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It was a huge hit, and made Jennifer Beals America's Sweetheart for about fifteen minutes. It had a fun soundtrack, and a compelling underdog-conquers-all story. And it set fashions for a few years with its heroine's tradeark ripped oversized sweatshirts.

It was also one of the most ridiculously written films of the era, and it featured a heroine who worked as a welder in a Pittsburgh steel mill by day and then did arty live erotic dancing by night; who would remove her top revealing nothing but a dickie underneath in a fancy restaurant to make a statement ("Actually, I fucked his brains out!"); and who tried out for a major ballet company doing MTV-style steps.

Where were you when you first saw the heroine trepidatiously walk into her grnadmother's apartment lobby for the last time hoping to see her, as everyone in the audience shouted at the screen, "She's dead!"?

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by Anonymousreply 112April 4, 2024 5:52 AM

It's worth it for this sequence:

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by Anonymousreply 1April 3, 2024 12:03 AM

Yeah, Beals time in the limelight really dissipated when it was revealed that the dancing was done by about five different dancers - one of them a male-and not her.

by Anonymousreply 2April 3, 2024 12:04 AM

Ripped sweatshirts.

by Anonymousreply 3April 3, 2024 12:17 AM

I thought Hanna was her older mentor/friend. The Kim Carnes song after she dies is one of my favorites on the Soundtrack. R1 What about the water drenching scene ? I'll have to now break out my old DVD and watch it again.

by Anonymousreply 4April 3, 2024 12:28 AM

R4, you are right. They were just friends.

by Anonymousreply 5April 3, 2024 12:38 AM

Did Jennifer ever claim she did her own dancing? Or was it a secret she had to keep hushed?

by Anonymousreply 6April 3, 2024 12:40 AM

Saw it again on cable last year. Still a fun watch and Michael Nouri was sooooooo sexy. Beals best out Demi Moore and I think she does a really good job. And even Helen Keller could spot that dance doubles are used especially the break dancing guy at the end.

by Anonymousreply 7April 3, 2024 12:46 AM

"Is she black?" was the controversy I remember preceding the dance controversy. But it was hilarious once the story broke that not only didn't she dance, but that there were multiple dancers, including men in Jennifer Beals drag. It was THE talk of the ICU (when I was on suicide watch. AND there was even a serial killing nurse loose on the ward at the time!)

by Anonymousreply 8April 3, 2024 12:53 AM

Would Demi have required dance doubles?

by Anonymousreply 9April 3, 2024 12:57 AM

I didn't find out she was mixed-race until years later.

by Anonymousreply 10April 3, 2024 12:57 AM

The autumn of 1983 in Ohio was a bitter, windy one and it was very amusing to watch the female OSU student body's off the shoulder sweaters being blown about their frizzy heads as they dashed across the Oval in their leg warmers. What a feeling!

by Anonymousreply 11April 3, 2024 1:01 AM

She is a mulatto!

by Anonymousreply 12April 3, 2024 1:05 AM

I remember my parents going to see this movie while I stayed home with the babysitter. The ripped sweatshirt trend took off right away, that was THE look for awhile.

by Anonymousreply 13April 3, 2024 2:30 AM

Jennifer Beals was beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 14April 3, 2024 2:42 AM

There was only one male double, and it was NYC breaker Crazy Legs who did the backspin during Alex's audition. French dancer Marine Jahan did most of the other Alex dance doubling.

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by Anonymousreply 15April 3, 2024 2:59 AM

Kyle T. Heffner ("Richie') is also mixed black/white but passable as at least Italian.

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by Anonymousreply 16April 3, 2024 3:01 AM

Soundtrack is great. I love Laura Brannigan's "Imagination."

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by Anonymousreply 17April 3, 2024 3:04 AM

Maniac. When Jennifer's head is not shown, the body is a Marine.

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by Anonymousreply 18April 3, 2024 3:09 AM

To answer OPs question, I lived in Austin and saw it at the old Aquarius theater in the Riverside district. I was part of the poors and lived in the area. Don’t remember much about the movie. And have no interest in seeing it again.

by Anonymousreply 19April 3, 2024 3:11 AM

R12 = Velma von Tussle

by Anonymousreply 20April 3, 2024 3:12 AM

It was a complete fantasy, of course.

Not least that by 1983, most of the steel mills in Pittsburgh were gone. And any woman working in one or a similar type job would have looked more like Rosie O'Donnell, not Jennifer Beals.

by Anonymousreply 21April 3, 2024 3:13 AM

The studio heads though Jennifer was more fuckable than Demi, thus Jen won the role.

by Anonymousreply 22April 3, 2024 3:14 AM

JLo's homage.

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by Anonymousreply 23April 3, 2024 3:24 AM

Laura Branigan's Imagination. That's enough.

by Anonymousreply 24April 3, 2024 3:25 AM

I think the movie for inspiring years of parodies, intentional or accidental.

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by Anonymousreply 25April 3, 2024 3:32 AM

Almanzo Wilder’s sister, Eliza Jane, is one of the judges in the final dance.

by Anonymousreply 26April 3, 2024 3:33 AM


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by Anonymousreply 27April 3, 2024 3:36 AM

It was a cute movie and very of its time. Beals had an innocence. Remember when "Solid Gold" was a show on TV hosted by a string of "stars" including La Warwick? SG dancers would just come out and do a dance routine to top pop songs. And there would be an actual musician or group as guests who would lip sync with the same dancers in the background. As a young gayling, i thought it was glamorous and cool. When no one was home, I remember dancing around my house after lusting after Travolta in "Staying Alive". I was not cool

by Anonymousreply 28April 3, 2024 3:36 AM

[quote] Almanzo Wilder’s sister, Eliza Jane, is one of the judges in the final dance.

That's international treasure Lucy Lee Flippin!

by Anonymousreply 29April 3, 2024 3:38 AM

Script writer Tom Hedley based the story off of two Toronto exotic dancers who were each paid $2,500 for their life stories. The movie went on to make over $200 million. Needless to say, the dancers were ripped off.

by Anonymousreply 30April 3, 2024 3:45 AM

Lots of "Simpsons" parodies--this is probably my favorite, when Lisa participates in the talent competition of the Little Miss Springfield competition:

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by Anonymousreply 31April 3, 2024 3:48 AM

Pauline Kael's review had some funny lines.

It's a motorized anatomy lesson, designed to turn the kids on and drive older men crazy.

You may think it's a little late for the girl to start taking her first ballet classes, but she's been dancing every night in her dreams, so needs practice?

by Anonymousreply 32April 3, 2024 3:50 AM

...so who needs practice?

by Anonymousreply 33April 3, 2024 3:51 AM

Agree that Manhunt was probably the best dance scene from the movie.

Does anyone remember "Propaniacs" from King of the Hill?

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by Anonymousreply 34April 3, 2024 4:02 AM

Best song in the soundtrack!

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by Anonymousreply 35April 3, 2024 1:47 PM

Op, your post reminded me of a story about a terrible production of The Diary of Anne Frank, when, during the start of the pivotal scene, an audience member shouted, "THEY'RE IN THE ATTIC" to speed things up and end the audience's misery sooner.

by Anonymousreply 36April 3, 2024 1:54 PM

Lady, Lady, Lady.

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by Anonymousreply 37April 3, 2024 1:58 PM

R37 a song repurposed for the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack.

by Anonymousreply 38April 3, 2024 1:59 PM

Irene Cara at the Academy Awards.

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by Anonymousreply 39April 3, 2024 2:06 PM

[quote]Did Jennifer ever claim she did her own dancing? Or was it a secret she had to keep hushed?

As noted upthread, Marine Jahan did some of the stunt dancing in Flashdance. She was married at the time to a bi man named Peter Tramm who did the stunt dancing for Footloose, Staying Alive and Can't Stop the Music. He also starred in the ZZ Top video as the "Sharp Dressed Man." I met them years ago in L.A. Sadly, Peter died of AIDS back in 1991.

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by Anonymousreply 40April 3, 2024 2:46 PM

Peter in a loincloth for Coty Wild Musk.

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by Anonymousreply 41April 3, 2024 2:58 PM

One of the things that's fascinating about this film is that it's a lesbian classic, mostly because the women's muscular bodies are being shown off but they have almost no interaction with men in the movie physically. Jennifer Beals became a big lesbian icon because of this movie.

by Anonymousreply 42April 3, 2024 3:19 PM

R22, they cast Beals because they screened the auditions for the "secretaries" at the studio. They chose her unanimously from the final three. They were trying to appeal to the female demo and they succeeded.

R42, I believe Beals became a lesbian icon when she played Bette in The L Word.

by Anonymousreply 43April 3, 2024 3:35 PM

She got the role in The L Word because she was already a lesbian icon.

by Anonymousreply 44April 3, 2024 3:40 PM

I was a clueless, completely unsophisticated young kid who'd never set foot in the USA when this was released, but even then I knew the idea of Jennifer Beals working a day job as a welder was implausible (not to say ridiculous).

by Anonymousreply 45April 3, 2024 3:40 PM

As was pointed out at the time, she's the only woman and the only person under 30 working at the steel mill, which makes no sense. At the time Pittsburgh was going through an economic crisis and jobs like that were incredibly hard to come by.

by Anonymousreply 46April 3, 2024 3:45 PM

R44, she didn't "get the role." She made the show happen when she signed on for the role.

by Anonymousreply 47April 3, 2024 3:51 PM

I love how you are all are trying to make sense of this movie. That's really not the point.

Anyway, I remember being a young gayling myself when the ripped sweatshirt craze was going on. I would have been about 8 years old. I had gotten one of those Rising Sun sweatshirts (the ones that were super popular in the 80s when it seemed like Japan was about to take over America), as requested for Christmas. After I had gotten enough enjoyment out of it, I remember ripping it by the collar so it would slink off my one shoulder just so, a la Beals, and riding my banana seat bike around the block, feeling the cool wind whip against my collarbone. Funny how at even 8 years old, I knew to keep such secret delights to myself.

by Anonymousreply 48April 3, 2024 3:56 PM

[quote]French dancer Marine Jahan did most of the other Alex dance doubling.

She had an annoying habit of tucking her chin down which really emphasized the shortness of her neck.

It was kind of a big deal iirc when it came out that there were stunt dancers. Even today movie directors and producers don’t like admitting to stunt casting when it comes to things like dancing. There was this big controversy about the movie Black Swan because the ballerina who did the actual dancing didn’t receive credit or something so she sued I think.

by Anonymousreply 49April 3, 2024 3:58 PM

Jahan did the dancing for “it’s flashbeagle Charlie Brown”.

Beals was originally cast in Grease 2 but dropped out to do Flashdance. I thought the Branigan and Carnes songs from the soundtrack could’ve been hits but perhaps contractual issues from their labels prevented them from being released as a single. Donna Summers “Romeo” was on her 1981 “I’m a rainbow” album that got rejected by Geffen records.

by Anonymousreply 50April 3, 2024 4:09 PM

If I can remember I think it was because Beals was a no-name undiscovered talent at the time - so it seemed like we had stumble across this new mega-talent only to find out she was just a pretty face. Remember this was back in the 80s where we were just at the tale end of people actually having to be talented, triple threats, to be Hollywood Stars. The Gene Kellys, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaires of the world were still very much alive.

by Anonymousreply 51April 3, 2024 4:10 PM

Jennifer Beals was a good actress. Did she ever come out? I thought she was excellent in Twilight of the Golds, a nice contrast to Faye Dunaway who chewed up the scenery.

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by Anonymousreply 52April 3, 2024 4:15 PM

[quote] It was THE talk of the ICU (when I was on suicide watch. AND there was even a serial killing nurse loose on the ward at the time!)

R8, please tell us more.

by Anonymousreply 53April 3, 2024 4:20 PM

Sorry R53, the homicidal nurse wasn't trans suffering from AIDS in1983 and part of a satanic blood cult. I don't think you'd be interested.

by Anonymousreply 54April 3, 2024 4:27 PM

I never understood why Imagination by Laura Branigan wasn't released as a single. That is one hell of a track. It could be released today and still be out of the over warm and fresh.

by Anonymousreply 55April 3, 2024 4:32 PM

[quote] [R44], she didn't "get the role." She made the show happen when she signed on for the role.


by Anonymousreply 56April 3, 2024 5:02 PM

Was t the actress from the Manhunt scene the same one who played the dancer who got knocked up in Dirty Dancing?

by Anonymousreply 57April 3, 2024 5:08 PM

I always thought Donna Summer should've sung "What A Feeling," even though Irene Cara wrote it. Donna would've knocked that song out of the park.

by Anonymousreply 58April 3, 2024 5:20 PM

But Irene did knock it out of the park.

by Anonymousreply 59April 3, 2024 5:26 PM

[quote]Was t the actress from the Manhunt scene the same one who played the dancer who got knocked up in Dirty Dancing?

Yes, Cynthia Rhodes, the former Mrs. Richard Marx and second lead singer for the pop group Animotion. She also appeared in Runaway with Tom Selleck.

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by Anonymousreply 60April 3, 2024 5:29 PM

Frequent Donna Summer collaborator Joe "Bean" Esposito (singer of "Lady Lady Lady" from the soundtrack) was originally slated to sing "What a Feeling," but the producers thought the song would be better from the female perspective. Esposito is one hell of a singer (and sexy as hell). He's the male vocalist on Brenda Russell's "Piano in the Dark," and he's sung on many soundtracks, including "You're the Best" from Karate Kid and "Just Imagine" from Thief of Hearts. He was also part of the group Brooklyn Dreams, who collaborated with Donna Summer on many songs and even had an album of their own.

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by Anonymousreply 61April 3, 2024 5:36 PM

One of Katy Sagal's twin sisters (Liz) appeared briefly in the movie as Sunny. She's the one dancing right before Tina Tech (Cynthia Rhodes) dances to "Manhunt."

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by Anonymousreply 62April 3, 2024 5:51 PM

I once read that Jennifer Beals said a Brinks truck could unload a wad of money worth the roles she's turned down. She was reportedly up for the female leads in Purple Rain and Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, but turned both down to finish her schooling at Yale.

by Anonymousreply 63April 3, 2024 5:55 PM

I saw this movie the night before I took and passed the California bar ( third time was the charm for me)

It was the perfect fantasy of accomplishment to fill my head.

The morning the results came out (1983! Mary!) I had my mail “ diverted “ so I could pick up in person at P.O. Olden days were exciting .

Ripped open thick envelope “We are pleased to…” Sat crying on Santa Monica Blvd . Raced home to tell them boyfriend now ex. He gave me a bottle of Vetiver cologne . “ I knew you would pass.”

Mary ! Forgive indulgence in memories brought up my Fkashdance

by Anonymousreply 64April 3, 2024 5:59 PM

I can see Prince wanting her for Purple Rain.

by Anonymousreply 65April 3, 2024 6:01 PM


by Anonymousreply 66April 3, 2024 6:02 PM

Irene Cara (RIP) won both an Oscar and an Emmy for the title song!

by Anonymousreply 67April 3, 2024 6:10 PM

Grammy not Emmy. Ugh.

by Anonymousreply 68April 3, 2024 6:11 PM

Cynthia Rhodes was the dancer from “Flashdance” featured in the clip posted by R1. Director Sylvester Stallone cast her in “Staying Alive,” the supposed sequel to “Saturday Night Fever,” and had an affair with her during the shoot and for a while after. She was very much his type at the time, a tall, athletic, leggy blond with small breasts.

During publicity for the movie (which was excoriated by critics and audiences though it made money) Paramount announced they planned a multiple picture deal with Rhodes and were hoping to build her in musicals as a new Doris Day. It’s more likely this was to keep Stallone happy as long as he was still seeing her. When he dropped her, Paramount dropped any idea of putting her in anything.

Finola Hughes, who played her rival for Travolta’s attention in the film, had a successful soap opera career for a while. Rhodes not so much.

by Anonymousreply 69April 3, 2024 6:19 PM

Not a great movie but a fun time capsule and the soundtrack, full of punk-ish new wave girl power pop of the early 80s is one of my absolute favorites.

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by Anonymousreply 70April 3, 2024 6:29 PM

[quote] She got the role in The L Word because she was already a lesbian icon.

I lived in a majority lesbian share house when I was in uni. The favoured L Word lesbian BY FAR was Jennifer Beals, with Dana the tennis player a distant second. I thought they would love Shane, who was very beautiful, but the soft butch affectations hit too close to home.

by Anonymousreply 71April 3, 2024 7:21 PM

Wait, Jennifer Beals is a lesbian?? She has married 3 men.

by Anonymousreply 72April 3, 2024 7:26 PM

Beals is straight.

by Anonymousreply 73April 3, 2024 7:36 PM

I think Jennifer's first post-Yale film was The Bride with Sting. She was great in the zany Nicholas Cage horror/comedy Vampire's Kiss.

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by Anonymousreply 74April 3, 2024 8:32 PM

She had her first babies (twins) when she was around 42.

by Anonymousreply 75April 3, 2024 8:41 PM

People tittered when she took off her bra in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 76April 3, 2024 8:54 PM

R75, she has one daughter.

by Anonymousreply 77April 3, 2024 9:01 PM

Beals has a small part in the 1980 film “My Bodyguard” and it’s easy to see that she is mixed race in that. She kind of has the same look as Kathleen Beller.

by Anonymousreply 78April 3, 2024 9:36 PM

I was teaching aerobics at the time, complete with Dance France high shine thong leotard, slouchy sweatshirt, and leg warmers. When I shouted, "FLASHDANCE!!" everyone knew to furiously stomp in place, a la Maniac. Marine Jahan did come out with an aerobics program that looked a lot like the dancing in Flashdance:

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by Anonymousreply 79April 3, 2024 9:37 PM


by Anonymousreply 80April 3, 2024 9:38 PM

[quote] Wait, Jennifer Beals is a lesbian?? She has married 3 men.

No one said she was a lesbian.

Pay attention.

by Anonymousreply 81April 3, 2024 10:21 PM

I saw Flashdance at a drive-in movie place in Spencer, Iowa. Don't ask.

by Anonymousreply 82April 3, 2024 10:57 PM

It's such a time capsule, one of the most 80s of 80s movies.

by Anonymousreply 83April 3, 2024 11:01 PM

I've had Maniac stuck in my head all day thanks to this thread.

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by Anonymousreply 84April 3, 2024 11:02 PM

People would clutch the hell out of their pearls today considering Alex was only 18 and she was dating her boss who had to be at least 30. AND said boss asked her out after seeing her semi strip at a club. They would probably say he "groomed" her or someshit. God those idiots live that word.

by Anonymousreply 85April 3, 2024 11:03 PM

A shit film. Totally 1980s!

by Anonymousreply 86April 3, 2024 11:14 PM

R81 see R52 who asked did Jennifer ever come out.

by Anonymousreply 87April 3, 2024 11:54 PM

Who cares if she has parents of different races? It’s 2024 not 1924. Just stop it. Please.

by Anonymousreply 88April 4, 2024 12:30 AM

^^Back in the early 80s that was still a big deal to a lot of people. Today it wouldn't be a barrier to a big acting career but back then it was.

by Anonymousreply 89April 4, 2024 12:31 AM

She got to bang Sting when he was still hot!

by Anonymousreply 90April 4, 2024 12:38 AM

Sting is still fucking hot.

by Anonymousreply 91April 4, 2024 12:41 AM

R64 I bestow upon you a MARY! in honor of your MARY! post.....a nice memory nonetheless.

by Anonymousreply 92April 4, 2024 12:48 AM

I miss the old days when we had huge movie soundtracks like Flashdance, Fame, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Xanadu, A Star is Born, Urban Cowboy, The Bodyguard. That doesn't happen anymore for some reason.

by Anonymousreply 93April 4, 2024 12:50 AM

Beals could not act back then, now she can. Virginia Madsen too, could not act in her youth but has grown as a talent.

They both starred in a ridiculous TV show, Swamp Thing that I watched for the great acting from these vets.

The show was canceled after a single season, completely asinine. Terrific performers placed in unbelievable scenarios.

by Anonymousreply 94April 4, 2024 12:54 AM

What was so bad about Jennifer’s acting in Flashdance? She was great in that.

by Anonymousreply 95April 4, 2024 12:57 AM

Sorry dude, I have nostalgia for the 1980s and watch bad 1980s movies for pleasure. Flashdance is a bad 90s film with bad acting.

by Anonymousreply 96April 4, 2024 1:00 AM

[quote] What was so bad about Jennifer’s acting in Flashdance? She was great in that.

She was nominated for a Golden Globe for "Flashdance" so clearly she's a great actress.

by Anonymousreply 97April 4, 2024 1:06 AM

Fat fingers = Flashdance is a bad 80s film with bad acting.

I also hate the puffy 80s hair.

by Anonymousreply 98April 4, 2024 1:06 AM


by Anonymousreply 99April 4, 2024 1:09 AM

r93 I really miss big movie soundtracks with big hit songs too. Why did that end?

by Anonymousreply 100April 4, 2024 1:16 AM

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the entire movie but played the soundtrack a lot. Footloose was kind of the same - saw it once but wore my vinyl out playing that album so much.

by Anonymousreply 101April 4, 2024 1:18 AM

How do you even become a welder at 18 lol. You have to have a few years of experience and Alex was basically straight out of highschool. The movie seems like some dumb teenage girls fevered dream.

by Anonymousreply 102April 4, 2024 1:21 AM

Her loft was amazing and the character owned a beautiful pitbull.

by Anonymousreply 103April 4, 2024 1:23 AM

Yes, I loved her living space.

by Anonymousreply 104April 4, 2024 1:28 AM

I would have eaten Michael Nouri's ass until I got to his small intestines.

by Anonymousreply 105April 4, 2024 2:56 AM

Michael Nouri's looks were at his peak in The Hidden, a great 1980s film with Kyle McLachlan who also never looked better than in this film.

by Anonymousreply 106April 4, 2024 3:19 AM

r107, that is a gem that I've forgotten about, thanks for the reminder.

by Anonymousreply 107April 4, 2024 3:46 AM

R4 I just watched the water scene, but still think Rhodes' Manhunt dance is better. Something about it seems more natural and feral, and she moves like her joints are on rollers or gyroscopic or something.

by Anonymousreply 108April 4, 2024 4:13 AM

Sting seems like he might have an open marriage, mostly open on his side of the marriage.

by Anonymousreply 109April 4, 2024 4:16 AM

It was of its time and captured and created the zeitgeist.

This was the '80s and people forget what the fitness scene was like at the time. It was leotards, leg warmers, aerobics. The desired body type for women was not pear-shaped, like it is now. The desired body type was thin with narrow hips and long legs (in proportion to the torso). Like Beals' shape.

This movie is similar to "Pretty Woman." You have a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks who meets a Mr. Big type who sweeps her up and away from the drudgery.

Both the Beals & Julia Roberts' characters are doing a type of sex work. Robert was an actual hooker (with a heart of gold); Beals worked in a stripper-type environment.

by Anonymousreply 110April 4, 2024 4:22 AM

I had to laugh when Lilia Skala is said to be a former ballerina. That Heffer?

by Anonymousreply 111April 4, 2024 4:49 AM

R110, brought to you by Yvonne.

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by Anonymousreply 112April 4, 2024 5:52 AM
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