CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Drama, Music
  • 1980
  • 134 mins

Fame

Fame

Synopsis

Alan Parker's popular musical mixes troubled teens with infectious musical numbers to award-winning effect - even if it was eclipsed by its soundtrack and spin-off TV series

About

Somewhat darker than the TV series it spawned, musical drama Fame punctuates its bright and breezy song and dance sequences with gloomy observations on inner city life.

No less than eight central characters compete for the limelight as they enrol at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts: there's ambitious singer Coco (Cara), who forms a hesitant bond with sensitive pianist Bruno (Curreri); there's downtrodden Doris (Teefy) who gains confidence through friendship with troubled gay Montgomery (McCrane) and romance with troubled straight Ralph (Miller); then there's rebellious dancer Leroy (Ray) who gets it on with spoiled ballerina Hilary (Franceschi), and - out on her own - Lisa (Dean), whose dancing ambitions are questioned by her teacher.

Alan Parker's film attempts to cram all their stories into brief, dramatic scenes rarely prepared for by sufficient characterisation - although Doris and Montgomery are introduced more thoroughly and are subsequently at the centre of some of the film's more effective plot strands. Fame is at its strongest, though, when pushing the feelgood buttons: the spontaneous jamming session in the lunch room is winningly uplifting, ditto the street dancing scene - if you're able to suspend your disbelief even further.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Maureen Teefy, Paul McCrane, Albert Hague, Lee Curreri, Barry Miller, Irene Cara, Gene Anthony Ray, Laura Dean, Antonia Franceschi
  • Director: Alan Parker
  • Writer: Christopher Gore
  • Producer: David DeSilva, Alan Marshall
  • Photographer: Michael Seresin

In a nutshell

It's telling that this film is best remembered for its music and dancing: its attempts at serious ensemble drama have mixed results. Not exactly an 80s classic, but a memorable film that won awards for its songs and kicked off something of a phenomenon (the series, the audience participation screenings, the stage shows).

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Wish I Was Here

    Wish I Was Here

    Zach Braff writes, directs and stars in his belated second feature about a man who begins to re-examine the relationships in his life after his father falls ill

  • Film4 A Walk Among The Tombstones

    A Walk Among the Tombstones

    Ex-New York cop turned unlicensed private detective Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) hunts down two ruthless kidnappers, who target the wives of mid-level drug dealers with ready cash

  • Film4 Neighbouring Sounds

    Neighbouring Sounds on Film4

    Life in a middle-class Brazilian neighbourhood changes upon the arrival of an independent private security firm in Kleber Mendonca Fliho's assured debut on Film4

  • Film4 Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Wheels In Motion Season On Film4

    It's a parade of motorcycles, trains and automobiles on Film4 as the Wheels In Motion Season gets rolling

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 10 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share