Roller Boogie (1979)

Forty-two years ago today, the film Roller Boogie premiered. This is the feel-good movie you don’t even know you need right now. You must watch this.

Title: Roller Boogie
Directed by: Mark L. Lester
Produced by: Bruce Cohn Curtis
Screenplay by: Barry Schneider
Story by: Irwin Yablans
Starring: Linda Blair, Jim Bray, Albert Insinnia, Jimmy Van Patten, Kimberly Beck, Stoney Jackson, Beverly Garland, Mark Goddard
Music by: Craig Safan
Cinematography: Dean Cundey
Edited by: Byron “Buzz” Brandt, Edilberto Cruz, Edward Salier
Production Company: Compass International
Distributed by: United Artists
Release date: December 19, 1979
Running time: 103 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Box office: $13,253,715

Bobby James and his friends (Phones, Hoppy, Gordo, and several others) skate to work on the Venice, California boardwalk. Meanwhile, in Beverly Hills, Terry Barkley, genius flautist is also heading towards the beach in her Excalibur Phateon car. She also is joined by her stuck-up girlfriend Lana.

Bobby is skating on the boardwalk with a female friend when he encounters Terry. But she remains aloof and spurns his advance. Later they meet at a local skating rink called Jammers. During a near catastrophic skating incident where Bobby saves the day, she gives in. Terry wants to pay him to teach her how to skate for the Roller Disco contest. Even though they share a flirty, romantic couples skate, later on she rebuffs him yet again.

The next day has both Terry and Bobby getting flack from their respected friends and family. She has had enough and goes to the beach. She finds Bobby there, practicing a jump and turns on the charm. He shares with her his dream to become an Olympic Roller Skater. They end up making out on the beach. Bobby asks her if she’s going to pay him for sex as well, which garners a mighty slap in return and she takes off.

Terry goes home and has a row with her mother. She wants to give up her dreams of playing Classical Flute at Juilliard School and win a roller disco contest at the beach. Her mom is shocked, enough so she needs a Valium. Terry decided to run away.

The next morning, she calls and invites Bobby to breakfast where she apologizes. He wants to skate with her, but on his terms: no money; he calls the shots. Through a series of outdoor scenes we see them work together to form a routine.

Unfortunately, Jammers is about to be sold to a ruthless mob developer. Bobby and Terry are clued into this plot and try to get her father, a lawyer, to help. But he refuses. While Terry is performing at a lush outdoor party, some of the young men sneak up, causing chaos. As a result, a group of distinguished guests falls into the swimming pool. This ruins the concert, as well as the party and its ceremonial cake. Terry gets reprimanded and slapped by her father for her running away, as well as for hanging out with her radical friends. The skaters find evidence, in the form of a cassette tape recording of the invalid ordeal, to kill the deal. Through a wild chase on the streets near the canal zone of Venice, they race to get it to the cops on time. They do, the mobsters are hauled off and the Boogie Contest is on. Terry and Bobby skate their routine and win.

Later on, back at the beach Terry and Bobby share a sad goodbye. Both promise to write each other as she heads off to New York City and he to the Olympics.

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