Friday, September 13, 2013

Can't Stop the Music

1980 American Feature

Cast: Valerie Perrine, Bruce Jenner, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Sand, Tammy Grimes, June Havoc, Barbara Rush and The Village People (Alex Briley, David Hodo, Glenn Hughes, Randy Jones, Felipe Rose and Ray Simpson)
Director: Nancy Walker
Writers: Allan Carr and Bronte Woodard

Desperate to gain fame with his songs, an aspiring New York City songwriter needs a group to sing them, so he unites six singing/dancing "macho men" from his Greenwich Village neighborhood.


  • Internet Movie Database: 3.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 8% / Audience: 38%
  • OMG rating: 5/10

  • DVD: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available


  • Razzie Awards for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay.

  • A pseudo-biography of the Village People, the film bears only a vague resemblance to the actual story of the group's formation.
  • Nancy Walker's first, and last, feature film as a director.
  • The first draft of the script was written by Bruce Vilanch.
  • Valerie Perrine's role was originally offered to Olivia Newton-John, who turned it down to do Xanadu.
  • Feature film debut of Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner. He hasn't starred in another movie since.
  • Location shooting in New York was somewhat complicated by adjacent protests by gay activists over the controversial Al Pacino film Cruising, which was also filming nearby. The two productions were mistaken for each other more than once, with protestors disrupting the Can't Stop the Music location shoots when they intended to halt production of Cruising.
  • Despite the film's PG rating, there are flashes of male full frontal nudity in the shower scenes of the infamous "YMCA" musical number. Valerie Perrine is also seen topless in a hot tub.
  • To promote the film, a one-hour TV special titled Magic Night aired in national syndication. Also directed by Nancy Walker, it featured Cher rollerskating, Hugh Hefner in his pajamas, and The Village People performing "Ready for the '80s!", a song cut from the film.
  • Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream sold a flavor called "Can't Stop the Nuts" as part of the promotion of the film.
  • A 99-cent double-feature of Xanadu and Can't Stop the Music inspired John Wilson to create the Golden Raspberry Awards (a.k.a. the Razzies), honoring the worst annual achievements in film. In fact, Can't Stop the Music "won" the very first Razzie Award for "Worst Picture".
  • A colossal failure financially and critically upon its release, Can't Stop the Music has since gained a reputation as a camp film, and has even screened at several gay film festivals.
  • The film did do well in Australia, where the world premiere was held. It has since become an annual New Year's Eve tradition on Australian television.
  • In later years, some members of the Village People said they disliked the way the film distorted the formation of the group and how it toned down the influences of the gay male subculture.

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Related OMG Posts:

OMG Movie #322

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