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Fame is set at New York's High School of Performing Arts, where talented teens train for show-business careers. The film concentrates on five of the most gifted students: singer Irene Cara, actors Paul McCrane and Barry Miller, dancer Gene Anthony Ray, and musician Lee Currieri. More so than the subsequent TV series Fame, the film emphasizes the importance of keeping up one's academic achievements in this specialized school. The faculty includes no-nonsense English teacher Ann Meara, erudite musical instructor Albert Hague, and martinet dance teacher Debbie Allen. Of the film's… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Every once in a while what appears to be the entire student body pours out into the street to do song-and-dance numbers, some of which are cheerful enough, but all of which break faith with the film's realistic premise."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"It's a crack at the American Dream which carries all the exhilaration and depth of a 133-minute commercial break."
‑ , Time Out
"Raw look at teen life more shocking than you might recall."
‑ Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
"Nearly thirty years after its debut, Alan Parker's Fame remains, in its way, even fresher than its glossy 2009 remake"
‑ Jason McKiernan, Filmcritic.com
"Infectious and moving and sometimes bittersweet."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"The film is cut at such a frenzied pitch that it's often possible to believe (mistakenly) that something significant is going on."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A genuine treasure, moving and entertaining."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"What recommends Fame to whatever degree that it doesn't totally suck is that Parker's still content at this point in his career to not resolve every single storyline"
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"Sadly, everything is predictable, which is to the detriment of the mostly fine, young talent that appears in this ineffective retread. I hope that their fame, unlike this film, isn't fleeting."
‑ Elias Savada, Film Threat
"A rambling, emotionally involving, and exuberent movie with flashes of cinematic poetry."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Alan Parker has come up with an exposure for some of the most talented youngsters seen on screen in years. There isn't a bad performance in the lot."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Director Alan Parker has reinvented effectively the old musical movie genre of let's put on a show in a way that speaks directly to younger viewers"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"The song and dance scenes are hard to beat in terms of sheer energy and atmosphere, but the dramatic storylines leave several loose ends."
‑ Anna Smith, Empire Magazine
"As Fame begins to unspool and you realize that the movie's a lot more endearingly grimy and profane than you recall...just blame it on that stupid TV knockoff."
‑ Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com
"It's telling that this film is best remembered for its music and dancing: its attempts at serious ensemble drama have mixed results."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Fame on Rotten Tomatoes

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