From the famous music by the Bee Gee’s to the exact point in time that Disco music thrived, there is something incredibly special about SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and especially seeing the picture 35 years later. I have seen the movie a few times over the years and have always loved watching the story of Tony (a then breakthrough John Travolta), a working class kid who hustles at a paint shop by day but also dances competitively at night. It’s a tried and true coming of age story but combining this with the then-popular disco trend it absolutely captured an era. This was also Gene Siskel’s favourite movie of own time, and even went so far as to purchase Travolta’s famous white suit used later in the movie.
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER is definitely a product of its time, but this really captures the feeling of what it’s like to be on the “other” side of the bridge and that New York/Manhattan dream of making it big being just over there. There’s a lot of things in Tony’s way from his family to his friends but the way this movie all comes together, beautifully directed by John Badham, is something that really defines a classic.
About the 4k Blu Ray:
This is a very good 4k/HDR restoration and really showcases the 35mm photography by filmmaker John Badham and his team. I don’t know which I like more…the gritty 70’s street shots or the eye-popping colors of the dance floor, but either way this 1.85:1 image is a fair representation of what the original theatrical experience would have been like. I feel like some of the soft-focus photography in areas suffers a little bit and I just wasn’t feeling the fine-grain detail in moments, but overall it’s a good looking picture. The soundtrack is still the same Dolby True HD 5.1 and I really encourage turning this one up as loud as you can, especially for the classic opening scene of Travolta walking down the street to the sweet tones of Staying Alive.
Note that only the theatrical release is restored for 4k and that’s it for the disc itself. Everything else including the bonus features are all on the included Blu Ray, which is just the 2017 release placed into the package. It does have some entertaining documentaries,
The entire list of features are here:
4K Ultra HD disc:
- Audio Commentary with John Badham
- Audio Commentary with John Badham (theatrical version only)
- 70s Discopedia featurette
- Catching the Fever
- Back to Bay Ridge
- Dance Like Travolta with John Cassese
- Fever Challenge!
- Deleted Scene
There’s also an Apple TV Digital Copy as per usual and redeems to 4k/HDR. Also a cool note in this package was the reflective slipcover featuring Tony in his famous dance pose. While a good transfer (that still could have been a touch better) and dated features, I am still recommending this disc for fans of the movie. This is one that I plan to watch a few more times as a guilt-free Bee Gees fan.
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER is now available on 4k Blu Ray disc. Thanks to Paramount for sending along a copy for review.