Scott Baio Fan Blog


David Savage’s Review Of “FOXES”
April 21, 2010, 1:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Unlike  the  high  school  hellcats  twenty  years  before  them,  tossing  globes  out  of  classroom  windows  and  firing  on  police  officers  ( see  “High  School  Confidential” ),  Foxes ( 1980 )   is  a  portrait  of  teenage  torpor  at  the  dawn  of  the  Eighties.  These  jaded  teens,  led  by  Jodie  Foster,  would  rather  “pop  a  lude”  and  put  on  a  Boston  LP.

Examining  the  loosely  woven  friendships  between  four  high  school  girls  in  the  San  Fernando  Valley,  each  with  typical  problems  of  her  age  –  and  therefore  seemingly  insurmountable  –  Foxes looks  at  how  each  personality  type  copes  with  life,  sex  and  parents,  all  of  whom  are  divorced  and  too  busy  trying  to  find  themselves  rather  than  guide  their  children  through  the  rockiest  period  of  their  lives.

Released  between  two  movies  that  became  classics  of  the  L. A.  High  School  genre,  “Rock  and  Roll  High  School”  ( 1979 )  and  “Fast  Times  at  Ridgemont  High”  ( 1982 ),  Foxes was  more  of  a  teen  drama  that  dared  to  bum  out  its  audience  with  issues  of  teen  pregnancy,  drug  addiction  and  death.  With  murky  cinematography,  uneven  performances  and  no  happy  ending,  it  was  promptly  forgotten  after  its  release  and  sank  like  a  stone,  not  even  helped  by  its  Giorgio  Moroder  music  and  title  track  sung  by  Donna  Summer.   ( “On  The  Radio”  plays  over  the  opening  credits.)  It  didn’t  help  that  the  exploding  punk  scene  which  immediately  followed  gained  ground  quickly  and  influenced  the  look  of  scores  of  more  high  school  movies  to  come,  quickly  dating  Foxes‘  sun-hazed  ambience  of  the  late  ’70s.  It  was  thus  forgotten  and  became  a  relic  of  its  time,  classed  more  with  Skatetown,  U. S. A. than  other  frank,  exploratory  teenage  dramas  of  the  same  year,  like  “Little  Darlings”  ( 1980 )  with  Kristy  McNichol  and  Tatum  O’Neal,  which  is  more  of  a  true  companion  piece.

But  when  MGM  re-isssued  the  film  on  home  video / dvd  a  few  years  ago,  a  younger  generation  ( born  from  the  late  ’70s  to  the  early  ’80s )  discovered  and  embraced  it,  creating  a  revival  of  interest  in  the  film  that  far  exceeded  its  reception  upon  its  original  release.  True  to  the  “twenty-year  loop”  law,  hipsters  with  an  insatiable  appetite  for  the  looks  and  sounds  of  the  early  ’80s  began  referencing  FOXES  in  a  number  of  ways,  from  fashion  design  to  music,  graphic  design  and  photography.  ( Cherie  Currie  of  The  Runaways,  who  plays  the  ill-fated  Annie,  came  in  for  special  homage.  She  has  a  peroxided,  doomed  rocker-chick  look  that  was  revived  by  the  style  icon  actress  Chloe  Sevigny. )  It  also  started  showing  up  in  “best-of”  lists  by  film  columnists  and  in  critical  essays  in  alternative  weeklies  and  film  journals  around  the  world.


Far  from  being  a  great  movie,  Foxes is  an  enjoyable  period  piece  that  is  notable  for  its  time  for  not  being  in  hysterics  about  being  a  teenager.  It’s  still  a  “message  movie”  in  the  same  way  that  “High  School  Confidential”  was  about  the  dangers  of  neglectful  parents,  except  the  message  here  is  that  the  kids  will  probably  survive  in spite  of  them.

Apart  from  the  principal  cast  of  four  or  five  young  stars  ( Jodie  Foster  and  SCOTT  BAIO being  the  marquee  names ),  Sally  Kellerman  is  excellent  as  the  archetypal  divorcee  mother  of   the  ’70s,  complete  with  Toni  perm  and  low-cut  blouse.  In  one  key  scene,  she  breaks  down  in  front  of  her  daughter  ( Foster ),  railing  at  how  she  and  her  friends  “make  me  hate  my  hips!”.  Also  look  for  cameos  by  Randy  Quaid,  Lois  Smith,  Robert  Romanus  ( “Fast  Times” )  and  a  pre-pubescent  Laura  Dern  in  coke-bottle  eyeglasses.

David  Savage  Remembers  The  Under-Rated  “Foxes”

Cinema  Retro:  February  19,  2009       http://www.cinemaretro.com

FOXY  TRIVIA :  The  original  title  for  this  movie  was  supposed  to  be  “20th  Century  Foxes” but  it  was  changed  to  avoid  a  potential  lawsuit  by  the  motion  picture  studio  of  the  same  name.