Directed by Mark Christopher
Shane, a Jersey boy with big dreams, crosses the river in hopes of finding a more exciting life at Studio 54. When Steve Rubell, the mastermind behind the infamous disco, plucks Shane from the sea of faces clamoring to get inside his club, Shane not only gets his foot in the door, but lands a coveted job behind the bar – and a front-row seat at the most legendary party on the planet.
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★★★★½ review by Glenn Dunks on Letterboxd
I think it's incredible, and even the low-quality of some of the new-old footage gives the nightclub sequences a documentary quality. I don't actually think I'd hate the studio version as much as its reputation suggests (I've seen it, but don't really remember). There's a very specific kind of thrill that comes from hearing disco out of a cinema surround sound system and I felt it. I felt it all. Knock on wood, baby!
★★★½ review by Keith Garrett on Letterboxd
I viewed the "Director's Cut" of the film, which is 1 hour 46 minutes, and upon doing some research just now I learned that there's another, longer, director's cut somewhere out in the atmosphere. One that's a full 15 minutes longer than the one I viewed.
I'm too tired to delve further into this curious case right now but needless to say I'm more than a little disappointed.
Anyway, the "director's cut" that I watched proved to be a fun, well-paced tale. One that's slightly campy but comes from a place of good intentions. The previously excised scenes are presented with no retouching, touting a noticeably grainy quality that (perhaps intentionally) makes obvious what studio execs thought "too much" for the general public.
The majority of these scenes (virtually all of them) are ones that include a gay or otherwise homoerotic subtext. One of them is really just a shot of Shane walking in the club and exchanging a lingering double-take with a fellow male club-goer. Which speaks volumes about Hollywood's extreme discomfort with homosexuality, which has admittedly loosened a bit over the years but still has a very very long way to go.
I had never seen the theatrical version of this but I'm glad I watched this one. I can only wonder why they chose to release a still-condensed version of the actual 2 hour cut that was screened last year.
★★★½ review by Enfant du Siècle on Letterboxd
While I never thought that the theatrical release was as dreadful as its reputation suggests, it's good to see the original vision of the filmmaker.
★★★½ review by Christa Bass on Letterboxd
I used to bum this movie so hard. Still stands up. 👐🏼👐🏼👐🏼
★★★★ review by Matt Curione on Letterboxd
The Director's Cut
"What we have now with 54: The Director's Cut is far less fanciful but much more vital. Still present of course is a career best performance by comedian Mike Myers as night club impresario Steve Rubell. Myers gives a rare dramatic turn here and truly knocks it out of the park, and had the theatrical cut been a better picture, I'm almost certain we would be referring to him as Oscar Nominee Mike Myers these days. An absolute lost cause of a human being, Rubell thought he was more powerful than everyone and his hubris was his downfall. Add in some great performances by Ryan Phillippe, Salma Hayek, and Breckin Meyer and the drama on display is both relatable and palpable. For audiences who dismissed 54 on it's initial release they owe it to themselves to seek out this Director's Cut; it's a completely different beast and a film ripe for reassessment."
Covered as part of Talk Film Society's Pride Month series.
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