Studio 54, Uncut

The “Directors Cut” version of the film Studio 54 will introduce a whole new audience to a cult classic that unveils the glitter and excesses of the disco era inside the most famous discotheque ever. Nearly 20 years later, the director’s cut of 54 has arrived on digital platforms like iTunes and Amazon.

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Like Studio 54 itself, the film was suffused with homoeroticism. “It was the first time I had to go to the gym for a movie,” remembers Breckin Meyer, “because the wardrobe was a satin pair of running shorts and an Italian horn necklace — and we were filming in Toronto in the middle of winter.” One of the film’s key scenes was a kiss between real-life best friends Phillippe and Meyer — Meyer’s first onscreen kiss. The scene was later cut — deemed too risqué for the mass-market crowds to which the studio hoped to appeal.
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Salma Hayek, Breckin Meyer and Ryan Phillipes in Studio 54
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An original scene from a night at Studio 54 in NYC, the best disco in town.Studio 54 is the epicenter of sex, drugs and disco music.
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Mike Myers as Steve Rubell and Ryan Philippe in the directors cut of Studio 54

In 1998, audiences were introduced to 54, a glitzy drama that followed handsome young busboy Shane (Ryan Phillippe) as he is tempted by the excesses of the legendary Studio 54. But the version of 54 that hit theaters wasn’t the movie out filmmaker Mark Christopher envisioned. Instead, audiences saw a 93-minute, neutered version of the film that was scrubbed of its more complex elements—including Shane’s bisexuality. Now, Christopher has finally managed to complete the version of “54” that everyone signed up to make in the first place: the story of three friends — a busboy , a bartender (Breckin Meyer) and a coat-check girl (Salma Hayek) — and the sordid love triangle that nearly tore them apart, set against the glittery excess of New York’s Studio 54 dance club. That was the version everyone shot, until a set of disastrous test screenings changed the film’s fate forever. A sex scene with Meyer and Phillipe has been restored in the director’s cut. But even the sanitized version was notorious for its homoerotic undertones: “The subtext was still there,” says Christopher. “You can’t cut out subtext. You can’t cut out the way someone is lit.”

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