycle of disco movies was in the offing. Unfortunately, most of the ensuing efforts proved dreadful, and the disco fad died a brutal death at the box office.
Here then, for your consideration, are five of the movie musicals that hammered the final nails in disco’s coffin. These movie musicals-- all of 1978 -1983 vintage -- remain to this day among the most bizarre, garish, and lurid films ever produced.