|Directed by||Joel Silberg|
|Produced by||Allen DeBevoise
|Music by||Michael Boyd
|Edited by||Larry Bock
|Distributed by||MGM/UA Entertainment Company (USA)
Cannon Films (non-USA)
|May 4, 1984|
Breakin', released as Breakdance: The Movie or Break Street '84 in some countries, is a 1984 breakdancing-themed film directed by Joel Silberg. The film setting was inspired by a 1983 German documentary entitled Breakin' and Enterin' set in the Los Angeles multi-racial hip hop club Radiotron, based out of MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. Many of the artists and dancers, including Ice-T (who makes his movie debut as a club MC) and Boogaloo Shrimp, went straight from Breakin' and Enterin' to star in Breakin'. Ice-T has stated he considers the film and his own performance in it to be "wack".
The music score featured the hits "Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us" by Ollie & Jerry and "Freakshow on the Dance Floor". Breakin' was followed by a sequel, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo released in January of 1985.
Breakin' was the final Cannon film production released by MGM/UA. After Breakin' was released, MGM and Cannon Films dissolved their distribution deal, reportedly over the potentially X-rated content in John Derek's film Bolero and MGM's then-current rule of not releasing X-rated material theatrically, forcing Cannon to become an in-house distribution company once again. Because of the demise of the distribution deal, Breakin' is considered to be the final financially profitable film released by Cannon Films.
Kelly is a struggling young jazz dancer (Lucinda Dickey) who works at a greasy spoon to pay for her expensive dance classes. Through her friend Adam (Phineas Newborn III) who she takes the classes with, she is introduced to two Street dancers, Ozone (Adolfo Quiñones) and Turbo (Michael Chambers). Ozone is immediately taken with the beautiful Kelly and after seeing her dance, names her Special K, but Turbo is standoffish.
An old friend meets Kelly at the diner she works at and after finding out she is still taking Franco's classes, warns her to be careful due to his reputation and gives her the card of an agent. Turbo and Ozone go to see her at class and Turbo interrupts by showing off his skills. Franco storms out of his office and insults them, prompting them to leave. Kelly apologizes and Franco tells her that to be the best, she must concentrate on dance and nothing else. They begin to dance, and he brings the best out in her. However, as she was warned, Franco makes a move on her, kissing her twice against her will. She leaves in tears and doesn't return back to class, so Adam goes to her job to look for her. Once he sees her, she informs him that she doesn't have time for the classes since she is now going on auditions.
Ozone and Turbo have a bitter rivalry with another crew known as Electro Rock, consisting of poppers Poppin' Pete (Timothy Solomon), Poppin' Taco (Bruno Falcon). Once challenged, they can not back down and agree to meet at the Radiotron dance club to show who is the best dance duo. Kelly is frustrated after a rough day of auditions and Adam tells her she needs to relax and takes her with him to the club. A fierce battle begins and Ozone and Turbo think they have won, but then Pete and Taco bring out Lollipop (Ana 'Lollipop' Sánchez) to the surprise of the crowd. The battle lost, Ozone leaves in a huff with Turbo close behind. Adam takes Kelly to see them the next day and states that the crowd was simply taken by the sight of a girl break dancing and that she is better. They duo isn't sure, but she insists that if they teach her, she can learn how to dance like them.
They immediately begin to practice while Kelly learns eagerly, the three form a tight bond. They come up with a name for their trio, TKO (Turbo, Kelly, Ozone). Kelly tells James about her new friends and he's skeptical. But she asks him to give them a chance. He agrees to go to the club with her to see them battle Electro Rock again. Everything goes the way it did the first time until Kelly literally leaps out of the crowd into a series of gymnastic moves and joins Ozone and Turbo on the floor. The crowd is amazed, TKO wins the battle and James has been completely won over. They leave and the next day, Kelly goes to see Ozone to let him know that James wants to represent them all and get them into the contest. She informs him that James has invited the 3 of them to his home for a party where many influential people in the dance world will be. He states that he and Turbo will not attend.
Kelly arrives at the party alone and tells James that her partners might come later, not sure if that is true. Shortly after, they do arrive and are incredulous to the surroundings the find themselves in. Many of the guests are curious about them, but them James takes them around and they come face to face with Franco. Franco is rude as usual and a fight almost breaks out between him and Ozone. Ozone takes Turbo and leaves while Kelly admonishes Franco for his behavior. James then tells him to leave his home. A few days go by and Kelly arrives to see Ozone while turbo is teaching some young neighborhood kids how to break dance. He informs her that he hasn't seen Ozone in a few days and before she leaves to find him, tells her that she needs to understand what is going on (that Ozone has feelings for her). She eventually finds him and they argue since she wants him to open up and he thinks that all she cares about is becoming a successful Broadway dancer. He then takes her to see some physically handicapped kids dance to drive his point home about the love of dance being the most important thing.
They meet with James and accept the studio he rented them to practice in for the contest. While they practice, he is on the phone calling all of his contacts to get them into the audition. As the time for the contest grows near, James meets with Kelly and tells her that despite all of his efforts, Franco has more influence than he thought and has kept them out of the contest. He then realizes that they need to disguise the trio to get them into the contest. They are dressed like a classical trio and given a name to match, which gets them into the contest. However, once Franco discovers their presence, he informs the judges of who they really are and they decline to let them dance. Ozone refuses to take this lying down and walks towards the judges while ripping the long sleeves off of his costume and beginning to dance. Shortly after, Turbo and Kelly follow suit. In a few minutes, the judges find themselves overwhelmed by the talent before them and push Franco out of the way when he tries to intervene again.
In the end, TKO is chosen for the show, which is a hybrid of break and jazz dancing. They are the stars and all of their friends are in the cast as well as Electro Rock.
- Lucinda Dickey as Kelly / Special K
- Adolfo Quiñones as Orlando / Ozone (as Adolfo 'Shabba-Doo' Quiñones)
- Michael Chambers as Tony / Turbo (as Michael 'Boogaloo Shrimp' Chambers)
- Ice-T as Rapper (as Ice T)
- Chris "The Glove" Taylor as Club Radiotron DJ (credited as Scratcher)
- Ben Lokey as Franco
- Christopher McDonald as James
- Phineas Newborn III as Adam
- Bruno Falcon as Electro Rock 1 (as 'Bruno Pop N' Taco' Falcon)
- Timothy Solomon as Electro Rock 2 (as Timothy 'Popin' Pete' Solomon)
- Ana Sánchez as Electro Rock 3 (as Ana 'Lollipop' Sanchez)
- Cooley Jackson as Featured Street Dancer
- Richie Haglund as Background Break Dancer (as Lil "R")
- Peter Bromilow as Judge
- Scott Cooper as Judge
- Michel Qissi as Background Dancing Spectator (uncredited)
- Jean-Claude Van Damme as Background Dancing Spectator (uncredited)
- Vidal Rodriguez as Hot Tot (as Vidal 'Lil Coco' Rodriguez)
The soundtrack of the film was released by Polydor Records in 1984. The album contains the first performance on an album of rapper Ice-T produced by DJ Chris "The Glove" Taylor & David Storrs. (He had released some 12" singles previously.)
- "Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us" by Ollie & Jerry – 4:34
- "Freakshow on the Dance Floor" by Bar-Kays – 4:42
- "Body Work" by Hot Streak – 4:22
- "99 ½" by Carol Lynn Townes – 4:02
- "Showdown" by Ollie & Jerry – 3:57
- "Heart of the Beat" by 3V – 4:18
- "Street People" by Fire Fox – Music by (Ollie & Jerry) 3:23
- "Cut It" by Re-Flex – 3:11
- "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus and Chaka Khan – 4:45
- "Reckless" by Chris "The Glove" Taylor & David Storrs - Rap by Ice-T – 3:57
In popular culture
Several months before the release of Breakin', Adolfo "Shabba Doo" Quiñones, Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers, Bruno 'Pop N' Taco' Falcon, Timothy Solomon, DJ Chris "The Glove" Taylor, and Ana 'Lollipop' Sanchez were all prominently featured in the music video for Chaka Khan's remake of the 1979 Prince song "I Feel for You".
Home video releases
On August 5, 2003, MGM Home Entertainment released Breakin' as a bare-bones DVD. On April 21, 2015, Shout! Factory released Breakin ', along with the sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, as a double feature Blu-ray.
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