Saturday night fever

Saturday Night Fever , released in December 1977 (the year in which disco mania explodes), is the greatest disco product of all time.


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.


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.


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.


Posted on

31 March 2022

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