Sundance HD has been airing Flashdance (1983) recently, which certainly puts the iconic 80’s hit in a new light. Though it was one of my favorite films when it came out, the best viewing I could muster in my formative years was via VHS tape and 19″ Sony Trinitron. 55″ HD makes a big difference.
I was so impressed with what I saw that I considered a “Cinematic Greats” post. Then I watched a little more and realized how meaningless that category would become once I threw Flashdance in with the likes of Bound, Fargo, and After Dark, My Sweet. There is obvious cheese in no short quantity here — including the watered-down, Rocky-based plot — and Michael Nouri as the male lead is an absolute hack.
But the spirited dance numbers, original music, and Jennifer Beals’ winsome performance push it into positive territory. I agree with the criticism out there, but when I see a Tomatometer rating of 33% while Blade Runner sits at 91% and is considered by many to be among the greatest of all films, well, that’s backwards-world.
Despite its flaws, Flashdance holds its place in the pantheon of iconic 80’s pictures, and, as such, is highly recommended and essential viewing — just make sure to watch in HD, and with decent sound.