Customer Reviews: Saturday Night Fever (30th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition)
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"SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"...the iconic disco film from 1977 that defined a decade full of polyester, hairspray and most of all, disco dancing. Also, a film that would catapult actor John Travolta (previously known for his role on the TV series "Welcome Back, Kotter") into one of the top actors of all time.

The film was based on a New York Magazine article from 1977 titled "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night" written by Nik Cohn (who admitted fabricating the whole story after twenty years later) and was written by Norman Wexler and directed by John Badham ("War Games", "Short Circuit", "Blue Thunder").

Featuring classic disco music by the Bee Gees (the soundtrack is recognized as the top selling movie soundtrack of all time) and popular disco tracks of that time, the film helped popularize the disco movement.


"SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" looks incredible on Blu-ray. The film is presented in 1080p High Definition and I compared the video quality of the original DVD and perhaps it was the upconverting but the DVD looks terrible compared to the Blu-ray.

In the famous opening sequence as the film pans around New York and then we see John Travolta as Tony Manero walking with swagger with a can of paint while looking at the women, on the DVD the picture quality was slightly dark but watching the Blu-ray, it's brighter, sharper, more colorful. I was comparing the picture quality and it was like night and day. "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER", for a film that is over 30-years-old, just looks incredible in high definition.

And the music, which is presented in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD (also, featured in French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish Mono) is just crystal clear. I was very impressed with the audio quality as the disco music just comes out alive on your home theater setup. Dialogue is well-heard but when the music comes on (which is frequent), the music and hearing it on high definition was quite awesome. The film is primarily a dialogue and music driven film, so you will get more through the front channel and low frequencies on your subwoofer.

The film also comes with English subtitles inc. English SDH, Spanish and Portuguese.


In the 25th Anniversary of "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER", there was the commentary, VH1 special featurette and the deleted scenes. For the 30th Anniversary, we get all new special features to celebrate the 30th Anniversary. It's important to note that John Travolota is the main cast member who did not take part in the 30th Anniversary interviews. Included are:

* Commentary by John Badham - This is the same commentary used on the 25th Anniversary disc. John Badham commenting on the filming of "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" and the difficulties they faced due to the fans of John Travolta who were everywhere the camera crews were at. Very good insight on the whole film.
* Catching the Fever - This is where you can find a good bulk of featurettes such as:

- A 30-Year Legacy - (15:23) An interview with Director John Badham, Producers and cast of "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" sans John Travolta. The group talking about working on the film, how iconic the film became as it inspired disco, fashion and much more.

- Making Soundtrack History - (12:37) An interview with the Bee Gees and more in regards to how the film used the music as a form of promotional by having the soundtrack released first and eventually creating hype around the film. Also, interesting information of how the Bee Gees felt their careers were over because they were a 60's band and how the film gave them a new life.

- Platforms & Polyester - (10:35) Polyester was very big then and quite inexpensive. But those who wore polyester were in and also how the film made a certain brand of shoes quite a fad back in the late 70's.

- Deejays & Discos - (10:17) Interviews with DJ's and people of the time talking about how things were back during the day at disco clubs and how celebrities were often DJ'ing and more.

- Spotlight on Travolta - (3:35) Interviews with cast and big names from the 70's in regards to working with John Travolta. The theme was the same with each talent, Travolta was courteous, friendly and never put himself higher than anyone on the set. Everyone loved working with him.

* Back to Bay Ridge - (9:00) Actor Joseph Cali who plays the character of Joey visits the various locations from the film in New York and shows how things have or haven't changed since 1977.
* Dance Like Travolta with John Cassese - (9:48) John "The Dance Doctor" Cassese teaches the viewer how Tony and Stephanie dance their popular competition dance.
* Fever Challenge! - (4:00) Learning some of the complicated dance moves from "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"
* Deleted Scenes - (3:36) It's important to note that there were two films available for the public. A rated "R" version and a "PG" version which would attract a young audience (note: There was no PG-13 at the time). The deleted scenes were used in the PG version of the film and the more sexual and profane scenes were toned down. Included is a deleted scene which shows Tony's father getting his job back, Tony going to Stephanie's home to apologize and more.


It was great to have 30th Anniversary features for this Blu-ray but for those who own the 25th Anniversary DVD edition, you may not want to give away the DVD just yet. The original DVD contained a VH1 special feature that shows more of the emotional and somewhat darker side behind-the-scenes of the film in which Travolta's real life girlfriend was dying of breast cancer and how it took a toll on him during the filming of "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" and also other things discussed on that 30-minute featurette.

I would imagine that the featurette was not included on the Blu-ray because of rights or the fact that everyone on the VH1 special no longer look the same as they do on the 30th Anniversary featurettes and wanting to keep things consistent.

My parents were hardcore into disco when I was a child. I was taken to watch "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" at the theaters twice, my parents put the vinyl of the soundtrack and the Bee Gees playing quite often during those years and remember all these people coming over for disco parties.

Suffice to say that "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" was an iconic film of that time period. Sure, there are music videos and shows that I could think of that popularized disco but this film did more than that. It is now ingrained into pop culture for the music, the dancing, the polyester, the platform shoes and the hair.

I think there is a misconception among people that "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" is like "GREASE" (a film made in 1978, a year after SNF). This is not a musical, the film is about teenagers living in New York and one knowing he has potential to do something bigger. His family life sucks, his friends constantly get into trouble and don't share the same passion in dancing as he does and he's tired of living his life of being a dancer at a club and wants to get serious with his life.

The film shows major repercussions to the characters at the end and the things you see on this film, especially its racial tone probably would not be acceptable today. This film is about youth and a people wanting more in their lives (unfortunately, its sequel "Staying Alive" directed by Sylvester Stallone was not as great despite it being a financial success).

John Travolta does an absolutely great job as Tony Manero. It's one thing to learning the various choreography for the film but there are certain mannerisms that you can't help but laugh. In one scene, his father hits him in the back in the head after he mouths off to his mother. Tony makes a comment of how he has been working so long on his hair and his father hits it. Another scene, where Stephanie and Tony go out and eat and Tony with no manners talks with food in his mouth. But to find out that a lot of these scenes were improvised by Travolta was shocking.

As James Dean made "Rebel Without a Cause" a youth film for its time and both he and the film became iconic for that time, John Travolta and the cast knew that this was his vehicle to shine and Travolta succeeded.

And the other talents made this film feel real, such as his gang of friends to even Donna Pescow as Annette, having to gain weight and regain her New York accent for this role. Karen Lynn Gorney having to learn all the dance moves along with Travolta was convincingly real as a woman not wanting to be bad but wanting to be better.

John Badham did a great job in capturing the urban life and the youth during the late 1970's and although his name would be branded with "War Games", "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" was a film that many people would forever remember as one, if not his best directorial work ever.

And the music especially for those who did grow up around disco knows the impact of the soundtrack of the film. The soundtrack for "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" was the first music soundtrack to utilize a double album and also released before the film to create hype and eventually becoming the largest selling soundtrack ever is a great accomplishment.

And last, the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray is just fantastic. Again, comparing the DVD picture quality and the Blu-ray quality is like night and day. The Blu-ray blows away the 25th Anniversary out of the water. I'm just impressed with both picture and audio quality and how well the transfer is in High Definition.

Again, for those who own the 25th Anniversary, may want to keep it for the VH1 Special Feature which has a deeper behind-the-scenes of what happened on set during the filming but overall, the new featurettes created for the 30th Anniversary in combination with HD video and audio makes this 1977 classic a disc worth owning for film buffs and those who are nostalgic of that time period.

"SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" is highly recommended!
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on October 15, 2002
Unfairly dismissed by many viewers today as a relic of the disco era, "Saturday Night Fever" should more properly be remembered as the classic coming-of-age tale in which John Travolta exploded onto the big screen. The actor's character, Tony Manero, is a nineteen-year-old Italian-American still living with his family in Brooklyn who is stuck in a dead-end job and hanging around with a group of old friends who (like himself) have no real hopes or ambitions for the future. Manero's only true talent - and his escape from the world around him - is his prowess on the dance floor. It's a tricky role - the outwardly racist, sexist, homophobic, immature Manero is not the most sympathetic of characters - but Travolta imbues him with a aura of underlying decency and vulnerability that causes the audience to identify with him and ultimately, cheer for him. It's truly a knockout performance ... one that deservedly netted Travolta an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and won him the top male acting award from the National Board of Review.
The 25th Anniversary edition DVD offers home viewers a great video and sound transfer. A VH-1 "Behind the Music" documentary offers an interesting look at the troubled production history of the film, as well as some interesting insights into the movie's impact on popular culture. Regrettably, the disc does not include the Original Theatrical Trailer; I found myself curious to see how the distributor (Paramount) promoted this film to theatregoers. This one minor flaw aside, the DVD offers a solid presentation of this 1977 classic, and is a video worthy of repeated viewings. Enjoy!
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon October 9, 2002
Saturday Night Fever was not only the film that made John Travolta a superstar, but also it defined the style of a generation. Disco started to infiltrate the music scene as early as 1974 (with hits like "Rock Your Baby" by George McRae). Discos were wildly popular in New York City by 1976 and they provided an outlet for the youth of the city to escape reality and dance away the night amid drinks, drugs and sex. Inspired by an article in the New Yorker magazine that described the scene, producer Robert Stigwood wanted to capture it in a movie. He realized the music is what drove the discos and he recruited his biggest act, The Bee Gees to record songs for the film. This proved ingenious as the soundtrack and the movie are inseparable. Although the band does not physically appear in the film, they are the co-stars of the film with Mr. Travolta. The film and soundtrack became huge hits in late 1977 and into 1978 and disco moved from the urban cities to the heartland of America. The film itself seems a bit dated, but it is saved from being a complete period piece by Mr. Travolta's superb acting. He completely embodies the character of Brooklynite Tony Manero who works in a paint store during the week and lives to dance at the local disco on the weekends. At work and at home, he's a nobody, but at the disco, he is the king. The dancing scenes are classics and often imitated, but Mr. Travolta is the real deal on the dance floor. Mr. Travolta earned the first of his two Best Actor Academy Award nominations for the film and it was richly deserved. The soundtrack went on to spend 24 weeks at number one, spawn 4 number one singles and for a time was the biggest selling album in music history.
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"Saturday Night Fever" started out as a low budget film by legendary John Badham and ended up being an unforgettable period piece nominated for Oscars and selling more soundtrack albums in history. A tale of a paint shop guy who blows his money on the weekends to become a local legend on the disco floor, John Travolta nailed the role dead on. Although gritty with language and scenes that some might consider offensive, it is a true life tale of the mid seventies in New York City. Some call it the revival of the movie musical, but it's much more than that. Ultimately a story of one man's growth into adulthood through misled love and the confusion of youth, this freinds and family story rings true to the bone. Fueled with the dance beat of that generation and climaxed with the writing and singing skills of the Bee Gees, this movie is a classic representation of the times.
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Yes, Saturday Night Fever symbolizes the best of the disco era in music, dance and fashion.
But the story line and the characters are worth noting on their own merits. The nighttime music and clothes stand in contrast to the degrading and uncivil reality of young urban life that is captured in the R-rated version of the film.
The supporting roles, while a bit caricatured, should not be ignored.
Donna Pescow's character, Annette, seeks to prove her sexiness to Travolta in all the wrong ways, until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a veritable gang rape. Today, teen women and men make the same mistakes -- young women boasting of their sexual availability when all they want is affection, and young men treating women as raw meat because they have little clue how to relate to women sensitively as equals and adults.
Barry Miller's character, young Bobby C., is trapped between the shock of full-blown adult obligations to a pregnant girlfriend, his family's devout religion, and his own severe self-doubt and insecurity. A tragic outcome sparks the final revolt by Travolta's character against the seedy reality of young adult life in the ghetto.
Saturday Night Fever unapologetically captures the cultural vibes of the late Seventies -- including the really bad ones, without glorification. Some today may wonder, for better or worse, how times have really changed.
The sequel, predictably, failed miserably when it forgot what made the original movie stand far apart from other dance flicks.
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on September 5, 2007
I love this movie, I think it's great. But, please, c'mon, how many more Special Editions/Special Collector's Edition/Director's Cut/Unrated Cut/Anniversary Edition, etcetera etcetera, we will have to endure for ANY DVD we already own? It's amazing the nerve of movie studios to continue laughing at our face with these so called "marketing strategies". Give me abreak! Enough already!!!!! Put the movie with all the special "stuff" in one DVD. I'm sure all movie fans will buy them and respect you a little more!
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on July 27, 2000
In 1977 not everybody knew what the innovative disco music was, and to what extent night clubing was going on. This film depicts John Travolta as Brookyn's Tony Manero, hero to the dance floor. His dead end job at a paint store makes him live for The Saturday Night disco scene. Travolta meets Karen Gorney and enters a dance contest with her but she refuses his sexuall advances. Gorney sees herself going to Manhattan to move on with her life. Travolta sees her as a snob. One local girl played by Donna Pescow likes Travolta but is pushed away by him for Gorneys character since she's a better dancer and Pescow is considered boring. What underlies is Trvoltas often at odds relationship with his family. Racial gang wars and a friend you can't help but wonder about his sexuality. Not only did this movie imitate the era, it influenced the next seven years with it's record selling soundtrack and the great timing in which some of the best nightclubs in America remained open. The movies message is vague but lets you fill in the blanks as Travoltas (Manero) becomes fed up with his existing lifestyle. Moviegoers became so enthralled with it, it would continue into the mid 80's. A PG version was recut to feature the dancing and less social conciousness with virtually no explicit language. This movie had one of the biggest impacts of late 70's films!
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VINE VOICEon September 18, 2007
This 30th anniversary special edition might have been re-thought when John Travolta decided NOT to be in the documentary. There have been MUCH better retrospectives on TV . The small section on the Music which DOES feature recent interviews with Barry and Robin okay but big time redundant...and the BEHIND THE MUSIC on VH1 which was put in excerpt in the 25th Anniversary Edition would have been MUCH better than all the useless junk on this edition. This was an important ( I know that is an overused word) movie for my generation ...with big themes of growing up , friendship, career , family,and moving out...among others..and the special features of this edition reduce it all down to clothes and dance steps...THOSE THINGS didn't make this movie important...they missed the boat entirely.

John Travolta is NOT in the bonus features? Oscar nominated for his performance....he's missing from this "special" edition..and for my money..if he's not participating ...WHY make it? and if I'd known he wasn't in this I would not have wasted my money...the 25th Anniversay Edition is frankly...much BETTER!
instead of the DELETED Scenes on the 25th Anniversary Edition we get dance lessons? YIIIKES this stuff stinks!
the 25th Anniversary Edition
commentary, a very very good half hour behind the music documentary with interesting interviews and Travolta plus never before seen rehearsal footage , deleted scenes
the 30th Anniversary Edition behind the music, no deleted scenes , no Travolta.
no way!!
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Saturday Night Fever remains a classic movie over time because so many people appreciate the nostalgia of the disco era; and many more can easily identify with Tony Manero, the main character in the film. Tony's life is already going nowhere fast at the ripe old age of 19; and the only time when he truly feels important is when he's dancing at the local disco dance floor.

Tony (John Travolta), a kid from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, works in a small paint shop while he still lives with his parents. His only real happiness comes on Saturday nights when he and his buddies go to a local disco called 2001 Odyssey. Although Tony can be racist and foul mouthed, I came to like his character rather quickly, most likely because of Travolta's excellent acting. When there's a major dance contest at the disco, Tony initially partners up with Annette (Donna Pescow) to try to win first prize--but Tony's attention is quickly drawn to another slightly older woman, Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney). Eventually Tony dumps Annette to enter the dance contest with Stephanie.

Of course, there's a budding romance between Tony and Stephanie, however clumsy that relationship can be at times. Look also for some excellent scenes in which Tony hangs out with his buddies including Bobby C., Joey and Double J. (Barry Miller, Joseph Cali and Paul Pape, respectively).

The soundtrack to the film is forever famous; the music by the Gibb brothers helps the movie along without ever taking center stage. A fine accomplishment that is in and of itself! The dancing scenes reflect great talent and choreography; and the cinematography works wonders in the opening shots of Tony walking down the street in Brooklyn.

The DVD comes with a few extras; we get a commentary by the director and we also get the VH1 Behind The Music episode about Saturday Night Fever. I especially liked the way they tell people about how they made the film--it wasn't easy. There are three deleted scenes as well.

There's also a strong caution to parents: this is not a Disney movie! There are many swear words and nasty words for Hispanics and African-Americans. There are some scenes related to drugs as well.

Overall, Saturday Night Fever is the gritty little film that did good. The movie's characters are people with whom many people can identify with; we were either the kids who hung out at the club or we wanted to be the kids who hung out at the club. The dancing and soundtrack are nothing short of excellent; and the convincing acting gets five stars in my book any day.

Great job, everyone!
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on September 24, 2007
As a 30 year fan of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, I am sorely disappointed in the lack of quality of the DVD extras on this "collector's edition." Other than the "Back to Brooklyn" piece, the features lacks any depth, and borders on kitschy and predictible. Do we really need to see a gotee'd buffoon teach us how to execute the tango hustle? Completely goofy, and all these features do is take away from the fact that this film broke ground with its provocative subject matter which included life decisions, feeling trapped, and most importantly, losing a friend to suicide while seeing yourself metaphorically doing the same thing. The clothes and the dance steps were secondary characters to the REAL grit of the story....and its main characters.

I understand that John Travolta was unavailable to particpate, but it would have been much more interesting if a creative way was found to include Travolta's presence in the extras with perhaps a feature about who he was and what he was going through prior to, and while, this film was being made....he lost the love of his life, Diana Hyland, and it would have been great to hear from the people who helped Travolta's career get to the point when he landed SNF. There are so many people we HAVEN'T seen who have stories to tell but no one seems to investigate any deeper possibilities for these interviews than the obvious (and overused) candidates. The VH-1 "Behind the Music" piece on the previous edition was much more informative than all of these pieces put together....and they cut out about 30 minutes of that!

And please....the lighting on some of these interviewees was hideous. Barry Gibb looks like George Washington....the 1960s "tie dye" should never have been used as a background. And that disco dancing monkey in the interstitials.....I sure hope no one thinks that John Travolta was the template for that embarassing chapter looks like one of the animated Osmonds from their Saturday morning cartoon series. Painful.

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER was a courageous film....these cheesy extras are anything BUT.

I'll say it again - this groundbreaking film deserves better and classier.
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