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Xanadu (film)

Xanadu (film)

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Xanadu is a 1980 romantic
Romance film
Romance films are love stories that focus on passion, emotion, and the affectionate involvement of the main characters and the journey that their love takes through courtship or marriage. Romance films make the love story or the search for love the main plot focus...

 musical
Musical film
The musical film is a film genre in which songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by dancing. The songs usually advance the plot or develop the film's characters, though in some cases they serve merely as breaks in the storyline, often as elaborate...

 fantasy film
Fantasy film
Fantasy films are films with fantastic themes, usually involving magic, supernatural events, make-believe creatures, or exotic fantasy worlds. The genre is considered to be distinct from science fiction film and horror film, although the genres do overlap...

 written by Marc Reid Rubel and directed by Robert Greenwald
Robert Greenwald
Robert Greenwald is an American film director, film producer, and political activist.-Early life:Greenwald was born and raised in New York City, the son of Ruth and Harold Greenwald. He attended the city's High School of Performing Arts...

. The title is a reference to the poem "Kubla Khan
Kubla Khan
Kubla Khan is a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, completed in 1797 and published in Christabel, Kubla Khan, and the Pains of Sleep in 1816...

, or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla...

, which is quoted in the film. Xanadu
Xanadu
-Description of Xanadu by Toghon Temur :The lament of Toghon Temur Khan , concerning the loss of Daidu and Heibun Shanduu in 1368, is recorded in many Mongolian historical chronicles...

 is the name of the Chinese province where Khan establishes his pleasure garden in the poem. The film's plot was inspired by 1947's Down to Earth
Down to Earth (1947 film)
Down to Earth is a musical comedy starring Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks, and Marc Platt, and directed by Alexander Hall. It is a sequel to the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, also directed by Hall. Edward Everett Horton and James Gleason reprise their roles from the earlier film, but Roland Culver...

. A musical spinoff—also named Xanadu
Xanadu (musical)
Xanadu is a musical comedy with a book by Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, based on the 1980 cult classic film of the same name which was, in turn, inspired by the 1947 Rita Hayworth film Down to Earth. The title is a reference to the poem, Kubla Khan, or A...

—was opened in 2007 on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

.

Xanadu stars Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John AO, OBE is a singer and actress. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles and two No. 1 Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles and 14 of her albums have been certified gold by the RIAA...

, Michael Beck
Michael Beck
John Michael Beck Taylor , commonly known as Michael Beck, is an American actor, perhaps best known for his role as Swan in the 1979 film, The Warriors.-Life and career:...

, and Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer...

, and features music
Xanadu (Soundtrack)
Xanadu is the soundtrack of the 1980 musical film of the same name, featuring the Australian singer Olivia Newton-John and the Britsh group Electric Light Orchestra....

 by Newton-John, Electric Light Orchestra
Electric Light Orchestra
Electric Light Orchestra were a British rock group from Birmingham who released eleven studio albums between 1971 and 1986 and another album in 2001. ELO were formed to accommodate Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne's desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones...

, Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard, OBE is a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor, and philanthropist who has sold over an estimated 250 million records worldwide....

, and The Tubes
The Tubes
The Tubes are a San Francisco-based rock band, whose 1975 debut album included the hit single, "White Punks on Dope". During its first fifteen years or so, the band's live performances combined quasi-pornography with wild satires of media, consumerism, and politics...

. The film also features animation by Don Bluth
Don Bluth
Donald Virgil "Don" Bluth is an American animator and independent studio owner. He is best known for his departure from The Walt Disney Company in 1979 and his subsequent directing of animated films such as The Secret of NIMH , An American Tail ,The Land Before Time , and All Dogs Go to Heaven ,...

.

Plot


Sonny Malone (Michael Beck
Michael Beck
John Michael Beck Taylor , commonly known as Michael Beck, is an American actor, perhaps best known for his role as Swan in the 1979 film, The Warriors.-Life and career:...

) is a talented artist who dreams of fame beyond his job, which is the uncreative task of painting larger versions of album covers for record-store window advertisements. As the film opens, Sonny is broke and on the verge of giving up his dream. Having quit his day job to try to make a living as a freelance artist, but having failed to make any money at it, Sonny returns to his old job at AirFlo Records. After some humorous run-ins with his imperious boss and nemesis, Simpson (James Sloyan
James Sloyan
James Joseph Sloyan is an American actor. He is married to actress Deirdre Lenihan with whom he has two children, Daniel and Samantha.- Early years :...

), he resumes painting record covers.

At work, Sonny is told to paint an album cover for a group called The Nine Sisters. The cover features a beautiful woman passing in front of an art deco auditorium (the Pan-Pacific Auditorium
Pan-Pacific Auditorium
The Pan-Pacific Auditorium was a landmark structure in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, California which once stood at 7600 West Beverly Boulevard near the site of Gilmore Field, an early Los Angeles baseball venue predating Dodger Stadium...

). This same woman collided with him earlier that day, kissed him, then roller-skated away, and Malone becomes obsessed with finding her. He finds her at the same (but now abandoned) auditorium. She identifies herself as Kira (Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John AO, OBE is a singer and actress. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles and two No. 1 Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles and 14 of her albums have been certified gold by the RIAA...

), but she will not tell him anything else about herself. Unbeknownst to Sonny, Kira is one of nine mysterious and beautiful women who literally sprang to life from a local mural in town near the beach. Sonny befriends a has-been big band
Big band
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately twelve to twenty-five musicians...

 orchestra leader-turned-construction mogul named Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer...

); Danny lost his muse
Muse
The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths...

 in the 1940s (who is seen in a flashback scene to bear a startling resemblance to Kira); Sonny has not yet found his muse. Kira encourages the two men to form a partnership and open a nightclub
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

 at the old auditorium from the album cover. She falls in love with Sonny, and this presents a problem because she is actually an Olympian Muse
Muse
The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths...

. ("Kira's" real name is Terpsichore
Terpsichore
In Greek mythology, Terpsichore "delight of dancing" was one of the nine Muses, ruling over dance and the dramatic chorus. She lends her name to the word "terpsichorean" which means "of or relating to dance". She is usually depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the dancers' choirs...

, and she is the Muse of dancing and chorus.) The other eight women from the beginning of the film are her sisters and fellow goddesses, the Muses, and the mural is actually a portal of sorts and their point of entry to Earth.

The Muses visit Earth often to help inspire others to pursue their dreams and desires. But in Kira's case, she has violated the rules by which Muses are supposed to conduct themselves, as she was only supposed to inspire Sonny but has ended up falling in love with him as well. Her parents (presumably the Greek gods Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 and Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne , source of the word mnemonic, was the personification of memory in Greek mythology. This titaness was the daughter of Gaia and Uranus and the mother of the nine Muses by Zeus:* Calliope * Clio * Erato...

) recall her to the timeless realm of the gods. Sonny follows her through the mural and professes his love for her. A short debate between Sonny and Zeus occurs with Mnemosyne interceding on Kira and Sonny's behalf. Kira then enters the discussion, saying the emotions she has toward Sonny are new to her--if only they could have one more night together, Sonny's dream of success for the nightclub Xanadu could come true. But Zeus ultimately sends Sonny back to Earth. After Kira expresses her feelings for Sonny in the song "Suspended in Time," Zeus and Mnemosyne decide to let Kira go to him for a "moment, or maybe forever," which they cannot keep straight because mortal time confuses them, and the audience is left to wonder her fate.

In the finale, Kira and the Muses perform for a packed house at Xanadu's grand opening, and after Kira's final song, they return to the realm of the gods in spectacular fashion. With their departure, Sonny is, understandably, depressed. But that quickly changes when Danny has one of the waitresses bring Sonny a drink--the waitress is an exact look-alike of Kira. Sonny approaches this enigmatic doppelgänger
Doppelgänger
In fiction and folklore, a doppelgänger is a paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune...

and says he would just like to talk to her. The film ends with the two of them talking, in silhouette, as the credits begin to roll.

Cast


  • Olivia Newton-John
    Olivia Newton-John
    Olivia Newton-John AO, OBE is a singer and actress. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles and two No. 1 Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles and 14 of her albums have been certified gold by the RIAA...

     as Kira (Terpsichore
    Terpsichore
    In Greek mythology, Terpsichore "delight of dancing" was one of the nine Muses, ruling over dance and the dramatic chorus. She lends her name to the word "terpsichorean" which means "of or relating to dance". She is usually depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the dancers' choirs...

    )
  • Michael Beck
    Michael Beck
    John Michael Beck Taylor , commonly known as Michael Beck, is an American actor, perhaps best known for his role as Swan in the 1979 film, The Warriors.-Life and career:...

     as Sonny Malone
  • Gene Kelly
    Gene Kelly
    Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer...

     as Danny McGuire
  • James Sloyan
    James Sloyan
    James Joseph Sloyan is an American actor. He is married to actress Deirdre Lenihan with whom he has two children, Daniel and Samantha.- Early years :...

     as Simpson
  • Dimitra Arliss as Helen
  • Katie Hanley as Sandra
  • Fred McCarren as Richie
  • Ren Woods
    Ren Woods
    Ren Woods is an American film and television actress/singer, best known for her role as Fanta in Roots, and also as the girl with flowers in her hair who sang "Aquarius" in the film version of Hair. Ren Woods began her singing career as a child and released two solo albums before returning her...

     as Jo
  • Melvin Jones as Big Al
  • Ira Newborn
    Ira Newborn
    Ira Newborn is an American musician and composer, best known for his work composing motion picture soundtracks....

     as '40s Band Leader
  • Jo Ann Harris
    Jo Ann Harris
    Jo Ann Harris is an American actress. Born in Los Angeles, she is known for her role in the film The Beguiled as the sultry 17-year-old Carol who seduces Clint Eastwood's character. Harris had a small singing role in Newsies as "Patrick's mother", the woman searching for her son in the first part...

     as '40s Singer
  • Wilfrid Hyde-White
    Wilfrid Hyde-White
    Wilfrid Hyde-White was an English character actor.-Early life and career:Wilfrid Hyde White was born at the rectory in Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, the son of William Edward White, canon of Gloucester Cathedral, and his wife, Ethel Adelaide Drought...

     as
    Heavenly Voice #1
  • Coral Browne
    Coral Browne
    Coral Browne was an Australian-American stage and screen actress.-Career:Coral Edith Brown was the only daughter of a restaurant-owner. She and her two brothers were raised in Footscray, a suburb of Melbourne, where she studied at the National Gallery Art School...

     as Heavenly Voice #2
  • Darcel Wynne
    Darcel Wynne
    Darcel Leonard Wynne , sometimes credited as simply Darcel, is an African-American dancer, choreographer, author and producer, best known for heading the "Solid Gold Dancers" on the syndicated 1980s music series Solid Gold.Darcel started dancing professionally at the age of 13...

     as Background Dancer
  • Deborah Jennsen as Background Dancer
  • Alexander Cole as Background Dancer
  • Adolfo Quinones
    Adolfo Quinones
    Shabba Doo is the stage name of Adolfo Quiñones , an American actor, dancer, choreographer, and director.He became one of the founders of the dance style commonly known as locking as a member of The Original Lockers with Toni Basil, Don "Campbellock" Campbell and Fred "Rerun" Berry.Quiñones' most...

     as Xanadu Dancer
  • Joe Mantegna
    Joe Mantegna
    Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantegna, Jr. is an American actor, producer, writer,director, and voice actor. He is best known for his roles in box office hits such as Three Amigos , The Godfather Part III , Forget Paris , and Up Close & Personal...

     (deleted scene
    Deleted scene
    In Entertainment, especially the film and television industry, Deleted scenes are parts of a film removed or censored from or replaced by another scene in the final "cut", or version, of a film...

    s
    )
The Muses
  • Sandahl Bergman
  • Lynne Latham
    Lynne Latham
    Lynne Latham began her noteworthy dance career on television with featured roles on The Dean Martin Show and also went on tour with Sammy Davis Jr. In the 1970s she returned to Dean Martin as one of the Ding-a-ling Sisters and also appeared as a dancer on the Donny and Marie Show...

  • Melinda Phelps
  • Cherise Bates
  • Juliette Marshall
  • Marilyn Tokuda
  • Yvette Von Voorhees
  • Teri Beckerman

Members of the Tubes
  • John "Fee" O. Waybill
    Fee Waybill
    John Waldo Waybill , known as Fee Waybill, is the lead singer and songwriter of the band the Tubes...

  • Rick Anderson
  • Michael Cotten
  • Prairie Prince
    Prairie Prince
    Prairie Prince is a rock drummer. He was a member of The Tubes and a founding member of Journey...

  • Bill Spooner
    Bill Spooner
    William "Sputnik" Spooner is a musician, guitarist, and songwriter, and the founder of The Tubes, a theatrical rock band. His songwriting is known for its use of humor and satire. He has released three solo albums: First Chud , Mall to Mars , and Demo-licious...

  • Roger Steen
  • Vince Welnick
    Vince Welnick
    Vince Welnick was an American keyboardist, best known for playing with the band The Tubes during the 1970s and 1980s and with the Grateful Dead in the 1990s.-Music career:...

  • Re Styles


Themes


The plot of the 1947 film Down to Earth
Down to Earth (1947 film)
Down to Earth is a musical comedy starring Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks, and Marc Platt, and directed by Alexander Hall. It is a sequel to the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, also directed by Hall. Edward Everett Horton and James Gleason reprise their roles from the earlier film, but Roland Culver...

 was loosely used the basis for Xanadu. In the 1947 film, Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars...

 played Terpsichore, opposite male lead Larry Parks
Larry Parks
Larry Parks was an American stage and movie actor. He was born Samuel Klausman Lawrence Parks. His career was virtually ended when he admitted to having once been a member of a Communist party cell, which led to his blacklisting by all Hollywood studios.-Background:Parks grew up in Joliet,...

 who played a producer of stage plays.

Musical numbers



The album grouped Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John AO, OBE is a singer and actress. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles and two No. 1 Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles and 14 of her albums have been certified gold by the RIAA...

 (ONJ) and ELO
Electric Light Orchestra
Electric Light Orchestra were a British rock group from Birmingham who released eleven studio albums between 1971 and 1986 and another album in 2001. ELO were formed to accommodate Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne's desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones...

's songs into the opposite sides of the album, and some tunes were excluded from the album. The following is the actual order in the film:
  • Instrumental medley of "Whenever You're Away From Me" and "Xanadu", over first part of opening credits; segué into...
  • "Whenever You're Away From Me" excerpt - Danny playing on the clarinet, at the beach; segué into... soft instrumental underscoring of "Xanadu" with Sonny drawing and painting; segué into... extended intro to "I'm Alive" (only a portion of which is in the soundtrack album).
  • "I'm Alive
    I'm Alive (Electric Light Orchestra song)
    "I'm Alive" is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra, released as a single in May 1980. It is featured in a sequence near the beginning of the feature film Xanadu. The song also appears on the soundtrack album Xanadu....

    " (ELO) - on the film's music track, as Muse wall paintings come to life.
  • "Whenever You're Away From Me" excerpt - Danny again playing the clarinet, at the beach.
  • "Magic
    Magic (Olivia Newton-John song)
    "Magic" is a hit 1980 song performed by Olivia Newton-John, from the soundtrack to the film Xanadu. The song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for four weeks beginning on 2 August 1980...

    " (ONJ) - on the film's music track, while Kira is roller skating in the dark auditorium while Sonny watches and talks to her.
  • "You Made Me Love You
    You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)
    "You Made Me Love You " is a popular song.The music was written by James V. Monaco, the lyrics by Joseph McCarthy. The song was published in 1913. It was introduced in the Broadway revue The Honeymoon Express....

    " (ONJ) (non-soundtrack LP track released as B-side of the "Suddenly" single) - on Glenn Miller
    Glenn Miller
    Alton Glenn Miller was an American jazz musician , arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known "Big Bands"...

     record played by Danny in the ballroom of his home; segué into...
  • "Whenever You're Away From Me" (Gene Kelly and ONJ) - Danny and Kira singing and dancing in the ballroom. This song was heavily influenced by Frank Sinatra
    Frank Sinatra
    Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

    . According to the DVD special, this was the last sequence filmed.
  • "Suddenly" (ONJ duet with Cliff Richard
    Cliff Richard
    Sir Cliff Richard, OBE is a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor, and philanthropist who has sold over an estimated 250 million records worldwide....

    ) – on the track as Kira and Sonny rollerskate through the recording studio.
  • "Dancin'" (ONJ duet with The Tubes
    The Tubes
    The Tubes are a San Francisco-based rock band, whose 1975 debut album included the hit single, "White Punks on Dope". During its first fifteen years or so, the band's live performances combined quasi-pornography with wild satires of media, consumerism, and politics...

    ) – Big Band female trio lip-synchs to ONJ's self-harmony; in fantasy / concept discussed by Danny and Sonny, in the auditorium, leading to choice of "Xanadu" as the name of the club.
  • "Don't Walk Away
    Don't Walk Away (Electric Light Orchestra song)
    "Don't Walk Away" is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra . It is featured in the 1980 feature film Xanadu in an animated sequence by Don Bluth.The song also appears on the soundtrack album Xanadu...

    " (ELO) - on the film's music track during an animated sequence (produced by Don Bluth Productions featuring Sonny and Kira as several animals.
  • "All Over the World
    All Over the World (song)
    "All Over the World" is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra . It is featured in the 1980 feature film Xanadu in a sequence with the film's stars Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, and Michael Beck...

    " (ELO) - on the film's music track in the "franchised glitz dealer" store, with Danny running through various dance steps, and some rollerskating, as he tries on different outfits.
  • "The Fall" (ELO) - on the film's music track, as Sonny rollerskates toward (and through) the Muse wall painting.
  • "Suspended in Time" (ONJ) – Kira sings.
  • "Drum Dreams" (ELO) (non-soundtrack LP track released as B-side of the "I'm Alive" and "All Over The World" singles) - beginning of Xanadu opening night roller disco sequence, with Danny leading the group on skates; segué into...
  • "Xanadu" (ONJ and ELO) - Kira sings.
  • "Fool Country" (ONJ) (non-soundtrack LP track released as B-side of the "Magic" single) - Kira in various costumes, singing; segué into...
  • "Xanadu" reprise, Kira singing; dancing with the other 8 Muses; they disappear, then Kira disappears.
  • "Magic" (ONJ) reprise, on the film's music track, fades out as Kira reappears.
  • Instrumental riff from "Xanadu", Kira and Sonny become silhouetted; "The End"
  • "Xanadu" (ONJ and ELO) short version, over closing credits.

Production



  • Gene Kelly
    Gene Kelly
    Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer...

    's role of Danny McGuire is revived from the film Cover Girl which co-stars Rita Hayworth
    Rita Hayworth
    Rita Hayworth was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars...

    . His reprisal of the character in 'Xanadu' was to be his final film appearance.
  • As noted in the DVD extra, the film was originally conceived as a relatively low-budget roller disco
    Roller disco
    A roller disco is a discothèque or skating rink where all the dancers wear roller skates of some kind . The music played is modern and easily danceable, historically disco but in modern times including almost any form of dance music or pop music...

     picture. As "name" performers joined the production, it evolved into a much larger project, while retaining rollerskating as a recurring theme, especially in the final scenes of the club's opening night.
  • The Pan-Pacific Auditorium
    Pan-Pacific Auditorium
    The Pan-Pacific Auditorium was a landmark structure in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, California which once stood at 7600 West Beverly Boulevard near the site of Gilmore Field, an early Los Angeles baseball venue predating Dodger Stadium...

     in Los Angeles was used only for exterior shots. Xanadu's nightclub interior was built on Stage 4 of the Hollywood Center Studios
    Hollywood Center Studios
    Hollywood Center Studios is a company based in Los Angeles, California that provides stage facilities to television and movie production companies. Its sound stages, located at 1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue in Hollywood, California, are steeped in Hollywood history...

     (1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood) beginning in 1979. Sonny refers to the Auditorium as "a dump", which was a fair characterization of the Pan-Pacific by then. Danny jokes that "they used to have wrestling here", which was a true statement about the Auditorium. The building would be consumed by fire a decade later.
  • Earlier versions of the story established that Sonny was the artist who created the mural from which the nine goddess sisters emerge. This provided a much stronger explanation for the muses' interest in helping him achieve artistic success. Unfortunately, continual rewrites and editing during production caused this plot point to be lost, except for one line spoken by Sonny as he laments his failure as a freelance artist; "I paint his van...I paint somebody else's mural...". The 1980 Marvel Comics adaptation retained the more strongly emphasized connection between Sonny and the painting.
  • Kenny Ortega
    Kenny Ortega
    Kenneth John "Kenny" Ortega is an American producer, director, and choreographer. He is known for directing the High School Musical trilogy and Michael Jackson's This Is It concert tour.-Life and career:...

     and Jerry Trent served as choreographers. Roger Ebert
    Roger Ebert
    Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

     criticized the choreography, saying "the dance numbers in this movie do not seem to have been conceived for film." He noted that mass dance scenes were not photographed well by cinematographer Victor J. Kemper
    Victor J. Kemper
    Victor Jay Kemper, A.S.C. is an American cinematographer who has worked on over fifty films. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers , and was its president twice, from 1993 to 1996, and from 1999 to 2001...

    , who shot at eye level and failed to pick up the larger patterns of dancers, with dancers in the background muddying the movement of the foreground.

Reception


The film barely broke even at the box office
Box office
A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through an unblocked hole through a wall or window, or at a wicket....

 in its initial release, and it had a mixed critical reception, with a 'Rotten' rating of 41% from the review aggregator
Review aggregator
A review aggregator is a system that collects reviews of products and services . This system stores the reviews and then uses them for purposes such as: creating a website for users to view the reviews, selling information to third parties about consumer tendencies and creating databases for...

 Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

. However, as time has gone on, the film's reputation has rebounded, and it has developed a devoted fanbase and come to be regarded, in some circles, as a cult film
Cult film
A cult film, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans. Often, cult movies have failed to achieve fame outside the small fanbases; however, there have been exceptions that have managed to gain fame among mainstream audiences...

. The soundtrack
Xanadu (Soundtrack)
Xanadu is the soundtrack of the 1980 musical film of the same name, featuring the Australian singer Olivia Newton-John and the Britsh group Electric Light Orchestra....

 (No. 4 Billboard), however, was a commercial success. It was certified double platinum and spent one week atop the Cashbox and Record World Pop Albums charts. The soundtrack contained five Top 20 singles:
  • "Magic" - Olivia Newton-John (No. 1 – 4 weeks Pop, No. 1 – 5 weeks AC, certified gold)
  • "Xanadu" - Olivia Newton-John/Electric Light Orchestra (No. 8 Pop, No. 2 AC, No. 1 – 2 weeks (UK))
  • "All Over the World" - Electric Light Orchestra (No. 13 Pop, No. 45 AC)
  • "I'm Alive" - Electric Light Orchestra (No. 16 Pop, No. 48 AC, certified gold)
  • "Suddenly" - Olivia Newton-John/Cliff Richard (No. 20 Pop, No. 4 AC)

Home media release


Xanadu was re-released on DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 June 24, 2008. The "Magical Music Edition" features a "Going Back to Xanadu" featurette, the film's theatrical trailer and a photo gallery. A bonus music CD with the soundtrack album was included. The CD was the film's standard soundtrack album, i.e. with no extras such as omitted tracks.

2007 Broadway production



A $5 million Broadway musical adaptation of the same name
Xanadu (musical)
Xanadu is a musical comedy with a book by Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, based on the 1980 cult classic film of the same name which was, in turn, inspired by the 1947 Rita Hayworth film Down to Earth. The title is a reference to the poem, Kubla Khan, or A...

 began previews on May 23, 2007, and opened (with Olivia Newton-John and John Farrar in attendance) on July 10, 2007 starring Kerry Butler
Kerry Butler
Kerry Marie Butler is an American actress known primarily for her work in theatre.-Early life and career:...

 as Kira, Cheyenne Jackson
Cheyenne Jackson
Cheyenne Jackson is an American actor and singer. He started in regional theater when he moved to Seattle, and after moving to New York City, made his 2002 Broadway theatre debut understudying both male leads in the Tony Award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie...

 as Sonny and Tony Roberts
Tony Roberts (actor)
David Anthony "Tony" Roberts is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in several Woody Allen movies, usually cast as Allen's best friend.-Early life:...

 as Danny. In the musical, Kira is the Muse Clio
Clio
thumb|Clio—detail from [[The Art of Painting|The Allegory of Painting]] by [[Johannes Vermeer]]In Greek mythology, Clio or Kleio, is the muse of history. Like all the muses, she is a daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne...

, not Terpsichore. Jackie Hoffman
Jackie Hoffman
Jacqueline Laura Hoffman , known as Jackie Hoffman, is an American actress and stand-up comedian known for her facially-contorting expressions, and one-woman shows of Jewish-themed original songs and monologues...

 and Mary Testa
Mary Testa
Mary Testa is an American stage actress. She is a two-time Tony Award nominee, for performances in revivals of Leonard Bernstein's On the Town and 42nd Street ....

 co-starred (in a plot twist
Plot twist
A plot twist is a change in the expected direction or outcome of the plot of a film, television series, video game, novel, comic or other fictional work. It is a common practice in narration used to keep the interest of an audience, usually surprising them with a revelation...

 new to the Broadway version) as "evil" Muse sisters. The show, which humorously satirized the plot of the film, was a surprise hit, and was nominated for several Tony awards. The original cast recording was released December 2007. The Broadway production closed on September 28, 2008 after 49 previews and 512 performances. A successful national tour followed.

Awards and nominations


  • Ivor Novello Award Best Motion Picture Film soundtrack Jeff Lynne
    Jeff Lynne
    Jeffrey "Jeff" Lynne is an English songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer who gained fame as the leader and sole constant member of Electric Light Orchestra and was a co-founder and member of The Traveling Wilburys together with George Harrison, Bob...

  • Grammy Awards
Nominated: Best Pop Female Vocal Performance - Magic Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John AO, OBE is a singer and actress. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles and two No. 1 Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles and 14 of her albums have been certified gold by the RIAA...

  • Young Artist Awards
Nominated: Best Major Motion Picture - Family Entertainment

  • 1st Golden Raspberry Award
Won: Razzie Award for Worst Director (Robert Greenwald)
Nominated: Worst Picture
Nominated: Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay
Nominated: Worst Actor (Michael Beck
Michael Beck
John Michael Beck Taylor , commonly known as Michael Beck, is an American actor, perhaps best known for his role as Swan in the 1979 film, The Warriors.-Life and career:...

)
Nominated: Worst Actress (Olivia Newton-John)
Nominated: Razzie Award for Worst "Original" Song ("Suspended in Time")
Nominated: Worst "Musical" of Our First 25 Years


External links