Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Alamy)


John Travolta's five worst films of all time

John Travolta is undoubtedly one of the most iconic actors of his generation, having worked with pioneers such as Brian De Palma and Quentin Tarantino. He has starred in widely celebrated films such as Blow Out and Carrie but his definitive masterpiece remains Tarantino’s 1994 magnum opus Pulp Fiction.

Despite this stellar résumé, Travolta has also worked on a shocking number of really terrible productions. In recent years, Travolta has starred in a growing number of mediocre thrillers and action flicks even though there were some memorable projects sprinkled in there – especially the acclaimed series The People v. O. J. Simpson.

In order to explore this relatively neglected portion of John Travolta’s extensive oeuvre, we have complied a selection of his hilarious performances in some really sketchy films. While Travolta might disown some of these films, they serve as really funny experiences for fans who are used to seeing him in more polished projects.

Check out the list below.

John Travolta’s five worst films of all time:

Staying Alive (Sylvester Stallone, 1983)

While Saturday Night Fever is one of the most popular films starring Travolta, the same cannot be said for this 1983 sequel directed by Sylvester Stallone. Travolta signed onto the project because he got the opportunity to reprise his role but it did not work at all.

Travolta has gone on to act in far worse films than this but Staying Alive deserves a mention because it was able to ruin what worked so well in the original. The film was a commercial success but is still feared by fans of Saturday Night Fever.

Look Who’s Talking Now (Tom Ropelewski, 1993)

The 1989 Look Who’s Talking was an enormous financial success but the same cannot be said for the third instalment of the series which was a critical and financial failure. John Travolta and Kirstie Alley starred in their original roles but none of the charm of the first film was there.

Neither the screenplay nor the acting performance justified the film’s existence since many went on to claim that Look Who’s Talking should have never been made into a series. After bombing at the box office, this became the final addition to the series.

Battlefield Earth (Roger Christian, 2000)

Dubbed as the modern successor to Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space, Battlefield Earth was the dream assignment for Travolta because it meant that he could star in an adaptation of a novel by the leader of his cult – the controversial L. Ron Hubbard.

Travolta had been trying to get this underway for a number of years due to his allegiance to Scientology but it only became possible later on, resulting in a complete failure. In later years, Battlefield Earth has been considered as a cult film by connoisseurs of bad cinema.

Gotti (Kevin Connolly, 2018)

A more recent example of Travolta’s acting upsets, this 2018 crime drama features him as the famous New York City mafia boss John Gotti. The film chronicles Gotti’s story but it failed to give a compelling insight into the life of the famed mobster.

Travolta was widely criticised for his rendition of the titular figure and even managed to score a nomination for Worst Actor at the Golden Raspberry Awards. Without a proper narrative and starring a floundering Travolta, Gotti is truly terrible.

The Fanatic (Fred Durst, 2019)

Probably the worst performance of his entire career, John Travolta plays the role of an autistic individual who stalks his favourite celebrity after developing a deep obsession. The story was based on Fred Durst’s own stalker and expanded from there.

Travolta is downright goofy in The Fanatic which does make it an enjoyable experience for the audience members who treat the film as a comedy. Otherwise, it does not fit into the genre of a psychological thriller which is why it grossed a little over $3000 at the box office after opening in 52 theatres across the country.