Free-spirited teenager Ren MacCormack (Kevin Bacon) fights the small-minded town minister (John Lithgow) who hates all that sinful new-fangled dancing.
Suddenly the new kid in Bomont, an isolated rural town in middle America, Ren brings from Chicago a big-city knowledge of discos, strobe lights and the newest tapes by groups like The Police and Men at Work.
Yes sir, in a town where dancing is forbidden, one man and his Kenny Loggins tape can make a difference . . .
Ren shakes up the preacher, the school, the cops, and especially the preacher’s bored, rebellious daughter, Ariel (Lori Singer). Harassed and blamed for everything, he lets off steam by dancing.
The scene where he teaches his hick farm pal Willard (Chris Penn) to dance is a classic 80s scene, while Kevin Bacon struts his stuff in a skinny tie, gelled hair and rolled-up jacket sleeves.
The girls have big hair and little denim shorts, the boys are in cowboy boots, jeans and hats.
It isn’t long before the whole school dances with him, and by the time Ren stands courageously alone before the preacher and the town council to plead for the right to have a school dance, just about everyone is cheering him on.
The cast, score and style are appealing, so as rock musical movies go, Footloose is doing alright.
Avoid the completely unnecessary 2011 remake at all costs.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Frances Lee McCain