"Xanadu, your neon lights will shine for you Xanadu..." - Olivia Newton-John (as Kira in 'Xanadu')
'Xanadu' is a 1980 romantic fantasy musical directed by Robert Greenwald and starring Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly and Michael Beck.
The film was written by Richard Christian Danus and Marc Reid Rubel and features an animation sequence by Don Bluth.
|Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly & Michael Beck|
Sonny Malone (played by Beck) is an album cover artist, on the verge of giving up on his dream of becoming a great artist. Kira (played by Newton-John) is a Greek muse, who has emerged from out of mural to inspire Sonny to follow his dream. Along the way, Sonny befriends a former big band orchestra leader, Danny McGuire (played by Kelly). Kira encourages Danny and Sonny to form a partnership and open a new nightclub, Xanadu.
Movie soundtrackThe music soundtrack features music from Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, Electric Light Orchestram Cliff Richard and The Tubes. The soundtrack was a big success, being certified Double Platinum in the US (peaking at #4) and Gold in the UK (peaking at #2).
|Gene Kelly & Olivia Newton-John sing |
'Whenever Your Away From Me'
- "Overture Medley (Whenever You're Away From Me/Xanadu)"
- "I'm Alive" - Electric Light Orchestra
- "Magic" - Olivia Newton-John
- "You Made Me Love You" - Olivia Newton-John
- "Whenever You're Away From Me" - Olivia Newton-John & Gene Kelly
- "Suddenly" - Olivia Newton-John & Cliff Richard
- "Dancin'" - Olivia Newton-John & The Tubes
- "Don't Walk Away" - Electric Light Orchestra
- "All Over The World" - Electric Light Orchestra
- "The Fall" - Electric Light Orchestra
- "Suspended in Time" - Olivia Newton-John
- "Drum Dreams" - Electric Light Orchestra
- "Xanadu" - Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra
- "Fool Country" - Olivia Newton-John
- "Magic" (Reprise) - Olivia Newton-John
- "Xanadu" (End Credits) - Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra
Song: "Whenever You're Away From Me" - Olivia Newton-John & Gene Kelly
Song: "I'm Alive" - Electric Light Orchestra
Did you know...
- This was sadly Gene Kelly's final film appearance
- Gene Kelly also played the role of Danny McGuire in 'Cover Girl' (1944), with Rita Hayworth
- Gene Kelly agreed to appear in the film as filming was a short drive from his Beverly Hills home, and he could be close to his family
- Xanadu was the summer capital of Kublai Khan's Yuan Dynasty in China
- The film's plot was inspired by the 1947 film 'Down to Earth'
- A stage musical based on the film opened on Broadway in 2007
- Andy Gibb was originally considered for the role of Sonny
- Joe Mantegna appeared in a few scenes which were cut from the film
- The song "Whenever You're Away From Me" was the last sequence filmed for the film
- The film was originally conceived as a low-budget roller disco picture, however evolved into a much larger production, as well known stars Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly appeared
- The exterior of Xanadu was filmed at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium
- The set of the Xanadu clubbed cost $1,000,000 to build
- In earlier versions of the story, Sonny was the artist who designed the mural, from which the muses emerge
- Olivia Newton-John fractured her coccyx while filming the song 'Suddenly'
- Michael Beck's singing is dubbed by Cliff Richard
- Sandahl Bergman appears as a Muse
- Wilfrid Hyde-White appears as Heavenly Voice #2
|The Pan-Pacific Auditorium transforms into Xanadu|
Awards and nominations
- Ivor Novello Award winner for Best Motion Picture Film Soundtrack
- Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance ("Magic")
- Young Artist Awards nomination for Best Major Motion Picture - Family Entertainment
- Raspberry Award winner for Worst Director
- Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Picture
- Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Screenplay
- Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actor (Michael Beck)
- Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actress (Olivia Newton-John)
- Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Original Song ("Suspended in Time")
- Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Musical of Our First 25 Years
Closing remarks'Xanadu' is a truly awful film, but I love it. It is always a lot of fun to watch.
We are fortunately able to see Gene Kelly sing and dance in a film one last time, and at the age of 67 he shows the world he's still got it.
The film opened to bad reviews, one of which was headed "Xana-don't!". It was a commercial bomb and failed to break even on it's original release. Surprisingly over the years it has acheived something of a cult status, and is still remembered and enjoyed for the awful yet entertaining piece of trash it is.