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Thank God It's Friday/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Thank God It's Friday
  • The song "Last Dance", sung by Donna Summer, won the Golden Globe Award in 1979 for Best Original Song - Motion Picture.
  • This movie represents the only ever on-screen appearance of the group The Commodores in a theatrically released film.
  • One of the young stars in the film, Terri Nunn, would go on to front the band Berlin, whose song called 'Take My Breath Away' they sung in the later movie Top Gun (1986), would win the Best Music - Original Song Academy Award (Oscar) in 1987, the statuette though going to Giorgio Moroder (for music) and Tom Whitlock (for lyrics).
  • The name of the disco where the movie is set was The Zoo. The nightclub used for the Zoo was Osko's at 333 South La Cienega Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California. The club was demolished during the 1980s and a Loehmann's dress store was built in its place. Osko's Disco had 4 dance floors, and was famous for being like a labyrinth.
  • The movie's original 1978 first-issue soundtrack album was a three record set which included two 33 1/3 rpm LP records and one 12 inch single.
  • The ice cavern-themed room 'The Cave' seen at the Zoo disco in this movie was an actual room that existed at Osko's Los Angeles nightclub. The room can also be seen in another movie from the same year, Jennifer (1978). Jennifer is also the name of Debra Winger's character in 'Thank God It's Friday'.
  • Debut theatrical feature film directing for screenwriter Robert Klane. Klane's only ever other feature film directing credit is for Weekend at Bernie's II (1993).
  • Actors Otis Day (billed as DeWayne Jessie) and Ray Vitte playing Floyd and Bobby Speed respectively, both had previously appeared in the disco-soundtrack film Car Wash (1976) which was arguably the first ever disco movie.
  • This movie was made for a low budget of around (US) $2 million and reportedly tripled its production investment.
  • The movie was released about six months after Saturday Night Fever (1977). The picture is considered as being a studio programmer cashing in on the success of that movie as the film's title featured the other big day of the week-end (Friday rather than Saturday) in which people go out at night.
  • First major screen role of actress Debra Winger. Winger had previously only appeared on television and in one movie, Slumber Party '57 (1976).
  • In-joke: Director Robert Klane referenced by ads for fictitious Klane Scotch plastered on front and side of bus.
  • This film has garnered a reputation from a number of sources, including from film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, as perhaps being the worst ever movie to win an Oscar (Academy Award) which it won for Best Song - sung by Donna Summer.
  • The animated Columbia Pictures studio logo of a draped woman holding a flag can be seen boogieing and dancing during the very start of the movie.
  • The license plate number on sleazy nightclub owner Tony Di Marco's (Jeff Goldblum) car read: BIG ONE.
  • Robert Klane replaced Joe Layton as director after the latter was injured in an accident a few weeks prior to this announcement in mid to late April 1977.
  • Show-business trade papers such as 'The Hollywood Reporter' announced that director Robert Klane did a touch-up and polish on Armyan Bernstein's screenplay as well as stating that Klane was the co-screenwriter of the movie's screenplay yet Klane received no writer's credit on the picture.
  • The New York publication 'The Village Voice' reported that the picture had test screenings conducted in the USA's Midwest (aka the American Midwest aka the Midwestern United States of America). Of particular interest was any negative audience reaction to a scene where two men are seen disco dancing together. Test audience results showed that there were no significant negative responses to this scene and as such it remained in the picture.
  • The film is also known as "TGIF" / "T.G.I.F" , the well-known acronym expression for "Thank God It's Friday". This can be seen in these letters being highlighted in one of the movie's original theatrical posters.
  • This disco movie featuring Debra Winger followed the most iconic of disco pictures Saturday Night Fever (1977) which starred John Travolta. Winger and Travolta would later star together in Urban Cowboy (1980).
  • The film won the Academy Award (Oscar) in 1979 for the song "Last Dance" sung by Donna Summer in the category of Best Music, Original Song.
  • This film is the only ever full disco movie to win an Academy Award for music. The film won the Best Original Song Oscar in 1979 for the song "Last Dance" sung by Donna Summer.
  • In the USA in 1978, the song "Last Dance" sung by Donna Summer, went to number three on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and topped the Hot Disco Action Chart, now called the Hot Dance Club Play chart, for six weeks.
  • The picture had three working titles: "Disco", "After Dark", and "Discotheque". It was first named "Discotheque". This was then changed to the shortened version of this word, "Disco". Then the title was changed again, this time to "After Dark". In the end, the movie was called "Thank God It's Friday".
  • This picture was made and first released during the height of the 1970s disco era.
  • Debut theatrical feature film in acting capacities of singer Donna Summer, actress Terri Nunn, actor Chick Vennera, actress Andrea Howard, actor Mark Lonow, actress Hilary Beane, and actress Valerie Landsburg.
  • In the closing credits, the name of actress Linda Cremeans is mis-spelled, as "Linda Creamans"
  • In the closing credits, the name of the song "Down to Love Town," is mis-spelled, as "Down to Lovetown".
  • The 25th June 1979 edition of the New York publication 'The Village Voice' reported that 'Kenny Freidman' was a producer on this picture but in the end there is no producing billing for him in the picture's credits.
  • Aspiring disco singer Nicole Sims (played by real-life music icon Donna Summer) bumps the disc jockey's turntable, making the needle jump off the record. Trying to help, she says "Hey, I know that one!" grabs the microphone and starting singing the song - which turns out to be Donna Summer's first huge international hit "Love to Love You Baby."
  • In the later film The Big Chill (1983), Michael Gold (Jeff Goldblum) wants to open a night-club. In Goldblum's earlier movie, Thank God It's Friday (1978), which had been made and released around five years earlier, his Tony Di Marco character was a night-club owner. Both films were made by the Columbia Pictures studio.
  • The 7th September 1977 edition of show-business trade paper 'Variety' reported that actors 'Neil Thompson' and Patrick Burn would be appearing in this movie but in the end their is no billing for the two in the picture's credits.
  • Osko Karaghossian: The owner of the then real-life Osko's Nightclub where this movie was shot as a bouncer at the Zoo Disco.
  • The Commodores: The band as themselves.
  • Donna Summer: Nicole Sims. This movie was Summer's theatrical feature film debut, and remains her only fictional role in a movie.
  • Lionel Richie: As himself, the lead singer of The Commodores, and billed as part of this band collectively.
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