On a Friday night at Los Angeles discotheque the Zoo, everyone’s got his own agenda. Blue-collar type Gus (Chuck Sacci) is meeting a blind date. Underage girls Jeannie (Terri Nunn) and Frannie (Valerie Landsburg) sneak in, hoping to win a dance contest. Lecherous club owner Tony Di Marco (Jeff Goldblum) makes wagers with his DJ (Ray Vitte) on which married women he can seduce. Meanwhile, the Commodores are set to play, but aspiring singer Nicole (Donna Summer) is hoping to steal the show.
The name of the disco where the movie is set was The Zoo. The nightclub used for the Zoo was Osko’s at 333 South La Cienega Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California. The club was demolished during the 1980s and a Loehmann’s dress store was built in its place. Osko’s Disco had 4 dance floors, and was famous for being like a labyrinth.
This movie represents the only ever on-screen appearance of the group The Commodores in a theatrically released film.
One of the young stars in the film, Terri Nunn, would go on to front the band Berlin, whose song called ‘Take My Breath Away’ they sung in the later movie Top Gun (1986), would win the Best Music – Original Song Academy Award (Oscar) in 1987, the statuette though going to Giorgio Moroder (for music) and Tom Whitlock (for lyrics).
Aspiring disco singer Nicole Sims (played by real-life music icon Donna Summer) bumps the disc jockey’s turntable, making the needle jump off the record. Trying to help, she says “Hey, I know that one!” grabs the microphone and starting singing the song – which turns out to be Donna Summer’s first huge international hit “Love to Love You Baby.”
The ice cavern-themed room ‘The Cave’ seen at the Zoo disco in this movie was an actual room that existed at Osko’s Los Angeles nightclub. The room can also be seen in another movie from the same year, Jennifer (1978). Jennifer is also the name of Debra Winger‘s character in ‘Thank God It’s Friday’.
The song “Last Dance”, sung by Donna Summer, won the Golden Globe Award in 1979 for Best Original Song – Motion Picture.
In the later film The Big Chill (1983), Michael Gold (Jeff Goldblum) wants to open a night-club. In this film, which had been made and released around five years earlier, his Tony Di Marco character was a night-club owner. Both films were made by the Columbia Pictures studio.