Can ‘Fame’ Really Live Forever?

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Fame (1980)

I was too young to see this film when it first came out, but I remember my older sister being completely enamored with this depiction of High School of the Performing Arts students. When I finally did see the R-rated film years later, I understood my sister’s fascination. I hate to use the term “gritty” to describe this depiction of teen trying to prove themselves in New York, but “gritty” is what it is. The film is also highly entertaining, discouraging and hopeful. Thirty years (!) later the performances in “Fame” still ring true.


Out Here On My Own

I Sing the Body Electric

Fame: Season One (1982)

In the DVD commentary for the original film “Fame,” director Alan Parker said the 1982-1987 series was a watered-down version of his hard-hitting 1980 film.  True. There was no way network television would show teens using drugs or having sex as they did in the film. But that doesn’t mean the TV show didn’t have its own merit. Not every episode is a gem, but I recall several of the production numbers in this high school musical filled me with glee.



Life is a Celebration

Fame (2009)

As a fan of the “Fame” legacy, I looked forward to seeing this updated version of the 1980 film. And as a fan of many musical movies and TV shows, this version of “Fame” left me cold. None of the characters were fully developed (I could tell apart the two male leads), the plot lines were tepid rip-off from the original movie, and most of the musical numbers were pedestrian. Instead of renting the DVD of this disappointment, get the first season of “Glee” instead.


Black and Gold dance sequence

Out Here On My Own (audio only)

2 thoughts on “Can ‘Fame’ Really Live Forever?

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