Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 American drama film directed by John Badham and starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a working-class young man who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local Brooklyn discothèque; Karen Lynn Gorney as Stephanie Mangano, his dance partner and eventual confidante; and Donna Pescow as Annette, Tony’s former dance partner and would-be girlfriend. While in the disco, Tony is the king. His circle of friends and weekend dancing help him to cope with the harsh realities of his life: a dead-end job, clashes with his unsupportive and squabbling parents, racial tensions in the local community, and his general restlessness.
A huge commercial success, the film significantly helped to popularize disco music around the world and made Travolta, already well known from his role on TV’s Welcome Back, Kotter, a household name. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring disco songs by the Bee Gees, is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time.
The film showcased aspects of the music, the dancing, and the subculture surrounding the disco era: symphony-orchestrated melodies; haute couture styles of clothing; pre-AIDS sexual promiscuity; and graceful choreography.