Movie : Staying Alive (DVD, 1983)

What enticed me to pick up this DVD was the fact that it featured music by The Bee Gees, one of my favourite groups.

John Travolta played Tony Manero, a wannabe dancer who went from audition to audition and got rejected so often that it became a ‘hobby’. He tried to get into TV or Broadway but ended up becoming a bartender besides being a teacher at a dance school to make ends meet.

The plot is thin, but there are plenty of dance sequences and music and songs. The only messages put across are: “Everybody uses everybody; don’t they?” and “When you step up in front of the audience, you’re not one of them. You dance for them, not for  yourself.”

I love all the songs written, produced  and sung by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb: “The Woman in You”, “I Love You Too Much”, “Breakout”, “Someone Belonging to Someone” “Life Goes On” and “Staying Alive”. My favourite is “Someone Belonging to Someone”, though I think “Staying Alive” is generally more popular. I wonder why neither won any prize, like the Oscar or Grammy.

Additional music and score were adapted by Johnny Mandel, and there were lots of lovely ones: “Devils and Seducers”, “Far From Over”, “Moody Girl”, “Finding Out The Hard Way”, “Look Out For Number One”, “Royale Theatre Show”, “Hope We Never Change”, “Waking Up”, “I’m Never Gonna Give You Up”, “(We Dance) So Close to The Fire” and “The Winning End”.

I can’t imagine John Travolta in a role like Tony Manero now.


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