Flashdance (1983)

R | 96 mins | Drama, Romance | 15 April 1983

Director:

Adrian Lyne

Cinematographer:

Don Peterman

Production Designer:

Charles Rosen

Production Company:

PolyGram Pictures
Full page view
HISTORY

As noted in various contemporary sources, the film was based on the life story of Maureen Marder, but she is not credited onscreen. In addition, Marine Jahan, who doubled for actress Jennifer Beals in several dance sequences, is not listed in the credits.
       According to a 6 Jan 1983 HR article, screenwriter Tom Hedley’s script was originally acquired by executive producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters for PolyGram Pictures. When the two left PolyGram, the project was picked up by Paramount Pictures, where it was shelved for two years until the studio’s president of production, Don Simpson, spearheaded development. Although Simpson hired Jerry Bruckheimer as producer, Paramount was not convinced the project was viable, and Simpson resigned from his executive post to partner with Bruckheimer. Flashdance marked Simpson’s debut as a producer, and his first collaboration with Bruckheimer. The team would go on to release a streak of blockbusters before Simpson’s death in 1996. Simpson told HR that Joe Eszterhas’s script revisions were essential in securing approval from Paramount. In addition, screenwriter Katherine Reback wrote four drafts, but she is not credited onscreen. The picture was budgeted at $7.5 million.
       Principal photography began 18 Oct 1982 in Pittsburgh, PA, and was completed on 30 Dec 1982 in Los Angeles, CA, as stated in production notes in AMPAS library files. The set for Mawby’s nightclub and the warehouse home of “Alex Owens” were located in downtown Los Angeles.
       On 27 Jul 1983, DV announced a $10 million class-action lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, objecting to the film’s derogatory jokes about Polish people. Two ... More Less

As noted in various contemporary sources, the film was based on the life story of Maureen Marder, but she is not credited onscreen. In addition, Marine Jahan, who doubled for actress Jennifer Beals in several dance sequences, is not listed in the credits.
       According to a 6 Jan 1983 HR article, screenwriter Tom Hedley’s script was originally acquired by executive producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters for PolyGram Pictures. When the two left PolyGram, the project was picked up by Paramount Pictures, where it was shelved for two years until the studio’s president of production, Don Simpson, spearheaded development. Although Simpson hired Jerry Bruckheimer as producer, Paramount was not convinced the project was viable, and Simpson resigned from his executive post to partner with Bruckheimer. Flashdance marked Simpson’s debut as a producer, and his first collaboration with Bruckheimer. The team would go on to release a streak of blockbusters before Simpson’s death in 1996. Simpson told HR that Joe Eszterhas’s script revisions were essential in securing approval from Paramount. In addition, screenwriter Katherine Reback wrote four drafts, but she is not credited onscreen. The picture was budgeted at $7.5 million.
       Principal photography began 18 Oct 1982 in Pittsburgh, PA, and was completed on 30 Dec 1982 in Los Angeles, CA, as stated in production notes in AMPAS library files. The set for Mawby’s nightclub and the warehouse home of “Alex Owens” were located in downtown Los Angeles.
       On 27 Jul 1983, DV announced a $10 million class-action lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, objecting to the film’s derogatory jokes about Polish people. Two months later, a judge dismissed the case, as noted in a 29 Sep 1983 LAHExam news item.
       In the years following the film’s release, dancer Maureen Marder protested the use of her life story without credit or compensation. On 12 Nov 2003, Marder brought her case to court, suing singer Jennifer Lopez, Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., and Paramount for producing a music video homage to Flashdance called “I’m Glad.” As stated in a 14 Nov 2003 Billboard article, Marder’s copyright infringement lawsuit claimed that she did not grant permission for her story to be used for sequels or spin-offs. At that time, Marder hoped to gain co-ownership of copyrights to the film and its screenplay, but the lawsuit was dismissed. Marder appealed, and in a 12 Jun 2006 ruling, the judges sided with the defendants. Referring to a 6 Dec 1982 “General Release” contract, the court maintained that Marder was not owed compensation because she agreed to give up her rights to the picture for $2,300. The ruling noted that the film grossed over $150 million.
       Flashdance was adapted into a theatrical musical, which had a 2008 premiere in England, and a 2013 U.S. premiere in Pittsburgh.
       Flashdance was nominated for three Academy Awards in the following categories: Cinematography, Film Editing, and Music (Original Song) for “Maniac,” music and lyric by Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky. The film won an Academy Award in the Music (Original Song) category for “Flashdance… What A Feeling,” music by Giorgio Moroder, lyric by Keith Forsey and Irene Cara.
       Music arranger and composer Sylvester Levay is credited as "Sylvestor" Levay.
       End credits state: “The Producers wish to thank Michele Casale of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motion Picture & Television Development and the City of Pittsburgh”; “Evette De Marco and Richard Fritz, courtesy of Los Angeles Ballet”; and, “Certain of the Photographs Courtesy of Albert Watson, Herb Ritts.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Billboard
14 Nov 2003.
---
Daily Variety
15 Apr 1983
p. 3, 8.
Daily Variety
27 Jul 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 1983
p. 1, 25.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 1983
p. 3.
LAHExam
29 Sep 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Apr 1983
p. 1.
New York Times
15 Apr 1983
p. 13.
Variety
20 Apr 1983
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures presents
A Polygram Pictures production
An Adrian Lyne film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Still photog
Key grip
Dolly grip
Addl photog by
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Assoc ed
Assoc ed
Assoc ed
Assoc ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Women's costumer
Men's costumer
MUSIC
Orig mus by
Arr and cond by
Mus supv
Mus ed
Mus consultant for PolyGram Records
Mus coord
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Looping ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opt eff
DANCE
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc casting by
Loc casting by
Scr supv
Asst to Mr. Jacboson
Casting asst
Casting asst
Asst to Mr. Simpson
Asst to Mr. Bruckheimer
Asst to Mr. Bruckheimer
Asst to Mr. Lyne
Asst to Mr. Lyne
Transportation coord
Animal trainer
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Imagination,” performed by Laura Branigan, courtesty of Atlantic Records, music by Michael Boddicker, Jerry Hey, and Phil Ramone, lyrics by Michael Sembello, produced by Phil Ramone
“Flashdance… What A Feeling,” performed by Irene Cara, courtesy of Network Records, music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey and Irene Cara, produced by Giorgio Moroder
“I’ll Be Here Where The Heart Is,” performed by Kim Carnes, courtesy of EMI America Records, music and lyrics by Kim Carnes, Duane Hitchings, and Craig Krampf, produced by Keith Olsen
+
SONGS
“Imagination,” performed by Laura Branigan, courtesty of Atlantic Records, music by Michael Boddicker, Jerry Hey, and Phil Ramone, lyrics by Michael Sembello, produced by Phil Ramone
“Flashdance… What A Feeling,” performed by Irene Cara, courtesy of Network Records, music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey and Irene Cara, produced by Giorgio Moroder
“I’ll Be Here Where The Heart Is,” performed by Kim Carnes, courtesy of EMI America Records, music and lyrics by Kim Carnes, Duane Hitchings, and Craig Krampf, produced by Keith Olsen
“Seduce Me Tonight,” performed by Cycle V, music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey, produced by Giorgio Moroder
“Lady, Lady, Lady,” performed by Joe Esposito, music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey, produced by Giorgio Moroder
“Manhunt,” performed by Karen Kamon, music and lyrics by Doug Cotler and Richard Gilbert, produced by Phil Ramone
“Love Theme From Flashdance,” performed by Helen St. John, music by Giorgio Moroder, produced by Giorgio Moroder
“Maniac,” performed by Michael Sembello, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, music and lyrics by Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkowsky, produced by Phil Ramone and Michael Sembello
“He’s A Dream,” performed by Shandi, music and lyrics by Shandi Sinnamon and Ronald Magness, produced by Ronald Magness, “Romeo,” performed by Donna Summer, courtesy of Geffen Records, music and lyrics by Pete Bellotte and Sylvestor Levay, produced by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte
“It’s Just Begun,” by Jimmy Castor, John Pruitt & Gerry Thomas, performed by Jimmy Castor & The Jimmy Castor Bunch, courtesy of RCA Records
“Gloria,” by Giancarlo Bigazzi, Umberto Tozzi & Trevor Veitch, performed by Laura Branigan, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“I Love Rock ‘N Roll,” by Jake Hooker & Alan Merrill, performed by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, produced by Kenny Laguna & Ritchie Cordell for Jett Lag Productions, courtesy of Boardwalk Records
“Prelude A L’Apres-Midi D’Un Faune,” by Claude Debussy
“The Nearness Of You,” by Ned Washington & Hoagy Carmichael
“Resolution,” by Jacques Noel
“Adagio For Strings,” by Albinoni, arranged and conducted by Lee Holdridge, performed by The London Symphony Orchestra, courtesy of Varese Saradande Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 April 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 15 April 1983
Production Date:
18 October--30 December 1982
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
3 August 1983
Copyright Number:
PA184124
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27001
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, eighteen-year-old Alex Owens works as a steel mill welder by day and a nightclub dancer by night, but she dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. One evening at Mowby’s Bar, Alex’s seductive dance routine catches the attention of Nick Hurley, who owns the plant where Alex works. He introduces himself to the girl the next day, but she does not wish to pursue a relationship with her boss, and is determined to succeed on her own merits. Alex loses confidence, however, when she goes to the prestigious Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre to apply for an audition. The school requires candidates to have previous formal education, and Alex’s working-class family could not finance her studies. Instead, she is self-trained under the tutelage of a retired ballerina named Hanna Long. When Alex visits the elderly woman, Hanna encourages her protégé to pursue her dreams, despite her lack of training. Back at Mowby’s Bar, Alex seeks comfort from her co-workers, who struggle with their own unfulfilled ambitions. Alex’s best friend, Jeanie Szabo, is preparing for an ice-skating competition that will determine her future in the sport, and Jeanie’s boyfriend, Richie, is a short order cook who aspires to be a stand-up comedian. Although Alex and Jeanie are offered high pay at an erotic nightclub called Zanzibar, they do not wish to become nude dancers. Zanibar’s owner, Johnny C., who is infamous for exploiting women, is upset by Alex’s rejection and attacks her one night after work. Coming to Alex’s rescue, Nick Hurley offers to escort her home in his sports car, but she insists on riding her bicycle. ... +


In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, eighteen-year-old Alex Owens works as a steel mill welder by day and a nightclub dancer by night, but she dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. One evening at Mowby’s Bar, Alex’s seductive dance routine catches the attention of Nick Hurley, who owns the plant where Alex works. He introduces himself to the girl the next day, but she does not wish to pursue a relationship with her boss, and is determined to succeed on her own merits. Alex loses confidence, however, when she goes to the prestigious Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre to apply for an audition. The school requires candidates to have previous formal education, and Alex’s working-class family could not finance her studies. Instead, she is self-trained under the tutelage of a retired ballerina named Hanna Long. When Alex visits the elderly woman, Hanna encourages her protégé to pursue her dreams, despite her lack of training. Back at Mowby’s Bar, Alex seeks comfort from her co-workers, who struggle with their own unfulfilled ambitions. Alex’s best friend, Jeanie Szabo, is preparing for an ice-skating competition that will determine her future in the sport, and Jeanie’s boyfriend, Richie, is a short order cook who aspires to be a stand-up comedian. Although Alex and Jeanie are offered high pay at an erotic nightclub called Zanzibar, they do not wish to become nude dancers. Zanibar’s owner, Johnny C., who is infamous for exploiting women, is upset by Alex’s rejection and attacks her one night after work. Coming to Alex’s rescue, Nick Hurley offers to escort her home in his sports car, but she insists on riding her bicycle. When Nick follows Alex to her converted warehouse and asks for a date, she reiterates her objection to mingling with her boss, so he playfully declares she is fired and returns the following evening for their first rendezvous. The two attend Jeanie Szabo’s much-anticipated ice-skating competition, but the girl falls and loses out on her dream to become a champion skater. After consoling her friend, Alex joins Nick for pizza, and they later make love. Over time, the couple’s affection grows and Nick encourages Alex to devote her life to ballet, but she remains insecure about her working-class upbringing, and does not believe she has the proper education or sophistication to be a true ballerina. However, Alex continues to seek inspiration from her mentor, Hanna Long, and the two attend a ballet performance. Alex is delighted to learn about the tradition in which a prima ballerina receives a bouquet of roses upon her final bow. Outside the theater, Alex sees Nick with another woman and assumes he is having an affair. Although she throws a rock through his bedroom window in retaliation, she is comforted to learn that Nick’s ballet companion was his former wife. Nick explains that he befriended a member of the city arts council during his marriage. The committee member has connections at the ballet, and treats Nick and his ex-wife to tickets once a year. With renewed self-confidence, Alex finally applies to the dance academy. Nick is thrilled by his lover’s determination and secretly telephones his friend on the arts council to guarantee Alex an audition. When Alex shares the news of her accomplishment, Nick drives her to a celebratory dinner and mentions that he made restaurant reservations in advance. Nick’s unexplained foresight prompts Alex to realize that he arranged the audition, and she is insulted by his meddling. Enraged, Alex declares that she does not want a benefactor and runs away. Alex seeks solace from her friend, Jeanie, and discovers the girl is now a nude dancer at Zanzibar. Alex goes to the club, drags her friend outside, and reminds the young woman of her talents. With Jeanie safe, Alex returns home to find Nick waiting on her doorstep, arguing that Alex is avoiding the audition because she is afraid of rejection. When Alex seeks advice from her mentor, Hanna, she discovers the old dancer has passed away. With all hope lost, Alex decides to leave her job and returns to Mowby’s Bar to collect her belongings. There, a fellow dancer encourages her to persevere, and Alex goes to the ballet audition, after all. Although she gets off to an awkward start, Alex gives the performance of a lifetime and is accepted at the academy. Outside, Nick presents her with a bouquet and she hands him back a single rose. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.