Did I mention that I wish it were a better film? 4 Stars

There are rumors that the same casting agency that gathered the little people for The Wizard of Oz, was hired to bring together every gay, or able to play gay, actor in the continental United States, for the epic musical, Can’t Stop the Music, directed by Nancy Walker.

Yes, Nancy Walker.

That Nancy Walker.

The diminutive actress of M-G-M musical, Broadway and TV fame.

It has been said, that Steve Guttenberg, Tammy Grimes, Barbara Rush, Jack Weston, Leigh Taylor-Young, and Paula Trueman (as the stick-up lady), were never better, before or after.

June Havoc, ie. Baby June, of Let Me Entertain You fame, is the icing on the cake.

Bruce Jenner, in a break-out performance, steals the show.

But wait.

There’s more!

You get:

Ray Simpson, David Hodo, Felipe Rose, Randy Jones, Glenn Hughes, and Alex Briley –

The Village People.

Along with Valerie Perrine, swimming topless along with the aforementioned Village People.

Imagery is far better than necessary for government contract work, and audio is booming.

I just wish it were a better film.

What we do get, is the perfect record of New York City in 1980, and what could be better than that?

All courtesy of Shout Factory.

I’m not certain if this was meant to be a concert event.

It opened at the Ziegfeld in NY.

Fun idea.

Did I mention that I wish it were a better film?

On a side note, the film explains how the Village People were actually formed, as a group.

Apparently, they were each discovered around Manhattan.

Already in costume.

Indian Chief

Cop

Construction Worker…

For an evening of ’80s kitsch, or what have you, pick up a copy.

If you love Singin’ in the Rain, Casablanca, The Thin Man and War & Peace, you’ll love Can’t Stop the Music!

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Why not?

RAH

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Robert Harris

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Timothy E

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Damning... with faint praise?
 

Bernard McNair

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Well I have fond memories of it but I'm in Australia -the only country in the world where it was a hit and a smash one at that!
Must be all our sunshine!!!
If memory serves John it played for around six months at the now gone Paramount Cinema in Sydney. I saw it several times there and many times over the years. Not a great film but tremendous fun and a Blu Ray that I look forward to upgrading to.
 

Will Krupp

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What we do get, is the perfect record of New York City in 1980, and what could be better than that?
I don't know about it being a perfect record of the time, but it's certainly a wonderful evocation of time and place and a world I wanted to live in from the first time I saw it (like many others) on HBO in the early 80's. I can't wait to upgrade. So much fun!
 
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KPmusmag

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I recall seeing this in L.A. in 1980 and there were perhaps three other people in the audience. Such a bad script but I do enjoy some of the musical numbers (YMCA is a lot of fun and The Milkshake - well - oh my) so I will pick this one up for nostalgia. It might have done better if released a little sooner; disco had pretty much rolled over and died by the time it came out.
 
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Robert Harris

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I recall seeing this in L.A. in 1980 and there were perhaps three other people in the audience. Such a bad script but I do enjoy some of the musical numbers (YMCA is a lot of fun and The Milkshake - well - oh my) so I will pick this one up for nostalgia. It might have done better if released a little sooner; disco had pretty much rolled over and died by the time it came out.
Actually, the songs are fun, and the Village People add to the visceral environment. The only thing missing, is a script and viable dialogue.

And lacking that, I’m out.
 
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rsmithjr

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The gayest movie ever made that doesn't mention "gay" at all. Did they even know what they were making?

This is a wonderfully exuberant and alive movie. The opening scene with Steve Guttenberg roller skating up 6th Avenue says it all. Reminds me of being 30! The real star is NYC.

Bring it on for another purchase.
 
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I recall seeing this in L.A. in 1980 and there were perhaps three other people in the audience. Such a bad script but I do enjoy some of the musical numbers (YMCA is a lot of fun and The Milkshake - well - oh my) so I will pick this one up for nostalgia. It might have done better if released a little sooner; disco had pretty much rolled over and died by the time it came out.
Ditto that for NYC. On the day CSTM opened at The Ziegfeld, I called to see how much ahead of time I needed to get there to get a good seat. First there was a lot of hysterical laughing as my question was relayed to others in the box office, and then the lady who'd answered told me I didn't need to worry. They were still laughing when I hung. up.There were more customers that evening than in L.A., but not many. The place was pretty packed with at least a hundred people. By the end, we all looked like the audience in THE PRODUCERS, mouths hanging open in disbelief and total silence. Needless to say, I'll be picking this one up!
 
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lark144

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Ditto that for NYC. On the day CSTM opened at The Ziegfeld, I called to see how much ahead of time I needed to get there to get a good seat. First there was a lot of hysterical laughing as my question was relayed to others in the box office, and then the lady who'd answered told me I didn't need to worry. They were still laughing when I hung. up.There were more customers that evening than in L.A., but not many. The place was pretty packed with at least a hundred people. By the end, we all looked like the audience in THE PRODUCERS, mouths hanging open in disbelief and total silence. Needless to say, I'll be picking this one up!
I remember when the film opened, as I was walking by Lincoln Center on the way home from work and they were having a Premiere party for CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC on the plaza by the Henry Moore sculpture. I went over to take a look. I remember there was a surfeit of gold lame and glitter. I believed it was catered by Mr. Chow's. I recognized the producer who was jubilantly walking among the throngs and shaking everyone's hand. Anyway, I mentioned this to my ex-wife who really wanted to see the film (at the time I managed a movie theater on 3rd Avenue) so the next day, which I think was a Saturday, I called the manager at the Ziegfeld to see if I could get comps. I apologized for calling so early in the run, and yes, he laughed and said if I ran into anyone on the way that was the least bit interested, I should bring them too. Anyway, we went to the 8 PM Saturday night show and there may have been 5 people there.

Of course every review of the movie had to reference Ms. Walker's prior experience with the "quicker picker-upper" as an aspect of her directorial style. The only thing I remember from the movie is the robbery in front of the Erotic Baker on Christopher Street, the same building where an old friend of mine lived. Other than that, (& yes, Will Krupp, I'm talking to you) I don't think CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC at all expressed what it was like living in New York. At least, it wasn't the city I lived in. (& one of the Village People, I think the construction worker, used to go to the same coffee shop I went to, the late lamented Cherry, the only place in New York where you could get Chicken Teriyaki with a side order of blintzes. ) Anyway, things were still fairly gritty and surreal back then, much closer to Scosese's AFTER HOURS, as the city was less than a decade away from bankruptcy.
 

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It just amazes me to no end that Allan Carr used the money he made from Grease to make this film. Cocaine is a helluva drug.

It's one of my favorite "So Bad, It's Good" films. Even though it starts to drag a bit towards the end, there is so much that is jaw-droppingly crazy in the film that it never fails to entertain everyone to whom I've shown it over the years. The two audio commentaries should be great!
 

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Actually, the songs are fun, and the Village People add to the visceral environment. The only thing missing, is a script and viable dialogue. And lacking that, I’m out.
I like it better than Mamma Mia.
(Which I absolutely abhor.)

I recall seeing this in L.A. in 1980 and there were perhaps three other people in the audience.
I saw it at the Paramount Theater (now the El Capitan) on Hollywood Blvd. when it came out and the theater was full. It was full again when I saw it a second time with some different friends who wanted to see it. So, there's that.

It might have done better if released a little sooner; disco had pretty much rolled over
That is true. I have an old Hollywood Reporter that I kept for reasons other than what I'm going to mention now, but it has a two page centerfold advertising the upcoming release of the film, which apparently was originally titled, "Discoland: Where the Music Never Ends."

(And, interestingly, there is another full page ad with John Travolta being announced for the lead in the upcoming filming of Interview with the Vampire.)
 
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I recall seeing this in L.A. in 1980 and there were perhaps three other people in the audience. Such a bad script but I do enjoy some of the musical numbers (YMCA is a lot of fun and The Milkshake - well - oh my) so I will pick this one up for nostalgia. It might have done better if released a little sooner; disco had pretty much rolled over and died by the time it came out.
I remember during the peak period for disco (early-mid 1979) buying the Just released Village People album (on vinyl) Go West and buying my tickets to the coming Village People concert in Cleveland (which I missed due to it being postponed and my entry into the USMC). The plan for a movie was being discussed then.

As @KPmusmag so noted, disco was about to take a massive nosedive over the next 6 months so that by New Years 1980, disco was almost a dirty word which pretty much doomed any chance this film had of being a box office hit in the USA. It did much better overseas as @john a hunter mentioned it being a hit in Australia and I’m guessing probably Russia as disco lived on there forever.

Well now all we need is a Blu release of Skatetown USA (1979) and my beloved collection of The Devils Unholy Collection of Gawd Awful Disco Films Designed to Forever Destroy Mankind’s Sense Of Good Taste will be complete.

The List:
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Thank God It’s Friday (1978)
Skatetown USA (1979)
Roller Boogie (1979)
Xanadu (1980)
Can’t Stop The Music (1980)


I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the three other later films about the disco era which give insight into what the disco party life was like and social life in general.

Boogie Nights (1997)
Last Days Of Disco (1998)
54 (1998)
 
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Brian Kidd

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like it better than Mamma Mia.
(Which I absolutely abhor.)
You and me both. The Mamma Mia sequel was even worse. The thing is, the play is actually a lot of fun. Mindless, but fun. The movie was just dull.
 

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If memory serves John it played for around six months at the now gone Paramount Cinema in Sydney. I saw it several times there and many times over the years. Not a great film but tremendous fun and a Blu Ray that I look forward to upgrading to.
Full marks Bernard. It was the Paramount and the film looked and sounded great there in 70mm Dolby.
 

MartinP.

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...the coming Village People concert in Cleveland (which I missed due to it being postponed and my entry into the USMC).
...thanks for your service...

As @KPmusmag so noted, disco was about to take a massive nosedive over the next 6 months so that by New Years 1980, disco was almost a dirty word which pretty much doomed any chance this film had of being a box office hit in the USA.
In 1980 when Airplane! came out, remember the scene where the plane is flying over Chicago (I believe) and you see the broadcasting tower of a radio station (WXYZ for my purposes here) and you hear a radio DJ say: "This is station WXYZ, where Disco lives forever..." and then the plane runs into and knocks over the broadcasting tower. Heh! I remember the audience cheering when that happened!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the three other later films about the disco era which give insight into what the disco party life was like and social life in general.

Boogie Nights (1997)
Last Days Of Disco (1998)
54 (1998)
Of possible interest to you is a new documentary titled "Studio 54" by director Matt Tyrnauer who did the recent Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood documentary.
 
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