Filmsite Movie Review
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
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Plot Synopsis (continued)

Further Developments in the Lives of Tony's Family Members and Acquaintances:

  • the hospitalization of Tony's friend Gus was due to gang violence inflicted by an Hispanic gang known as the Barracudas; Gus had suffered a broken nose, busted ribs, a broken leg and four teeth had been knocked out after he had called them "grease balls, spic dicks"; Tony's gang decided to seek retaliation by cruising around until they found only a few gang members that they could handle
  • Tony's young friend Bobby C. confided in him that he was getting married to his girlfriend, without revealing the details; Tony downplayed the news: "Will you cut it with that s--t?...If you get married, we'll all go with you on your honeymoon, all right?"
  • once back at home, Tony's parents questioned their eldest son's decision to abandon the priesthood by putting some of the blame on Tony: ("You must have said something. You sleep in the same room. You talk to him"); Tony was incensed: "You try and blame me now he ain't a priest no more?...You're trying' to hang this on me?"; they couldn't accept Frank's decision and falsely believed that he would change his mind: "In a couple of days he's gonna see he's wrong....He's goin' back to the church!", but Tony tried to have his mother face the truth: "You got nothin' but three s--t children now!", but then, Tony realized he had upset his mother and truly apologized: ("I didn't mean that")
  • outside the dance studio, Tony finally found the opportunity to inform Annette that he had replaced her with another dance partner: ("I changed my mind about us dancing together. I got another partner"); she begged him for sympathy: "Why do you hate me so much? All I ever did to you was like you."

Tony and Stephanie became better acquainted during rehearsal time in the dance studio. They practice-danced to the Bee Gees' "More Than a Woman":

Girl, I've known you very well I've seen you growing every day
I never really looked before But now you take my breath away
Suddenly you're in my life A part of everything I do
You got me working day and night Just trying to keep a hold on you
I found my paradise My only chance for happiness
And if I lose you now I think I would die...

More than a woman More than a woman to me Baby
More than a woman...

He ran with her to a larger dance room, where she demonstrated her Latin Hustle moves, and to also practice the Tango Hustle. After their dance time together in the studio as they walked together, she continued to brush him off when he tried to express his romantic feelings for her, or invite her out for coffee. He thought she was pretentious when she again name-dropped about having had lunch with singer Paul Anka. He became exasperated with her: "I've never told you this before, but I think you're full of s--t," and then clarified: "Yeah. Except I'm not sure. I'm not sure how much is s--t and how much is bulls--t." He revealed his insecurities around her when he asked:

Do you think that I am either interesting or intelligent?

She was able to answer him without hurting his feelings, but then he complained: "Hey, Stephanie, how come we never talk about how we feel when we're dancin'?" She refused his offer to walk with her: ("Maybe I could walk you the rest of the way?"), and advised that he should have proceeded to walk her home without asking permission first:

You shouldn't have asked. You should have just done it.

Back For a Saturday Night at the 2001 Club:

On another weekend Saturday night, Tony arrived at the club with his brother Frank Jr.. In conjunction with the previous scene, The Bee Gee's "If I Can't Have You" played, emphasizing how Tony was 'out of his league' with Stephanie. Tony's brother marveled appreciatively at the miraculous effect Tony and his entourage had on others as they entered: "You guys have the Moses effect. You arrive and the crowd parts like the Red Sea." The place became "energized" as "Disco Interno" played in the background.

One of Tony's admirers named Connie (Fran Drescher in her feature-film debut) asked:

Are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?

He escorted her onto the dance floor (as she grabbed his butt), and then answererd her question by downgrading her awkward dance moves:

Tony: If you're as good in bed as you are on the dance floor, I'll bet you're one lousy f--k.
Connie: So, how come they always send me flowers the next day, huh?
Tony: You know, some guys don't know a lousy f--k when they got one. You know what I mean?
Connie: Oh, yeah.
Tony: Maybe they thought you was dead.

Tony left Connie to take over the dance floor - he brilliantly solo-danced to the Bee Gees' catchy tune: "You Should Be Dancing":

My baby moves at midnight, Goes right on till the dawn
My woman takes me higher, My woman keeps me warm

What you doin' on your bed on your back? Ah
What you doin' on your bed on your back? Ah
You should be dancin' Yeah, Dancin' Yeah

She's juicy and she's trouble She gives it to me good
My woman gives me power Goes right down to my blood

What you doin' on your bed on your back? Ah
What you doin' on your bed on your back? Ah
You should be dancin', Yeah, Dancin', Yeah...

The appreciative crowd cleared the floor to watch him perform by himself. It was a spectacular number, with the studly "King of Disco" Tony (decked out in a wide-collared shirt with platform shoes and flared pants) gyrating and hip-swiveling and doing a sliding split on a pulsating color-tiled dance floor of the 2001 Odyssey Club under a twinkling disco ball.

Meanwhile, Bobby confided in Frank, Jr. about his "good Catholic" girlfriend Pauline's pregnancy and his dilemma about seeking an abortion to avoid a 'shot-gun' marriage. Bobby nervously asked: "Do you think the Pope could give Pauline an abortion?" Frank replied that a special dispensation from the Pope or from himself was not possible.

Tony was visibly upset when he heard from the doorman that Stephanie had not been in the audience to watch him. Although he had stayed for a while, the dance setting wasn't Frank Jr's "scene" and he soon left as "Boogie Shoes" played in the background, although he congratulated his younger brother: "It's exciting to watch you out there. They can't keep their eyes off ya."

On the other hand, Annette begged Tony to have sex since they weren't dance partners: ("We could make it now....We ain't practicing, seeing each other like you said, so we could make it"); Tony outright rejected her: "We make it when I decide, all right?" She attempted blackmail by having sex with one of his buddies instead: ("I'll just make it with somebody else....Somebody. I don't care. Anybody here"). Tony reluctantly agreed, and as they were in the midst of sex in the back-seat of Bobby's car, he asked if she was "fixed" with any type of birth control -- "Are you on the pill or what?...What do you got, the IOU, that thing?"; she mentioned that she wanted to have sex without protection and that it didn't matter to her: "It doesn't matter. Tony, I love you." He abruptly changed his mind, got off of her, and suggested an alternative: "Just give me a blow-job," but then decided against it when his buddies appeared.

To the tune of "Night On Disco Mountain" based upon Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain," Tony's gang with Annette drove to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge (an impressive suspension bridge, and a symbol of the link to a better life outside of the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn), where some of them goofed off and climbed up the support cables. They pretended to fall in daredevil stunts to frighten Annette - a foreshadowing of a future tragic disaster. They humiliated her and Bobby called her a "stupid bitch."

The next morning, before being driven from the Manero home to a settlement house as an interim step before deciding what to do with his life, Frank, Jr. advised Tony to pursue his dream of dancing and not let the family limit his dreams:

Are you gonna do something with your dancing, Tony?...Tony, the only way you're gonna survive is to do what you think is right, not what they keep trying to jam you into. You let 'em do that and you're gonna end up nothing but miserable!

In Tony's bedroom, Frank left him with a "souvenir" of his past - a priesthood-collar. Tony tried it on and then used it as a hanging rope.

More Friction Between Tony and Stephanie, and A Growing Rift With His Lower-Class Friends:

Later, at the dance studio where Tony confronted Stephanie, he expressed his upset that she hadn't been at the Odyssey on the previous Saturday night to watch his stellar performance. When she suggested that they practice right then and there for the next week's dance contest, Tony claimed he wasn't prepared with his collection of 33 rpm dance records. As they left the dance studio after practicing with other music, Tony's lower-class friends (Bobby C, Joey, and Double J) were waiting for him. His buddies joined Stephanie and Tony for burgers at a White Castle restaurant, where Stephanie continued her annoying practice of name-dropping her recent acquaintance with Joe Namath, a famous NY Jets quarterback. Joe bluntly criticized Tony's horrible table manners: "Hey, don't you never chew, Tony? Don't you never chew?" Tony's growing distaste for his goof-ball friends came to the surface when he felt embarrassed by their immature, ignorant, rowdy, and childish behavior.

As they left the restaurant, Stephanie was privately asked by Bobby about a hypothetical circumstance - he asked what she would do if she was his pregnant girlfriend. She answered that she would choose to abort the unborn child rather than get married - it was an upsetting answer for Bobby's pro-life beliefs:

Bobby: I got a friend of mine, you know, he's a very good friend of mine, and he got a girl pregnant. He got a girl pregnant, and I wanted to know if you had to make a choice between getting an abortion and have to get married to somebody, what would you do?
Stephanie: Well, who would I have to marry?
Bobby: You'd have to marry me. You'd have to marry me. Yeah.
Stephanie: I think I'd get an abortion.

After Stephanie left the group, Double J described Tony's friend as "a snotty bitch." Tony expressed his embarrassment to his buddies about the way that they had behaved: "You know, you guys got a lot of growin' up to do, you know that? A lot of growin' up. You're babies."

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