MPAA Rating: R | Year: 1983 | Running Time: 96 minutes

Flashdance All Movie Guide Review

The sleeper hit Flashdance had surprising crossover appeal for a movie that featured strippers and X-rated footsie under the dinner table. In part because of its soundtrack, which became a pop sensation on the strength of Irene Cara's "What a Feeling" and Michael Sembello's "Maniac," the R-rated Flashdance was seen by an untold number of viewers under 17. The glimpses of nudity may have been partly to blame, but more than that, the transformation of Alex Owens from blue-collar welder to legitimate ballet hopeful was the stuff of dreams for teenage girls. Factor in the subplot about a friend trying to make it in ice skating, and this film seems tailor made to be teen wish fulfillment, except for all the time it spends in the nudie bars. Flashdance turned Jennifer Beals into an overnight sensation, her tough cookie with sex appeal image quickly assuming iconic status. Its nearly 95-million-dollar domestic take, steadily buoyed by word-of-mouth during a months-long theatrical engagement, was almost unheard of for an R-rated movie, ranking it the third highest grosser of 1983. The project also became the first hit in the notorious careers of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. The kind of film that's so aggressively formulaic that it bowls over any objections, Flashdance has become fodder for numerous parodies and spawned countless imitators. For whatever reason, it struck a chord, and indeed produced quite a feeling. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi