Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York
It was forty years ago when this cinematic masterpiece was released and introduced the world to a working class town, a rising musical genre and a young man working in a paint store for minimum wage transformed into an legend and icon on Saturday Night.
The movie had the same gritty feel of Taxi Driver, dancing rivaling An American In Paris, and the angst of Rebel Without A Cause. The film not only had cool dance moves, choreography and that immortal dance floor; it had a great arc of the character Tony Monero. John Travolta’s great and underrated portrayal shows his evolution from cocky street kid to brooding, disillusioned adult. The storyline and plot is not just mere filler as it contains genuine Italian family interaction, Tony’s awkward yet professional courtship of Stephanie, those classic and currently fading from existence Brooklyn accents and the wild, spontaneous though obnoxious antics of Tony’s gang. The White Castle scene is one of the funniest scenes of all time.
It also had great quotable lines. The favorite might be when Stephanie’s boss chided her for using the word super.
If it needed to be reminded, the film consists of one of the three greatest soundtracks of all time (number 2 behind Purple Rain and ahead of Superfly). Bee Gees greatest songs, great instrumentals (also underrated and overlooked), and contemporary hits by The Trammps and Kool & The Gang.
The film’s impact is still solid and everlasting. They, meaning Hollywood, don’t make them like this anymore and probably never will, which is a good thing (they have avoided making a remake, so far) in addition to the fact that the industry is more willing to churn out superhero garbage like sausage.
The films legacy has been Stayin’ Alive for 40 years. And there ain’t no stopping it now or ever.