Why John Lennon Didn’t Like ‘Saturday Night Fever’

TL;DR:

  • John Lennon criticized the movie Saturday Night Fever.
  • He said the success of the film proved a younger generation was “worshiping” something.
  • The film and the Bee Gees songs on its soundtrack became massive hits.
Karen Lynn Gorney and John Travolta in a promotional image for 'Saturday Night Fever'
A promotional image for ‘Saturday Night Fever’ | Bettmann / Contributor

John Lennon could be very hip. Despite this, he didn’t like one of the most popular movies of the 1970s: Saturday Night Fever. He discussed what the success of the film said about a younger generation.

John Lennon said he was no longer interested in projecting a macho image

The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes a 1980 interview. In it, John discussed being a man. “I don’t have any hankerings to be looked upon as a sex object: a male, macho rock ‘n’ roll singer,” he said. “I got over that a long time ago. I’m not even interested in projecting that.” 

He discussed his relationship with his son, Sean Ono Lennon. “So I like it to be known that, yes, I look after the baby and I made bread and I was a househusband and I am proud of it,” he added. “It was an enlightening experience for me because it was a complete reversal of my upbringing. It’s the wave of the future and I’m glad to be in on the forefront of that, too.” Despite this, John said his macho side came out sometimes when he was with other men.

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John Lennon said ‘Saturday Night Fever’ showed teenagers were still worshiping ‘the basic male thing’

John was asked to compare his generation to Sean’s. “Well, Sean’s generation is starting from scratch,” he said. “We can hope. There have been changes, but even the seventeen-year-olds now are pretty much in the old bag.”

John wasn’t a fan of Saturday Night Fever. “You see Saturday Night Fever and the imagery people are worshiping now,” he said. “Still the basic male thing. But it’s coming on. We’re doing better, and that’s a start.”

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How ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and some of the Bee Gees songs on its soundtrack performed commercially

Saturday Night Fever became a massive hit. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie earned over $3.8 million during its opening weekend. Subsequently, Saturday Night Fever raked in over $94 million in the United States.

The music from the film became huge as well. The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “Night Fever” each appeared on the movie’s soundtrack. Each of those singles topped the Billboard Hot 100. “Night Fever” was No. 1 for eight weeks — longer than any of the Bee Gees’ other singles.

Saturday Night Fever connected with the public even if John wasn’t a fan. 

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