This was a movie that came out during my teen years. Released on August 8, 1980, it is an American romantic musical fantasy film. The script is considered speculative fiction, which is not a highly regarded genre. It takes fiction and adds a bit of fantasy to it. So, the story line can be a little far-fetched as compared to reality.
The plot was inspired by a 1947 movie called Down to Earth. Starring Rita Hayworth, the story is about a Greek Goddess, Terpscichore. She was one of the nine muses and goddess of dance and chorus. She comes down from the heavens and lands a part in a musical which mocks Greek mythology. She’s able to get the producer to make some changes to the show which helped to make it a flop.
Xanadu is about some of the same Greek muses who come down from the heavens to inspire men to achieve. They help the character, Sonny Malone to build a huge disco roller rink. Inspired by the muses to pursue his dream.
The movie was not a financial success and earned mixed to negative reviews. This movie was one of the ones that inspired the creation of the Golden Raspberry award to memorialize the worst films of the year. Xanadu was nominated, but it didn’t receive it.
I’m trying to remember if I saw the movie or not. I listened to Olivia Newton John and I liked her music. I think I heard a lot of songs from the movie, but didn’t see it. It was a PG rating and I know my parents didn’t let me see rated R movies until I was 17.
A rated R movie back then was nothing like what you would see in a rated R movie now. With the increased sex, violence, and harsh language that are seen as almost a normal part of life now, rated R movies would almost be rated X in the 80s. Back then, a little nudity and a little swearing is about as far as it went. And that was seen as risky.
Even though the film didn’t do so well at the time, the soundtrack hit double platinum status and there’s a cult following for the film. It’s appreciated for the goofy fun musical about achieving your dreams that it is.