Flashdance is a 1983 American romantic drama dance movie directed by Adrian Lyne and featuring Jennifer Beals as a young dancer who tries to turn into a professional ballet performer (Alex), alongside Michael Nouri playing her sweetheart and the owner of the steel factory where she works by day in Pittsburgh. It was the collaboration of makers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, and the introduction of certain sequences in the style of music videos was an effect on other 1980s films including Footloose, Purple Rain, and Top Gun, Simpson and Bruckheimer’s most well-known production. It was likewise one of Lyne’s most memorable significant films release, expanding on TV ads. Alex’s elaborate dance sequences were shot using body doubles (Beals’ main body double was the uncredited French actress Marine Jahan, while a breakdance move was doubled by the male dancer Crazy Legs).
It was an unexpected box-office success, turning into the third-most-grossing film of 1983 in the United States. Its worldwide box office collection surpassed $200 million. The soundtrack, compiled by Giorgio Moroder, generated several hit songs, like “Crazy person” (performed by Michael Sembello), and the Academy Award-winning “Flashdance… What a Feeling”, which was composed for the film by Moroder, with lyrics by Keith Forsey and the singer Irene Cara. Flashdance is often remembered for its film poster starring Beals wearing a sweatshirt with a large neck hole (according to the actress, her look in the scene came about by accident after she simply just cut a large hole at the top of one that had shrunk during the wash).
Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals) is a wonderful young woman who works a day job in a steel plant and dances in a bar around evening time. When Alex finds that her attractive boss, Nick Hurley (Michael Nouri), is both interested in her and is supportive of her performing career, she restores her efforts to get accepted into an esteemed dance conservatory. Even though Alex is terrified of failure, she is cheered out by Nick, as well as by her mentor, and former ballet performer Hanna Long (Lilia Skala).
Flashdance Critics Review
This is a notable film with its particular style, look, and moves. It’s a sweet story with a bonus dance sequence. Other than Jennifer Beals’ dance scenes, one of the most notable moves she makes is taking her bra off through an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt that forever changed women’s fashion. Other than the dancing and the fashion, the love ties everything together to give you a lot of fun, cheerful anecdotes about a working-class girl who makes it big with the expectations of her dreams, the help of her sweetheart, and her incredible talent.
Despite its R rating, Flashdance is a great fantasy. Through the style and glamour and a vision of Pittsburgh that is somehow both a smoke-filled steel town and the Emerald City of Oz, we can see a shrewd refreshing of the Cinderella story, yet with sex, Spandex, and lots of ’80s pop-rock.
Note that MTV was a couple of years old only when this film came out; this was perhaps the first film to successfully combine the visual razzmatazz of music videos with a plot effectively. The film’s slender, go-for-it premise demonstrates a tough construction for all the music/dance scenes and innovatively altered montages of blast-furnace steam, sizzling nightlife, and delicate Pittsburgh welder/dancing young girl/ballet diva dream.
Where was Flashdance Filmed?
Flashdance was shot in 440 S June St (Nick’s home), Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, Carnegie Institute, Downtown, Los Angeles, Duquesne Incline, East Pittsburgh, Hollywood, Keystone Commons, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Paramount Studios, St. Joseph Church and Mawby’s Bar At 131 East Fifth Street, Los Angeles, California, United States. A large part of the film was shot in locations around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- The ice skating arena scene on which Jeanie falls was filmed at Culver Ice Rink in Culver City, California.
- The made-up Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory was shot inside the lobby and in front of Carnegie Music Hall, a piece of the Carnegie Museum of Art situated close to the campuses of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
- Alex’s apartment was situated in the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The inside of the condo was filmed in Los Angeles at what was the Feit Electric Building on Los Angeles Street in downtown LA.
- Alex is seen riding one of the Duquesne Incline trolleys when she goes to visit Hannah.
- Hannah’s condo is situated at 2100 Sidney Street at the southeast corner of South 21st Street. The entry to the condo is from South 21st Street.
- The opening scenes with Alex riding her bike begin in the Fineview neighborhood of Pittsburgh, at the intersection of Catoma Street and Warren Street.