A Brooklyn youth feels his only chance to get somewhere is as the king of the disco floor.
118 min, USA:113 min (PG version)
1.85 : 1
Rated R for strong language, sexuality/nudity and some drug content. (2002 version)
Drama, Music, Romance
Disco, Moving, Dance, Vulgarity, Nightclub
Urban Drama, Musical Drama
Dancer's Life, Twentysomething Life, Social Climbing, Inner City Blues, Faltering Friendships, Class Differences
Gritty, Flashy, Humorous, Sentimental, Sexy
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
Tony Manero (John Travolta) is a skirt-chasing Italian American from the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City. Tony lives at home with his parents (Val Bisoglio and Julie Bovasso) and works at a dead-end job at a small hardware store by day. But on Saturday nights Tony rules the dance floor with his frequent appearances at 2001 Odyssey, a local nightclub. Tony has four close friends: Joey (Joseph Cali); Double J (Paul Pape); Gus (Bruce Ornstein); and the diminutive Bobby C. (Barry Miller). Another, albeit informal, member of their group is Annette (Donna Pescow), a neighborhood girl who longs for a more permanent and physical relationship with Tony. Tony has an older brother, Frank Jr (Martin Shakar), who was the pride of the family because he was a priest in the Catholic Church, but brings despair to the family by leaving the priesthood.
Tony agrees to be Annette's partner in a local dance competition. Her happiness is short-lived, however, when Tony dumps her after seeing Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney). Stephanie agrees to partner with him in the competition, but nothing more. Bobby C. asks Tony for advice on getting out of his relationship with his devoutly Catholic girlfriend, Pauline, who is pregnant with his child. Though Tony tells him to dump her, Bobby C. faces pressure from his family and others to marry her, which he clearly does not wish to do. Bobby asks Tony's older brother, former priest Frank Jr., if the Pope would grant him dispensation for an abortion. But when Frank tells him this would be highly unlikely, Bobby's feelings of despair deepen.
At one point Gus is attacked by a Hispanic gang while on his way home from the grocery store, and is hospitalized. He tells the guys it was a group called the Barracudas. On the right night, they attack the Barracudas at their hangout, but Bobby C. chickens out and drives away after one member tries to attack him in the car. They visit Gus in the hospital afterwards, but are less than happy with him when it turns out he may have fingered the wrong gang, plus they expose Bobby's chickening out of the fight.
Later, Tony and Stephanie dance at the competition and end up winning. However, Tony believes that a Puerto Rican couple performed better and that the judges' decision was based on racism. Tony gives the Puerto Ricans the prize, despite hostilities between his group and local Hispanic gangs. Once outside in the car, he tries to rape Stephanie, resulting in her fleeing from him. He then sullenly takes off with both the gang and a drunken and stoned Annette. Annette initially agrees to have sex with Double J and Joey. The two friends take turns with Annette, even as Annette starts to cry and struggle as the drugs wear off, repeatedly asking to stop what has become a rape scene.
They then pull the car off onto the shoulder at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to partake in bridge-climbing antics, like they did earlier. Bobby C., who abstained from the antics the first time, decides to attempt more dangerous stunts than the rest. Realizing that Bobby is acting recklessly, Tony tries to coax him off the railing. But upset at his lonely life, his situation with Pauline, and a broken promise from Tony earlier, Bobby issues a tirade at Tony's lack of care before slipping and falling to his death in the Narrows more than two hundred feet below.
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 American dance film directed by John Badham and starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, an immature young man whose weekends are spent visiting a local Brooklyn discothèque; Karen Lynn Gorney as his dance partner and eventual friend; and Donna Pescow as Tony's former dance partner and would-be girlfriend. While in the disco, Tony is the king. His care-free youth and weekend dancing help him to temporarily forget the reality of his life: a dead end job, clashes with his unsupportive and squabbling parents, racial tensions in the local community, and his associations with a gang of macho friends.