Saturday Night Fever

63. Saturday Night Fever (1977) [Rated R for strong language, sexuality/nudity and some drug content.]

summary from

A Brooklyn youth feels his only chance to get somewhere is as the king of the disco floor.

directed by: John Badham

starring: John Travolta, Denny Dillon, Robert Costanzo, Fran Drescher

A Trailer

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
John Derbyshire

Abortion/Life Content:

Barry Miller: Listen, Frank. I gotta girlfriend, y’know? She’s Pauline, her name is Pauline, and I…

Martin Shakar: What d’ya mean? Did you get her pregnant?

Barry: Yes, I did. Yes… Yes, I did. She loves the taste of Communion wafers. I gotta lotta ideas swimming around in my head. Now, I’ve been reading a lot of stuff lately. I heard, like, the Pope can give a special…

Martin: dispensation.

Barry: Yeah. Do you think the Pope could give Pauline an abortion?

Martin: You mean give you a dispensation for an abortion?

Barry: Yeah, do you think he could?

Martin: I don’t think so, Bobby.

Barry: Maybe he could for me. Maybe, y’know, maybe?

Martin: I’m sorry, Bobby. I don’t think so. Have you talked to your priest about it?

Barry: Yeah, I’ve talked to everybody about it. I mean, I’ve talked to a lot of people. Thank you! Thanks a lot. You play, you pay, you know? It’s funny, eh?

Barry Miller: Stephanie, listen, can I talk to you for a second? I was listening to what you said in there before, and you seem to know a lot of people and a lot of places and a lot of things. I gotta friend of mine, y’know. He’s a very good friend of mine, and he got a girl pregnant. He got a girl pregnant. And I wanted to know, if you had to make a choice between getting an abortion and I have to get married to somebody, what would you do?

Karen Lynn Gorney: Well, who would I have to marry?

Barry: You’d have to… you’d have to marry me.

Karen: I’d get an abortion. Hey, so long, Tony!

Barry: It was very nice meeting you.

Barry Miller: Tony… Tony, I don’t want to marry Pauline. I don’t give a #### about this ####.

John Travolta: So don’t marry her.

Barry: Tony, I gotta marry her. ####in’, She won’t get the abortion. Everyone says I gotta marry her, Tony.

John: Who says that?

Barry: Her ####ing parents, my ####ing parents, the ####ing priest on the corner, her ####ing highschool guidance counselor. Tony, I’m paralyzed, got no more control. I mean you and me, Tony, we’ve been friends for so long. I’m hurting. ####! You’re always together and I’m always ####ing up. You’re always alright, y’know?

John: Oh, come on, everybody ####s up. Really! Don’t worry about nothing.


part of a synopsis of the movie from Frocktalk:

Back at the disco, Tony arrives with his brother Frank Jr. and the guys. Tony is approached by a lithe young woman, Connie (Fran Drescher!) who asks if he’s as good in bed as he is on the dance floor. He takes her hand and heads out to the floor. The music changes, and Tony takes over the dance floor. The crowd parts, and he performs a magnificent solo dance, to the delight of the crowd, and especially his brother. No sign of Stephanie at the club.

During this dance number, Bobby C. attempts, in vain, to get Frank Jr.’s attention, calling him “Father”, even though Frank Jr. has repeatedly asked the guys not to call him Father. Finally, Bobby gets Frank Jr.’s attention, and asks him if the Pope would offer him special dispensation for his girlfriend to get an abortion. Frank Jr. is stunned and saddened at the innocent but yet absurd nature of the request. Frank Jr. excuses himself and leaves the club. […]

As they leave the White Castle, Bobby C. asks Stephanie if she would rather get an abortion or marry the guy. “Which guy?” she asks. “Me,” says Bobby. “Get an abortion, “ says Stephanie. Ouch. That stings Bobby. Later, the guys tell Tony that they think Stephanie is a snotty b####.

The next day, Tony asks for time off work, just the afternoon. The boss refuses. They get into a fight, and the boss tells Tony that he’s fired. Tony and Bobby C. walk down the street together, Bobby C. telling Tony that his girlfriend won’t get an abortion, and that he is being forced to marry her. Bobby is desperate for support from the charismatic Tony – he sees Tony as put-together and in control. When Tony dismisses him, and tells Bobby he’ll call him, we don’t really believe he will. Bobby watches Tony go, and cries.

from pro-abortion commenter mark13 at The Guardian:

A few days ago I happened to watch the famous hit film from the mid-1970’s, Saturday Night Fever, which was made just a few years after Roe v. Wade. I was struck by how casually abortion was mentioned, several times, in the movie, and even that the word was said at all. Now you will not even hear the word stated in a mainstream film such as Juno, which alluded to it so subtly that many people may even have missed the reference.

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1 Response to Saturday Night Fever

  1. Pingback: Welcome | Abortion in Film

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