Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for Xanadu

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is the 80s. Today's letter is:




X is a tough letter. So tough that I'm repeating last year's X for 2015!



Can I just tell you how awesome Olivia Newton-John was (is)? In 1980 when Xanadu hit theaters, ONJ was a major phenomenon. Every boy was in love with her. Every girl wanted to be her. I got to be her briefly during my MySpace blogging days (long story).



As a kid, I had no idea Olivia Newton-John had made such an impression on my entire generation until our high school drama club did a production of Grease. The line to audition wrapped all the way around the school. (It was a round school--another long story.) As I spoke to my classmates about my childhood adoration for ONJ, they all pretty much laughed and said, "Yeah. Join the club."



Xanadu may have been a really, really, really bad movie but it didn't matter. It had Olivia Newton-John on roller skates, wearing long flowing skirts and ribbon barrettes in her hair.



Plus it had Gene Kelly, a Hollywood legend. It was his last feature film. He apparently took the job because it was filming close to his house. But his scenes with ONJ make this movie a true classic.



While the movie was a massive bomb when it came out, it has become a cult favorite. It's even an award-winning Broadway musical.



Some things grow better with time. The movie still seems cheesy, but I'm sure the story makes a great play. I think this scene toward the end of the movie is all you ever really need to see of Xanadu.



51 comments:

  1. It was a really, really bad movie. At least the soundtrack had some hits. And yes, sadly it had to be my pick for X movie today. X-Files just wasn't long ago enough to be cult classic.

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    1. Did you know Andy Gibb was originally supposed to play the male lead? I would say he turned it down once he read the script, but I was reading about all his issues yesterday.

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    2. That explains why the guy who appears to play her love interest (sorry, never saw the movie) looks like Andy Gibb. Wonderfully cheesy ending.

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    3. He does look a lot like Andy Gibb. I think his name was Michael Beck? I'm not sure...too lazy to Google. But I was just reading more about Andy Gibb. So tragic. He's part of my Z post and I put a video at the end of it in tribute to him.

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  2. Xanadu was a bomb but I had fun seeing it, some of the music was good... it's nice that it became a broadway show... seeing a broadway show is on my bucket list ♡

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    1. You used to be able to buy half-priced Broadway tickets the day of the show in Times Square. I'm not sure if that's still the case...you just have to wait in a long, long line for them.

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  3. Glad I missed it! But I'm sure Gene Kelly was a bright spot.

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    1. It's worth watching just for him. It was his last big movie, I think.

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  4. My bff's older sister looked JUST like her! Her hair, build, everything. People were always doing a double take when we were out and about:)

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    1. So cool! Your bff's older sister was beautiful.

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  5. never heard of this one, but I love the old poem XANADU :)

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    1. They read part of that poem in the movie.

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  6. Hello from a fellow AtoZ-er!
    www.borntobeatourist.co.uk
    Almost there... x

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    1. Hi. I pre-wrote all these, so I'm working on my late May posts now!

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  7. Gene Kelly was the only good thing about that horrible movie

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  8. I didn't see this back in the 1980s. I'm thinking it was because by then I was married and we tended to watch movies and go to movies that hubby would enjoy and he definitely wouldn;t have enjoyed this one.

    betty

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  9. I knew you would do this movie-lol-I saw this in the theatre because of Gene Kelly and was sad for Gene Kelly-lol. They actually used the same character name that was used for him in his role in Covergirl. I forgot that robot dancing was big then

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  10. I loved this movie. I thought it fun and youthful. Remember I'm way older than most of your readers. I loved the music too.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. It definitely appealed to kids. When you think of it as a movie designed for Generation X--and we were about 8-12 or so when it came out, that makes it not so bad. It's better than some of the movies kids watch on the Disney Channel!

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  11. I still haven't seen this, but one day I will have to check it out. I have a soft spot for spectacularly bad films, especially bad 80s films.

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    1. It's definitely laughable. Watch the scene where he's roller skating...ANGRY skating. And he just skates straight toward a big brick wall. He goes through it, where Olivia Newton-John is inexplicably visible, but my husband cracks up at the way the guy braces himself before he jumps into the wall.

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  12. This movie was one of my big favorites because of the music - hey, The Tubes were in it, too!! I loved the song "Suddenly" and the scene with Gene Kelly dancing with Olivia Newton-John. I've seen this a (hyperbole) million times.

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    1. I was just looking up The Tubes a week or two ago. My husband was telling me about that woman who was in The Tubes. She later became a helicopter traffic reporter for a news station and the helicopter went down while she was on the air. They caught the part leading up to the crash on air. Apparently she wasn't with The Tubes during the Xanadu days, though.

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    2. Re Styles! "Don't Touch Me There" was a big hit with The Tubes.

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  13. There are two main reasons I have seen this film.
    1.) We had an HBO box newly installed in our house and this and Popeye were probably the only movies the channel showed at the time.
    B.) Olivia Newton John.
    I probably watched this 25 times. Also, my sister had the soundtrack on LP and would play it constantly.
    Good memories.

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    1. We were probably watching the same stuff! We had just HBO, I think? So all summer we watched the same movies over and over and over. I don't know if it was the same summer, but being stuck all summer with HBO is the reason I saw Chevy Chase's Modern Problems a million times, too...

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    2. The other movies I recall watching via HBO: 9 to 5, My bodyguard and Flash Gordon.

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  14. Olivia was a huge success. I enjoyed watching and listening to her.

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  15. Loved ONJ. Wasn't a fan of Xanadu, but I think that's because Grease was so perfect. I mean, once you've been to the mountain, there isn't much to else to see, right?

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  16. Again, I never went to see the movie but I love the song music and Olivia's incredible voice. Love your picture in the grease musical. It great that you have had the chance to represent Olivia in this musical. It looks great...
    Great choice for X. With so little choice I'll have to make a corny salutation.

    Have a XMAs kind of a day with pleasant surprises.
    Hugs,
    JB.

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  17. She was so beautiful, with such an amazing voice. She *was* the '80s, really. Any idea what she's up to these days?

    The end is near, Steph! Only two more posts to go. :)

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  18. My sister and I loved Olivia Newton John, so we watched everything and love it, including Xanadu! lol

    And yeah, that's Michael Beck. :) Very hot.

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  19. I had never heard of it

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  20. I've never seen the movie, but my brother had the album growing up and there are a ton of awesome songs.

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  21. I've never seen Xanadu. But now I want to know that long story about your being her during your Myspace blogging days. :)

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  22. Haven't seen Xanadu, but saw Grease.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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  23. Hey Stephanie! I am intrigued about the Myspace blogging days, I guess I'll have to stick around to find out =)

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  24. You know, I've never seen this movie. Does watching Grease a billion times make up for it? ;)
    Katie @TheCyborgMom

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  25. Ribbon barrettes... I had ribbon barrettes. Those were so fun.

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  26. I don't remember the movie much but I liked the soundtrack. :)

    Yvonne

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  27. I know EVERY single song in that movie by heart. Back in the day, I had such a huge crush on Olivia Newton John.

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  28. Hi human, Stephanie,

    My human had the great misfortune to see the movie. He reluctantly admitted to me his has the vinyl soundtrack. Xanadu, more like "Xanadon't!" :)

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny!

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  29. Roller skates and ribbon barrettes pretty much sums up the 80's for me :)

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  30. We've been having fun sharing movies from our daughter's generation with Amara and she needs to watch this one! She will love it just as much as her Mom did!

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  31. This is where I admit I've never seen this film :). I've heard of it, but I don't even know what it was about. I fear part of my 80s education is missing.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  32. I have never seen this movie, but I did love ONJ after watching Grease. :)

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