HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
Early Man
Killdozer
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Footloose Put On Your Dancing TrousersBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Chris Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Laughlin, Elizabeth Gorcey, Frances Lee McCain, Jim Youngs, Douglas Dirkson
Genre: Musical, Drama
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: After his mother and father break up, Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) moves with his mother from Chicago to a quiet, Godfearing smalltown to live with his relatives. The moral leader of the town is the Reverend Moore (John Lithgow), who has banned the young people from dancing, believing it will lead to sexual promiscuity, but his teenage daughter Ariel (Lori Singer) has a rebellious streak, as her friends witness when she plays her own version of "Chicken" while straddling two cars as a truck bears down on her. Rock music-loving Ren, meanwhile, is not going to find small town life easy, especially as he can't dance to vent his frustrations - but he will find a way.

Written by Dean Pitchford, Footloose was essentially an update to the eighties of all those rock 'n' roll films of the fifties where the kids were berated by the adults for their love of the music, but went ahead and showed those old fogeys a thing or two about having fun. It was also one of those musicals that emerged after Saturday Night Fever that didn't feature its cast singing the songs, and instead had them dancing to records on the soundtrack instead, so the musical numbers take the form of someone pressing play on their stereo and whatever cast members are present dancing away - not one band or singer is seen performing.

There's a Rebel Without a Cause dynamic going on in the town of Beaumont once Ren arrives (no sign of Stimpy, mind you), as he finds himself not only set against the stuffy, conservative adults, but some of the younger folks as well. He secures the friendship of Willard (Chris Penn) after bumping into him in the school corridor, and Ariel takes a liking to him, bringing down the wrath of her jealous boyfriend. As in Rebel, this leads to a game of "Chicken" (another one) involving Ren and the boyfriend driving tractors at each other to the hard rockin' strains of, erm, Bonnie Tyler, and Ren comes out on top, but even less popular than before.

Not with Ariel and her best friend Rusty (Sarah Jessica Parker), however, who are delighted to accompany him to a bar in a different smalltown for serious dancing. Unfortunately Willard can't dance, and is forced to grumpily sit and watch, then get into a fight with one man who is getting too close to Rusty. On the way back, Ariel tells Ren that the reason dancing has been banned in Beaumont is because her brother died in a rock-related incident, adding a surprising (but corny) depth to the Rev. Moore's objections. Lithgow doesn't play him as a fire and brimstone preacher, but instead as as understandably worried father who doesn't want to see his daughter, or anyone else's kids, on the same path of self-destruction his son was, earning him unexpected sympathy. He doesn't endorse book burning either, as the other townsfolk do.

But, like Ren, we got some dancing to do, and he makes up his mind to hold a Terpsichorean celebration and change the town's mind. First up, he has a workout on his own in a deserted warehouse, just to channel the energies bullt up by his ill treatment. Then, he teaches Willard some moves, all to the sound of "Let's Hear It for the Boy" by Deniece Williams - it has to be said the mild music doesn't really back up the spirit of revolution. After that, it's a matter of persuading the town council that a school prom would be good idea. If there's a problem with Footloose, it's that it takes itself mightily seriously, and could have easily lightened up on the earnestness without sacrificing the energy of the musical numbers. Still, Bacon is a likeable outsider in a town of inhibited conformists, and it certainly gave Kenny Loggins a claim to movie fame. Music by Miles Goodman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 9454 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: