FT Top 100 Films

Pete Baran says:

Or as it was called in the UK – Breakdance: The Movie. There was a spate of films in the late seventies/early eighties with the appellation “The Movie” attached, in case you thought that it might be
a) A comic – in the case of Superman
b) A local dance class – in the case of Breakdance
c) A tin of Grease in the case of – er – Grease.

Anyway, its title was changed from Breakin’ to Breakdance in the UK, because in the UK Breakin’ is something your elder sisters friend does to your toys and then gets you in trouble for, which obviously had bad connotations for most of its potential viewers. Anyway, it was called Breakdancing in the UK. It was what all the tuff lads at your school did in the playground, because spinning on their heads on hard concrete was not going to hurt them. This was nearly always championed by an Art or English teacher, who felt it an exciting and valid urban artform (unlike graffiti which the school caretaker had insisted was a menace). Thus when the school play came up, there was always a bizarre break in the proceedings for said tuff lads to come on and “Body Pop” – as the oldens would say. For some reason they were nearly always dressed as tramps. So whilst in the US Breakin’ might be associated with gold chains, Reeboks and My Adidas , in the UK it is usually thought of as being a tatty shirt, soot smudge and flat cap type of affair.

Breakin’ is a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney backstage musical, without the singing and with electro (further refined to Electric Boogaloo in the sequel). It is one of the first and best of a genre I have insisted on calling “Dancicals”, in as much as its dance sequences are really rather good. But since they are not dressed as tramps it did not really cross over to the UK.

Sarah C says:

Breakin’ AKA Breakdance The Movie: as if the names of the cast weren’t funny enough! Lucinda Dickey, Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones, Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers and Phineas Newborn III, what were they THINKING? Were they having a turkish? I generally like “dancicals” because they all have the same satisfying plot. Posh (ie classically trained, she CAN be working class viz that rubbish SAVE THE LAST DANCE flick which can quite frankly naff orf) bird whot does posh dancing like ballet – or in the case of Breakin’, jazz – meets tuff street kidz0r, learns all about RHYTHM and DANCING FROM THE HEART and then they win a dancing competition/she gets into Juilliard/you are allowed to have a disco by the local Priest – in the case of Footloose. Billy Elliot does a sweet gender reverse trick but essentially conforms to the genre.

Breakin’ is BEST because not only does posh lady get to go to Julliard, the street kids win in a) GANG WARS b) getting breakin’ accepted as art form yar yar and c) some WONGA in the final competition. Hurrah hurrah! Good old Turbo and whatever the other one was called. Hurrah for equal opportunities break dancing! Breakin’ also ditches the tired romance subplot and concentrates on what we really care about, ie spinning on your head whilst wearing improbable leotards and fingerless gloves. The women too, ahahahha. Having not seen Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo I cannot confirm whether the sequel can live up to the original but I doubt it’s more than ‘2.99 in the HMV sale eh, readers?