Saturday Night Fever

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Saturday Night Fever
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Badham
Screenplay byNorman Wexler
Based on"Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night"
by Nik Cohn
Produced byRobert Stigwood
CinematographyRalf D. Bode
Edited byDavid Rawlins
Music by
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • December 16, 1977 (1977-12-16) ([1][2])
Running time
119 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States[1]
Budget$3.5 million[4]
Box office$237.1 million[5]

Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 American dance drama film directed by John Badham and produced by Robert Stigwood. It stars John Travolta as Tony Manero, a young Italian-American man who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local discothèque while dealing with social tensions and disillusionment in his working class ethnic neighborhood in Brooklyn. The story is based on "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night", a mostly fictional 1976 article by music writer Nik Cohn.

A major critical and commercial success, Saturday Night Fever had a tremendous impact on the popular culture of the late 1970s. It helped popularize disco around the world and initiated a series of collaborations between film studios and record labels. It made Travolta, already well known from his role in the popular TV sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, a household name. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, at the time becoming the fourth-youngest nominee in the category. The film showcases aspects of the music, dancing, and subculture surrounding the disco era, including symphony-orchestrated melodies, haute couture styles of clothing, pre-AIDS sexual promiscuity, and graceful choreography. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring songs by the Bee Gees, is one of the best-selling soundtrack albums worldwide. Travolta reprised his role of Tony Manero in Staying Alive in 1983, which was panned by critics despite being successful at the box office.

In 2010, Saturday Night Fever was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Adjusted for inflation, it is one of the highest-grossing R-rated films released in the U.S. in the 1970s, with a total box office gross of $673,899,098 in 2024.[6]


Tony Manero is a 19-year-old Italian-American from the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, living in his family's house and working in a small paint store. To escape his day-to-day life, Tony goes to 2001 Odyssey, a local discotheque, where he is king of the dance floor and receives the admiration and respect he craves. Tony has four close Italian-American friends from the neighborhood: Joey, Double J, Gus, and Bobby C. A fringe member of his group of friends is Annette, a neighborhood girl who is infatuated with Tony; however, he is not attracted to her.

Tony and his friends ritually stop on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to clown around. The bridge has special significance for Tony as a symbol of escape to a better life.

Tony agrees to be Annette's partner in an upcoming dance contest, but her happiness is short-lived when Tony is mesmerized by another woman at the club, Stephanie Mangano, whose dancing skills exceed Annette's. Although Stephanie rejects Tony's advances, she eventually agrees to be his partner in the dance competition, provided that their partnership remains professional.

Frank Jr., Tony's older brother and the pride of the family as a Roman Catholic priest, brings despair to their parents and grandmother when he tells them he has quit the priesthood. Tony shares a warm relationship with Frank Jr., but Tony feels pleased that he is no longer the black sheep of the family. Frank Jr. tells Tony that he never wanted to be a priest and only did it to make their parents happy. He also encourages Tony to do something with his dancing.

While on his way home from the grocery store, Gus is attacked by a gang and hospitalized. He tells Tony and his friends that his attackers were the Barracudas, a Puerto Rican gang. Meanwhile, Bobby C. has been trying to get out of his relationship with his devout Catholic girlfriend, Pauline, who is pregnant with his child. Facing pressure from his family and others to marry her, Bobby asks Frank Jr. if the Pope would grant him dispensation for an abortion. When Frank tells him such a thing would be highly unlikely, Bobby's feelings of desperation increase.

Eventually, the group gets their revenge on the Barracudas and crash Bobby C's car into their hangout, while Bobby C. drives away when a gang member tries to attack him. When the group visits Gus in the hospital, they are angry when he tells them that he may have identified the wrong gang. Later, Tony and Stephanie dance at the competition, sharing a kiss at the end of their performance, and end up winning first prize. However, Tony believes that a Puerto Rican couple performed better, and that the judges' decision was ethnically motivated. He gives the Puerto Rican couple his trophy and award money and leaves with Stephanie. Once inside Bobby's car, Stephanie mocks Tony and tells him she was using him. Tony tries to have sex with her, but she resists and runs from him.

Tony's friends come to the car along with an intoxicated Annette. Joey says she has agreed to have sex with everyone. Tony tries to lead her away but is subdued by Double J and Joey and sullenly leaves with the group in the car. Annette has sex with Joey in the back seat of the car. After Joey finishes with Annette, he switches places with Double J who then proceeds to brutally rape Annette as she cries, with Tony clearly uncomfortable in the front seat. Bobby C. pulls the car over on the Verrazzano–Narrows Bridge for their usual cable-climbing antics. After the other three guys get out of the car, Tony insults Annette, who is clearly distraught over being raped, and implies that she was asking for it.

Instead of abstaining as usual, Bobby performs stunts more recklessly than the rest of the gang. Realizing that he is acting recklessly, Tony tries to get him to come down. Bobby's strong sense of despair, the situation with Pauline, and Tony's broken promise to call him earlier that day all lead to a suicidal tirade about Tony's lack of caring, before Bobby slips and falls to his death in the water below.

Disgusted and disillusioned by his friends, his family, and his life, Tony angrily storms off, leaving Double J, Joey, and Annette behind. He spends the rest of the night riding the graffiti-riddled subway into Manhattan. Morning has dawned by the time he appears at Stephanie's apartment. He apologizes for his bad behavior, telling her that he plans to relocate from Brooklyn to Manhattan to try to start a new life. Stephanie forgives Tony, and tells him that she was wrong to say she was using him, and that she danced with him because he gave her respect and moral support. Tony and Stephanie salvage their relationship and agree to be friends.



Saturday Night Fever
Soundtrack album by
Bee Gees and various artists
ReleasedNovember 15, 1977 (1977-11-15)
StudioChâteau d'Hérouville (France); Criteria Studios (Miami)
ProducerBill Oakes (music supervisor)
Bee Gees chronology
Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live
Saturday Night Fever
Spirits Having Flown
Singles from Saturday Night Fever
  1. "How Deep Is Your Love"
    Released: September 24, 1977
  2. "More Than a Woman"
    Released: November 19, 1977
  3. "Stayin' Alive"
    Released: December 15, 1977
  4. "If I Can't Have You"
    Released: January 1978
  5. "Night Fever"
    Released: January 1978
  6. "Boogie Shoes"
    Released: February 1978
  7. "More Than a Woman"
    Released: April 8, 1978[7]
  8. "Manhattan Skyline"
    Released: June 17, 1978 [8]

The soundtrack was released on November 15, 1977. Prior to the release of Thriller by Michael Jackson, Saturday Night Fever was the best-selling album in music history, and still ranks among the best-selling soundtrack albums worldwide, with sales figures of over 40 million copies.[9][10]

In the United States, the album was certified 16× Platinum for shipments of at least 16 million units.[11] The album stayed atop the charts for 24 straight weeks from January to July 1978 and stayed on Billboard's album charts for 120 weeks until March 1980. Three singles from the album contributed by the Bee Gees—"How Deep Is Your Love", "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever"—along with Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You", all reached No. 1 in the US. In the UK, the album spent 18 consecutive weeks at No. 1. The album epitomized the disco phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic and was an international sensation.[12] The album has been added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress in 2014 for being culturally significant.[13]

  1. "Stayin' Alive" performed by the Bee Gees – 4:45
  2. "How Deep Is Your Love" performed by Bee Gees – 4:05
  3. "Night Fever" performed by Bee Gees – 3:33
  4. "More Than a Woman" performed by Bee Gees – 3:17
  5. "If I Can't Have You" performed by Yvonne Elliman – 3:00
  6. "A Fifth of Beethoven" performed by Walter Murphy – 3:03
  7. "More Than a Woman" performed by Tavares – 3:17
  8. "Manhattan Skyline" performed by David Shire – 4:44
  9. "Calypso Breakdown" performed by Ralph MacDonald – 7:50
  10. "Night on Disco Mountain" performed by David Shire – 5:12
  11. "Open Sesame" performed by Kool & the Gang – 4:01
  12. "Jive Talkin'" performed by Bee Gees – 3:43 (*)
  13. "You Should Be Dancing" performed by Bee Gees – 4:14
  14. "Boogie Shoes" performed by KC and the Sunshine Band – 2:17
  15. "Salsation" performed by David Shire – 3:50
  16. "K-Jee" performed by MFSB – 4:13
  17. "Disco Inferno" performed by The Trammps – 10:51
With the exception of (*) track 12 "Jive Talkin", all of the songs are played in the film.
The novelty songs "Dr. Disco" and "Disco Duck", both performed by Rick Dees, are played in the film but not included on the album.

According to the DVD commentary for Saturday Night Fever, the producers intended to use the song "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs in the rehearsal scene between Tony and Annette in the dance studio, and choreographed their dance moves to the song.[14] However, representatives for Scaggs' label Columbia Records refused to grant legal clearance for it, as they wanted to pursue another disco movie project, which never materialized. Composer David Shire, who scored the film, had to in turn write a song to match the dance steps demonstrated in the scene and eliminate the need for future legal hassles. However, this track does not appear on the movie's soundtrack.

The song "K-Jee" was used during the dance contest with the Puerto Rican couple that competed against Tony and Stephanie. Some VHS cassettes used a more traditional Latin-style song instead.[15] The DVD restores the original recording.

The album, like its parent film, has been added to the Library of Congress via the National Recording Registry.[13]

Source material[edit]

Norman Wexler's screenplay was adapted from a 1976 New York magazine article by British writer Nik Cohn, "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night". The article centers on working class Italian-Americans in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and on the lives of young men who work dead-end jobs but live for their nights dancing at the local discotheque, in particular. Cohn later wrote that "the [disco] craze had started in black gay clubs, then progressed to straight blacks and gay whites and from there to mass consumption—Latinos in the Bronx, West Indians on Staten Island, and, yes, Italians in Brooklyn."[16]

Although presented as an account of factual reporting, Cohn acknowledged in the mid-1990s that he fabricated most of the article.[17] A newcomer to the United States and a stranger to the disco lifestyle, Cohn was unable to make any sense of the subculture he had been assigned to write about; instead, the character who became Tony Manero was based on an English mod acquaintance of Cohn.[17]


Shortly after Cohn's article was published, British music impresario Robert Stigwood purchased the film rights and hired Cohn to adapt his own article to screen.[1] After finishing a single screenplay draft, Cohn was replaced by Norman Wexler, who'd previously picked up Oscar nominations for Joe (1970) and Serpico (1973). Among the elements Wexler added to the story was Tony's younger sister, as well as older brother Frank who disappoints his parents by leaving the priesthood. "I think what Norman did so well was to create a family situation that had real truth, an accurate look at how men related to women in that moment, in ways that you would never get away with now," said producer Kevin McCormick.[16]

John G. Avildsen was originally hired as the film's director, but was replaced one month before principal photography by John Badham over "conceptual disagreements."[1][16] Badham was a lesser-known director who, like his star, had mostly worked in television. His sole prior film credit, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, was released while Saturday Night Fever was already well into production.[16]

The film went through several different titles, including Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night and Saturday Night. After the Bee Gees wrote "Night Fever" and submitted it for the soundtrack, they told Stigwood they disliked Saturday Night for the film's title, and the film's final title of Saturday Night Fever was decided upon.[18]



The film's relatively low budget ($3.5 million) meant that most of the actors were relative unknowns, many of whom were recruited from New York's theatre scene.[16] For more than 40% of the actors it was their film debut. The only actor in the cast who was already an established name was John Travolta, thanks to his role on the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.[16] Travolta, who had previously auditioned for Stigwood's film version of Jesus Christ Superstar, was remembered by the producer and signed to a three-movie contract with his company in 1976.[16] Stigwood wanted Travolta to first star in a movie version of Grease, but because a film adaptation of Grease was not permitted to begin filming until 1978 when its stage run had completed, they made this film first.[16] Travolta's performance as Tony Manero brought him critical acclaim and helped launch him into international stardom.

Travolta researched the part by visiting the real 2001 Odyssey discotheque, and claimed he adopted many of the character's swaggering mannerisms from the male patrons.[16] Travolta said when he would get recognized, "[Guys'] girlfriends would come up, and they'd say, 'Hey, stay away from him, don't bug Travolta,' and they’d actually push the girls away. Tony Manero's whole male-chauvinist thing I got from watching those guys in the discos."[16] He insisted on performing his character's own dance sequences after producers suggested he be substituted by a body double, rehearsing his choreography with Lester Wilson and Deney Terrio for three hours every day, losing 20 pounds in the process.[16][19] Wilson is credited for providing the look of the dance scenes and "breathing life" into the film. Said Travolta, "He taught me what he called his 'hang time.' He would smoke a cigarette to greet the day, and he infused my dancing with African-American rhythm. I'm the kind of dancer who needs thought and construction—an idea—before I dance. I need an internal story. Lester would put on some music and he would say, 'Move with me, motherfucker—move with me!'"[16]

Karen Lynn Gorney was nine years older than Travolta when she was cast as his love interest Stephanie. Although Gorney had dance experience before she was cast, she found it difficult to keep up with her co-star due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident some years before.[16] After the success of Saturday Night Fever, Gorney took a break from film acting to work as a dance instructor at a performing arts academy in Brooklyn. Jessica Lange, Kathleen Quinlan, Carrie Fisher, and Amy Irving were all considered for the part before Gorney was cast.

Donna Pescow was considered almost "too pretty" by Paramount heads Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg for the role of Annette. She corrected this matter by putting on weight. She also had to relearn her native Brooklyn accent, which she had overcome while studying drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.[20]


The film was shot entirely on-location in Brooklyn, New York.[16][21] The 2001 Odyssey Disco was a real club located at 802 64th Street, which has since been demolished.[22] The interior was modified for the film, including the addition of a $15,000 lighted floor,[16] which was inspired by a Birmingham, Alabama establishment Badham had visited.[23] A similar effect was achieved on the club's walls using tinfoil and Christmas lights. Since the Bee Gees were not involved in the production until after principal photography wrapped, the "Night Fever", "You Should Be Dancin'", and "More Than a Woman" sequences were shot with Stevie Wonder tracks that were later overdubbed in the sound mix.[16] During filming, the production was harassed by local gangs over use of the location, and was even firebombed.[16]

The dance studio was Phillips Dance Studio in Bensonhurst, the Manero home was a house in Bay Ridge,[24] the paint store was Pearson Paint & Hardware, also in Bay Ridge. Other locations included the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge,[16] John J. Carty Park, and the Bay Ridge Promenade.[21]

To try to throw off Travolta's fans who might disrupt filming, Badham and his team took to shooting exterior scenes as early in the morning as possible before people caught on – often at the crack of dawn. They would also generate fake call sheets. The tactics worked well enough that Badham was usually able to get the scenes done before significant crowds had time to gather.[16]



Movie poster of the PG version of Saturday Night Fever

Two theatrical versions of the film were released: the original R-rated version and an edited PG-rated version in 1979.[1][25]

The R-rated version released in 1977 represented the movie's first run, and totaled 119 minutes.[26] After the success of the first run, the film's content was re-edited into a 112-minute, toned down, PG-rated version, not only to attract a wider audience, but also to capitalize on attracting the target audience of the teenagers who were not old enough to see the film by themselves, but who made the film's soundtrack album a monster hit.[27] The R-rated version's profanity, nudity, fight sequence, and a gang rape scene in a car, were all de-emphasized or removed from the PG version.[27] Numerous profanity-filled scenes were replaced with alternate takes of the same scenes, substituting milder language initially intended for the network television cut.[27]

Paramount initially intended to release the PG-rated version of the film in 1978, as it was already being screened on airlines.[27] However, due to the regulations set by the MPAA at the time, it was not permissible to have two versions of a film with different ratings shown concurrently in American theaters.[27] Consequently, Paramount had to remove the film from exhibition for a period of 90 days before they could showcase the alternate rated version, thereby causing a delay in their release plans.[28][27] Eventually, in 1979, the PG-rated version was made available to the public.[27] Paramount later decided to present it as a double feature along with their other successful John Travolta film, Grease. In the Biography documentary Inside Story: Saturday Night Fever, producer Robert Stigwood criticized the PG-rated version, stating that it undermined the film's impact and lacked the power of the original R-rated edition.[29]

In 2017, the director's cut (running 122 minutes) premiered at the TCM Classic Film Festival at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.[30] Fathom Events hosted special screenings of this version in 2017.[31]

Home media[edit]

Both theatrical versions were released on VHS. The PG-rated version never had a home video release on Laserdisc. It was first released to DVD by Paramount on October 8, 2002, as an R-rated special-edition, which included most of the deleted scenes present on the PG version, as well as a director's commentary and "Behind the Music" featurettes.[32]

On May 5, 2009, Paramount released Saturday Night Fever on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This release retains the R-rated version of the film, and included bonus features from the 2002 release as well as new extras.[33]

The 4K director's cut (122 minutes) was released on Blu-ray on May 2, 2017.[34] This disc includes both the director's cut and the original theatrical version, as well as the bulk of the bonus features from the prior release.

On November 8, 2022, Paramount released the film as a special edition 4K HD Blu-ray.[35]

Television broadcast[edit]

When HBO acquired the pay television rights to Saturday Night Fever in 1980, both versions of the film were aired by the network: the PG version during the day, and the R version during the evening (HBO, which had primarily operated on a late afternoon-to-early overnight schedule at the time, had maintained a programming policy restricting the showing of R-rated films to the nighttime hours, a rule that continued long after it switched to a 24-hour schedule full-time in December 1981). The R-rated theatrical version premiered on the network at midnight Eastern Time on January 1, 1980.[citation needed]

For the film's network television premiere, airing on ABC on November 16, 1980, a new milder version was created to conform with network broadcast standards.[36] The network television version was a slightly shortened cut of the PG-rated version. In order to maintain runtime, a few additional scenes deleted from both theatrical releases were added to make up for the lost/cut material, making the ABC version among the longest cuts of the film.[citation needed] These added scenes included Tony dancing with Doreen to "Disco Duck", Tony running his finger along the cables of the Verrazzano–Narrows Bridge, and Tony's father getting his job back. The last two deleted scenes were included in the 2017 director's cut.

Starting in the late 1990s, VH1, TBS and TNT began showing the original R-rated version with a TV-14 rating, although with nudity removed/censored, and the stronger profanity either being edited or (on recent airings) silenced.[citation needed] However, this version of the TV cut included some innuendo included in the original theatrical release that was edited or removed from the PG version. Turner Classic Movies has aired the film in both versions: the original R-rated version (rated TV-MA on the network) is the cut commonly broadcast, although the PG cut has been presented as part of TCM's family-oriented "Funday Night at the Movies" and "Essentials Jr." film showcases.


Box office[edit]

The film grossed $25.9 million in its first 24 days of release and grossed an average of $600,000 a day throughout January to March[37] going on to gross $94.2 million in the United States and Canada and $237.1 million worldwide.[5] Adjusted for inflation, it is the highest-grossing R-rated film released in the U.S. in the 1970s, with a total box office gross of $673,899,098 in 2024.[6]

Critical response[edit]

Saturday Night Fever received positive reviews and is regarded by many critics as one of the best films of 1977.[38][39][40][41] On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of 55 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The website's consensus reads: "Boasting a smart, poignant story, a classic soundtrack, and a starmaking performance from John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever ranks among the finest dramas of the 1970s."[42] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 77 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[43] It was added to The New York Times "Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made", which was published in 2004.[44] In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Film critic Gene Siskel, who would later list this as his favorite movie, praised the film: "One minute into Saturday Night Fever you know this picture is onto something, that it knows what it's talking about." He also praised John Travolta's energetic performance: "Travolta on the dance floor is like a peacock on amphetamines. He struts like crazy."[45] Siskel even bought Travolta's famous white suit from the film at a charity auction.[46]

Film critic Pauline Kael wrote a gushing review of the film in The New Yorker: "The way Saturday Night Fever has been directed and shot, we feel the languorous pull of the discotheque, and the gaudiness is transformed. These are among the most hypnotically beautiful pop dance scenes ever filmed ... Travolta gets so far inside the role he seems incapable of a false note; even the Brooklyn accent sounds unerring ... At its best, though, Saturday Night Fever gets at something deeply romantic: the need to move, to dance, and the need to be who you'd like to be. Nirvana is the dance; when the music stops, you return to being ordinary."[47][48]

Historians of disco have criticized the film as a whitewashed representation of disco. Katherine Karlin wrote: "The film is wrongly credited with sparking the disco culture; it’s more accurate to say that it marks the moment when disco—up to that moment a megaphone for voices that were queer, black, or female—became accessible to straight white men, and thus the moment marking its decline."[49] Music historians Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton wrote in their book Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: "The Bee Gees did for disco what Elvis Presley did for rhythm and blues, what Diana Ross did for soul, what Dave Brubeck did for jazz; they made it safe for white, straight, middle-class people, hauling it out of its subcultural ghetto and into the headlight glare of the mainstream. Here was something middle America could move its uptight ass to."[50]


Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Academy Awards Best Actor John Travolta Nominated [51]
British Academy Film Awards Anthony Asquith Award for Original Film Music Bee Gees Nominated [52]
Best Soundtrack Michael Colgan, Les Lazarowitz, John Wilkinson, Robert W. Glass Jr., and John T. Reitz Nominated
DVD Exclusive Awards Best Audio Commentary, Library Release John Badham (for the 25th Anniversary Edition) Nominated [53]
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated [54]
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy John Travolta Nominated
Best Original Score – Motion Picture Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, and David Shire Nominated
Best Original Song – Motion Picture "How Deep Is Your Love"
Music and Lyrics by Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, and Robin Gibb
Golden Screen Awards Won
Grammy Awards (1977) Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group "How Deep Is Your Love" – Bee Gees Won [55]
Producer of the Year Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, Albhy Galuten, and Karl Richardson Nominated
Grammy Awards (1978) Album of the Year Saturday Night Fever – Bee Gees, Broadway Eddie, Richard Finch, Albhy Galuten,
K.G. Productions, Ron Kersey, Arif Mardin, Bobby Martin, Bill Oakes, Freddie Perren,
Karl Richardson, William Salter, Thomas J. Valentino, Ralph MacDonald, David Shire,
Don Renaldo, Yvonne Elliman, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang,
Walter Murphy, Tavares, and Trammps
Won [56]
Record of the Year "Stayin' Alive" – Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, Albhy Galuten, and Karl Richardson Nominated
Song of the Year "Stayin' Alive" – Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, and Robin Gibb Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus Saturday Night Fever – Bee Gees Won
Best Arrangement for Voices "Stayin' Alive" – Bee Gees Won
Producer of the Year Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, Albhy Galuten, and Karl Richardson Won
Grammy Awards (2004) Grammy Hall of Fame Saturday Night Fever – Various Artists Inducted [57]
National Board of Review Awards Top Ten Films 7th Place [58]
Best Actor John Travolta Won
National Film Preservation Board National Film Registry Inducted [59]
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actor John Travolta 3rd Place [60]
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Runner-up [61]
Best Supporting Actress Donna Pescow Runner-up
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Drama – Written Directly for the Screen Norman Wexler Nominated [62]

American Film Institute Lists

In popular culture[edit]

The 1980 comedy Airplane! by directors David & Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams, included a flashback scene that directly parodied the dance competition scene at the disco in Saturday Night Fever.[64]

In 2008, director Pablo Larraín made a film, Tony Manero, about a Chilean dancer obsessed by the main character in Saturday Night Fever who tries to win a Tony Manero look-alike contest.[65]

On April 17, 2012, Fox aired series Glee's episode 16, "Saturday Night Glee-ver", which pays tribute to the film and features various songs from its soundtrack (especially the songs performed by the Bee Gees), covered by the series' cast.[66][67]

The Red Hot Chili Peppers 2016 music video for their song "Go Robot" is heavily inspired by the film and recreates the opening scene and classic characters from the film who are portrayed by each band member.[68]

The 2018 film Ready Player One features a dance scene that references Saturday Night Fever, particularly the red, yellow, and blue dance floor from the 2001 Odyssey night club in the film.[69]

In November, 2023, Capital One began airing a holiday-themed commercial titled "Holiday Night Fever" which recreated the opening scene of the movie. In the sixty second version, as the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" plays over the scene, Santa Claus (a heavily made-up John Travolta) struts down a street that has been mostly cleared of snow after a winter storm. He carries a can of "magical glitter paint"; buys two cookies (instead of pizza slices) at a walk-up window and asks "what happened to three?" (he was offered three slices in the movie); eats them stacked; then pauses at a shoe store window and compares his shoes to a pair of elven boots with a jingle bell on them; he flirts with a store clerk (Donna Pescow); buys a disco ball Christmas ornament for his sleigh; throws some of the glitter paint onto a Christmas tree that is set up on the sidewalk; then goes to a disco where he asks how his hair looks and dances on the illuminated floor.


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  5. ^ a b "Saturday Night Fever". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
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