Saturday Night Fever

"You hit my hair." Tony

"You hit my hair" Tony


Saturday Night Fever (1977) is a showcase for John Travolta's acting and the Bee Gees music.

Directed by John Badham

Starring John Travolta and Karen Lynn Gorney among others.

I had never seen the entire film Saturday Night Fever until a few nights ago. The scene below hit me hard because, I realized that John had taken a selfish, egotistical, jerk and imbued him with his gentle humanity. Underneath all that bravura was a decent, gentle soul. Watch how his scene partner Karen in the scene below kisses him when she feels his humanity come through the facade of his Disco Dance King persona. John's humanity reminds me of Jean-Paul Belmondo's work in Jean-Luc Godard's, A Bout De Souffle - Breathless (1960). Both bring out the good in shady characters. John brings out his own humanity several times throughout the film. The scene below is his most revealing.

As I watched this scene I just want to give him a hug. It's very hard for human's to reveal their inner most self. An actor has to blend his humanity with his characters humanity and be uttterly truthful and honest. The more open an actor is, the more a scene partner will connect and the more the actor will engage the audience. If the actor is not truthful and honest the audience will see right through the lies. We all have opened and revealed ourselves to others that we care about and can see when someone is faking it or lies to us.

John gives a truely mesmerizing performance that earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. From the opening scene through the entire film Travolta is his character Tony Manero. The sequences at the disco nightclub showcase John's ability to physically interpret his character through his danceing.

The music throughout the film helps to keep the story moving forward. The songs by the Bee Gees, are timeless and a time capsule of the late 1970's disco subculture. The film holds up well after all these years. The  music is iconic to the Disco era.

Trivia - The story is based on a fabricated article by British Rock journalist Nik Cohn called, "Tribal Rights of the New Saturday Night" that appeared in New York Magazine in 1976. Cohn, in the 1990's said that the character that became Tony Manero in the film, was a Mod, who he knew in the early 1960's from Shepherd's Bush in West London.