The Return to the ’80s Podcast is back! We return in a big way, talking about one of the most iconic ’80s movies. Robert and Paul are joined once again by Marissa (who last appeared on the ’80s Crushes episode). So come cut loose with Return to the ’80s, where dancing IS allowed, and join in on the discussion of this classic movie, and enjoy some great music along the way!
Remember That Song We’ve always had time on our sides
But now it’s fading fast
We’ve got to, we’ve gotta make it last
On the show thirtysomething, what was the name of the company Michael and Elliot owned in the first season?
– Released February 17, 1984
– Made $80 million domestically with an $8 million budget
– Kevin Bacon as Ren McCormack
– Lori Singer as Ariel Moore
– Chris Penn as Willard Hewitt
– Sarah Jessica Parker as Rusty
– John Lithgow as Reverend Shaw Moore
– Dianne Wiest as Vi Moore
– Jim Youngs as Chuck Cranston
– Directed by Herbert Ross
– Written by Dean Pitchford who also wrote or cowrote every song here
– The dancing feet in the opening credit sequence contained many of the cast and crew. Over 150 different pairs of feet were shot. The dancer with the gold shoes was actually Kenny Loggins.
– The scenes where Chris Penn learns to dance were purposely added to the script because he really didn’t know how to dance!
– With the Principal’s knowledge, 24-year-old Kevin Bacon attended the Payson Utah High School as “Ren McCormack”, a transfer student from Philadelphia to get into his role. With his narrow tie and new-wave haircut, he was treated pretty much like in the film. Bacon gratefully left with the location scouts on the afternoon of the first day.
– Pecking order: Wyoming < Nebraska < Illinois
– Opening scene
– Was that kid really sleeping? Reverend Shaw’s sermon
– Psycho? Rebel? You be the judge, while listening to Sammy Hagar’s “The Girl Gets Around”
– What does Robert, who is an English teacher, think of book burning. We’ll give you 1 guess
– “Do you read much?” – Slaughterhouse Five discussion
– Drive-in diner dancing scene Dancing in the Sheets by Shalamar
– Ren pulls into school blaring Metal Health
– They sell men’s clothes where you got that? Ren meets Willard
– We find out dancing is banned
– Ren gets pulled over
– Ariel wants to go to college and get out of that town – “Somebody’s Eyes” by Karla Bonof
– Awesome tractor chicken scene – Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler
– Angry dance – Never by Moving Pictures
– Dancing in Bomont is illegal. Underage drinking? Perfectly acceptable
– Look out Moving Pictures! Marissa and Robert perform “What About Me” for the first installment of Return to the ’80s Karaoke
– Ren and Ariel – train scene
– The gyrating in the seats from listening to music caused the car accident that killed Ariel’s brother. ALCOHOL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!
– Willard can’t dance
– Creepy dude tries picking up high school student, Rusty
– ’80s Movie + Bar Scene = FIGHT!!!
– Shaw and Vi at church – You can lift a congregation up so high they have to look down to see heaven. But it’s the one to one where you need a little work.
– MONTAGE!!!!!! Let’s Hear It For the Boy by Deniece Williams
– Ren teaches Willard how to dance. In every possible place where they can be seen. In a town that does not allow dancing.
– “You’re so stupid!” – Cranston gives Ariel a beatdown
– Ariel gives Ren a bible with verses highlighted for him to use at the town council meeting
– They had it coming! Somebody throws a brick through the window of Ren’s little cousins who helped him teach Willard how to dance
– Town council scene
– There’s nothing like a good ole fashioned book burnin’!
– MONTAGE #2! Setup for the dance – ” I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)” by Kenny Loggins
– Pick a winner! The dance begins – kinda. “Almost Paradise” by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
– Ninja Ren. The climactic fight scene
– Everybody cuts loose!
– Why?!?!? Footloose remake. Well, it’s not as horrible as the Dirty Dancing remake, so there’s that.
Ren: You like Men at Work? Willard: Which man? Ren: Men at Work. Willard: Well where do they work? Ren: No, they don’t, they’re a music group. Willard: Well what do they call themselves? Ren: Oh no! What about the Police? Willard: What about ’em? Ren: You ever heard them? Willard: No, but I seen them. Ren: Where, in concert? Willard: No, behind you.
If you’d like to watch this movie on Amazon, click on the movie poster below:
Welcome back to a new podcast episode! This week is another 80s crossover event from the 80s League! This month’s topic is 80s Movie Villains. Robert and Paul go through some of their favorite/most hated 80s movie villains. Paul also broke down and watched last year’s Ghostbusters movie. Come hear the exclusive review in this show. There is a new Play This, Not That, featuring Survivor. We had a Remember That Song winner, so there is a new one this week.
We would love to hear who some of your favorite 80s villains are. Please comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening Segment of this 80s Crossover Event
Check out these sites that are participating this month:
Rusty: What is wrong about getting a little psyched over Ren? He’s *cute*! He’s from out of town, and *don’t* tell me that doesn’t curl your toes, Ariel, I know you too well. You want out of here so bad you probably memorize bus schedules.
Our coverage of the classic 1984 movie, Footloose, continues today. Yesterday was a review of the movie itself. Today, Robert is going to cover what very well may be the heart and soul of the movie - the music. Enjoy!
Movie-wise this is my absolute favorite not very good movie. The plot is weak, the acting is passable, and the dialogue is, at times laughable. Consider when Ariel is spitting mad at Chuck Cranston. During an argument, Chuck is being petty and jealous while physically roughing Ariel up a bit. Now, Ariel has every insult and curse at her disposal; and she opts for, “You’re so stupid!” It is difficult to find a positive review by any movie critic . . . and I don’t care- I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! One thing I have always enjoyed more than the actual film is the movie’s soundtrack. I have seen the movie countless times: several times in the movie theatre, nearly 30 times on VHS and a dozen times on Netflix (in fact, I have it on Netflix as I write this). All of these viewings do not hold a candle to the number of times I have listened to the soundtrack. I own it on vinyl, cassette, and CD – always at the ready in case someone asks about it or I just want to be washed away in nostalgic memories.
According to Billboard, the soundtrack has sold a total of 9,000,000 copies and was #1 on the album charts for weeks (April 21 – June 30, 1984). This soundtrack spawned six Top 40 songs with three of those being Top ten hits: “Footloose” #1, “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” #1, and “Almost Paradise” #7. With all of this success, this soundtrack must be loaded with great songs, so let’s take a look.
Footloose (#1) by Kenny Loggins (opening credits, bar scene, and prom)
Loggins is easily considered the “soundtrack king” of the ‘80s, and this song is one of the big reasons why. It is not his first soundtrack hit nor will it be his last in the ‘80s, but it may be the most popular. I recently took my younger daughter to a popular local event “Daddy Daughter Date Night.” It is an annual dinner and dance for fathers and their daughters (between first and fifth grades). During the dance portion, the DJ played Footloose and all of the girls screamed and rushed to the dance floor. As much as I love this song, the reaction of all of these young girls to a song released over twenty years before they were born gave me goosebumps; this must be a sign of a true classic. The video contains clips from the film. The original video release was Ren’s big dance scene – that never made sense to me because they used a different song in the film (see track 9).
Despite this song being a huge hit and being used in a funny montage in the movie, it may be my least favorite. It has a memorable chorus and a smooth dance beat, but it has never really appealed to me – I have no good reason – it just doesn’t.
Almost Paradise (#7) – Almost Paradise by Mike Reno (from Loverboy) and Ann Wilson (from Heart) (prom as well as an instrumental version in the music box that Ariel gives Ren)
There is not much I can say about this song. It is one of the all time great love songs from the ‘80s. I have danced to it with my girlfriend (now wife) and it will always be one of my favorite romantic songs that I cannot, and will not, turn off before it is finished.
I love Tyler’s first big hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart“, but I think this song is even better. I am shocked it only reached #34 on the Billboard charts. This song has some grit and enthusiastic drive. It has some of my favorite lyrics on the soundtrack. I have even used these lyrics in my English classes when discussing the importance of heroes to society and literature and the difficulty we have pinpointing the constantly changing definition, “Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? Where is the street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?”
This is a good, catchy dance tune. The first thing that pops in my mind now is a friend of mine who directed Footloose: The Musical at the high school where I teach. He was forced to cut this song because of its suggestive lyrics. C’mon, that is kinda funny. The video is from American Bandstand (remember that show?).
This is Loggins’ second appearance on this soundtrack, and, while I possess the proper reverential love for the title track, I do like this song better. It should be impossible to separate a good soundtrack from the film; perhaps this becomes a reason that I really like this song. This song fits the movie perfectly, maybe even better that all of the others. Lyrically the song is about fighting for what you believe in and striving to achieve success. In the film, this song marks Ren’s success at the town council meeting and the beginning of the preparations for prom. This lyrics to this song serve an inspirational purpose and the fit perfectly for the film’s transition to the prom scene, “Looking in your eyes, I know I’m right / If there’s anything worth my love, it’s worth the fight / We only get one chance, and nothing ties our hands / You’re the one I want, listen to me / Nothing I want is out of my reach.”
Somebody’s Eyes – by Karla Bonoff (Ariel and Chuck sneaking away to the woods)
This is the only track on the original soundtrack that does not receive any primary attention in the film. It is heard in the background, playing on the radio that Ariel brings with her on a secret, and illicit, meeting with her jerk boyfriend. The song itself is an easy-to-listen to pop song with a good chorus and decent guitar solo. Bonoff’s vocals are haunting and soothing at the same time.
This is the only true rocker on the original soundtrack. Honestly, Hagar is somewhat out of place here. Even though this appearance is before he joined Van Halen, he was already known as the Red Rocker and had a number of heavy guitar driven, popular songs. The song is great – it fits Hagar’s style and matches the scene in the film quite well. Despite this, it does not truly match the overall sound of this soundtrack. The video is from a live performance in St. Louis.
Never – by by Moving Pictures (Ren’s solo dance of frustration)
This is my personal favorite track. I love the rhythm guitar riff and I think the scene it is used in fits perfectly. I have always been a bit of a sap for the cheesy inspirational lyrics and this song has a great one, “If you don’t give your heart wings, you’ll never fly.” I do not even care that Kevin Bacon is not the one dancing in this scene- this song carries an uplifting message with a catchy beat.
The 1998 reissue of the soundtrack included four additional tracks, but I am sticking with the original release.
In the ‘80s there was such a strong connection between movies and their soundtracks. In some of those films the music played a prominent role. If you track Top 40 hits from soundtracks, you will see double digit numbers in ‘84, ‘85, and ‘86. Footloose is clearly one of the most famous and successful examples. The music on this soundtrack can be called nothing except iconic. I never tire of watching the movie or listening to this amazing soundtrack. Every list of best soundtracks is obligated to include this shining example at at near the top.
Synopsis: A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace. – imdb
Last time I had seen this? I own the dvd, so I’ve seen this movie frequently over recent years. However, this is one of those classic ’80s movies that I did not see in the ’80s. The first time was about 15 years ago. I’ve more than made up for it though!
Summary: Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) is a teen who moved to Bomont from Chicago, with his mother, to live with his aunt and uncle. We find out that Bomont is a very town, pretty much run by Reverend Shaw Moore (John Lithgow).
Early on, Ren becomes friends with Willard (Chris Penn). It is through Willard that Ren and the audience learns that dancing and rock music is banned in the town. Ren also keeps running into Ariel, the rebellious daughter of Reverend Moore.
It doesn’t take long for Ren to become enemies with Ariel’s jerk boyfriend Chuck Cranston. Cranston challenges Ren to a game of chicken with tractors, with Ren winning – inadvertenly. In one of my favorite scenes of the movie, Ren’s shoelace gets caught, and he can’t jump off of his tractor.
Throughout the movie, most of the people of Bomont don’t like Ren, and he always gets in trouble. His uncle is no help as he acts like a jerk just like his fellow townspeople. The two have an argument which leads Ren to storm off and do an “angry dance” in a warehouse. Ariel sees him, and they bond. The reverend was not too happy about Ariel hanging around this new troublemaker, so he forbids her from seeing him. Well, that didn’t work out too well.
Ren takes Ariel, Willard and Rusty (Sarah Jessica Parker) out of town to a club where there is dancing. But, Willard don’t dance. Everybody else has a good time though – until somebody tries dancing with Rusty. We cannot have a bar scene from the ’80s and not see a fight! As they are driving back home we learn that the reason why there is a ban on dancing and music. There were kids fooling around with their cars, which resulted in an accident with both cars going over a bridge, and the death of the kids. One of those kids was Ariel’s brother – Reverend Moore’s son. Ren gets an idea of getting rid of the no dancing law, and have a senior prom. The first order of business? Teach Willard how to dance. ’80s movie music montage time!
In order to have the prom, Ren must make his case to the city council. The catch? Both Reverend Moore and Chuck Cranston’s father are on the council. Ren makes a great case, thanks to Ariel’s help of getting bible verses that support dancing. Although he made a great case, the council still turned down the dance.
Reverend Moore’s wife Vi (Dianne Wiest) is team Ren, and tries to talk some sense into her husband. Then Reverend Moore sees that the townspeople are having a good old-fashioned book burning. Sure, he may be against singing, dancing, rock music, and is not above smacking his daughter in the face. But, a book burning? He sees that the people of the town are crazier than he is, and is out of control. So, he stops the book burning.
Since the kids couldn’t have a prom in Bomont, they decided to have their prom outside the town limits. So, at the next mass, Reverend Moore asks the people to pray for the kids and pretty much support them.
At the prom, everybody was doing the classic move…standing around staring at everybody else. Ren and Ariel finally break the ice with a slow dance, and more and more people started slow dancing. In the meantime, Willard arrived with Rusty. Willard was then jumped by that ass hat Cranston and his gang. Ren came out and he and Willard beat the crap out of the gang. Now Ren was all pumped up, and walked back in to the dance with the classic line: “Hey, hey! What’s this I see? I thought this was a party. LET’S DANCE!”
For a townspeople who had not been allowed to dance, these people had some skillz! And somehow, had awesome choreography!
Does the movie stand the test of time? I think it stands the test of time well enough so that a remake is not necessary. Oh, wait. ARRRGGGGGHHH!!! Damn you Hollywood!!!
Worth the Return? Yes!!! This is one of those movies that I stop and watch if I’m going through the channels on TV. This movie is pretty much one music video after another with the story tying them all together, which is heaven for most people who grew up in the ’80s.
Rating: 5 pairs of feet cutting loose
This is a classic ’80s movie in every sense of the word. We have high school life, oppressors, bullies, buddies, and great music. If you have not seen this movie yet, and are a fan of the ’80s, this is a “must see”. I have never seen the remake, so I can’t comment on that.
You may have noticed that I did not get into the music aspect of this movie. There is a good reason for this. Tomorrow, there will be a companion piece to this article, by Robert, that will focus on the great, classic music of this film. In the meantime:
What is wrong about getting a little psyched over Ren? He’s cute! He’s from out of town, and don’t tell me that doesn’t curl your toes, Ariel, I know you too well. You want out of here so bad you probably memorize bus schedules.