Wait, don't tell me: You hate disco. Me too. But missing out on Saturday Night Fever because of the soundtrack is like skipping out on Star Wars because of its questionable spaceship aeronautics; the glaring flaws do not undermine the euphoria of the film, in other words. John Travolta's honest and oftentimes amazing performance as Tony Manero, a dolled-up Dead End Kid for the '70s, is the real reason Saturday Night Fever endures. Tony lives in the shadow of his older brother the priest, he fights with his out-of-work father, and there is no college or way out in his future. His only true joy comes on Saturday nights, when he's the king of the dance floor at 2001 Odyssey. But when he falls for Stephanie, a Manhattan secretary whose appropriated high-class ways catch his fancy, Tony does the one thing no one expects him to do: He grows up. Not without a few stumbles, mind you, but that's just part of the process. And of course, there's a lot of Bee Gees and some fantastic dance sequences along the way. The Webster Film Series screens Saturday Night Fever at 8 p.m. at the Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries) as part of the Strange Brew series, and also as a nice counterweight to the preceding weekend's screening of Tony Manero. Admission is $4.
Wed., June 3, 2009