Make us your home page

Retro-review: Streets of Fire



Streets_of_fire TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: 1984's Streets of Fire, starring Michael Pare, Diane Lane and Willem Dafoe.

THE PLOT: A mercenary (Pare) goes in search of his ex-girlfriend (Lane), a rock singer kidnapped by a motorcycle gang leader (Dafoe). Set in an ambiguous time and place that resembles New York in the 1950s.

SOUND FAMILIAR: Combine 1979's "The Warriors" with 1981's "Escape from New York" -- only with a lot more singing.

MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Lots of memorable '80s actors had small roles in the flick, including E.G Daily ("Valley Girl"), Bill Paxton ("Weird Science"), Amy Madigan ("Field of Dreams"), Rick Rossovich ("Top Gun") and Ed Begley Jr. ("The Accidental Tourist").

Rickmoranis SURELY YOU CAN'T FORGET: Rick Moranis as the foul-mouthed, current boyfriend/manager of Diane Lane's character. This movie came one year after his starring role in "Strange Brew" and a year before "Ghostbusters."

THE TUNES: Possibly a better soundtrack than a movie. (Well, no "possibly" about it.) The movie features songs written by Tom Petty ("Never Be You"), Bob Seger ("Get Out of Denver"), The Fixx ("Deeper and Deeper") and Stevie Nicks ("Sorcerer"). But this movie is best Danhartman remembered for mistakingly convincing legions of 80s music fans than Dan Hartman was black. His signature tune -- "I Can Dream About You" -- is lip-synced by the fictional doo-wop group "The Sorels" during the movie.

ONE MIXED REVIEW: "There’s no getting around the fact that 'Streets of Fire' has some of the most stilted acting, off-kilter dialogue delivery, and unbelievably dense characterization in the history of film. And yet, the film is such a guilty pleasure that it’s hard to be, well, too hard on it." --

WHY WE LOVE IT ANYWAY: Like the much-maligned St. Elmo's Fire, "Streets of Fire" has a certain style to it that makes it ultimately difficult to criticize. And after recently seeing Diane Lane as an aging would-be spinster in "Must Love Dogs," it's nice to recall she was once a sizzling hot young star. The same goes for Michael Pare, whose starring nod in "Eddie and The Cruisers" the previous year is proof that the '80s were the best of times for people other than myself.

Top 5 lines from Streets of Fire:

5. "Oh, you're dumb. And, you're short. Real short."

4. "You know, no one ever had a hold me like you did. I would have done anything for you. A long time ago I would have thought you were worthy of it. Not anymore, babe."

3. "Are we going to talk about it, or are we going to do it?"

2. "You know some of you guys have some cute little a--es. It'd be a real shame if I had to blow'em off."

1.  "The only problem with kicking the s--t out of you is that it would be too easy."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:23pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours