Rita Hayworth, 1940s Hollywood Icon, Dances Disco to the Tune of The Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive: A Mashup

Disco’s been dead for decades, yet dis­co bash­ing nev­er seems to go out of style. The sleazy fash­ions, the soul­less music, the lumpen­pro­le­tari­at stream­ing ‘cross bridge and tun­nel to shake their sweaty, poly­ester-clad booties like cut rate Tra­voltas… it’s over, and yet it isn’t.

But even the most sav­age­ly anti-dis­co rock­er should allow that its lead prac­ti­tion­ers were pos­sessed of a cer­tain glam­our and grace, their high­ly refined dance moves exe­cut­ed with the pre­ci­sion of Fred Astaire.

It’s a point a Ger­man film buff known on YouTube as “et7waage1” dri­ves home by set­ting a mix of screen siren Rita Hay­worth’s most mem­o­rable dance scenes from the ‘40s and ‘50s to one of disco’s best known anthems, ’ “Stayin’ Alive.”

It’s easy to imag­ine Rita and any of her co-stars (includ­ing Astaire) would have part­ed the crowds at Brooklyn’s leg­endary 2001 Odyssey, the scene of Sat­ur­day Night Fever’s famous light­ed Plex­i­glass floor. Her cel­e­brat­ed stems are well suit­ed to the demands of dis­co, even when her twirly skirt is trad­ed in for pjs and fuzzy slip­pers or a dowdy turn-of-the-cen­tu­ry swim­ming cos­tume.

Here, for comparison’s sake are the stars of Sat­ur­day Night Fever, John Tra­vol­ta and Karen Lynn Gomey, cut­ting the rug, urm, flash­ing floor in 1977 to the Bee Gees’ much more sedate “More Than a Woman.”

Hay­worth films fea­tured in the dis­co-scored revamp are:

“Down to Earth”: 0:00 / 1:03 / 2:46 / 4:20

“You’ll Nev­er Get Rich”: 0:14 / 0:24 / 0:28 / 0:46 / 2:35 / 3:16 / 3:49

“Tonight and Every Night”: 0:20 / 1:11 / 1:22 / 1:36 / 1:54 / 1:55

“Cov­er Girl”: 0:34 / 0:38 / 1:13 / 1:48 / 2:13 / 3:07 / 3:29 / 3:31 / 3:54 / 4:06 / 4:31

“You Were Nev­er Love­li­er”: 0:50 / 2:20 / 2:42 / 3:00 / 4:10 / 4:38

“Gil­da”: 1:17 / 2:04

“Miss Sadie Thomp­son”: 1:38 / 1:46 / 4:28

“My Gal Sal”: 1:42 / 3:23 / 3:35

“Pal Joey”: 2:00 / 3:20 / 3:41

“Affair in Trinidad”: 2:05 / 2:52 / 3:04

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dis­co Saves Lives: Give CPR to the The Beat of Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive”

The Ori­gins of Michael Jackson’s Moon­walk: Vin­tage Footage of Cab Cal­loway, Sam­my Davis Jr., Fred Astaire & More

James Brown Gives You Danc­ing Lessons: From The Funky Chick­en to The Booga­loo

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Her play, Fawn­book, is now play­ing New York City. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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Comments (5)
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  • David J Loftus says:

    “soul­less music”
    Excuse me, but how dare you dis­miss a whole scene in such an unpleas­ant man­ner. I was wait­ing for the para­graph about, we all know now that the “dis­co sucks” Kandin­sky Park ral­ly was a thin­ly veiled racist and homo­pho­bic response to a scene which fea­tured some utter­ly incred­i­ble music. Unsub­scrib­ing from Twit­ter feed.

  • TimJ says:

    I think you mean Comiskey Park in Chica­go. Unless you are refer­ring to some base­ball sta­di­um in Moscow. Dis­co was great, every­thing is great, don’t be dis­agree­able.

  • Ayun says:

    David — to clar­i­fy, I was attempt­ing to show the var­i­ous cat­e­gories the usu­al objec­tions fall into, not espouse them myself. I was 13 at the height of disco…and as viewed pri­mar­i­ly through the lens of the Sev­en­teen mag­a­zines arriv­ing at my home in Indi­ana, it seemed like a pret­ty glam­orous, won­der­ful thing to me!

    Hope­ful­ly this expla­na­tion will cause you to resub­scribe to the Twit­ter Feed.

  • Joe Fonebone says:

    This video appears to be doing the rounds with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent sound­tracks. Bit lazy to be hon­est.

  • John Stark says:

    Poor­ly writ­ten article…You relate view­points of a by gone era as if you actu­al­ly lived through it..quite frankly DISCO was incredible..Fashions we GREAt and Out­ra­geous! and all the rage was how to dance to it…Rita Hay­worth nev­er was an icon of the danc­ing Dis­co ..She Danced Tap , Jazz and Ballroom..Ask her to waltz was like scald­ing her with hot water while she want­ed to be chill­ing doing jazz or tap!

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