Footloose (1984)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great music, fun actors, fun movie

The story is pretty weak

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Footloose

Studio:  IndieProd Company Productions

Genre(s):  Drama/Romance

Release Date(s):  February 17, 1984

MPAA Rating:  R


Oh yeah, tractor chicken…bring it on!

Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) has arrived in the small town of Bomont with his mother. When Ren learns music and dancing have been outlawed by the town following an accident, Ren sets out to bring dancing back. Faced by opposition from Reverend Shaw Moore (John Lithgow) and the town council, Ren finds himself falling for Moore’s daughter Ariel (Lori Singer). Can Ren, Ariel, and Ren’s friend Willard (Chris Penn) bring back music and dance to Bomont?

Directed by Herbert Ross, Footloose received average reviews but became a big box office hit and cult classic. The movie received two Academy Award nominations with both “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” and “Footloose” receiving nominations (losing to “I Just Called to Say I Love You” from The Woman in Red). The movie spawned a remake in 2011 and a stage musical in 1998.


I remember when music and dancing made my friends and I play chicken with semis…

Footloose was one of those early VHS hits that everyone rented over and over again. It was a harmless movie (despite the R-Rating) with a good soundtrack that was appealing to a lot of groups. Girls could enjoy it for Kevin Bacon, and boys liked that the moody outsider gets the girl.

Footloose is a rather unbelievable story. The idea of a town outlawing music and dancing and then this rebel kid coming in to fix it is goofy and stupid, but for some reason it works here. I love how everyone at the end of the film can dance awesome…they learn real quick.  The film’s lack of real plot is made up by energy and fun mostly from a rather good cast.


Cowboy Curtis, I will teach you to dance!

Kevin Bacon really makes Footloose. It is ironic that Bacon took the role after Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Christopher Atkins, and Rob Lowe allegedly passed up the role. Bacon was going to be the lead in Christine, but wisely chose this instead. Daryl Hannah and Elizabeth McGovern passed on the role and allegedly Melanie Griffith, Jamie Lee Curtis, Meg Tilly, Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Heather Locklear, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rosanna Arquette, Phoebe Cates, Jodie Foster, Tatum O’Neal, Bridget Fonda, Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane, Brook Shields, and even Madonna were in the running for Ariel before Lori Singer. Chris Penn is fun as Ren’s “can’t dance” friend Willard who really couldn’t dance (and they put the teaching scenes in the movie for him). Lithgow and Dianne Wiest are good as Ariel’s parents, and Jim Youngs makes a nice evil rival for Ren. The movie also features an early appearance by Sarah Jessica Parker as Rusty, Ariel’s friend which garnered some attention.


It is so sparkly at a dance!

The other star of Footloose is its rockin’ ’80s soundtrack. Combined with the great cast, the movie manages to overcome the so-so script with a lot of fun music. The music really propels the movie and makes it fun (and along with Flashdance and Dirty Dancing, it make up the “dance trilogy” of the ’80s).

Footloose is mostly entertaining due to the nostalgia factor. It is fun to look back on this film and remember being young. The cast is all so young and look like they are enjoying themselves and a cast having fun goes a long way to a fun movie. You’ll find better plots and better dancing, but not many “dance” films with as much heart.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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