Photo Credit: Kobal Collection
The roller disco craze was probably fun for the fifteen minutes it lasted – but as anyone who's seen the 1980 flop Xanadu can attest, it made for terrible movies. That's probably why few people remember that Patrick Swayze’s first film was not Dirty Dancing, but 1979’s Skatetown USA (tagline: "The Rock and Roller Disco Movie of the Year!").
In Skatetown USA, Swayze plays the villainous roller-dancing rival to Greg Bradford’s wholesome, feather-haired hero, as they compete for the love of Maureen "Marcia Brady" McCormick. Scott Baio is somehow involved, as are Ruth Buzzi and ex-Munchkin Billy Barty. It's hard to give plot details, seeing as the film is completely out of print and unavailable anywhere.
Thankfully, there's YouTube, where anyone can check out a very young Patrick Swayze’s amazing disco-skating solo number. Even with the grainy quality, bad lighting, and polyester pants, Swayze’s star wattage shines through. And this morning, an actor who allegedly appeared in the film posted his remembrance on the YouTube clip:
"This scene actually took ALL DAY to shoot. Mostly because Patrick made a lot of mistakes, not because he wasn't talented, but because he had a lot of pressure on him that day. After all, we ALL were standing around being the audience. And the choreographer, for some reason, never counted "5 6 7 8" in time with the music. When you see him finish the routine, and we're cheering, it was because HE FINALLY FINISHED IT!"
Does this new hype make you want to watch the movie? Chime in below!