Main content
This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Saturday Night Fever - The Ultimate Disco Movie

John Travolta, Barry Gibb and the Saturday Night Fever cast and crew tell the story behind the mega-hit film. Bruno Tonioli goes through the disco steps that made movie history.

John Travolta and Barry Gibb star in Saturday Night Fever - The Ultimate Disco Movie, with Bruno Tonioli. This documentary celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1977 blockbuster dance movie, and sees Strictly Come Dancing's Bruno, who was a young dancer in New York in 1977, walk us through the steps that made the movie legendary. He also revisit the streets of New York where the film was shot and looks back at the success of a film that gave everyone disco fever.

Travolta, Gibb and other members of the cast and crew give gripping accounts of supreme success against a backdrop of setbacks and unexpected twists and turns. Bruno unpacks the skill, athleticism and dedication of Travolta, whose incandescent performance prompted a disco dance craze. We also hear about the potent influence of impresario Robert Stigwood, whose faith in Travolta, and a group who had hit a glitch in their career - The BeeGees, proved visionary.

With clips from the original movie, as well as astonishing access to those involved and rarely seen on-location archive, this programme retells the nail-biting evolution of a groundbreaking US film that originated in the work of a British journalist, saw a director fired, suffered mafia threats, filmed guerrilla style on the streets of Brooklyn, had a newcomer cast, benefited from disco hits written in a weekend and delivered a white suit and a performance from the man who wore it that have gone down in history.

Other interviewees include actors Karen Lynn Gorney, Donna Pesco, Joseph Cali and Paul Pape, producer Kevin McCormick, former head of RSO records Bill Oakes, writer Nik Cohn, director John Badham, dance instructor Denney Terrio, costume designer Patricia von Brandenstein and location manager Lloyd Kaufman.

1 hour, 9 minutes

Last on

Sat 19 Dec 2020 22:20

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:02

    Bee Gees

    Stayin' Alive

  • 00:02

    Bee Gees

    Stayin' Alive

  • 00:03

    Bee Gees

    You Should Be Dancing

  • 00:05

    The Wurzels

    It Wasn't Me

  • 00:05

    Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band

    A Fifth Of Beethoven

  • 00:06

    Bee Gees

    Night Fever

  • 00:08

    Marta Acuna & Chic

    Dance, Dance, Dance

  • 00:09

    War

    The Cisco Kid

  • 00:12

    Bee Gees

    Massachusetts

  • 00:15

    Van McCoy

    The Hustle

  • 00:16

    Robert Tepper

    No Easy Way Out

  • 00:17

    War

    Four Cornered Room

  • 00:20

    Kool & The Gang

    Jungle Boogie

  • 00:24

    Bee Gees

    More Than A Woman

  • 00:25

    Ralph MacDonald

    Calypso Breakdown - From "Saturday Night Fever" Soundtrack

  • 00:28

    The Funk Brothers

    Mercy Mercy Me (Instrumental)

  • 00:29

    Fela Kuti

    Water No Get Enemy

  • 00:31

    Fela Kuti

    Water No Get Enemy

  • 00:31

    Booker T. & The MG’s

    My Sweet Potato

  • 00:34

    Barry White

    Honey Please, Can't Ya See

  • 00:34

    The Trammps

    Disco Inferno

  • 00:34

    David Shire

    Manhattan Skyline

  • 00:37

    Bee Gees

    You Should Be Dancing - Edit / From "Saturday Night Fever" Soundtrack

  • 00:46

    Yvonne Elliman

    If I Can't Have You - From "Saturday Night Fever"

  • 00:35

    Bee Gees

    You Should Be Dancing

  • 00:36

    The Trammps

    Disco Inferno

  • 00:46

    The Detroit Spinners

    I'll Be Around

  • 00:47

    Ecstasy, Passion & Pain & Barbara Roy

    Ask Me

  • 00:49

    Isaac Hayes

    Theme From "Shaft 2000"

  • 00:53

    Hooverphonic

    2 Wicky

  • 00:55

    David Shire

    Night On Disco Mountain

  • 00:58

    Bee Gees

    Night Fever

  • 00:58

    Boz Scaggs

    Lowdown

  • 00:59

    Bee Gees

    Night Fever

  • 00:59

    Bee Gees

    Night Fever

  • 01:04

    War

    Four Cornered Room

  • 00:51

    Isaac Hayes

    Walk On By

  • 00:50

    Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

    The Love I Lost

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Bruno Tonioli
Executive Producer Franny Moyle
Director Ian Denyer
Production Company IWC Media

Broadcasts

Featured in...