Who could have predicted that an Australian entrepreneur would turn an article about Brooklyn’s nightclub scene into one of the most iconic movies and soundtracks of all time? The new HBO Music Box documentary Mr. Saturday Night follows the “meteoric career” of Robert Stigwood and his journey to creating the classic film Saturday Night Fever.
“Mr. Saturday Night tracks Stigwood’s journey from managing artists such as Eric Clapton and the Bee Gees, to producing the hit theater productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy and Evita, to forever changing the way film studios approached movie soundtrack synergy, leaving an indelible mark on American cinema and the record industry for decades to come,” reads the HBO release.
The 1977 film launched both Stigwood and John Travolta into stardom, with Travolta earning a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role as “king of the dance floor” Tony Manero. As stated in the trailer, “I don’t think anybody foresaw the phenomenon of this movie other than Robert Stigwood and John Travolta.”
After working with bands such as The Who and Cream, Stigwood saw the film industry as a “chance to build his empire,” knowing it was going to be a “$100 million movie” before it even came to fruition.
“Robert didn’t know how it would be cast. He didn’t know what the script would be. He just knew a fabulous story which had global appeal was right there,” another interviewee says in the clip.
An official selection of the DOC NYC 2021 film festival, the documentary is directed by John Maggio (A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks), and executive produced by Bill Simmons (Andre The Giant, Showbiz Kids).
Mr. Saturday Night, Documentary Premiere, Thursday, December 9, 8/9c, HBO & HBO Max