Fame is a 1980 American musical-drama film directed by Alan Parker, starring Irene Cara, Lee Curreri, Debbie Allen, Paul McCrane and Barry Miller.

The success of the film has spawned two television series, a musical and a remake in 2009.


The film is about a group of high school students studying at the New York High School of Performing Arts, showing them through their auditions & from their freshman to senior years at the school.


  • Lee Curreri as Bruno Martelli
  • Irene Cara as Coco Hernandez
  • Paul McCrane as Montgomery MacNeil
  • Maureen Teefy as Doris Finsecker
  • Barry Miller as Ralph Garcia
  • Gene Anthony Ray as Leroy Johnson
  • Laura Dean as Lisa Monroe
  • Albert Hague as Mr. Benjamin Shorofsky
  • Anne Meara as Mrs. Elizabeth Sherwood
  • Joanna Merlin as Miss Olivia Berg
  • Jim Moody as Mr. Keith Farrell
  • Debbie Allen as Lydia


The principal photography for "Fame" took place between August and November of 1979 in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, New York City. Due to concerns about the script's content by the New York Board of Education, the film wasn't shot at the actual NY High School of Performing Arts.

The exterior of the school was shot using the left wing of the then-abandoned Church of Saint Mary the Virgin building almost directly opposite the real school on W46th Street in Times Square.

The main doors of the church to the right of the entrance the students are seen using were covered with a marquee that read "Hotel Remington."

The two unused schools, Haaren High School (which is now John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Haaren Hall Building) on 10th Avenue between 58th Street and 59th Street in Hell's Kitchen, and Performance Space 122 at 150 1st Avenue at East 9th Street in the East Village, were converted as a replacement and used for all the interior scenes.

Most of the audition scenes were shot at Haaren, except for the dance audition, and subsequent dance scenes in this same room (with the pillars) which used the second floor converted dance studio at P.S 122 which had been set up by choreographer Charles Moulton.

The scene where Lisa is told she has been cut from the dance department has a close up of the door knob to Miss Berg's office which clearly shows ‍ '"Public School" (PS) City of New York. The narrow roomed dance class scenes and Sherwood's classroom were also filmed at Haaren.

The cafeteria scene and all rooms with brick walls were all filmed at P.S 122. The graduation scene used the auditorium at Haaren.


Box Office

"Fame" opened at #2 at the box office, grossing $118,160 during its opening weekend.The total domestic gross was $21,202,829.

Critical Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, "Fame" has an 83% approval rating based on 29 reviews with an average rating of 7.2\10.

Roger Ebert gave the film four in a half stars, calling it "a genuine treasure".


Academy Awards

  • Won the Academy Award for Original Music Score - Michael Gore
  • Won the Academy Award for Best Original Song - "Fame"
  • Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song - "Out Here On My Own"
  • Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound - Michael J. Kohut, Aaron Rochin, Jay M. *Harding, Christopher Newman
  • Nominated for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay - Christopher Gore
  • Nominated for the Academy Award for Film Editing - Gerry Hambling

BAFTA Awards

  • Won the BAFTA Award for Best Sound - Christopher Newman, Les Wiggins, Michael J. Kohut
  • Nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Editing - Gerry Hambling
  • Nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Direction - Alan Parker
  • Nominated for the Anthony Asquith Award for Best Music - Michael Gore

Golden Globes

  • Nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy - Irene Cara
  • Nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score - Michael Gore
  • Nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy
  • Won for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song- "Fame"

Young Artist Awards

  • Paul McCrane and Barry Miller: Best Young Actor-Major Motion Picture (nominated)
  • Best Family Music Album (for "Fame" soundtrack) (won)

Theatrical Trailer


Fame (1980) Trailer