Oprah Winfrey was John Travolta's 'Saturday Night Fever' birthday date

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John Travolta clearly remembers the last time he saw "Saturday Night Fever," mainly because it was hardly a typical situation.

"I always catch a part of it here or there on TV," the enduring star tells Zap2it of the disco-crazy 1977 classic that heralded his big-screen career, "but the last time I saw the whole movie was with Oprah Winfrey. For my 50th birthday, she bought a week on a boat for me and my family, and she took another boat.

"And she said, 'I just want to ask you one thing ... that you will sit with me in a theater and watch "Saturday Night Fever."' That was her favorite movie, so we watched it together in a theater on one of the islands in the Caribbean. That was eight or nine years ago."

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About to be seen opposite Robert De Niro when the drama "Killing Season" opens in theaters Friday, July 12, Travolta helps salute casting directors -- including industry legend  Lynn Stalmaster, who mentored him into the star-making role of "Sweathog" Vinnie Barbarino on the sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" -- in the HBO documentary "Casting By," premiering Monday, Aug. 5.

Another veteran of finding talent, Shirley Rich, assisted producer Robert Stigwood in casting Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever." Also a vivid memory for Travolta is filming the sequence in which his Tony Manero performed to the Bee Gees hit "You Should Be Dancing," on a floor that illuminated in various colors and patterns.

"The irony of that," Travolta recalls, "was that when I did my sort-of-Russian to-the-knees moves, I didn't plan it, but it was in sync with the on-and-off lighting of the panels. It was as if my knees were igniting the lights when they touched the floor, and my feet would 'turn them off' when I landed. And that was totally by accident."
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images/Paramount Home Video