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I'm Turning it Loose -- Footloose!

Updated on November 5, 2013

The 1980's were filled with many trends and history making events - Mount St. Helens erupting, the space shuttle Challenger tragedy, personal computers hitting the market, Rubik's cubes, "jelly" shoes and MTV was launched to name a few. But, to bring it a bit closer to home...

February was a big month in 1984. I was a freshman in college, first time living away from home, had an awesome boyfriend and loving life.

On Valentine's Day that year, my awesome boyfriend bought me the soundtrack to the yet to be released movie "Footloose". I was already in love with the up beat, dance style of the single record of the same name, so I knew I would love the soundtrack. He got a kiss.

In addition to the soundtrack, he took me to the movie the day it was released -- 3 days later. What a great mix of story and music.

The Plot of Footloose

It's nothing that hasn't been done before in some form -- kids revolting against the adults and their society. But, this one was about banning "inappropriate" music and dancing. OMG! As a young person in the 1980's, I can tell you that would never have flown! The 80's were all about music, movies and dancing.

Kevin Bacon (be still my heart) played the lead in the film - Ren McCormack. He and his mother had just moved from the big city to a small town in the Midwest. Ren was different from the town kids -- his hair, his VW bug, his penchant for wearing the skinny ties -- all this made the kids not so welcoming and some of the adults downright hateful towards him.

See a theme here? Change.

People don't like change or something different, something they are not used to.

As the story unfolds, Ren makes some friends with the kids (and fights with others). He doesn't understand the rules the instituted about music and dancing. He wants to ask the town board to let the kids have a prom -- complete with music and dancing.

The local preacher and town board are having none of it stating that it's the work of the devil. (Some music & dance are acceptable - classical, gospel, waltzing... but definitely not "their" style music and dance). After the request is voted down, Ren's boss tells him they are welcome to use his facility to host the prom. The planning begins!

Ultimately, they hold the prom and dance to their music and the preacher and some town people learn a lesson about censorship.

Why is it a "Feel Good" Movie

The music is one of the reasons you feel good watching this film. Though it's not a musical, the music defines the film and the times.

Artists like:

  • Kenny Loggins
  • Denice Williams
  • Bonnie Tyler
  • Shalamar
  • Sammy Hagar

all have songs throughout the film and there are more.

It's human nature to root for the underdog. Footloose gave the 80's generation a good looking underdog defending the right of kids to play "their" music and dance.

While it certainly isn't Oscar worthy, it's a film that will be fondly remembered as all 80's.

3 Cool Videos from the Film

This is a great sequence where Ren is teaching Willard rhythm and then to dance.

Here, Ren is addressing the town board about holding the prom/dance.

This is the final scene of the movie where the kids dance -- all out -- at the prom.


A film that defined a generation.

Footloose (1984 Film)
Footloose (1984 Film)

This is the Footloose soundtrack from the original film - 1984. I still have it!

Footloose (2011)
Footloose (2011)

This is the film's remake from 2011. I actually haven't seen it for fear it will mess with my memories of the original, though I hear it's good...


Do you love Footloose too? Memories from the 1980's...

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      This is the only Kevin Bacon film I've enjoyed. I also like the hits "Footloose" and "Almost Paradise".

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      I remember the first movie. I also remember a SNL parody entitled footless. And that always comes into my mind when this movie is brought up.

    • profile image

      angelatvs 4 years ago

      I was afraid about the remake as well, but it was done well. I still like the original better, but I loved them both.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 4 years ago

      Love Footloose and I've seen the new one, too. It's good and they've changed the story line enough that it's different from the original so it doesn't mess with the great memories from the 1984 version. You should give it a try just because the dancing is really phenomenal!