Footloose

Tagline : The music is on his side.

Runtime : 107 mins

Genre : Drama Romance

Vote Rating : 6.7/10

Budget : 8.2 million $ USD

Revenue : 80 million $ USD

Plot : When teenager Ren and his family move from big-city Chicago to a small town in the West, he's in for a real case of culture shock after discovering he's living in a place where music and dancing are illegal.

Cast Members

Reviews

"A time to mourn and a time to dance" - Ecclesiastes 3:4 RELEASED IN 1984 and directed by Herbert Ross, “Footloose” chronicles events in the small Western town of Bomont where dancing and loud music have been outlawed because of an accident that killed some kids years earlier. Preacher’s daughter Ariel (Lori Singer) rebels against the legalistic measures while taking liking to a new student from Chicago, Ren (Kevin Bacon), whom her father (John Lithgow) disapproves of because he perceives Ren as a “troublemaker” who wants to change the town laws against dancing. Also on hand are Chris Penn as Ren's “country boy” pal, Willard, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Ariel's friend, Rusty. Penn's character is real fun and Sarah was a real cutie back in '84. I stayed away from this film because of Roger Ebert's scathing review and the fact that I thought the story was about some big city fop moving to a small town and dancing on the tables of the local high school, etc. I was wrong (and so was Ebert). The protagonist, Ren, is no dandy; in fact, he can kick some arse if necessary. And you never see him dancing through the halls of the high school or whatever. He’s a professional-class gymnast and his dynamic solo work-out at the factory is simply a matter of blowing off steam, which is a form of healthy venting. Although I stayed away from "Footloose,” the film acquired a respectable following and this inspired me to finally view it. I now understand why it's so popular. "Footloose" has that cinematic magic that pulls you in and gives you a good time. This is just a really entertaining movie with an exceptional soundtrack of songs made for the move with no less than six top 40 hits, like the title track by Kenny Loggins and “Holding Out for a Hero” performed by Bonnie Tyler, plus a couple of other significant ditties, e.g. “Bang Your Head” by Quiet Riot. Surprisingly, “Footloose” also has depth and is actually moving. We understand Rev. Shaw Moore's grief, but his rigid law-ism isn't doing his people or town any good. I like how Shaw isn't made out to be the clichéd villain. This is a good man thinking he's doing the right thing for his town, and in many ways he is, but the legalistic spirit he cops is sapping the life out of him, his family, his congregants and his town. Does he have the wisdom to see his error and re-route? BOTTOM LINE: Footloose is easily the best of the Big Three 80's dance movies and actually made significantly more at the domestic box office than “Dirty Dancing” ($80 million compared to $65 million). It has heart, a great cast, a superb soundtrack, all-around entertainment and real-life mindfood. It's also based on a true story that occurred in Elmore City, Oklahoma. Actually, there were similar towns with the same laws throughout America (and maybe still are). THE FILM RUNS 1 hour, 47 minutes and was shot in areas 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City, on the eastern side of Utah Lake. WRITER: Dean Pitchford. GRADE: A

It's still one of my favorites and I could hardly walk when it first came out. And now it's legend, so writing a real review is almost needless. Just about everyone has seen it. It's still regarded as a classic. So I suppose the best thing to say is that it's like the Karate Kid...only with dancing rather than martial arts. Single mother and son move into a new town. Son is an outsider that gets in trouble with the local bully. Son starts dating the local bully's girlfriend. Son and bully fight and...resolution. However, it goes a bit deeper in that it references several cases of high school kids actually taking on town ordinances against dancing. And Kevin Bacon is the new kid in town, so he's like the Karate Kid, but he also serves in the Pat Morita role as instructor. And the evil dojo is actually a church and the bad guy is actually a preacher and not a Karate trainer and has a very kind heart and cares a lot for his community. So the main villain isn't really evil he just has a different point of view, and unlike movies today, he is allowed to have a different point of view, to really be wrong in his beliefs, and still be portrayed as a kind and caring person. So, it's like the Karate Kid only with actual depth and much better soundtrack.

"Ren" (Kevin Bacon) moves from the big city to a small town run by the rather puritanical preacher "Moore" (John Lithgow) only to find that dancing, singing - indeed just about every form of entertainment has been banished. He claims that is to protect them and their children from ungodly corrupting influences. The new boy is treated with enough circumspection before "Ariel" (Lori Singer) takes a shine to him, but once it's known that the daughter of the town bible-basher is having a romance with the disruptive influence, then battle lines are drawn. It's fair too say that "Ren" hasn't his problems to seek finding and keeping work and with the local lads who resent his cool, James Dean, style attitude. Things come to an head when he proposes at a town council meeting that the ban be lifted so that they can get a bit "Footloose". The drama here is as good as it's contemporaries like "Flashdance" (1983) and enjoyably builds on the craze that was probably started with and perpetuated by "Fame" (and it's "Kids") but the acting is all pretty mediocre, as the dialogue. It's essentially a film about a soundtrack - and there are plenty of songs here beginning with the title song then "Let's Hear it for the Boy" and Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" amongst those complementing an underscore of AOR and some energetic dance moves from both Bacon and Singer. It was an huge film at the time and made many a reputation, but time has rather neutered that novelty and now it's a film I'd rather listen to than watch.

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