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Beat Street

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Original title
Beat Street
Running time
105 min.
United States United States
Andrew Davis, Andrew Davis, David Gilbert, Paul Golding (Story: Steven Hager)
Arthur Baker, Harry Belafonte, Webster Lewis
Tom Priestley Jr.
, , , , , , ,
Orion Pictures
Drama | Dancing. Hip Hop
Synopsis / Plot
Released just a month after the immense success of Breakin', Beat Street added to the shameless product that Hollywood pumped out to fuel the ever-growing obsession with breakdancing culture, though it strived for more than just your usual underdogs plotline. More in line with the strife presented in the similarly themed Rappin' from the following year, Beat Street offers a view of life in the inner city that doesn't always end in a rousing musical number. That's not to say that there aren't lively set pieces. With appearances by Afrika Bambaataa and Grand Master Melle Mel & the Furious Five fueling showdowns between the real Rock Steady Crew vs. the New York City Breakers breakdancing crews, the dance sequences are wild, bright, and shimmering with that '80s sheen that later generations would either emulate or try hard to forget about. What also sets the film apart is the focus on all aspects of the culture, including graffiti art and DJing, both of which mostly got the shaft in other productions at the time. Add in hot outfits, neon nightclubs, and fresh beats that move everyone's feet, and you have yourself one heck of a breakdance flick. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide
1984: Cannes Film Festival: Official Selection (Out of Competition)
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