Fame is a 1980 American teen musical drama film directed by Alan Parker. Set in New York City, it chronicles the lives and hardships of students attending the High School of Performing Arts (known today as Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School), from their auditions to their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years.
Producer David De Silva conceived the premise in 1976, partially inspired by the musical A Chorus Line. He commissioned playwright Christopher Gore to write the script, originally titled Hot Lunch, before selling it to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). After he was hired to direct the film, Parker rewrote the script with Gore, aiming for a darker and dramatic tone. The script's subject matter received criticism by the New York Board of Education, which prevented the production from filming in the actual High School of Performing Arts. The film was shot on location in New York City, with principal photography beginning in July 1979 and concluding after 91 days. Parker encountered a difficult filming process, which included conflicts with U.S. labor unions over various aspects of the film's production.
MGM released Fame using a platform technique which involved opening the film in several cities before releasing it nationwide. The film grossed $21.2 million in North America against a production budget of $8.5 million. It received a mixed response from reviewers who praised the music, but criticized the dramatic tone, pacing and direction. The film received several awards and nominations, including two Academy Awards for Best Original Song ("Fame") and Best Original Score, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song ("Fame"). Its success spawned a media franchise encompassing several television series, stage musicals and a remake released in 2009.