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In 1982 she signed away her story to Paramount for $2,300. The film went on to earn more than 150 million dollars.
You can read more of the alleged backstory of the development of the "Flashdance" story/script in this excellent article.
Flashdance was a pet project of a female Paramount Pictures executive. The script went through about 4 screenwriters before being completely re-written from scratch. British director Lyne had to be asked 8 times by Paramount to direct before he finally relented. Seemingly, he hated the script (all the versions).
She had simply cut the collar off an ordinary sweatshirt that had shrunk in the wash and her head could no longer fit through it. Director Adrian Lyne loved the look and used it in the movie.
None of the people I talked to during the filming thought this movie would ever have any success. Only the director seemed to be enjoying the progression of the film. When I heard the story being described, I figured the movie would come out and maybe make a million or two then disappear.
Adrian, the director had the last laugh. The movie made more than $100 million before it completed it's initial run.
I saw the movie and I had to admit, it had a style of its own. It was the first mass marketing of break dancing. It was the forerunner of most music videos even up to today. It was a major pop culture influence. I was wrong.
Jeffrey Hornaday was the choreographer. I talked to him a lot on the set during our spare time. He had been selling sunglasses just a few months before he got his big break with this film. He also worked on DC Cab but this was his big break. Later he choreographed "A Chorus Line."
While I sat in the bar (it was a Skid Row building in L.A.) I could not understand the significance of the girl being doused with water while she danced. When the film was released that became a "must" scene for most early music videos. Wet girls became very "in."
For the final audition scene, Jenny had three stunt doubles. One was Marine Jahan, who did the ballet-ish moves.
Another was Sharon Shapiro, a record holding UCLA champion (having won all four events plus the all-around in 1980, best in vault, she did the diving in the air).
The third was the male breakdance legend called Crazy Legs, who obviously did the spin on the back --wearing a curly black wig and, if you look carefully, he has a mustache!
Next Section: Deleted Scenes
There are often scenes cut from the final version of a movie. Sometimes these will have been seen by preview audiences, or be included in Blu-ray or DVD extras etc.
Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie on Blu-ray or DVD.The following versions of Flashdance are apparently real. If you disagree or have additional info, please update us.
First, in the scene where she comes home and asks Grunt if he got laid, the line is replaced with: "You're getting fat, Grunt. You gotta work out".
Then, Richie's offensive Polish jokes are replaced with "this guy". Next, a very memorable one. When Alex and Nick are eating lobster and Katie asks if they went to the steel mill on their first date, instead of saying "I f****d his brains out", an alternate take was shot with her saying, "As a matter of fact, we made mad, passionate love!"
When Alex goes to the Zanzibar, there is a new stripper with her long hair covering her breasts. When Alex pushes Johnny C. on the stage or whatever, there was an alternate shot where you can just see all the guys messing around.
And finally, when Alex leaves with Jeanie, there is an alternate shot from behind them to hide Jeanie's breast exposure. Other cuts are just for language, including "p*ssed off" and "ass", two words that are very allowed on network today.
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