In 1977, John Travolta starred in the only movie that has ever mattered (to disco). It’s a story of resilience, love, commitment and hot, nasty disco dancing – with a subtle hint of homoerotic undertones.
Saturday Night Fever was the defining movie of the disco era in late 1970s America. The driving music of the Bee Gees and the relentless pelvis thrusting of John Travolta's young, tender body ensured that disco would not die for at least 119 minutes (113 minutes for the PG, non-rape version).
Unlike other movies in the 70s, this movie didn't follow a dated plotline with limited relevance. Saturday Night Fever took a risk to bring the world a tale of the brutal street life of Brooklyn teens with dead end jobs and no future. Also, they disco dance something fucking fierce.
Three major elements elevated Saturday Night Fever into the pantheon of 1977 movies about disco dancing: the acting, the music and John Travolta's sweet moves.
John Travolta was nominated for Best Actor for his role as disco king Tony Manero. This should surprise no one, as John Travolta has gone on to make classics such as Look Who's Talking; Look Who's Talking, Too; Look Who's Talking Now and, of course, Battlefield Earth.
Unfortunately, because of the 60s women were allowed to be in movies and - gasp - even given speaking roles. This was mostly ok in Saturday Night Fever, because every single woman was either old, a slut, unimportant or all of the above. This would really backfire, as Saturday Night Fever served as Fran Drescher's film debut. Many may remember her delivering the famous line "Are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?" This line was sexy at the time - mostly because no one realized she would never stop talking again.
The last known proof that Fran Drescher ever shuts the fuck up.
Donna Pescow, who plays the gang's friend that gets semi-raped at the end (but was totally asking for it), was originally considered to be too good-looking to be in the movie - but this problem was eliminated after she gained 40 pounds and re-taught herself to sound like an illiterate Brooklyn-ite. This is called "good casting."
And to think...they almost ruined the movie with someone too hot.
Most people probably remember Saturday Night Fever for its soundtrack, which prominently featured work by the Bee Gees. For those unaware of who the Bee Gees are, the band was a group of English brothers from the Isle of Man, which was no coincidence: their flowing manes of hair were nature's warning to get the fuck out of their way lest you enjoy the glorious taste of their disco boots.
It's not authentic if it's not cocaine white.
Determined to provide only their finest work for the soundtrack, the Bee Gees put on their matching white disco suits and went to work, writing and recording 6 songs for the album in what had to be history's single most productive weekend of cocaine abuse. Three of the band's singles from the soundtrack reached #1 in America, while another song they wrote also reached #1. The album would go on to become the best selling soundtrack in history, the 7th best-selling album of all time and the #1 album everyone lies about owning. Many have compared the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack to the laughter of children, the spring's first warm rain and the feeling you get when you smother yourself between Monica Bellucci's boobs.
A good death.
Dancing has never been the strong suit of Italian-Americans from Brooklyn. But tell that to 1977 John Travolta and he will kindly tell you to go fuck yourself with a salami. Before Saturday Night Fever, white people - particularly white men - had an option of dancing while high on LSD or not at all. John Travolta single-handedly changed the fortune of these men by introducing them to a five-step routine guaranteed to impress the ladies:
- Q uickly drop into a balls-out awesome stance.
- U p the ante by showing them the goods.
- E nchant the crowd with your thick mane of hair and gentleman's gaze of glory.
- E scalate your awesome by ascending into fucking disco heaven.
- R epeat
Pictured: Someone who isn't going home alone tonight.
If you're still not convinced, why don't you check out John Travolta shaming Michael Jackson until he gives up and fucking dies.