At the New York City High School for the Performing Arts, students get specialized training that often leads to success as actors, singers, etc. This movie follows four students from the time when they audition to get into... more » the school, through graduation.« less
Brett D. Cullum | Houston, TX United States | 06/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Alan Parker film came out in 1980, after the director had horrified everyone with visions of Turkish Prison in MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. But here we have a loving valentine to the kids of New York who dream of being performers at the high school for performing and visual arts. It's a musical, but one where the songs and dancing come out of the kids naturally as they goof off or perform for themselves or each other. You get to see four years of high school, and about 8 kids who reach varying levels of realizations about how hard the world really is when you want to be famous. Finally FAME gets the DVD treatment! A widescreen transfer, featurettes, and a wonderful video commentary that shows 4 of the leads TODAY talking about their 15 minutes of notoriety as a star of FAME. It's a fun experience to see how they have aged, and what they remember of the filming. Alan Parker is the real star of the commentary though! He gets to talk over the entire movie, but thankfully he's witty and informative. My favorite tidbit was the original name of FAME was HOT LUNCH! Okay... that would have been ... disaster. Best reason to own this? The music! You can watch the movie once, but I dare you to ever forget the title song "FAME". My personal fave is "Out Here On My Own" for sentimental reasons. You'll want to sign up for dance, voice, and acting lessons after this one. See where all the hoopla started! Before the television shows, before the musical hit the stage ... there was this gritty movie showing foul-mouthed kids trying to make it in The Big Apple. Or at least through high school!"
A couple of comments about previous reviews
Ian Markley | Manhattan, KS United States | 06/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hello, I have not had the opportunity to view the DVD version of Fame yet but I plan to order it, so someday soon! However, I thought it was worth my time to interject on a couple of the reviews that have been posted. First: one lady commented that this movie was not suitable for her child because of the language and nudity, so it deserved 1 star. Please note that this movie was rated R in the theatre, and is listed as Rated R here on Amazon. How much clearer does one need to be. Rated R MEANS not suitable for children. Do not blame the movie for your poor judgement. Do not use this review in deciding to purchase the DVD. Second: A gentleman commented that this movie did not contain all of the music from the original stage production. Well,unless I am mistaken, that would be because the movie came first. The musical expanded upon the movie, as did the television show. So please know this when using his review. Just my two cents on the matter. :) "
Emily C | New York, NY USA | 03/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A classic, not a Schindler's List or Silence of the Lambs type classic mind you, but an inspiring movie nonetheless that I will always remember. Im a student at a performing arts school in NYC-so much like the "Fame" school, and the movie captured the reality and pressure and desire and troubles so wonderfully. The characters were quite realistic...my absolute favorites were Leroy and Ralph, played brilliantly by Barry Miller. I get a kick out of seeing Paul McCrane play soft-spoken actor Montgomery...a far cry from Romano on ER! Fame deals with the rejection as well as the triumph in a school where its all about making it. The acting is top-notch. From Leroy, the troubled dancer who really grabbed my heart, to Doris, who thrives in the end, the characters arent one-dimensional like in so many movies you see. They didnt sugar-coat anything. They dealt with the problems of youth-learning disabilities, abuse, perfectionism, pregnancy without coming off as lecture-like. Not to mention the incredible score. I love this movie I had to buy a copy. I hope you like it as much as me!"
You may not remember the names, but FAME is unforgettable
Jorge Carreon, Jr. | South Pasadena, CA | 06/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With the nostalgia boom still packing a wallop in the DVD universe, everyone has a film or two they can't wait to get in this amazing format. Alan Parker's FAME nearly topped my list and it is a joy to behold anew -- sort of.While its theme song seemed to play longer than the film's box office run, FAME touched a nerve with a generation desperate to achieve the American Dream of visible success. Many young people saw the allure of the High School of the Performing Arts. Even more saw the allure of New York City. Combined, FAME became a true cult classic that still resonantes today. Watching the beautiful transfer of the film on DVD and hearing that memorable pop score again in the most pristine sound mix brought back a lot of youthful exuberence in a single moment. The names Irene Cara, Lee Curreri, Paul McCrane, Barry Miller, Gene Anthony Ray and Maureen Teefy may not ring bells today -- if you're 30-something, you know they also mean Coco, Bruno, Montgomery, Ralph Garcy, Leroy and Doris Finsecker. I speak for many in my generation when I say we all identified with one of these stock film archetypes.Like most of the film's of the era, it is funny discovering that FAME isn't as deep as I remember. Still, what made it such a hot ticket were the songs. The musical numbers remain particularly effective, especially "Hot Lunch Jam" and Coco's lovely "Out Here on My Own," the ultimate teen angst ballad. And, I will never forget my first look at the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and the "Time Warp" on screen. If you were a Drama Club member, FAME was part of your repertoire.Watching FAME as an adult also proved an indelible trip down memory lane and I am pleased to see that the film does hold much of its magic. While the cast failed to go on to other levels of success, their combined efforts in this film are peerless in their innocence on screen, despite their vibrant skills as actors, dancers, musicians or singers. Director Alan Parker sometimes overreaches in capturing themes like reckless youth, ambition, show business and other pathos, but the film is so low-tech in its presentation. Unencumbered by tricky camera work or other contrived stylistic conventions, the film remains spirited and alive, a hallmark of the pre-MTV age. For some, FAME may feel a little dated around the edges, but in this era of manufactured "American Idols," it is nice to recall how people sought to hone their crafts in a place of learning, not a reality show!What is disappointing about this DVD are its lackluster special materials. Interviews were conducted with members of the original cast, none of which were cut into a reunion special. Instead, Warner Bros. offered the featurette from its original release publicity materials. Even worse, the "reunion" commentary is relegated to moments in a branching format that feature the cast as floating heads in dark space. It feel lazy and unispired, given the notoriety of the film, FAME deserved better. Regardless, it goes without saying that FAME remains a great pleasure and welcome addition to any collection. It is going to live forever, after all."