Nineteen-year-old Brooklyn native Tony Manero lives for Saturday nights at the local disco, where he’s king of the club, thanks to his stylish moves on the dance floor. But outside of the club, things don’t look so rosy. At home, Tony fights constantly with his father and has to compete with his family’s starry-eyed view of his older brother, a priest. Nor can he find satisfaction at his dead-end job at a paint store. However, things begin to change when he spies Stephanie in the disco and starts training with her for the club’s dance competition. Stephanie dreams of the world beyond Brooklyn, and her plans to move to the big city just over the bridge soon change Tony’s life forever. –IMDb
Born in England, John Badham became a naturalized American citizen at the age of seven. He received a BA and MFA at Yale University, which he attended before and after his military service. He worked his way up the professional ladder at Universal Studios; his first directorial assignments included the trailers (or coming-attraction reels) of the studio’s features. In the early 1970s, Badham gained a good reputation as an able director of made-for-TV movies. It was his handling of the 1974 docudrama The Gun that won Badham his first theatrical-feature assignment, the 1975 baseball flick The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars and Motor Kings (Badham was a last-minute choice when Steven Spielberg suddenly priced himself out of the film’s budget thanks to Jaws). Badham’s first bona-fide—and indeed, one of the biggest moneymakers of the 1970s—was the disco-driven Saturday Night Fever (1977). The director’s striking visual sense and innate gift for montage has served him well in such nailbiters… read more
I'm surprised at this movie's lack of a reputation among cinephiles today. The grim content (including, but not limited to, rape, dangerous apathy, substance abuse and narcissism) is of such perfect juxtaposition to the upbeat, catchy soundtrack, flamboyant costumes and dance scenes that I wouldn't have been surprised if it was still revered. There's real depth of character and emotional conflict in "Saturday Night Fever" to compliment its superb, near-emblematic portrait of the era. A great film.