Hot Hollywood stars Mike Myers (AUSTIN POWERS 2: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, WAYNE'S WORLD), Neve Campbell (WILD THINGS, SCREAM 1,2&3), and Salma Hayek (WILD, WILD WEST, DOGMA) give must-see performances in this provocative lo... more »ok behind the bright lights of the hottest nightclub ever! When Steve Rubell (Myers), the mastermind behind New York's infamous STUDIO 54 disco, plucks young Shane O'Shea (Ryan Phillippe, GOSFORD PARK, CRUEL INTENTIONS) from the sea of faces clamoring to get inside his club, Shane not only gets his foot in the door ... but lands a coveted job behind the bar! By following Shane's rapid rise from naive busboy to the notorious nightspot's sexy main attraction, you're allowed an unforgettable look at the spectacular rise and fall of Steve Rubell's decadent empire! An entertaining hit that pulses with the best dance music of the era, 54 is not just your ticket inside this legendary place ... it places you at the very epicenter of the greatest party on Earth!« less
Belinda S. (niara) from NEW YORK, NY Reviewed on 9/21/2021...
This has always been one of my guilty pleasure films. Hard to say why; whenever it rolled across my screen some late night I would inevitably sit down and watch it.
However, there was always something just a little off about the film. One that I could not put my finger on. I'm no director or screenwriter; just a fan sitting on the sofa.
Fast forward a few years I find out that the original, director's cut was test shown before an audience at a Long Island mall, who of course, did not care for the dark themes -- drug use, sex, homosexuality and bisexuality -- and screamed holy terror. Harvey Weinstein stepped in and took his scissors and monster hands to it, all but destroying the director's version. That explains why I always found something lacking in this film.
If at all possible, try and watch the director's cut of this film. The narration is gone. Original scenes were put back in, fleshing out the characters, particularly Ryan Phillippe's performance as Shane. Breckin Meyer is a wonder, as is -- surprise, surprise -- Mike Meyers, playing Steve Rubell, one of the original owners of the original "Studio 54". Welcome to 1980 indeed.
Rhonda P. (rhonnie40) from CHARLES CITY, IA Reviewed on 8/15/2013...
Just as I remembered it, great soundtrack.
A disappointing look at the lengendary club
Joey Barlow | Northeast PA (near Tromaville), USA | 06/25/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's always disappointing to realize, halfway through a movie, that you have no idea what it's about. On the surface, "54" seems to be straightforward enough: it tells the story of a legendary '70s Manhattan nightclub, a place so trendy that the doorman refused admission to nine out of every ten people who tried to get inside. Simply being seen at the club could get you invited into an elite social circle, which included not only royalty, but the biggest celebrities of the day... and for those lucky enough to gain entrance, drugs and sex were free for the asking. Unfortunately, unsure of where to take this concept, "54" degenerates into a muddled mass, remaining cool and aloof from the viewer for the majority of its running time. Shane (Ryan Phillippe) is a teenager with a crush on soap-opera star Julie Black (Neve Campbell). When a newspaper article reports that Julie has been spotted at the nightclub several times, the handsome but dim-witted Shane pays a visit. Gaining admission via his rugged good looks, he manages to land a job as a busboy, eventually working his way up to bartender. The club's owner, Steve Rubell ("Wayne's World" creator Mike Myers, in a highly-touted dramatic role), is a drug addict who runs the nightclub his way, with little regard for the consequences of his actions. (In a nationally-televised interview, for example, Rubell cheerfully admits that he lies to the IRS about how much money the club makes.) His is a world of pills, music, and regrets, none of which are easily remembered the next day. This had the potential to be an interesting story, but the execution is, alas, very clumsy. The script is unfocused; it doesn't really succeed at conveying either the excitement of the era, or any indication why the club was so highly regarded. It's "The Last Days of Disco" meets "Boogie Nights," with all the high-points somehow lost along the way. But whatever flaws the film may have, they are not the fault of Myers; indeed, so convincing is his performance that all thoughts of Wayne Campbell and Austin Powers were forever purged from my mind. Myers knows that Rubell is not a hero; he's just a junkie trying to get by the best way he knows how, and he plays the role accordingly. I have new respect for his abilities as an actor. In fact, Myers is so good that the film suffers when he's not on the screen. Although the character of Rubell is intriguing, he's reduced to a relatively small part. Considering that nearly all the events which happen in the movie (including an IRS audit of the club and the death of a patron) would significantly affect his character, it's surprising that he's given so little screen time in comparison to the exceedingly bland Shane. Ryan Phillippe seems to be sleep-walking through his role, mumbling his lines and showing little interest in any of the remarkable things that happen to him. Neve Campbell turns in her usual competent performance, but the script never allows her to become a "real" person. She remains just another face passing briefly through Shane's life. This is one of the most disappointing facets of the story: getting to know the "real" person behind the Famous Actress persona that Julie wears should be fascinating; instead, it comes off as trite. The movie succeeds, however, at capturing the claustrophobic feel of a crowded nightclub. Nearly every scene is "lit" only by neon signs or disco strobe lights. The grainy, underexposed look which results from this method of shooting is just right. The music is also well-chosen, capturing the feel of the late '70s. Rubell's spoken introductions to many of the songs are also quite amusing. An "A+" for atmosphere, but alas, that alone doesn't make a great film. "54" isn't horrible, but it steps all over itself while attempting to convey a story. Rather than needing MORE plot, the film should've dropped its superfluous elements and focused on its most interesting storyline: Steve Rubell's struggle to keep the club open in the face of adversity. The film rolls along nicely during Mike Myers' scenes, but overall it plays out like the disco music featured on its soundtrack: occasionally pleasant, but ultimately going nowhere."
I WAS THERE
George Dalzell | LA, CA United States | 03/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yup, I got into Studio 54 as an underage teenager just before Schrager and Rubell got busted. The direction and cinematography make this film a classic --- as close to being there as being chosen by doorman Mark Benecke out of a crowd a thousand deep. $15 cover charge in 1979! And you'd walk through the hall of mirrors like Ryan Phillippe, pass the coat check, and come upon that row of black doors, a gateway to the most fantastic party in your wildest dreams. I finally figured out one reason for the club's success -- with the undeclared cash income, the owners threw the most extravagant parties of all time, night after night. This film gives an inkling, an idea of the place, for history, though the real Studio 54 was neither as freakish or out of control as the film depicts. When you entered the place, you felt like you'd gone to heaven. After a while, it felt like home."
Music, dancing and decadence all lit up by stobe lighting
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 08/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Remember Studio 54? And doesn't it seem a long time ago?
This was a dance club like no other in the late 1970s. The patrons were either celebrities or those chosen at the front door because they had the "look" of the beautiful people. Inside was a fantasy of dancing and drugs, all lit by strobe lighting. And, as it had formerly been a theater, there was a even balcony for those almost private moments of brief romantic encounters. The waiters and bartenders were all gorgeous young men and wore nothing but shorts and a bow tie. This is a story of one of these guys.
Ryan Phillips is cast in the role of Shane O'Shea, a 19 year old from New Jersey who yearns for a star-studded life. He's chosen at the door and is big eyed with wonder and desire. Eventually, he becomes a waiter and later is promoted to bartender. There are a lot of women. And there is a lot of money. He even gets his picture in a magazine. Everything comes easy for him but he really is interested in a New Jersey girl who's a rising soap opera star.
The best role in the film goes to Mike Myers, who plays the legendary Steve Rubell who made it all happen. He's a strange bird with an eccentric personality and he does a lot of drugs. The money rolls in and he is in trouble with the IRS. But he's so puffed up with his own importance that he even brags about it on TV. Eventually, he's arrested and the party ends. But before it does, the filmgoers are treated to a small view of what it was back then.
I found the story silly, but I loved the nostalgia. Here was the music and the lights and the feeling of decadence that characterized a time that no longer exists. I lived through that time period. I remember. And so for those who are curious and those who want to step into the past for an hour and a half, I recommended this 1998 film."
Coulda Been, But Wasn't....
ClosedBook | California USA | 07/07/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, first of all, to Masonx, Ryan Phillippe is not Canadian. Back to the point....This movie had tons of potential. I was really looking foward to seeing it. Having been born in 1978 I did most of my growing in the 90's so there was never a time that sex was safe and drugs were not addictive. I find that period of freedom fascinating and 54 was where the party was. I'm sure this movie was going somewhere very interesting before the studio got a hold of it. Laced with sex, drugs, homosexuality and energy, as that time was, the original cut was probably very good. But, alas, someone got nervous and added these horrible scenes, and cut the heart out of the film. They beefed up Neve's role, which was bad, beefed up Mike Myers role, which he played well but it just didn't work, and just plain messed up the movie. You can tell all the stuff that was reshot by Ryan's afro wig which looks nothing like real hair. Watch the original trailer to see things that look good but never made the final cut. I'm sad to see the DVD has no deleted scenes, and no Director's Cut edition, I would like to see the real film. And until these become available, don't waste your time. Good Idea...Bad Execution."
CoffeeGurl | MA | 05/21/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have wanted to see this movie for quite a while. As a New Yorker, I am interested in knowing what went on inside Studio 54, and so I thought I might learn more by watching the film.Unfortunately the film is mainly focused on the character and narrator (played by Ryan Phillipe) than on the club itself. Yes, it shows the viewer some of the things that went on in the club, but not enough.The acting is excellent though. Ryan Phillipe is much more than just another Hollywood pretty face; he's a good actor. But the real treat in this film is Mike Myers; his portrayal of the club's ringmaster is quite impressive. Various celebrities appear as themselves, which makes it a bit interesting. But overall, the movie is a big disappointment. I do not recommend it."