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Staying Alive

movie poster for Staying Alive
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Produced by Sylvester Stallone
Robert Stigwood
Written by Sylvester Stallone
Norman Wexler
Starring John Travolta
Cynthia Rhodes
Finola Hughes
Music by Barry Gibb
Maurice Gibb
Robin Gibb
Cinematography Nick McLean
Editing by Peter E. Berger
Mark Warner
Don Zimmerman
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) July 11, 1983
Running time 93 min.
Country United States
Language English
Preceded by Saturday Night Fever

Staying Alive is the 1983 sequel to Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta as the main character, Tony Manero, with Cynthia Rhodes, Finola Hughes, Joyce Hyser, Steve Inwood, Julie Bovasso, and dancers Viktor Manoel, Kate Ann Wright, Kevyn Morrow and Nanette Tarpey. It was directed by Sylvester Stallone. The title comes from the Bee Gees song, Stayin' Alive, which was used as the theme song to Saturday Night Fever and is also played during the final scene of Staying Alive.


Plot summary

This film takes place six years after the events of Saturday Night Fever. Former disco king Anthony "Tony" Manero has left Brooklyn and is now living in Manhattan staying in a flophouse while he works as a dance instructor and as a waiter at a dance club, looking for his big break in the modern dance productions on Broadway. Although his breakaway from his Brooklyn life and friends seems to have matured Tony and refined his personality (specifically represented by his diminshed Brooklyn accent and his avoidance of alcohol and swear words), he continues to hold some injustices, especially toward his most recent girlfriend, the forgiving Jackie (Cynthia Rhodes). He holds a double standard whereby he feels at liberty to see other women, but becomes vexed if he finds Jackie with other men.

While watching a show in which Jackie is a dancer in the chorus, Tony focuses instead on the lead, a wealthy English dancer, Laura (Finola Hughes), whom he seduces and spends the night with; however, it becomes clear that she only intended to be involved with him for one night. Tony tries to see Laura other times, only to find that he has been used by her: at last, she coldly dubs their relationship a mere one-night stand and justifies this simply by her hurtful idea that "everybody uses everybody". Jackie, meanwhile, suspects Tony's involvement with Laura and is unhappy by his breaking several promises to meet with her. Jackie is also the vocalist of a local band and, unable to trust Tony to stick to his promises, instead presumably begins some degree of a relationship with the band's rhythm guitarist (Frank Stallone), further upsetting Tony after his conflict with Laura.

Jackie, Tony, and Laura all try out for the Broadway production, Satan's Alley, and all three land chorus dancer parts with the exception of Laura, who is once again cast as the lead female dancer. Jackie, sick of being considered second best in Tony's eyes, finally leaves Tony, and he soon realizes how cruel he has been to her while so focused on getting Laura. It becomes evident how self-serving and snobby Laura is and she and Tony now remain distant and hostile as the production progresses.

Tony, eventually seeing an opportunity to replace the lead male dancer and make amends with Jackie, asks Jackie to help practice the lead dance part with him and she finally agrees. Laura is disgusted by the fact that Tony replaces the former lead male dancer, meaning that she must now instead dance with Tony on several occasions during the production. Despite Laura's animosity toward Tony, the two display exquisite dancing chemistry which climaxes on opening night, during which Tony brashly goes against the script and kisses Laura; repulsed, she scratches him under the eye. Despite this minor setback, Tony completes the rest of the performance without further problems, earning back Laura's trust and ending full of exhilaration and with a second wind of excitement. Using this burst of energy, Tony apologizes to Jackie and the two get back together. The film ends with Tony still ecstatic, leaving the stage door in order to "strut" in celebration, reminiscent of the opening scene of Saturday Night Fever as he walks alone down the boulevard, beaming with newfound self-confidence.


The film was a success at the box office, earning almost $65 million in the US.[citation needed] While the figure is significantly less than the $94 million earned from its 1977 predecessor Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive ranks among the top ten most successful films of 1983.

Despite its economic success, critics blasted the movie, saying it lacked the heart[1] and interesting characters of Saturday Night Fever. In 2006, Entertainment Weekly dubbed Staying Alive the "Worst Sequel Ever."[2] Many critics complained that the sequel did not contain the shock possessed by Saturday Night Fever. At Rotten Tomatoes, all the reviews (of which most are written retrospectively nearly 20 years after the film's release) are negative, where the movie has a "zero percent" Tomatometer rating.[3]

Awards and nominations

Nominated: Original Song ("Far from Over")
Nominated: Worst Actor (John Travolta)
Nominated: Worst New Star (Finola Hughes)
Nominated: Worst Supporting Actress (Finola Hughes)
Nominated: Best Album of Original Score Written for A Motion Picture or a Television Special

See also

External links




Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Staying Alive is the 1983 sequel to the 1977 hit film Saturday Night Fever. Brooklyn working-class youth Tony Manero is six years older, beyond disco, and ready for the modern dance productions on Broadway.

Directed by Sylvester Stallone. Written by Sylvester Stallone and Norman Wexter.
Tony Manero knows the old days are over - But nobody's gonna tell him he can't feel that good again. Taglines



Laura: Oh, don't take it personally.
Tony Manero: I've got to, there's no one else in the room!

Tony Manero: Did you hear the way she talked? All intelligent like.
Jackie: Tony, an accent doesn't make you intelligent, if it did, you'd be Einstein.

Doorman: Are you expected?
Tony Manero: To do what?

Joy: Hello, I'm Joy...
Tony Manero: ...And I'm happiness.

Tony Manero: Last time I came over, I almost got brain damaged. You guys party too hard, you ought to be a tag team.

Jackie: You know a woman's career as a dancer is as half as long as a man's? So that means I have as half as many chances of making it, right?

Laura: Who do you think you're dealing with? Some little groupie who jumps when you call, is this who you think I am? We met, we made it, what do you think it was, true love? And you say I used you but what about you using me? Everybody uses everybody, don't they?

Tony Manero: Don't worry. She's in good hands.
Carl: And what are you, Allstate, pal?
Tony Manero: Yeah, you want disability?

Jessie: You wanna dance? You follow my rules! This is not a democracy! You know, you're not the greatest dancer ever to hit Broadway.

Tony Manero: Everybody uses everbody, don't they?
Jessie: Go to hell, Manero!

Mrs. Manero: I don't believe it and don't get fresh with me. This, this attitude you're talking about, that's what got you out of this damn neighborhood.

[last lines]
Tony Manero: You know what I wanna do?
Jackie: What?
Tony Manero: Strut.


  • Tony Manero knows the old days are over - But nobody's gonna tell him he can't feel that good again.
  • It's five years later for Tony Manero. The fever still burns!

Main cast

Actor Role
John Travolta Tony Manero
Cynthia Rhodes Jackie
Finola Hughes Laura
Steve Inwood Jessie
Julie Bovasso Mrs. Manero
Kurtwood Smith Choreographer
Frank Stallone Carl

External links

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