Upon its release in theaters on Aug. 8, 1980 – 35 years ago this week – the disco musical Xanadu was met with negative reviews and middling box office returns. That didn't stop it, however, and this hyper color fantasy has persisted, becoming a cult favorite in spite of its inauspicious beginnings. While I don't see it very often on, when it is, I always watch it! And you couldn't tell me when I went to a roller rink I wasn't Kira.
Did you know the 1947 film, Down to Earth, that features Rita Hayworth as a muse who descends to the realm of humans and falls for a Broadway producer almost had the same story? That's not exactly the plot of Xanadu, but doesn't it sound like a '40s version of the same basic story that Xanadu tells? It should: the latter is a loose remake of the former. This was also Gene Kelly's final movie. Kelly himself choreographed his dance number with Newton-John, and the dance moves they perform are extremely similar to ones he'd performed when he danced with Judy Garland in the 1942 film For Me and My Gal.
And my two favorite scenes? Not surprisly both 40's inspired.
Can you believe it has been 35 years?