We take a look at Sylvester Stallone’s Staying Alive, a now obscure sequel to Saturday Night Fever starring a jacked John Travolta.
While Sylvester Stallone’s latest sequel Expend4bles may have been a letdown for the Italian Stallion, Awfully Good Movies is putting on a headband and spandex for John Travolta in the 1983 Stallone-directed sequel to 1977’s Saturday Night Fever: Staying Alive!
After Stallone and Travolta both shot to stardom in the 70s with their respective Oscar-nominated roles of Philly boxer Rocky Balboa and Brooklyn dancer Tony Manero, the two decided to combine their underdog powers for a Saturday Night Fever sequel where Tony trades in the disco floor for the Broadway stage, with Stallone rewriting and directing in the wake of Rocky III’s phenomenal success and providing a “sly” cameo as himself. And while the follow-up would end up as one of the year’s biggest moneymakers, audiences and critics deemed it to be a campy downgrade from the gritty predecessor, as Tony’s Broadway breakout is threatened by his dual love affair with his new girlfriend Jackie and her British bitch of a co-star Laura while the three of them rehearse for the big show.
But though the Bee Gees are back to provide a few new catchy tunes, most of the soundtrack is filled with 80s synth cheese mostly performed by Sly’s musician brother/Norm MacDonald punchline Frank Stallone, with Stallone’s fake musical he wrote for the third act being the most hilariously inept stage show to hit Broadway until SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK would come along. Yet even without the downbeat 70s mood of Tony’s last adventure, it’s a fascinating time capsule with some fantastic dancing that stands as a monument to how big the egos of its director and star were before the darker days of Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Battlefield Earth. Who knew that the man we’d later know as the “Tulsa King” secretly wanted to be a Broadway queen all along?
Previously on AWFULLY GOOD MOVIES…
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/sylvester-stallones-staying-alive/