Review: ‘Xanadu’

Xanadu is truly a stupendously bad film whose only salvage is the music. Olivia Newton-John plays a muse, first seen with her eight sisters painted on a wall. Suddenly, they all come alive, with glowing stuff all around them, singing and zipping hither and yon, apparently looking for a script that will never be found.

Xanadu is truly a stupendously bad film whose only salvage is the music. Olivia Newton-John plays a muse, first seen with her eight sisters painted on a wall. Suddenly, they all come alive, with glowing stuff all around them, singing and zipping hither and yon, apparently looking for a script that will never be found.

Newton-John’s task is to inspire Michael Beck in his work as an artist. For this she stops glowing and he thinks she’s a real girl, despite the sun dress she wears with roller skates and rags around both ankles.

But love is threatening and Newton-John decides it’s best if she goes back into the painting on the wall, so she starts glowing again and bids Beck farewell. But he gets up a head of steam and skates into the wall after her and winds up somewhere near Mount Olympus.

Xanadu

Production

Universal. Director Robert Greenwald; Producer Lawrence Gordon; Screenplay Richard Christian Danus, Marc Reid Rubel; Camera Victor J. Kemper; Editor Dennis Virkler; Music Barry DeVorzon; Art Director John W. Corso

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1980. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Olivia Newton-John Gene Kelly Michael Beck

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  1. Peter says:

    Xanadu is one of my all time favourite films. And it’s largely responsible for me pursuing a career as an artist. Some variety staff need to lighten way up and stop being so serious.

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