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Footloose: Special Collector’s Edition (1984) – DVD Review

Footloose DVD


Written by Dean Pitchford
Directed by Herbert Ross
Starring Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Chris Penn and Sarah Jessica Parker


  • Running audio commentary with actor Bacon
  • Running audio commentary with producer Craig Zadan and writer Pitchford
  • Featurette: Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part I & II
  • Featurette: Footloose: Songs That Tell a Story

Released by: Paramount
Rating: PG
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Own it if you’re a fan…

[ad#longpost]Ren McCormick (Bacon) and his mom have moved away from the big city to a small Midwestern town. He’s just not ready for the fact that this small town is hardcore about letting him do the things that he’s used to doing for fun. For example, no one in the town is allowed to listen to rock-and-roll music, let alone dance to it. It seems that the entire town has become a puritan’s haven thanks to the local preacher, Reverend Moore (Lithgow). Moore’s daughter isn’t too crazy about the strict ideals her father tries to force onto the entire town. So, it’s up to Ren to wake up the town and bring them kicking and screaming into the 20th Century.

Watching this movie nearly twenty years after it first came out really puts a different spin on it. First of all, the music, which was so unbelievable cool at the time, comes across as almost silly now. The choices they made for the supposedly suspenseful scenes are just ludicrous by today’s standards. However, it is a piece of American Movie History, so I really must treat it as such. Obviously, this was Bacon’s breaktrough performance and rightfully so. He was perfect for the movie and he really understood the “Rebel With a Cause” mentality that was needed for this performance. The rest of the cast works well, too. Lithgow. Need I say more? No, if there’s a weak point to this movie it’s Singer. I just don’t buy her rebelliousness. It just seems forced and, quite honestly, works against the movie.

The DVD is okay for a Paramount “special edition” DVD. First of all, there are two commentary tracks. One is a solo track with Bacon. This is the best track on the disc. He hadn’t watched the movie in nearly two decades, so you get the feel that he’s not only reminiscing, but remembering what happened during the filming of the movie. It’s fantastic, and it’s in direct opposition to the other track which is dry and just this side of boring.

The two part documentary is outstanding. It’s got everything you’d ever want from a documentary about one of the classic films of the 80s; namely, interviews with everyone and their brother who was involved with the making of the movie–including a high school teacher who bucked the system by asking the mayor of his town to allow the local high school to have a prom. It’s not overly sentimental and focuses on the inspiration for the story that became the movie. I’m just not sure why it’s broken up into two parts. It would have worked just as well without the break. Was it done this way just to create another bullet item for the back of the DVD case? Could be…let’s dig a bit deeper and see:

There really is a third part to this documentary in the “Songs that Tell a Story” featurette. This seals it. They broke this up to make it seem like there’s more on the disc than there really is. I mean, the underscoring for the documentary is the same across all three parts! What’s the point? Really you only get one documentary and two commentary tracks. Hmmm. When you look below the surface, Paramount just really can’t get the hang of putting a DVD together without either playing with the features to make them look like more than they really are or not putting squat on the discs at all. Shame.

Still, if you are a child of the 80s, you probably already have this one on your shelf…right beside Dirty Dancing.