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

Further Problems Arising For Tony:

  • Tony was fired (only temporarily) from his hardware store job for requesting a weekday afternoon off (and for taking off without permission when denied, in addition to snapping back at his boss: "F--k you, asshole!")
  • As Tony left the store, Bobby pleaded for support from Tony regarding his trapped situation:
    • Bobby: Tony, I don't wanna marry Pauline. I don't give a f--k about this cunt.
    • Tony: So, don't marry her!
    • Bobby: Tony, I gotta marry her! F--k it. She won't get the abortion. Everyone says I gotta marry her, Tony.
    • Tony: Who says that?
    • Bobby: Oh, f--k, her f--kin' parents, my f--kin' parents. The f--kin' priest on the corner. Her f--kin' high school guidance counselor. Tony, I'm paralyzed. I got no more control. I mean, you and me, Tony, we've been friends for so long. I mean, I'm hurtin'. S--t! You're always together. And I'm always f--kin' up, and you're always all right. You know?

Claiming he was in a big rush, Tony borrowed Bobby's car and vowed multiple times that he would call his friend later that night - although his promise went unfulfilled. Tony had volunteered to assist Stephanie's move to Manhattan by driving her across the bridge. In her tri-level townhouse, she was met by her older benefactor and advisory mentor - record producer Jay Langhart (Donald Gantry), who was moving out to a more expensive apartment. Tony watched as Stephanie was kissed by Jay, and then was introduced as Stephanie's "friend." Tony's initial awe at the facade of her impressive better world across the river suddenly disintegrated.

Jay suggested that Stephanie keep all of the furniture since she had chosen it. When they had a free moment, Stephanie filled in Tony on how she had been living with Jay during an affair as his divorce was being finalized. He had supportively helped to boost her career, but was now moving on and had dropped her. Tony expressed his resentful jealousy toward Stephanie's slutty choice of the older man in order to further her ambitious career: ("Who is he to you, Stephanie?...Are you in love with this man or what? I mean, tell me the story"). To shame her, he accused her of subjecting herself to sexual abuse: "He likes have you around for a quick piece when he feels like it." She became overwrought when she admitted that she had used Jay's knowledge and power to advance herself: "What the hell do you expect me to do, man? What do you expect me to do? He helped me."

On the way back to Bay Ridge, Tony drove them to Shore Park, comforted her and told her not to worry about "nothing." As they sat on a bench in view of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, he impressed her with his extensive knowledge of the history and dimensions of the structure. He boasted: "I know everything about that bridge. Know what else? They got a guy buried in the cement...Know how it happened? Well, they was working on it, apparently, at the time. And they, I guess, they were pourin' the cement, and he slipped off, you know, on the upper part of the bridge and, you know, fell in. Dumb f--k." Tony confessed he often sat in the same spot and daydreamed - and she gently kissed him on his cheek.

Other plot strands were revisited:

  • Tony returned to the hardware store and was surprised when his boss welcomed him back and restored his Bay Ridge job: ("I don't want to lose you, Tony. You're a good kid. Customers like you. I want you to stay on...You got a future here, Tony")
  • at the dance studio, Tony walked in on Stephanie dancing with the studio owner Pete and he departed in a rage, derogatorially calling Pete "the biggest cunt hound in Bay Ridge" and "a fucking sleazy whore; he despised Stephanie and called her "disgusting" for prostituting herself
  • outside the 2001 Odyssey, Annette hinted that she would use protection with Tony by holding out some condoms to him, but he rejected her ("Oh, Jesus!")
  • to seek revenge for Gus' injuries from an alleged gang attack by the Barracudas, Tony, Bobby C., Double J., and Joey surveilled the rival gang's clubhouse hideout; in the midst of planning an assault on the hideout, Bobby C. briefly attempted to confide in Tony that he had decided to marry his pregnant girlfriend Pauline; Double J grabbed the wheel and deliberately roared Bobby's car in reverse to crash into the structure; a vicious gang fist-fight with switchblades broke out as the cowardly Bobby fled in the car; he later returned to pick up his wounded buddies who were understandably upset that he had "chickened" out
  • in the hospital, Gus told his friends that he might have been mistaken that the Barracudas were the gang that had beaten him up: ("I said probably 'cause I wasn't sure. You know? I mean, it could've been a Spanish..."); although Bobby hadn't fought the gang, he reacted by punching a metal cabinet: "Stupid, f--king bastard. We almost got our heads busted"; Tony was also disgusted: "You know what I feel like doin'? I feel like breakin' your broken leg. That's what I feel like doin'"

The Club's Dance Competition:

The climactic musical highlight was the club's dance competition, with teams from around the city competing for the $500 prize for the "Universal Disco Sweepstakes." The first pair was an African-American couple, Shirley and Charles Tuck, who danced to the tune of "Open Sesame." Tony thought they were treated rudely by the racist audience that booed at them after their performance.

During Tony (wearing a white-suit and black shirt) and Stephanie's performance (to the tune of the Bee Gees' "More Than a Woman"), they paused mid-dance during their "hustle" and tango moves when he picked her up for a spontaneous lengthy kiss, thereby throwing off their routine's timing:

More than a woman More than a woman to me
More than a woman More than a woman to me

The third pair of dancers was a Puerto-Rican couple, Hector and Marie (Joseph Pugliese and Adrienne Framet) who performed the Mambo to Latin-American disco music. As they took the dance floor, Joey shouted out: "Wrong neighborhood, huh?" Mid-way during their dance, Tony appeared dejected and feared he had lost the competition, but Joey kept building up Tony's expectations by degrading his competitors: "They're spics. Look at them greasing up the floor." Double J and his buddies cheered on Tony: "No contest, man. No contest." However, Tony realized he hadn't performed well even on their home turf: "They was f--kin' better than us." Stephanie had her own opinion: "They weren't better, they was different, that's all. Just different."

The award for second prize was given to the Puerto Ricans, and then the first prize was dutifully presented to Tony and Stephanie: "In first place, the coolest, the Fred Astaire of Brooklyn, the boogie-woogie man, the man who gave you coolness, hotness and everything you wanted."

Following the awards presentations (to the tune of "Stayin' Alive"), Tony astounded his close friends by complaining about the "rigged" outcome, expressing how he believed the judges' decision was hypocritical and racially-motivated, and that he didn't deserve to win - except for his home-field "family" advantage and white privilege - while he still called his competitors Spics. He felt that the Puerto Rican couple were better dancers and deserved to win, although they had placed second:

You phony bastards! You know who shoulda won that contest. My own f--kin' friends can't even be straight with me. You gotta lie right through your f--kin' teeth!...Stephanie, that was rigged. That's like family. They can't give it to no Spic or no stranger. What are you crazy?

He nobly handed over his trophy and $500 first prize award money to them. As Tony stormed out of the club with Stephanie, he revealed how he had outgrown the place:

This is a f--kin' s--t hole, you know that? A f--kin' s--t hole! God damn it. My friends, the assholes I hang out with, I can't believe 'em sometimes. You know that? Everybody's gotta dump on somebody, right? Of course. I mean, everybody - everybody can't do it straight, right? My pa goes to work, he gets dumped on, so he comes home and he dumps on my mother, right? Of course, right? Then the spics, they dump on us, so we gotta dump on spics. Of course, right? Everybody's dumpin' on everybody. Even the humpin''s dumpin' most of the time.

Then outside the club, the incensed Tony ordered her into the back seat of Bobby's car, where he aggressively tried to kiss her. When she pushed him away and rejected him, he labeled her as a tease: "You're such a f--kin' cockteaser." She snapped back: "Don't you f--kin' call me no god-damn cockteaser!" And then she mockingly revealed that she had been using him for his dancing abilities, was experimenting with her own act, and didn't really care about him: "I've just been dumpin' my bulls--t all over you, sellin' my act on you, usin' you, makin' you think that I love you! It's just all bulls--t, man!" When he attempted - unsuccessfully - to violate and rape her (in his first real show of machismo interest toward any female), she prevented him by kicking him in the groin before running off.

The Tragic Bridge Accident:

Tony was joined by his intoxicated buddies (Double J., Joey, and Bobby C.) and Annette, to drive around Bay Ridge before visiting the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. On their way in the back seat of the car, Annette was in the midst of being double-raped by Joey and then Double J. When Annette realized that Tony would not come to her defense, she began crying. Afterwards, he rebuked her for making her choice to be a "cunt" - and asked her: "Proud of yourself now? Is that what you wanted? Good. Now you're a cunt." He apologized later, but it was too late.

By now, Bobby C. had become very depressed and desperate after impregnating his devout Catholic girlfriend Pauline, and was faced with everyone pressuring him to get married. While Joey and Double J. climbed up onto the support beams, to prove himself, Bobby began goofing around and carelessly and recklessly started performing dare-devil stunts on the bridge cables and beams. Tony warned him repeatedly: "I'm not kiddin', Bobby. Get down from there," as Bobby hung from cables, tight-rope walked on the edge of the railing, and did a dangerous hand-stand. The suicidal, attention-seeking daredevil bragged: "I'm alright."

Tony climbed down to him and extended his hand: "Come back in...You're makin' me very nervous now, Bobby." The reckless Bobby rebuked and complained to Tony about not listening to him, phoning him on the day of Stephanie's move, or caring about him (or his depressing plight that he had to marry his pregnant, devout-Catholic girlfriend Pauline) -- "You didn't talk to me before. How come you never called me?" And then, he slipped, lost his balance and took an accidental, deadly fall/plunge off the bridge, in view of all of his stunned friends. He plummeted into the water many hundreds of feet below, presumably breaking his neck or skull with the impact.

The police authorities were summoned, and interrogated everyone about the tragic incident. When asked by a Detective (William Andrews) if Bobby had committed suicide, Tony responded:

There's ways to killing yourself without killing yourself.

The Turning Point in Tony's Coming-of-Age Journey:

Bobby C.'s death proved to be a significant crossroads in Tony's coming-of-age. Tony realized how alienated he had become from his friends. He walked away from his buddies, and spent the entire remainder of the night riding on the elevated, graffiti-sprayed West End subway line, to the tune of the Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love?":

I know your eyes in the morning sun I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment That you wander far from me I wanna feel you in my arms again
And you come to me On a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love Then you softly leave And it's me you need to show
How deep is your love How deep is your love How deep is your love
I really need to learn 'Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down When they all should let us be

Eventually, he ended up in Manhattan by the following morning at around dawn. Tony visited Stephanie in her new apartment, and initially apologized through her unopened door for his behavior toward her the previous evening. After reluctantly allowing him entry, she told him: "First time I've ever let a known rapist in my apartment"

As the film concluded, he realized that Stephanie was his life-line to Manhattan and a way out of his claustrophobic life. He contemplated leaving his old life (of fleeting dancing prowess on Saturday nights with his moronic "asshole" friends) and choosing a new life and future of work in the city with the classier Stephanie. Tony vowed to never return to Bay Ridge: ("I ain't going back there...They're assholes back there. I'm fed up to here with it"), and he would follow her pattern of finding working in the city. She accepted his yearning to leave Brooklyn and relocate to Manhattan to begin a new life, although she was wary of his bold steps to find a new direction in his life.

Then, she mutually apologized for her own treatment of him: "I said all that stuff to you about, usin' you, practicin' my act on you, you know? It wasn't true." She admitted that she admired and respected him for more than his dancing skills.

There's a lot of other reasons that I was hanging around you...You made me feel better. You gave me, like, admiration, you know? Respect. Support.

He attempted to reestablish a new relationship with her as "friends" (after his earlier near-rape attempt of her) and although he wanted a romantic-sexual relationship with her, she reinterated to him that she still wanted to continue being friends only - and function as equals:

Tony: Stephanie, maybe now that, you know, like, I'm gonna be in town like I planned, maybe, like, we could see each other. No, I don't mean like that. I know what you're thinkin'. You're thinkin', like, I'm promotin' your pussy, but I ain't. I mean, like, friends, right? You know, like you once said, we could help each other.
Stephanie: Wanna be friends?
Tony: Yeah. I'd like to be friends with you.
Stephanie: Think you know how, huh? Think you could be friends with a girl? Could you stand being friends with a girl, huh?
Tony: The truth?
Stephanie: Yeah.
Tony: I don't know. I don't know. I mean, I could try. That's all I can say, Stephanie. I could try.
Stephanie: Okay. Okay. Let's be friends, all right? We'll just be friends. (They clasped hands together)
Tony: All right. Okay.
Stephanie: Friends, man.

In front of double windows, they briefly kissed and embraced as the film froze and the right side of the screen faded to black for the scrolling closing credits displayed in red. Their relationship ended with uncertainty, as the tune "How Deep Is Your Love" was reprised - questioning whether Tony's love for Stephanie would truly fulfill him. Would Tony be able to rise above the circumstances of his life and make something of himself?

"Stayin' Alive" also played during the closing credits.

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