“Streets of Fire – A Rock and Roll Fable”movie51
Directed by Walter Hill
Universal Studios 1984
93 minutes

 by Tammy Wanchena

Remember the 80’s? Neon legwarmers and Izod shirts. Turtlenecks with animal prints worn under monogram sweaters. Roller skating to Olivia Newton John drinking New Coke. Xanadu! I recently discovered yet another 80’s treasure, “Streets of Fire”.

Tom Cody (Michael Pare) returns home from the Army to rescue his rock star girlfriend (Diane Lane) from the evil biker gang (led by Willem Dafoe) that has kidnapped her. His only help is the financial backing of Rick Moranis and the machismo of ‘oh so butch’ Amy Madigan. I must provide a small disclaimer at this time: when you get to the bar scene and hear the song “One Bad Stud”, Willem Dafoe’s choice of wardrobe is guaranteed to make you laugh for at least five straight minutes. I tested this theory on MMM editor Sev Pearman and I assure you, it’s fool-proof.

Billed as “A Rock & Roll Fable” where “the music is as important as the movie” you will be amazed at the number of stars in this film. I already mentioned the main stars, but the costars will blow your mind. Bill Paxton plays a toothless bartender. Robert Townsend is a singer with the “Sorels”. The chic from “Too Close For Comfort” and the sassy singer from “Better Off Dead” appear, as well as Ed Begley, Jr., Lee Ving, The Blasters and the Roadmasters. I only recognized one song from the movie but I was only thirteen when it came out in 1984.

“Streets of Fire” truly sucked! If you have any sense of humor at all, it’s a ‘must see’! See it for my disclaimer alone. The clothes are fabulous, the dialogue, brilliant and the fight scenes are very believable. Rick Moranis should NEVER be cast in a serious role! He is strictly comic relief. Willem Dafoe is awesome as a bad ass, which you already know if you saw Spiderman, but I couldn’t get past his look. I kept thinking, this is the same man who portrayed Jesus Christ. Director Walter Hill describes it as “…Leader of the Pack steals the Queen of the Hop and Soldier Boy comes home to do something about it”.


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