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Strange Arcs: Sylvester Stallone

on May 19, 2015, 9:00am
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rhinestone Strange Arcs: Sylvester Stallone

Year: 1984
Director: Bob Clark
Co-stars: Dolly Parton, Richard Farnsworth, Ron Leibman

Synopsis: In order to get out of a contract with her pervy manager (Ron Leibman), country chanteuse Jake (Dolly Parton) bets him that she can turn anyone into a huge Nashville star. That person winds up being a tough-talking cab driver, Nick (Sylvester Stallone). It’s kind of like She’s All That only balls-out awesome.

Why It’s a Departure: Prior to Rhinestone, Stallone focused all of his testosterone-fueled energy on action films such as Rocky, Nighthawks, and First Blood. Sure, he wrote and directed the garish dance flick Staying Alive the year before Rhinestone’s release, but he didn’t star in it. Still, maybe his devotion to that unnecessary Saturday Night Fever sequel should have tipped America off to the fact that Stallone had a secret song-and-dance man hidden deep beneath his sinew.

In terms of acting, though, Rhinestone is Stallone’s first high-budget foray into comedy, as well as his first, and only, stab at musical comedy. It’s a total oddity in his oeuvre, and it deserves to be seen for the weirdness factor alone.

Key Scene: With his first big solo number, the hilariously titled “Drinkenstein,” Sly proves that his brother Frank isn’t the only Stallone with musical chops. Actually, the song kind of stinks, but it’s got kitsch in spades. And the fact that Stallone sings it while dressed up like a common street pimp? Well, that’s just a cherry atop the sundae.

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