The internet brought me this abomination this week:
That set me off on an internet discovery jag. Well, pretty much anything sets me off on an internet jag, so this is really only unusual in that I’m writing about it here. Here are a few things I learned:
- Saturday Night Fever was based on an article in New York magazine about the Brooklyn disco culture. It turns out the author of that article, Nik Cohn, is a Brit who was new to New York and didn’t really know anything about Brooklyn disco culture. He made most of the article up, basing it instead on his memory of mod culture in London.
- The disco club in the movie was based on a club in Brooklyn called 2001 Odyssey Disco. All the lights and mirror ball effects were meant to make it look like you were in space, like something from 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, the original floor was metal. The lighted floor was put in for the movie.
- Urban Cowboy was also based on an article, this time in Esquire, called “The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy: America’s Search for True Grit.” The cover of the magazine called it “Saturday Night Fever Country & Western Style.” You can almost hear the Hollywood producer’s thought process: “Hmm, magazine article, just like Saturday Night Fever. . . I bet we could get Travolta and have a monster hit.” And, sadly, they were right.
I would say that I would like to see more movies based magazine articles, because that might lead to more movies like Adaptation or Dog Day Afternoon, but let’s not kid ourselves. It would lead to more movies like Coyote Ugly and The Fast and the Furious.