Footloose (1984)



Critic Consensus: There's not much dancing, but what's there is great. The rest of the time, Footloose is a nice hunk of trashy teenage cheese.

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Movie Info

In this lively adolescent-oriented musical, a city kid attempts to adapt to life in an ultra-conservative backwater Midwestern town. Once there, he ends up leading the repressed teenagers into a rebellion against the town fathers, who have outlawed rock & roll and dancing. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Home Video

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Kevin Bacon
as Ren McCormack
Lori Singer
as Ariel Moore
John Lithgow
as Rev. Shaw Moore
Dianne Wiest
as Vi Moore
Chris Penn
as Willard
Elizabeth Gorcey
as Wendy Jo
Frances Lee McCain
as Ethel McCormick
Jim Youngs
as Chuck
Douglas Dirkson
as Burlington Cranston
Tim Scott
as Andy Beamis
Alan Haufrect
as Roger Dunbar
Linda MacEwen
as Eleanor Dunbar
Leo Geter
as Rich
Ken Kemp
as Jeff
Sam Dalton
as Mr. Gurntz
Peter Tramm
as Stunt Dancer
H.E.D. Redford
as Widdoes
Jay Bernard
as Harvey
David Valenza
as Team Member
Gene Pack
as Bernie
John Perryman
as Fat Cowboy
Mary Ethel Gregory
as Mrs. Allyson
Oscar Rowland
as Mr. Walsh
J. Paul Broadhead
as Mayor Dooley
John Bishop
as Elvis
Brian Wimmer
as Uncredited
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News & Interviews for Footloose

Critic Reviews for Footloose

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (6)

"Footloose" turns out to be a sort of Boy Scout version of "Flashdance," a carefully toned-down, overly respectable piece of schmaltz ...

Full Review… | February 17, 2016
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Essential to the result is young Kevin Bacon, superb in the lead part.

Full Review… | February 12, 2008
Top Critic

Herbert Ross directed this odd but reasonably effective blend of rock music and didactic melodrama.

Full Review… | January 30, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A cynical and manipulative exercise with little feel for the teen culture it purports to celebrate.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Footloose is a seriously confused movie that tries to do three things, and does all of them badly.

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

Like the rest of today's video-happy teen-age entertainments, Footloose doesn't expect to be watched closely or taken seriously. It wants to fill the screen with catchy music and pretty kids, and this it certainly accomplishes.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Footloose

So I finally cut the original "Footloose," can you believe it? It's pretty good, and interestingly enough, less hokey and polished than the remake. Kevin Bacon's dance double is a bit obvious. I'm not into Lori Singer's face, and she's clearly not a dancer like Julianne Hough, but she's plenty wild and troubled (unlike my previous assumption of Ariel's character just from viewing the 2011 remake), which is quite ballsy for a 1984 movie, methinks. Chris Penn is adorable as honky-tonk Willard, and the "Let's Hear It For the Boy" dance montage is just everything. Rusty is a fun, colorful supporting character, and I always love seeing SJP in her younger roles. She looks completely different, yet still unmistakably herself. The original's got a few 80s oddities, like the hair metal, the camera editing tricks, the gauzy balloon and confetti filter during the prom dance, and a high school full of built, adult-looking, male gymnasts, but one thing that I enjoyed more here is the fleshing out of Shaw and Vi's story. I've always thought John Lithgow such a goofy actor, by virtue of "3rd Rock From the Sun" being my first exposure to him, but I forget that he's actually a very decorated performer, and he is brilliantly grave and conflicted as the Reverend. Dianne Wiest also gives a quietly determined performance as the good little preacher's wife.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


Sure it doesn't make much sense that the teenagers of this small town that has outlawed dancing for five years could all dance so well, yet this is an enjoyable film with a great soundtrack and John Lithgow as a character who is more complex than your typical zealot antagonist.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

That rare brand of teen 80's movie that I don't especially like. Not sure why, I love the 80's, but this one never did anything for me...

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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