Saturday Night Fever , released in December 1977 (the year in which disco mania explodes), is the greatest disco product of all time.
THE STORY: DISC OR NOT DISC?
The film tells the story of Tony Manero (played by an extraordinary John Travolta ), a Brooklyn boy trapped in a life without prospects, whose only joy is to go dancing on Saturday night: youthful anger, a foregone theme, is the thread conductor of the story.
Saturday night fever, more than a film about dance culture, becomes a film about how to escape it. The film ends with a sober condemnation of the lifestyle it is supposed to celebrate. It is a “ disco film” made for a totally non-disco audience, just as the soundtrack is only partially “disco” (the music has all the typical elements of the disc, but it is a type of pure pop adaptable to every historical moment). A script valid for every era and a charm capable of seducing a wide and varied audience: these are the keys to the enormous timeless success of the film shot by John Badham. Saturday Night Fever, using a cross-strategy of symbiosis between film and soundtrack, has a double impact: the film achieves a $ 100 million profit, and the soundtrack (dominated by falsetti by Bee Gees ) is selling 30 million copies by the end of the year.
A “LIAR” FILM
It is defined by many as a “lie film” because it is based on the story invented by an English journalist, Nik Cohn , who knows very little about Brooklyn. Even if Cohn’s story is a fake, there is one fact, glaring and indisputable: the record is spreading like wildfire in the white ethnic communities of the New York neighborhoods.
THE MODERN CONCEPTION OF DISCO
In any case, Saturday Night Fever was a huge success , attracted immense attention from the media to the record and gave way to the “ commercialization ” of the phenomenon. In practice, the film creates an imaginative structure to clear the assertion of the culture of discos : for the first time a mass model for discos is born in America. From here the modern concept of disco begins to sprout.