Saturday, August 1, 2009

John Travolta

I had watched this movie (‘The Taking of Pelham 123’) starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington, and what I liked about this movie – apart from the fast-paced scenes – is the engaging dialogue between the two protagonists. And this movie made me aware how really talented both these actors are. But I want to talk about the former – I have enjoyed nearly all of his movies, and I am thinking, why not honor this great guy – especially when he is still alive and kicking? I mean, we seem to always pay tribute to those who have breathed their last gasp of oxygen – ain’t that right? We should instead remember those who are still with us, and who, if they are actors, continue to dazzle and delight us with movies that truly entertain and enthrall. A gifted actor – we need to only examine his celluloid contributions to observe his intensity, his brilliance, his versatility.

This is a YouTube clip showing John Travolta in his star-making role as Vinnie Barbarino in the TV sitcom 'Welcome Back, Kotter' (1975-1979):

And certainly, you cannot claim to know John Travolta if you aren’t acquainted with the two movies that catapulted him to international stardom – ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘Grease’ .

This clip is from 'Saturday Night Fever' (1977) and features the Bee Gees’ song "More Than a Woman". Travolta plays Tony Manero, a Brooklyn youth who feels his only chance to get somewhere is as the king of the disco.

And this is from 'Grease' (1978) and features the song "Summer Nights". Travolta plays Danny Zuko the greaser who falls in love with good gal Sandy (i.e. Olivia Newton-John) over the summer, and how he is then challenged to rekindle their romance when they unexpectedly discover they are in the same high school.

This trailer is for "Face/Off" (1997) where Travolta and Nicholas Cage both play an FBI agent and a terrorist, sworn enemies who assume the physical appearance of one another in this John Woo movie:

This clip is from ‘Wild Hogs’ (2006) about a 4-member group of suburban biker wannabes looking for adventure hit the open road, but get more than they bargained for when they encounter a New Mexico gang called the Del Fuegos:

This is a photo of Travolta in drag, as big and beautiful Edna Turnblad and Nikki Blonsky as his/her screen daughter, Tracy - two of the stars in the movie 'Hairspray' (2007):
In the movie, pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Tumblad teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot in a local TV dance show:
And of course, this is the movie trailer for “The Taking of Pelham 123”:(2009) where armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber (played by Denzel Washington) into a face-off with Ryder (played by Travolta) the criminal mastermind:

There are movies of his that are duds as well – but for those where he shines, it shows John Travolta as an extraordinary actor.

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