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Footloose (40th Anniversary) (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


A rebellious Chicago teen moves to a rural town where dancing is banned and runs afoul of the local authorities.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Kevin Bacon takes the breakout starring role in Footloose, a 1984 musical drama about a teenager from Chicago who moves to an ultra-conservative rural town and runs afoul of the local firebrand preacher played by John Lithgow, and the town’s rules against dancing and pop music, instituted after a fatal car accident several years earlier on a local bridge.

Directed by Herbert Ross (Steel Magnolias), the film likely holds up better today (for anyone old enough to have lived through the phenomenon) in people’s memories for its successful soundtrack, which yielded several hits, including the title track from Kenny Loggins, and for the dance sequences and melodramatic songs as set pieces clearly inspired by the music videos from MTV, things that also helped propel 1983’s Flashdance to success.  One such moment that stands out is when angry young Bacon dances his heart out in an empty factory with flashes of light and shadow to “Holding out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler. The supporting cast of young actors would go on to even greater successes, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Penn, and Lori Singer.

Purchase Footloose 40th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray on Amazon.com

Purchase Footloose 40th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Steelbook on Amazon.com

  • Lori Singer and Kevin Bacon in Footloose (1984)
  • Lori Singer and Kevin Bacon in Footloose (1984)
  • Lori Singer in Footloose (1984)
  • Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Penn, Elizabeth Gorcey, Kim Jensen, and John Laughlin in Footloose (1984)
  • Lori Singer and Kevin Bacon in Footloose (1984)
  • John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest in Footloose (1984)
  • Kevin Bacon in Footloose (1984)
  • Footloose (40th Anniversary Steelbook) (Paramount)
  • Footloose (40th Anniversary Steelbook) (Paramount)
  • Footloose (40th Anniversary) (Paramount)
  • Footloose (40th Anniversary) (Paramount)

The Video

Paramount does not provide any information on the provenance on the transfer for this 4K release, but this 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement is middling at best. Although it is clean and free from obvious source damage, the grain structure is soft, detail is flat, and the Dolby Vision grading does not provide much ‘pop’ in the specular highlights. Some scenes look like there may be a little too much DNR or the lenses chosen soften the appearance, but in the scene where Bacon and company are in the car after leaving the bar over the state line, there are spots where their faces look too smooth.

The Audio

Footloose gets a straightforward DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that offers a good spread of sound for the music, clear dialogue, and reasonable amount of atmospheric effects in the surround channels, like cars driving by and reverberation.

The Supplements

Paramount does not include anything new in this release and nothing onthe 4K disc at all, but the bonus features on the Blu-ray are interesting, with good interviews and two audio commentaries, including one with Bacon.

Previously Released Blu-ray Bonus Features:

  • Commentary by Craig Zadan and Dean Pitchford
  • Commentary by Kevin Bacon
  • Let’s Dance! Kevin Bacon on Footloose (1080p; 00:12:20)
  • From Bomont to the Big Apple: An Interview with Sarah Jessica Parker (1080p; 00:07:37)
  • Remembering Willard (1080p; 00:06:11)
  • Kevin Bacon’s Screen Test (1080p; 00:04:36)
  • Kevin Bacon’s Costume Montage (1080p; 00:02:50)
  • 2004 DVD Archive:
    • Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part 1 (SD; 00:17:55)
    • Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part 2 (SD; 00:12:05)
    • Footloose: Songs that Tell a Story (SD; 00:13:54)
    • Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:01:33)

The Final Assessment

One of the iconic films of the 1980s, Footloose is very much a film of its decade that does not translate too well after all these years but will certainly hold nostalgic appeal to many who lived through the era. Unfortunately, the 4K release from Paramount does not reach top tier level in picture or audio quality.

Footloose (40th Anniversary) is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo & 4K Ultra HD Combo Steelbook February 13, 2024 from Paramount Home Entertainment

Purchase Footloose (40th Anniversary) 4K Ultra HD Combo on Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: PG
  • Studios & Distributors: Paramount Pictures | Phoenix Pictures | IndieProd Company Productions | Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Director: Herbert Ross
  • Written By: Dean Pitchford
  • Run Time: 107 Mins.
  • Street Date: 13 February 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Comptible)
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: German DD 2.0 | French DD 2.0 | Italian DD 2.0 | Japanese DD 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH | German | Spanish | French | Italian | Japanese

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A rebellious Chicago teen moves to a rural town where dancing is banned and runs afoul of the local authorities.Footloose (40th Anniversary) (4K UHD Review)