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The Last Days of Disco

3.8 out of 5 stars 143 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Completing the loosely connected trilogy that also includes Metropolitan and Barcelona, writer-director Whit Stillman brings his signature style to this casually structured but acerbically witty ode to... well, to the last days of disco. Set in New York during 1980-81, the film follows its half-dozen central characters onto the strobe-lit dance floor of The Club--the anonymous name Stillman gave to the central setting, knowing at the time that his film would be released in close proximity to 54, the bigger-budget movie about the legendary and infamous nightclub Studio 54. In fact, Stillman's film captures the same period with greater accuracy, and draws us into the waning disco craze with more incisive wit and deft handling of a first-rate cast.

The film's casual plot revolves around six recent college graduates, and Stillman charts their clashes and intimacies with a keen sense of human foibles and frailties, pausing throughout for such characteristic touches as a hilarious conversation about the sexual politics of Disney's Lady and the Tramp or the homoerotic subtext in an episode of Wild Kingdom. Sharp dialogue is in rich abundance here, and through it all Stillman captures the fading glory of disco as his characters make the transition toward adult responsibilities. It's here that we see how this film is subtly intertwined with Stillman's earlier work, and where we gain a fuller and more satisfying appreciation of a filmmaker who has carved a singular niche for himself in the world of independent movies. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Chloë Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale, Chris Eigeman, Mackenzie Astin, Matt Keeslar
  • Directors: Whit Stillman
  • Writers: Whit Stillman
  • Producers: Whit Stillman, Cecilia Kate Roque, Edmon Roch, John Sloss
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Polygram Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 1999
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000F0D3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,286 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last Days of Disco" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luis Hernandez on June 30, 2001
Format: DVD
Directed by the amazing Whit Stillman ("Barcelona"; "Metropolitan"), "The Last Days of Disco" examines the life of several young, upward, professionals (or "yuppies" for short) during the early 1980's, when the disco craze was dying and the Decade of Decadence was beginning.
Alice (Chloë Sevigny of "Boys Don't Cry") and Charlotte (Kate Beckisndale of "Brokedown Palace") are two young publishing assistants who live as roommates in the city. Living on a love/hate relationship with one another, both girls decide to socialize with New York's club elite at the most popular club in the city.
There, they meet up with the likes of advertising execs and employees, odd club characters such as the Tiger Lady (played by Drew Barrymore's real-life mother, Jaid Barrymore) and others who give the film a unique flavor when it comes to recreating the disco era of the late 1970's/early 1980's.
While I really can't give away the details that moves the film to its' conclusion, all I can say that this film blows away the only other disco-era film that was released around the same time, "Studio 54." While the latter tried to recreate the final days of New York City's most infamous nightspot, it failed to capture the energy that disco era was well-known for. Unlike "Studio 54," instead of revolving around the life of one character, "Last Days" focuses on the lives of several young professionals, which gives it more flavor and attraction.
Personally, Whit Stillman simply is one of the best American directors out there. His films all involve wit, energy, love, and the elements that plague young adults now and then.
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Format: DVD
If you can't stand to watch another exploding helicopter, "Disco" and the other two Whit Stillman movies are a good antidote. The characters actually say interesting things.
You may want to watch "Metropolitan" before watching "The Last Days of Disco" to understand the world the characters come from. You may be a little misled by watching "Metropolitan" first, though. It's a simple, gentle story while "Barcelona" and "Disco" are sexier and set in more exotic locales.
Some reviewers didn't like these movies because the characters speak articulately in fully-formed, grammatically-correct sentences. I can see where they might mistake it for bad writing or acting. The bio commentary on the "Disco" DVD talks about the film crew being impressed by the Sevigny and Beckinsale's ability to recreate New England prep school speech - an indication that preppies really talk that way. I'm from California where we're all inarticulate, so I wouldn't know. Ultimately, I don't care - people don't break out singing in real life, either, but you wouldn't want to do away with musicals. Notice that the non-preppy characters in these movies talk like "normal" people.
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By A Customer on January 4, 2000
Format: DVD
After Metropolitan andn Barcelona, one would expect the acting in The Last Days of Disco to be atrocious. That's not the case. For perhaps the first time, Stillman has managed to fuse a reflective story with decent acting. The result is, I think, a movie that just gets better each time you watch it. The more you watch, the more you realise it's just like a Fitzgerald or Hemmingway novel. The conversation about lady and the tramp, the bitchiness of Kate Beckinsale... it all adds up to a great movie. If you have a bit of time to spare, and you're willing to pay attention to it, watch the movie. Whilst Metropolitan and Barcelona were both great (I'm a big Stillman fan), I think The Last Days of Disco shows the director at a new level of maturity.
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Format: Blu-ray
Whit Stillman's 1998 film "The Last Days of Disco" remains one of his best pictures - a refreshing, intelligent, and often subtly hilarious look at shallow yuppies living, clubbing, and loving at the tail end of the Disco era (i.e. "the very early 1980s"). The demure Chloe Sevigny and the bitchy Kate Beckinsale play a vastly different pair of publishing assistants who decide to room in a New York railroad apartment while they hit the highlife at night with a colorful group of supporting characters -- not the least of which include advertising man Mackenzie Astin (who needs the disco to attract clients), club bouncer Chris Eigeman (a Stillman regular), and assistant district attorney Matt Keeslar (who perhaps has both the hots for Sevigny, and ulterior motives for visiting the disco himself).

The performances are uniformly on target, each character believably echoing the frivolous nature of the music, but also the genuine feeling for the time and place they do share. Stillman provides seemingly every character with a vital scene or line of dialogue, and comes down hard on their essentially materialistic ideals while never condemning them or turning the picture into a broadly comic spoof. Sevigny's character, in particular, is a credible portrait of a young girl lost in the big city, emotionally if nothing else, and Beckinsale creates one of the most effectively obnoxious (but believable!) women you're ever likely to see on the big screen, years before the actress dedicated most of her time to becoming a plastic action figure.
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