Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joel Silberg|
|Distributed by||MGM/UA Entertainment Company|
|Box office||$38.7 million|
Breakin', released as Breakdance: the Movie or Break Street '84 in some countries, is a 1984 American breakdancing-themed comedy-drama film directed by Joel Silberg and written by Charles Parker and Allen DeBevoise based on a story by Parker, DeBevoise, and Gerald Scaife. The film's setting was inspired by a 1983 German documentary entitled Breakin' and Enterin', set in the multi-racial hip hop club, Radio-Tron, based out of MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. Many of the artists and dancers, including Ice T (who makes his film debut as a club MC) and Boogaloo Shrimp, went straight from Breakin' and Enterin' to star in Breakin'. Ice T has stated he considers the film and his own performance in it to be "wack".
Breakin' was the final Cannon film production released by MGM/UA. After release, MGM and Cannon dissolved their distribution deal, reportedly over the potentially X-rated content in John Derek's film, Bolero and MGM's then-policy of not theatrically releasing X-rated material, forcing Cannon to become an in-house distribution company once again. Because of the demise of the distribution deal, Breakin' is considered to be the final financially profitable film released by Cannon.
Kelly is a struggling young jazz dancer and, through her gay friend Adam, she is introduced to two Street dancers, Ozone and Turbo, who have a bitter rivalry with another crew known as Electro Rock, consisting of poppers Popin' Pete, Bruno "Pop N Taco" Falcon, and Lollipop. They also struggle to overcome scorn from Kelly's dance instructor, Franco, who disapproves of her hybrid dance style and affiliation with street dancers. Kelly soon becomes the sensation of the street crowds. Through it all, the audience is treated to a variety of breakthrough performances, including Turbo's "Broom Scene" and Taco's unique popping solos during the dance battles at the Radio-Tron nightclub.
- Lucinda Dickey as Kelly / Special K
- Adolfo 'Shabba Doo' Quiñones as Orlando / Ozone
- Michael 'Boogaloo Shrimp' Chambers as Tony / Turbo
- Ice T as Rapper
- Scratcher as Club Radiotron DJ
- Ben Lokey as Franco
- Christopher McDonald as James
- Phineas Newborn III as Adam
- Vidal 'Lil Coco' Rodriguez as Hot Tot
- 'Bruno Pop N' Taco' Falcon as Electro Rock 1
- Timothy 'Popin' Pete' Solomon as Electro Rock 2
- Ana 'Lollipop' Sanchez as Electro Rock 3
- Cooley Jackson as Featured Street Dancer
- Lil "R" as Background Break Dancer
- Peter Bromilow as Judge
- Scott Cooper as Judge
- Michel Qissi (uncredited) as Background dancing spectator
- Jean-Claude Van Damme (uncredited) as Background dancing spectator
According to the 2014 documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films Menahem Golan of Cannon Films was inspired to create this film after his daughter saw a breakdancer in Venice Beach, California, one day. At the same time, he pressured the production crew to complete the film before Orion Pictures released their breakdancing film Beat Street.
The soundtrack of the film was released by Polydor Records in 1984. The album contains the first performance on an album of rapper Ice-T produced by DJ Chris "The Glove" Taylor & David Storrs. (He had released some 12" singles previously.)
- "Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us" by Ollie & Jerry – 4:34
- "Freakshow on the Dance Floor" by Bar-Kays – 4:42
- "Body Work" by Hot Streak – 4:22
- "99 ½" by Carol Lynn Townes – 4:02
- "Showdown" by Ollie & Jerry – 3:57
- "Heart of the Beat" by 3V – 4:18
- "Street People" by Fire Fox – Music by (Ollie & Jerry) 3:23
- "Cut It" by Re-Flex – 3:11
- "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus and Chaka Khan – 4:45
- "Reckless" by Chris "The Glove" Taylor & David Storrs - Rap by Ice-T – 3:57
Breakin' opened in 1,069 venues on May 4, 1984 and outgrossed Sixteen Candles, which had more screens (1,240). The film ranked number one in the box office, earning $6,047,686. By the end of its run, the film grossed $38,682,707 in the domestic box office.
Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 43% of seven critics gave the film a positive review.
On August 5, 2003, MGM Home Entertainment released Breakin' as a bare-bones DVD. On April 21, 2015, Shout! Factory released Breakin', along with the sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, as a double feature Blu-ray.
Breakin' was followed by a sequel, entitled Electric Boogaloo, released in 1985.
In popular culture
Several months prior to the film's release, Shabba Doo, Boogaloo Shrimp, 'Pop N' Taco, Popin Pete, DJ Chris "The Glove" Taylor and Lollipop were all prominently featured in the music video for Chaka Khan's remake of the 1979 Prince song, "I Feel for You".
Shabba Doo and Boogaloo Shrimp also featured in Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" video.
- "BREAKIN' (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. May 4, 1984. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- Andrew Yule, Hollywood a Go-Go: The True Story of the Cannon Film Empire, Sphere Books, 1987 p47
- "Breakin' (1984)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- Ice T; Sigmund, Heidi (1994). The Ice Opinion. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 96. ISBN 0-312-10486-3.
- "Jean-Claude Van Damme". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
- "Breakin'". Allmusic.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for May 4-6, 1984". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. May 7, 1984. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- "Breakin'". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 3, 2015.