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File:Flashdanceposter 5550.jpg

Flashdance is a 1983 film starring Jennifer Beals as Alexandra "Alex" Owens who, in quite possibly the greatest film premise ever, works as a factory welder by day and an exotic dancer by night. Her aspiration, however, is to enroll in a prestigious dance conservatory. Dreams are chased, pull chains are yanked, and tears (and sweat) are shed.

The film was a monster success (Only Roger Ebert dared to slam it) and a Star-Making Role for Beals. This is partly attributed to the then-newfangled MTV, which played excerpts from the film's dance numbers on a continuous loop. In effect, Flashdance became the standard for music videos produced in conjunction with big-budget movies.

The soundtrack sold over 20 million copies and produced two hit singles, "Flashdance...What a Feeling" and "Maniac", both of which have remained in the pop culture consciousness.


Tropes used in Flashdance include:
  • Based on a True Story: The film is based on the biography of Maureen Marder. She was paid $2300 for the right to make a movie about her life story, and then filed a lawsuit when the film grossed $150 million.
  • Bikini Bar: Mawby's.
  • Break the Cutie: Jeanie. Alex barely manages to bring her back to sanity.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Alex hurls a rock through the window of Nick's house after she glimpses him entering a car with another woman.
  • Cool Car: Nick's black Porsche.
  • The Corrupter: Johnny C. tries luring both Alex and Jeannie into being dancers in his armpit of a bar. Jeannie takes the carrot when Johnny flashes some cash.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Then again, Alex's goal IS to go pro.
  • Dawson Casting: Alex is 18 years old, but played by then-20-year-old Jennifer Beals.
  • Eighties Hair: Most prominently seen on the women, of course, but check out Lee Ving's pineapple forelock as the villainous Johnny C.
  • Empathic Environment: The interior of the Zanizbar has an infernal red glow.
  • Erotic Eating: Alex's...erm, 'interesting' way of eating lobster.
  • Fan Service: LOTS of it, since the main character is a pretty and very fit girl who trains a lot to be a dancer.
    • Reportedly, Jennifer Beals was cast by a Paramount executive who showed pictures of the three finalists for the part -- Beals, Leslie Wing, and Demi Moore -- to a group of construction workers and asking them "Which of these women do you most want to fuck?"
    • Fan Disservice: Jeanie dancing in the buff.
  • Foot Focus: Alex gets MANY close ups of her feet. She even plays footsie with Nick's crotch under a restaurant table.
  • Heroic BSOD: Jeanie, when she horribly loses the skating auditions. Alex herself, when Hannah dies.
  • Improbable Age: Many reviewers found it highly implausible that an 18-year old girl would be allowed to work full-time as a welder.
  • Love Interest: Nick who also happens to be Alex's boss.
  • May-December Romance: Nick is also quite older than Alex. Lampshaded by the critics who say that the age difference is WAY too big among both the charas and the actors to be believable.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Alex is stunned to learn that Hannah died in the rest home while she was away.
  • Naughty by Night
  • Nice Hat: Richie's porkpie hat.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Richie.
  • Redemption in the Rain: When Alex forcibly drags Jeanie out of the Zanzibar nudie bar, the two girls tearfully embrace each other in a downpour.
  • Rich Bitch: Nick's ex-wife.
  • Self-Made Man: Nick previously worked as a hoodlum for Johnny C. before going legit.
  • So Unfunny It's Funny: Richie, an aspiring comic, should probably stick to flipping burgers. Most of his jokes revolve around non sequitur insults toward the Polish.
  • Sweater Girl: The famous cover photo.
  • Talent Double: Virtually all of Alex's dancing is courtesy of uncredited Marine Jahan, not Jennifer Beals.
  • Throw It In: The sweatshirt Jennifer Beals wanted to wear shrank in the wash, so she had to cut out the collar in order to put it on, even though it would keep slipping off her shoulder. This ended up creating a fashion craze for off-the-shoulder sweatshirts and T-shirts through the mid-80s, and which unexpectedly came back into fashion beginning around 2009.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Alex and Jeanie.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Alex, Jeanie, and Jeanie's boyfriend Richie.
  • What Could Have Been: The director's chair was originally offered to Brian DePalma. DePalma accepted, but a few weeks into pre-production, he left the film to direct Scarface and was replaced by Adrian Lyne.
    • The role of Nick was offered to Gene Simmons, who declined it rather than compromise his onstage persona. (The post-1996 Gene would probably rethink it.)
  • What's an X Like You Doing In a Y Like This?: Nick poses the question to his Exotic Dancer cum Welder.
  • Woman Scorned: Jeanie leaves to work for the Zanzibar on account of Richie leaving her to chase his dreams in L.A. (Losing the skating auditions didn't help, either.)
  • Wrench Wench: Alex.
  • X Meets Y: The Deer Hunter meets Rocky. Certainly, a couple of those early-eighties dance sequences can trigger 'Nam flashbacks.
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