SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: Critics' Corner
John Travolta was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor in Saturday Night Fever. It was his first ever nomination. Travolta lost to The Goodbye Girl star Richard Dreyfuss.
The Bee Gees were nominated for BAFTA's Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music. The film was also nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Sound.
Saturday Night Fever was nominated for four Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy, Best Motion Picture Actor Musical/Comedy (John Travolta), Best Original Score, and Best Original Song for "How Deep is Your Love?"
The National Board of Review named John Travolta Best Actor for his work in Saturday Night Fever.
Norman Wexler's screenplay for Saturday Night Fever was nominated for a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen.
The Bee Gees' song "Stayin' Alive" from Saturday Night Fever was ranked by the American Film Institute as the 9th Greatest Movie Song of All Time in 2004.
In 1978 The Bee Gees won a Grammy Award as Best Pop Vocal Performance By a Group for their Saturday Night Fever song "How Deep is Your Love?"
In 1979 The Bee Gees won four Grammy Awards for their contributions to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack: Album of the Year, Best Arrangement for Voices (for the song "Stayin' Alive"), Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, and Producer of the Year (shared with Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson).
In 2004 The Bee Gees were given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award for the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever.
THE CRITIC'S CORNER SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
"The movie's musical and dancing sequences are dazzling. Travolta and Miss Gorney are great together, and Travolta does one solo...that the audiences cheered for. The movie was directed by John Badham..., and his camera occupies the dance floor so well that we really do understand the lure of the disco world, for all of the emptiness and cruelty the characters find there."
Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times
"...John Travolta is so earnestly in tune with the character that Tony becomes even more touching than he is familiar and a source of fierce, desperate excitement. The movie, which spends mercifully little time trying to explain Tony, has a violent energy very like his own. Among the movie's most influential principals-although they never appear on-screen-are the Bee Gees, who provided the most important parts of its score."
The New York Times
"Energetically directed and well acted (largely by unknowns), Saturday Night Fever succeeds in capturing the animal drive of disco music and the social rituals of the people who dance to its beat...When Tony and his inarticulate chums burn off the tensions of their workaday jobs and Roman Catholic guilts, we see a mindless explosion of pent-up energy that is almost frighteningly hedonistic. The characters become cruel and volatile beneath the strobe lights, and it seems that Saturday Night Fever has an authentic statement to make about America's newest crop of alienated youth...The performances...are first-rate and John Travolta is a revelation...His dancing is electric, his comic timing acute. In the timeless manner of movie sex symbols, his carnal presence can make even a safe Hollywood package seem like dangerous goods."
- Time Magazine
"Travolta's first starring film is thoughtful study of Brooklyn youth who finds only meaning in his life when dancing at local disco. Film pulses to dynamic Bee Gees music score..."
Leonard Maltin, Movie and Video Guide
"The way Saturday Night Fever has been directed and shot, we feel the languorous pull of the discotheque, and the gaudiness is transformed. These are among the most hypnotically beautiful pop dance scenes ever filmed...John Travolta doesn't appear to be a 'natural' dancer...but he gives himself to them with a fullness and zest that makes his being the teen-agers' king utterly convincing...He acts like someone who loves to dance. And, more than that, he acts like someone who loves to act...One can read Travolta's face and body; he has the gift of transparency. When he wants us to feel how lost and confused Tony is, we feel it. He expresses shades of emotion that aren't set down in scripts, and he knows how to show us the decency and intelligence under Tony's uncouthness...Travolta gets so far inside the role he seems incapable of a false note; even the Brooklyn accent sounds unerring...At its best, though, Saturday Night Fever gets at something deeply romantic: the need to move, to dance, and the need to be who you'd like to be. Nirvana is the dance; when the music stops, you return to being ordinary."
- Pauline Kael
Compiled by Andrea Passafiume