John Travolta and Barry Gibb star in Secrets of Saturday Night Fever, a documentary that celebrates the 1977 blockbuster dance movie. Our guide is UK dancer / personality, Strictly Come Dancing's Bruno Tonioli, who was a young dancer in New York when the film came out in 1977. Bruno walks us through the steps that made the movie legendary, and reveals the secrets of the film's success.
Travolta, Gibb and other members of the cast and crew give gripping accounts of how the production overcame a series 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 documentary 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.
'Saturday Night Fever: Ultimate Disco' screens on SBS at 8.30pm on Sunday 8 December 2019.