Footloose (1984 film)
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Picture of Footloose (1984) movie poster
|Directed by||Herbert Ross|
|Produced by||Lewis J. Rachmil
|Written by||Dean Pitchford|
|Music by||Tom Snow
Dean Pitchford (lyrics)
|Editing by||Paul Hirsch|
|Studio||IndieProd Company Productions|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||February 17, 1984|
|Running time||107 minutes|
|Box office||$80,035,402 (USA)|
Footloose is a 1984 American musical-drama film directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon), an upbeat Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of a local minister (John Lithgow), dancing and rock music have been banned.
Ren McCormack (Bacon), a teenager raised in Chicago, moves with his mother to the small town of Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle. Soon after arriving, Ren makes a friend named Willard, and from him learns the city council has banned dancing and rock music. He soon begins to fall for a rebellious girl named Ariel, who has a boyfriend, Chuck Cranston, and an overprotective father, Reverend Shaw Moore (Lithgow), an authority figure in the town.
After trading insults with Ariel's boyfriend, Ren is challenged to a game of chicken involving tractors, and despite having never driven one before, he wins. Rev. Moore mistrusts Ren, forbidding Ariel to see him. Ren and his classmates want to do away with the no dancing law and have a senior prom.
Ren goes before the city council and reads several Bible verses to cite scriptural support for the worth of dancing to rejoice, exercise, or celebrate. Although Rev. Moore is moved and tries to get them to abolish the law, the council votes against him. Moore's wife is supportive of the movement, and explains to Moore he cannot be everyone's father, and that he is hardly being a father to Ariel. She also says that dancing and music are not the problem. Moore soon has a change of heart after seeing some of the townsfolk burning books that they think are dangerous to the youth. Realizing the situation has gotten out of hand, Moore stops the burning.
On Sunday, Rev. Moore asks his congregation to pray for the high school students putting on the prom, which is set up at a grain mill outside of the town limits. Moore and his wife are seen outside, dancing for the first time in years.
- Kevin Bacon as Ren McCormack
- Lori Singer as Ariel Moore
- Dianne Wiest as Vi Moore
- John Lithgow as Reverend Shaw Moore
- Christopher Penn as Willard Hewitt
- Sarah Jessica Parker as Rusty
- Frances Lee McCain as Ethel McCormack
- Jim Youngs as Chuck Cranston
- John Laughlin as Woody
- Lynne Marta as Lulu Warnicker
Michael Cimino was hired by Paramount to direct the film when negotiations with Ross initially stalled. After four months working on the film, the studio fired Cimino, who was making extravagant demands for the production, including demanding an additional $250,000 for his work, and ended up rehiring Ross.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)|
Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe were both slated to play the lead. The casting directors were impressed with Cruise because of the famous underwear dance sequence in Risky Business, but he was unavailable for the part because he was filming All the Right Moves. Lowe auditioned three times and had dancing ability and the "neutral teen" look that the director wanted, but injury prevented him from taking the part. Bacon had been offered the main role for the Stephen King movie Christine, at the same time that he was asked to do the screen test for Footloose. He chose to take the gamble on the screen test. After watching his earlier movie Diner, the director had to convince the producers to go with Bacon.
Footloose also starred Lori Singer as Reverend Moore's independent daughter Ariel, a role for which Madonna also auditioned. Daryl Hannah turned down the offer to play Ariel in order to play Madison in Splash. Elizabeth McGovern turned down the role to play Deborah Gelly in Once Upon a Time in America. Melanie Griffith, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rosanna Arquette, Meg Tilly, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Heather Locklear, Meg Ryan, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jodie Foster, Phoebe Cates, Tatum O'Neal, Bridget Fonda, Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane and Brooke Shields were all considered for the role of Ariel. Dianne Wiest appeared as Vi, the Reverend's devoted yet conflicted wife.
Footloose featured an early film appearance by Sarah Jessica Parker, as Ariel's friend Rusty, for which she received a Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama nomination at the Sixth Annual Youth in Film Awards. It was also an early role for Chris Penn as Willard Hewitt, who is taught how to dance by his friend Ren.
The film was made at various locations in Utah County, Utah. The high school and tractor scenes were filmed in and around Payson, Utah and Payson High School. The church scenes were filmed in American Fork, Utah. The steel mill was the Geneva Steel mill. The final sequence was filmed in Lehi, Utah, with the Lehi Roller Mills featured in the final sequence.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
The soundtrack was released in cassette, 8-track tape, vinyl, and CD format. The soundtrack was also re-released on CD for the 15th anniversary of the film in 1999. The re-release included four new songs: "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" by Quiet Riot, "Hurts So Good" by John Mellencamp, "Waiting for a Girl Like You" by Foreigner, and the extended 12" remix of "Dancing in the Sheets".
The soundtrack includes five rock singles - the title song and "I'm Free", both by Kenny Loggins, "Holding Out for a Hero" by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, "Girl Gets Around" by Sammy Hagar, and "Never" by Australian rock band Moving Pictures (the song played during Bacon's solo dance scene); three singles - "Let's Hear It for the Boy" by Deniece Williams, "Somebody's Eyes" by Karla Bonoff, and "Dancing In the Sheets" by Shalamar; and the love theme "Almost Paradise" by Mike Reno from Loverboy and Ann Wilson of Heart. Some of the songs were composed by Eric Carmen and Jim Steinman and the soundtrack went on to sell over 9 million copies in the USA.
The first two tracks both hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received 1985 Academy Award nominations for Best Music (Original Song). "Footloose" also received a 1985 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song - Motion Picture.
Critical reception 
The film received mixed reviews, holding a 56% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of April 20, 2013. Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert called it "a seriously confused movie that tries to do three things, and does all of them badly." Dave Denby in New York rechristened the film "Schlockdance", writing: "Footloose may be a hit, but it's trash - high powered fodder for the teen market... The only person to come out of the film better off is the smooth-cheeked, pug-nosed Bacon, who gives a cocky but likeable Mr. Cool performance."
Jane Lamacraft reassessed the film for Sight and Sound's "Forgotten pleasures of the multiplex" feature in 2010, writing "Nearly three decades on, Bacon's vest-clad set-piece dance in a flour mill looks cheesily 1980s, but the rest of Ross's drama wears its age well, real song-and-dance joy for the pre-Glee generation."
Box office 
Despite critical reviews, the film grossed $80,035,403 domestically.
American Film Institute Lists 
Musical version 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
Starting in 1999 a musical version of Footloose, that features many of the same songs from the movie, has been presented on London's West End, on Broadway, and elsewhere. The musical is generally faithful to the film version, with some slight differences in the story and characters.
Paramount revealed the full cast on June 22, 2010, with Kenny Wormald as Ren McCormick, Julianne Hough as Ariel, and Dennis Quaid as Rev. Shaw Moore. It is set in the fictional town of Bomont, Georgia, and was filmed in Georgia.
Filming started in September, 2010. It was budgeted at $25 million. The release date was October 14, 2011.
- Demaret, Kent (18 May 1980). "You Got Trouble in Elmore City: That's Spelled with a "t," Which Rhymes with "d" and That Stands for Dancing". People 13 (20). Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- Holleran, Scott (12 October 2004). "Shall We Footloose?". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- "Hoofers Hidden in the Shadows Dream of the Limelight". People. Time Inc. 2 April 1984. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- Jones, Oliver (14 October 2011). "Kevin Bacon 'Furious' over Having a Dance Double in Footloose". People. Time Inc. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Footloose Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Footloose". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Denby, David (February 27, 1984). "Schlockdance". New York 17 (9). p. 60. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Lamacraft, Jane. "forgotten-pleasures-of-the-multiplex". Sight & Sound. British Film Institute. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Box office/business for Footloose (1984)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees
- "Footloose Remake Gets A Cast". The Film Stage. June 22, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Woodman, Tenley, "Kicking it old-school: Stoughton dancer says accent helped him land 'Footloose'", Boston Herald, October 12, 2011
- 'Footloose' runs off with well-heeled suitor: Georgia
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- Footloose at AllRovi
- Footloose at Box Office Mojo
- Footloose at the Internet Movie Database
- Footloose at Rotten Tomatoes
- Footloose at The Numbers
- Footloose Review, history and filming locations