Fame (1980)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Fame is set at New York's High School of Performing Arts, where talented teens train for show-business careers. The film concentrates on five of the most gifted students: singer Irene Cara, actors Paul McCrane and Barry Miller, dancer Gene Anthony Ray, and musician Lee Currieri. More so than the subsequent TV series Fame, the film emphasizes the importance of keeping up one's academic achievements in this specialized school. The faculty includes no-nonsense English teacher Ann Meara, erudite … More

Rating: R
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Christopher Gore, Alan Parker
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 1, 2004


as Coco

as Bruno

as Lisa

as Shorofsky

as Mrs. Sherwood

as Mrs. Finsecker

as Montgomery

as Michael

as Francois Lafete

as Miss Berg

as Farrell

as Mrs. Finsecker

as Truck driver

as Mr. England

as Plump Eric

as Topless Ballet Stude...

as Phenicia

as Harvey Finsecker

as Dance Teacher

as Bathroom Student

as Drama Student

as Oriental Violinist

as Richard III

as Dancer

as Drama Student

as Oriental Student

as Musician

as Dance Accompanist

as Bruno's Uncle

as Touchstone

as Ralph's Sister

as Ralph's Mother

as Schlepstein

as Hawaiian Dancer

as Rocky Horror M.C.

as Towering Inferno Stu...

as Father Morales

as Drama Student

as Mrs. Tossoff

as Monitor on Stairs

as Orchestra Conductor

as Ralph's Little Siste...

as Frankie

as Dance Teacher
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Fame

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Critic Reviews for Fame

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (5)

Every once in a while what appears to be the entire student body pours out into the street to do song-and-dance numbers, some of which are cheerful enough, but all of which break faith with the film's realistic premise.

Full Review… | September 8, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The film is cut at such a frenzied pitch that it's often possible to believe (mistakenly) that something significant is going on.

Full Review… | September 8, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Alan Parker has come up with an exposure for some of the most talented youngsters seen on screen in years. There isn't a bad performance in the lot.

Full Review… | June 9, 2008
Top Critic

It's a crack at the American Dream which carries all the exhilaration and depth of a 133-minute commercial break.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A genuine treasure, moving and entertaining.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Director Alan Parker has reinvented effectively the old musical movie genre of let's put on a show in a way that speaks directly to younger viewers

Full Review… | April 21, 2011

Audience Reviews for Fame


I've always liked the song Fame. It took me 28 years to see the movie. I enjoyed the music and dancing. As a film I thought it was mediocre - too many draggy scenes.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

"I celebrate the me yet to come."
Recognizing all its flaws, I unabashedly love Fame. I understand that the characters fall into stereotypes, and I think many of their stories never reach a cathartic or dramatic conclusion; this is especially true of Ralph and Leroy. Also, these are oh-so-clearly adults playing teens; it even seems written that way most of the time. However, Fame achieves a complexity found in few films and almost no musicals. How is it that - for me - this film worked as both a cautionary tale and an inspiration? How is it that I recognized so many people from the acting world in these loosely drawn characters?
Parker's direction and the rather spontaneous musical numbers embody the passion, ambition, dedication, triumphs, disappointments, and blindnesses that afflict these people. More to the point, I've known some artists whose talent amazed me, but yet you don't know them. You know talentless hacks, many of whom can't act dead. Each of these people recognizes that what most likely awaits them is a boulevard of broken dreams, spoiled ambitions, and a life counting their tips, hoping enough is there for rent, but each is also driven by an indomitable spirit. Fame's achievement is capturing all that on film, even to some degree into one fantastic scene toward the end (Irene Cara's nude scene - you'll know what I mean if you see the film).
Additionally, I enjoyed the peripherals: the stage mother, the broken home, the absent but financially generous parents. All of these exist in varying forms.
Overall, it takes some effort to see past this film's flaws, but once you do, you won't be disappointed with what lies at its core.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Wildly entertaining, contains vivid musical sequences, and has all the repressed teenage emotion and show business catastrophe involved in a performing arts high school, or even Hollywood in general. The title song was a winner, and the breakthrough actors, who dealt with such issues as poverty, ethnic prejudice, and homosexuality, are sadly less known then they should be. A teen survival tale like none other.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Fame Quotes

– Submitted by Alyssa B (16 months ago)
– Submitted by Alyssa B (16 months ago)
– Submitted by Alyssa B (16 months ago)
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)

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