Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Movie Rewind: Where Were You in ’82?

By ScottDS

Along with 1939, 1982 is considered a banner year for Hollywood. Many films we now consider classics thirty years later (and a few we consider “guilty pleasures”) made their big screen premieres this year. Some struck box-office gold while others needed some time to be appreciated. Let’s take a look at a few members of the Class of 1982.

Blade Runner -- What more could possibly be said about Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s story about replicant hunter (“blade runner”) Rick Deckard? The director clashed with crewmembers as well as Harrison Ford who, in turn, didn’t get along with Sean Young, and executives kept threatening to take the film away and recut it themselves. However, the film is visually stunning with details upon details threatening to overflow the frame, and features a stirring synth score by Vangelis, complex performances, an intelligent screenplay, and visual effects that still hold up to this day. Blade Runner was greeted with mixed reactions upon its release but found the fame it so deserved in the 90s with the discovery of an alternate cut. Ridley Scott later completed his Final Cut which you can find on DVD and Blu-Ray. “Wake up. Time to die!”

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan -- Paramount brought in TV veteran Harve Bennett to produce a Trek sequel that wouldn’t cost as much as the first film. Bennett, in turn, brought in Nicholas Meyer, best known for his Sherlock Holmes novels. Cobbling together bits and pieces from other drafts (including terraforming, a son for Kirk, and a protégé for Spock), Meyer turned in a script in 12 days. Leonard Nimoy and the studio eventually had second thoughts about killing off Spock so an epilogue was filmed in which we see his torpedo-slash-casket on the surface of the Genesis planet, thus proving that, in Star Trek, no one is ever truly dead. This film also marked the debut of Kirstie Alley (as Lt. Saavik) and was the first Trek job for effects house Industrial Light & Magic while the nautically-inspired score put young composer James Horner on the map. “Aren’t you dead?”

Poltergeist -- This film, chronicling the Freeling family and the malevolent ghosts that abduct their youngest daughter, remains controversial to this day. The question of who really directed it – co-writer/producer Steven Spielberg or Tobe Hooper? – still hasn’t been answered to some folks’ satisfaction while others consider the so-called “Poltergeist curse”: among other things, the use of real cadavers as props and the untimely deaths of actresses Dominique Dunne (strangled by her boyfriend) and Heather O’Rourke (septic shock during production of the third film). However, the film is a modern horror classic with likable characters, an ethereal score by Jerry Goldsmith, and wonderfully old-school visual effects. This was Spielberg in full “popcorn mode” and he’s never been able to top the string of hits he produced in the 80s. “This house is clean.”

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial -- Oh, how I wish I had been around for the craze surrounding this film, which became the highest-grossing movie of all time, holding the record for 11 years. The story of a lonely boy who befriends an alien, Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic was spawned from a couple different ideas he had been toying with, including a story about childhood and another about malevolent aliens who terrorize a family. The film has also been subject to myriad interpretations with some calling E.T. a Jesus figure and others labeling it a Jewish story: the ultimate immigrant’s tale. Of course, one group that was disappointed was Mars, who refused to let the filmmakers use M&M’s! Spielberg’s technical prowess is in top form as are his collaborators, specifically composer John Williams and creature effects guru Carlo Rambaldi. “Well, can’t he just beam up?”

Tron -- This film is the very definition of “ahead of its time.” After years in development, first-time director Steven Lisberger finally found a home at Disney for his far-out vision combining video games and computer graphics, which at the time were about as advanced as Pong. The end result is a visually dazzling tale of good versus evil, with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner as our heroes, Cindy Morgan as the love interest, and the always-entertaining David Warner as the villain who seeks (virtual) world domination. Greeted with mild box-office and mixed critical reception, the film later became a cult hit and spawned a series of comics, merchandise, and a rather unnecessary sequel in 2010. Pixar chief John Lasseter pays the film the biggest compliment when he says, “Without Tron, there would be no Toy Story.” High praise, indeed. “Now that is a big door!”

Porky’s -- Writer/director Bob Clark’s film tells the story of a group of Florida teenagers intent on losing their virginity. After being humiliated by the owner of the titular club who promised them a good time in exchange for all their money, the boys plot their revenge. Along the way, they manage to spy on their female classmates in the shower and let’s just say one boy regrets this after the appropriately-named Ms. Balbricker intrudes on the scene. Truth be told, the film is rather uneven and many of the characters tend to blend together. There’s also a ham-handed racism subplot (with a Jewish boy mistakenly referred to as a “kite”) and many of the laughs seem to come from watching other characters laugh… but it’s all harmless fun. “Please, can we call it a ‘tallywhacker’?” (Sadly, Bob Clark and his son were killed by a drunk driver/illegal immigrant in 2007.)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High -- In 1981, a young writer named Cameron Crowe spent a year undercover in high school researching a book. He later adapted it for this film, which also marked the directing debut of Amy Heckerling. The film takes place within the span of a school year and introduces us to a variety of characters, including: stoned surfer Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn in the role that even his critics enjoy); Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who loses her virginity and, in a rather dark turn of events, gets an abortion; Stacy’s brother Brad (Judge Reinhold) who hates his humiliating fast food job and is caught in an embarrassing moment by Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates), whose pool scene caused many VHS tapes to be constantly rewound and subsequently damaged. (Oh, and be on the lookout for a young Nicolas Cage!) “Aloha. My name is Mr. Hand.”

The Thing -- John Carpenter’s adaptation of the novella Who Goes There? (which also inspired Howard Hawks’ 1951 production of The Thing) is a cold, claustrophobic, extremely effective horror film. After a tepid reaction at the box-office, the film has become a modern cult classic. Kurt Russell leads an extremely likable cast of character actors, including Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Charles Hallahan, Richard Masur, and Richard Dysart – just Average Joes living a humdrum existence on the edge of civilization as an evil force unknowingly lurks within. Rob Bottin’s make-up effects (this was before CGI) still amaze and disgust after all these years and the film ends on an ambiguous note as our only surviving characters decide to “wait [and] see what happens.” Production values are all top-notch. “I just wanna get up to my shack and get drunk.”

Also: Conan the Barbarian, Deathtrap, The Dark Crystal, Das Boot, Death Wish II, Diner, First Blood, 48 Hours, Night Shift, An Officer and a Gentleman, Tootsie, The Verdict, and Gandhi.

Will 2012 prove to be as memorable? I hate to sound like a cynic. . . but I’m doubtful.


Tennessee Jed said...

pretty heavy on the science fiction. some definite classics, though, particularly BR and ST2.

Of the comedies, my recollection Porky's was amusing, but Fast Time was a teen classic in much the way Animal House was.

Never heard the whole Jesus/ Jewish immigrant thing. I bet 80% of the people who saw it never gave that a second thought. Interesting to think about.

Kenn Christenson said...

I'll take "An Officer and a Gentleman:"
I think it was the first time in a long time that we got to see the military in a neutral, if not positive light. Louis Gossett Jr. set the standard for D.I.s until R. Lee Ermey's Sgt. Hartman - and, even then, I was thinking, how's this guy going to compare to Gossett Jr.

Great character arc for Richard Gere, who is able to overcome a tragic past with the love of a good woman, a best friend and a hard-as-nails drill instructor.

Of course you have to credit the Bruckheimer/Simpson machine, behind the film. (They would later create "Top Gun.") Definitely the high water mark for most involved.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Excellent list and excellent reminder of how sometimes individual years are just packed with great films. And in this case I feel confident calling these great because they have without a doubt shown continued longevity and strong (sometimes cult-like) followings.

I think it's an interesting comparison when you look at modern years and you find that there are only a couple of good films (if that) each year now. I think it really tells us that Hollywood has changed its model for the worse.

As for 2012, I doubt it. I've seen the list of films they're planning and nothing sticks out as all that interesting.

Kenn Christenson said...

"Prometheus" and "The Dark Knight Rises" both look like they might be worth my $$$ to see in the theater. And, don't forget "The Hobbit," near the end of this year.

Just hoping "Prometheus" doesn't devolve into another haunted house monster movie.

AndrewPrice said...

Kenn, Good point. I'd forgotten about those. I was looking at a list of upcoming movies for the year and I got hung up on all the sequels and reboots. It looked pretty depressing.

Prometheus in particular excites me. I'm very much looking forward to that one!

Anonymous said...

Jed -

Yeah, these lists are often heavy on the genre films, but that's because they're often compiled by geeks. :-) (I regret I left out Sidney Lumet's Deathtrap.)

Re: E.T., like any huge event movie, people start coming up with bizarre interpretations. I recently read about the Jewish angle on a list of the 100 best Jewish films put together by a website called Tablet. I don't necessarily agree with the list but it's interesting.

Re: the Jesus angle, I perused the film's wikipedia page and there were a couple of links to articles speculating on this, like this one.

Anonymous said...

Kenn -

I've actually never seen An Officer and a Gentleman in its entirety. (I know, I have to work on that.) I've certainly seen it parodied and I've seen bits and pieces over the years. Louis Gossett Jr. could've retired after this film and he'd still be remembered.

I miss Debra Winger. There was a documentary produced a few years ago titled Searching for Debra Winger about the troubles actresses face when they reach "a certain age."

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

1984 was also a great year but I'll save that list for 2014. :-)

It's all very disheartening, isn't it? I was out to dinner with a couple of film school friends this past weekend and they actually agreed with me when I said, "The film industry isn't the same industry I fell for and so desperately wanted to work in when I was 12 years old."

Or, rather, it is the same but all of its bad qualities have been expanded by 100%.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the quote I originally wanted to use for Porky's was, "Has anybody seen Mike Hunt?!" ;-)

But I digress.

Kenn Christenson said...


Definitely recommend "An Officer and a Gentleman!"

Some of the music is dated - but the performances are excellent, by all involved, and the story's a real winner - even if the end is a bit over-the-top.

It was welcome change-of-pace to the anti-war/military drivel H'wood was putting out throughout the '70's.

tryanmax said...

There's always a glimmer of hope. Most of these movies weren't immediately successful or recognized for their greatness. And Blade Runner, for an example, needed the release of the director's cut to be fully appreciated.

That said, I won't be holding my breath. The 1982 list is dominated by big budget effects films, and the budget films for 2012 don't seem too inspiring. I'm with all those that are looking forward to Prometheus and Dark Night.

tryanmax said...

BTW Scott, I recently saw Officer/Gentleman for the first time on the TVGuide channel. (No joke.) It's quite good and, given how I saw it, there really is no excuse for you, anymore.

Anonymous said...

tryanmax -

I never had an excuse - I could've Netflixed the DVD this whole time... but I simply never got around to it!

As for the list, as I mentioned to Jed, lists like this tend to be compiled by nerds like me so of course they'll be heavy on the effects blockbusters, as opposed to the family melodramas.

I too have high hopes for Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises.

I think one problem is simply this: there have always been bad movies but we only remember the good ones. (The cream risses to the top.) In a few decades from now, we'll still remember The Dark Knight but no one will remember Cowboys and Aliens and if they do, they'll remember it as that movie that should've been awesome and totally backfired instead.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I think that's a good way to look at it -- the bad has taken over rather than the good vanishing. There is no balance in the force! ;) (How's that for geek-speak!)

I actually blame corporatization. Companies don't make art, they sell product, and Hollywood has slowly but surely become a marketing machine rather than a film industry.

I agree with the others, An Officer and A Gentleman is an excellent film.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good year! And nice summation of some of the blockbusters Scott!

I actually went to the theater regularly in 1982 (when I wasn't out at sea). Saw most of these that year.

1982 was also when my first daughter was born. :^)

Good times (and no sleep), lol.

ScyFyterry said...

Great list of films and nice description. Excellent article Scott!

Although, I have to question the inclusion of "Tron." I love it and I know some other Tron-cultists who do, but I don't think the general public likes it.

Anonymous said...

USS Ben -

Thanks! I was born in '83 myself. :-)

Anonymous said...

ScyFy -

Andrew actually asked me in an e-mail about the inclusion of Tron but I felt it was worth noting. I suppose I could've switched it out for Conan but I was too lazy. :-)

I don't think the problem is the general public disliking it; many have no doubt never heard of it. It's one of those titles that will come up in a conversation and one person in a group of 20 will know what it is.

ScyFyterry said...

Scott, I'm not saying it doesn't belong there in my opinion, it's just that I don't think it would appear on too many lists of great movies. I do know, however, that it does have a cult-like following, which means something.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it does. That's why it bothers me when people complain about movies and how "Movie X must've sucked; it bombed at the box-office!"

No - Movie X could've been awesome - it just didn't find an audience.

With any other product, money is usually the final arbiter of success. But with movies, TV shows, etc., time is the ultimate arbiter - not money and not awards.

Individualist said...


I have seen and liked all those movies except for the Thing which I just have not seen. It might be a good movie.

I would place Blade Runner, Poltergiest, Wrath of Khan and Fast Times as true classics. Porky's and Tron were good movies but I don't think they are must haves in DVD collections.

AndrewPrice said...

While I am indeed a huge Tron fan, I also recognize that it does not have broad appeal. I think few people have seen it and it's not for people who just like big shiny films.

I agree with Scott, by the way, that the real test of a film is time, not money or awards. Money is about marketing with only a slight trace of quality. Awards are about politics. But time is about value. When people still want to see a film 5, 10, 15, 20, 40 years later, that says something.

Anonymous said...

Indi -

I would agree, though a friend of mine has Tron on Blu-Ray and he says the picture quality is absolutely stunning. I, on the other hand, have no need to own it. But I guess I'll have to let him demo it for me next time I go to his house. :-)

I saw The Thing for the first time just three or four months ago, after hearing about it for years. I thought it was very good - there is a certain efficiency to be admired in any good action or horror film. And the creature effects are still awesome after all these years.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

Not to go off-topic and I swear we've had this conversation before but the whole cult thing is what turns me off to à la carte cable. Sometimes small shows need a home of their own and if people get to pick and choose which channels they want, what are the odds something small and esoteric is gonna break through?

rlaWTX said...

The only one of these I saw when they came out was "E.T.", and I remember liking it, but I was 9. I tried watching it again for the 20th anniv and couldn't get into it again.

I saw "Officer..." in college (on the big screen at school) and hated!! it. But I don't like Richard Gere. I just double-checked with IMBD and verified that the only movie I've ever liked with him is "Pretty Woman".

I saw "Poltergeist" as a teen and it scared the bejabbers out of me. Still does when I catch even parts of it.

I know I saw "Blade Runner", "Tron" and Wrath of Khan" along the way, but I haven't rewatched them with intention, not accidentally and in pieces, since, but keep meaning to. Saw the Tron sequel - not awful.

The rest - no interest.

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - I agree, our favorites tend to be influenced by genres we like. My favorites include (in no particular order) Gandhi, Blade Runner, The Verdict, Diner, The Year of Living Dangerously, Wrath of Kan, Firefox, and Man From Snowy River. Point is, it was a vintage year :)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Sheesh, thanks for making me feel old, Scott.

Just kidding. I only feel old physically not mentally.
Get off my lawn! :^)

Tennessee Jed said...

My sleeper was The Gray Fox, a vastly under the radar film

Anonymous said...

rlaWTX -

Fair enough, though of the ones I mention in the last paragraph, Sidney Lumet's The Verdict and Deathtrap are worth watching, IMHO. :-)

Poltergeist doesn't scare me that much but that's probably because I've seen it dozens of times. But the clown in the kid's bedroom... jeez, that still gets me.

Anonymous said...

Jed -

I can't believe I left Firefox off the list!

(Not to get political and I'm probably wrong but one reason why I think it's harder to do an Islamic terrorist film is because they don't have cool toys like the Soviets did and those toys, like planes, lend themselves to cool movies and set pieces. A bunch of guys in a tent... not so much.)

And as I mentioned to Andrew, 1984 was also a great vintage year but that list will have to wait two years.

Anonymous said...

USS Ben -

If it makes you feel any better, I feel old when my dad tells me his 6th grade students don't know what a tape cassette or a typewriter is! :-)

TJ said...

Let's see, I saw E.T., Poltergeist, Fast Times, First Blood, Nightshift, An Officer and a Gentleman, Tootsie, The Verdict and Firefox in the theater when they originally came out (I went to a lot of movies back then) and pretty much liked them all.

Funny story about Poltergeist - I went to see it for the 2nd time with some friends who hadn't seen it yet. During the scene where the steak moves across the kitchen counter, one of my friends pipes up and says "Man, that's some raw meat!" During that scene you could have heard a pin drop, so it was easy for everyone in the theater to hear that comment. Needless to say, there were a lot of people laughing at a really creepy moment.

rlaWTX said...

Scott, I looked up those 2. The Verdict was not the one I thought it was - I have vaguely heard of this one, and I have never heard of Deathtrap. They now have "ought to see" mental connotations for if/when I run across them...

Anonymous said...

rlaWTX -

As you probably gathered already...

Deathtrap is a thriller, based on a play by Ira Levin, who's probably best known for writing the novels that were turned into The Stepford Wives, The Boys from Brazil, and Rosemary's Baby.

It stars Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine and I only know about it because they showed us a clip in film school.

It's not the best movie ever but I can think of worse ways to spend 90 minutes. And, hey, it's Michael Caine. :-)

Anonymous said...

TJ -

There's nothing like cracking a joke at a horror film. I guess there's a collective nervousness going on that some people just need to break the tension.

Of course, I'm not a big horror fan so I don't know what the theater experience is like for one. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, We have indeed discussed this before. I'm not sure ala cart cable would make a difference anymore because all of the channels are owned by the same companies now. But that's probably a discussion better left for another day.

Good call on Firefox. I recall seeing that in theaters and being a little disappointed. But when I saw it again on video, I liked it a lot more. And for me, it has continued to get better over time.

Unknown said...

Scott: Excellent list. I don't think I had remembered what a banner year it was. I do have to agree with some of the others, though, on Tron. I thought it was an ambitious failure (though it's far better than its sequel).

EricP said...

Though I'm more partial to the mightiness of 1984's entertainment value (Shameless Self-Promotion -- Andrew, I did a list last year at Threedonia), damn fine year in '82 and love your run-down!

The main reason Ridley Scott's subsequent Lucas'ing, we, re-cuts of Blade Runner will never sit well with me stems from how I initially saw it: at a drive-in, majestically huge and appropriately dark.

Oh, music highlights from 1982: Emotions in Motion, Billy Idol's and Violent Femmes' self-titleds, Thriller, 1999, Rio, The Number of the Beast and, for any fellow Northcoasters, Michael Stanley Band's MSB.

Anonymous said...

Eric -

At least Ridley Scott allows the other versions of Blade Runner to exist - he hasn't denied the public the opportunity to see them, unlike a certain other filmmaker. :-)

Anonymous said...

LawHawk -

Fair enough re: Tron. I saw the sequel and, while it was visually and aurally stunning, I couldn't help but think, "Did we need this?"

Not to mention I thought the lead actor was bland and the Young Jeff Bridges CGI didn't quite work. But these are all complaints for another day. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I actually have a review of the new Tron written and ready for a couple weeks.

CrisD said...

Hi Scott!
Nice list. And I had to stop and figure out where I was in 82. That was during my 2 year graduate school program!
I've seen lots of these loved ET and Ridgemont but have to say I saw them as rentals later.
The only one I would have seen was Kenn's mention:Officer and Gentleman as I would have seen a date night movie. But honestly, I may have rented that later as well. You see, I got married shortly after and was strictly rental until we started to bring the kids to movies (that would bring the date up to release of Little Mermaid!!)
I must rent Bladerunner! I'm sure my husband has seen it but I have never sat down for it and it is a major classic! Tx!

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

What a coincidence. I almost closed my reply to LawHawk with "But these are all complaints for a future Andrew review. :-)"

I look forward to reading it.

Anonymous said...

Cris -

Thanks! Re: Blade Runner, I'll admit it's a bit on the slow side... but there is so much going on and so much to look at, hopefully you won't feel like it's dragging too much. But some people have a problem with it.

I would also recommend watching the version known as the Final Cut. It represents Ridley Scott's definitive say on the film and combines the best of previous cuts (the production and editorial history of the film is an epic itself).

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Maybe I'll post it Friday since Tron has come up.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, No problem with self promotion. :)

And I agree, the early 1980s was a great time for music!

EricP said...

ScottDS -- Touche about Scott vs. Captain Ewok. Just glad I have a bitchin' visual version of BR to go along with the Deckard VO I prefer. Not only gives the movie the noir vibe, but matches with the comic book adaptations I still have. ;-)

Outlaw13 said...

I have never to this day seen ET, seemed stupid to me at the time and I never was much of a follower so I didn't go see it.

Tron the movie was cool especially if you had taken a computer science class, but the ugly thing about it is that it spawned that awful arcade game...blech!

Fast Times for me was ruined by the smarmy ticket scalper character...hated that guy. Wasn't Phoebe Cates topless in almost every movie she appeared in for a while there...I miss the 80's.

R Lee Ermey, was a DI in the movies long before Lou Gossett, he played essentially the same character he played in AN in the movie The Boys in Company C.

I was kind of suprised when I watched 48 Hours for the first time in a long time to hear Nick Nolte call Eddie Murphy the N word, there's something you'll never see today.

Anonymous said...

Outlaw -

Yeah, 48 Hours is very un-PC. Hard to believe Eddie Murphy was only 21 when the film was released.

A cursory web search reveals Phoebe Cates also appeared nude in a movie called Paradise and briefly in another movie called Private School. (Just another friendly service from Commentarama.) :-)

E.T. is worth watching at least once. The Blu-Ray should be out some time this year and, to his credit, Spielberg has said he's not interested in revisiting the 20th anniversary edition (where he erased the guns and added walkie-talkies instead).

Outlaw13 said...

I'm kind of proud that I've never seen ET, Jaws or Titanic...not sure I want to start watching them either. :-)

I remember seeing Private School on Skin-a-max back in the day...good times!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll leave E.T. and Titanic but you owe it to yourself to see Jaws. It's a classic for a reason. In my opinion, it's a perfect movie. :-)

tryanmax said...

Wow! I was just looking at a list of 1982 releases on Wikipedia. That was quite a year. Besides all the unarguable classics, there are a number of others that just have staying power. A few that jump out at me are John Hustan' Annie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Creepshow, Diner, The Last Unicorn, Pink Floyd The Wall (I've been deeply scarred by that one), The Secret of NIMH, Sophie's Choice.

thundercatkp said...

Pink Floyd-The Wall was awesome the first time I seen it but I rewatched it the other wasn't as good as I remembered it being.

As for Poltergeist my mom had that movie on VHS, or was it BETA...anyway I seen it so many times I think it scarred me for life...the thought of that freaky clown under the bed and the tree that tried to eat the little boy...still freaks me out.

Outlaw13 said...

I remember watching Pink Floyd, The Wall at a midnight movie and laughing at all the (stoned/drunk)people who thought "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" was a song telling them that they didn't need to go to school. Yeah man, you don't need no education.

Anonymous said...

tryanmax -

It was a great year, indeed. I could probably do a second part to this article... but 1984 was also a great year so stay tuned in 2014 for that one. :-)

Joel Farnham said...

Good list Scott.

I never saw The Thing, Das Boot and The Diner. I don't think I will.

The rest, I have seen at least once.

Ghandi, I finally saw last year. I still wonder why it is considered important. It chronicled the life of a "pacifist" that wasn't and didn't include that the reason why India won was because Great Britain was decent. India still has class distinctions that make no sense. Allows starvation when cows can travel freely. He also slept with children. Yep, it is rumored he was a pedophile.

Anonymous said...

thundecat -

I've never seen The Wall but the freaky clown in Poltergeist... yeah.

Some standup comedian whose name escapes me said something great: "What is the point of clowns? Kids are scared of them and adults think they're stupid!" :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Joel.

I'm not even sure if I've seen Ghandi. I think my 6th grade history teacher showed us part of it but I don't remember anything about it. I'll have to Netflix it one day.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, First Blood was a great film. It's fascinating to me how it was largely a revenge film, but it was also so much more.

Kenn Christenson said...

RE: Pink Floyd - I was a projectionist in training, at the time the film came out. When we showed "The Wall" for the first time, we failed to check if it was an anamorphic film. Turns out it was and we had the wrong lens on the projector - so, during the film, I pulled the lens and put the right one on. During this process you get to see the optical track and all sorts of distortions on the screen - funny thing was there wasn't one complaint.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's a good list too, though not as popular as the 1983 list. I particularly liked Best Little Whore House and Creepshow. I enjoyed The Wall in college, but haven't seen it since -- though I listen to the album every so often.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, People often misinterpret songs. In fact, they seem to latch onto all lyrics straight without every getting that they might have some other meaning.

AndrewPrice said...

Kenn, That's funny! LOL!

Outlaw13 said...

Andrew, especially when they are stoned. :-)

Kenn Christenson said...

"Ghandi" reminds me of something I learned as a projectionist in training - the fine art of projectionist editing, AKA, skipping a reel or two.

Yes, we showed the film and, no we didn't "edit" it - although, it was mighty tempting.

Eric P said...

Outlaw -- Tron Discs certainly "blech," but could never get enough of the other Tron game, the one with the cycles, "spiders" and shooting the multi-colored blocks.

tyranmax -- if you can't wait 2 years,

Sorry, ScottDS, Andrew said I could be shameless. If it's any consolation, you're the first comment on the thread, looping us back to 1982 in fact.

Anonymous said...

Eric, I have no problem with being shameless either. :-)

I see I managed to not only write the first comment on your article but quote the film Runaway. Fun stuff.

tryanmax said...

Nice article, Eric. I spent half of the 80s babbling incoherently, and unlike some, not because I was snorting coke. While I remember my childhood fondly, I can only really appreciate it in retrospect because so much went down the crapper afterward. (Though I maintain the 90s weren't nearly as bad as everybody now says.)

I enjoy articles like these because I can do the whole "I remember that!" thing even though what I remember is most likely just an ad from TV. Do you remember what a big deal it used to be when a theatrical movie would be aired on one of the "big three" networks? Remember there only being three networks?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I remember those days as well and it was a very different world. In some ways it was better because people had more in common. But I wouldn't want to go back to that. I like having choices.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, et al -

While I was born in the 80s, I'm starting to see some nostalgia for the 90s cropping up, especially online. Whether it's Fresh Prince or Beavis & Butthead, it would seem my peers are somewhat disenfranchised with how things are and wish to relive their youth. I can't say I blame them. :-)

Koshcat said...

Wow. I never realized so many movies I love today came from one year. I was twelve in 1982, so most of these movies I didn't see until later. The only one I was bored with at the time and have never had the desire to see again was ET. Way over-hyped. I too have never seen an Officer and a Gentleman. Probably too mature for me although I may like it better now.

EricP said...

Remember those days well as well, tyranmax -- The Godfather being on TV a huge memory.

While I also like having choices as Andrew does, still miss the thrill of the small things in life, which the annual family viewings of The Wizard of Oz and various Peanuts seasonal specials always brought. Fortunately, as a man, I am a child in a grown up body who can tap into that youthful innocence fairly easily.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, There is definitely something to that. I greatly enjoyed "events" like watching Wizard of Oz with the family... and the country!

Koshcat, I enjoyed E.T. a lot, but it's not a film I miss when I haven't seen it in a decade or two.

El Gordo said...

I believe I saw every movie mentioned here, though a few of them (Diner, The Verdict) only a couple of years later.

I was 16 in 1982 and crazy about action and fantasy and special effects. In other words, it was the best year ever. I saw Blade Runner three times, three weeks in a row. I´d like to mention Conan the Barbarian and The Dark Crystalbtw (it was also a year for fantastic film scores). Don´t forget The Road Warrior! And Stallone was unbelievable cool at the time. First Blood and Rocky III. We worshipped the guy.

We knew one thign for sure: Russell, Ford, Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Gibson ... each of them could kick Ben Kingsley´s a**.

I even went to see Megaforce. Awful movie, but gets points for being stridently anti-communist.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, I saw Megaforce in theaters too! My dad and I were literally alone in the theater! I enjoyed it, though I knew it wasn't a good movie by any stretch.

Those were good days to be a film fan.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

From the Wikipedi alist... a couple of interesting ones left out...

Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas -- if for no other reason than Charles Durning Governor

The Border with Jack Nicholson as a Border Patrol agent is pretty good.


Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid... kinda flat, but brilliant.

Inchon is interesting -- about the Korean War battle

The Man From Snowy River is great also -- an Australian western

and the best movie you left off the list -- the excellent Victor/Victoria plus The Year of Living Dangerously -- by the awesome Peter Weir

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Charles Durning was fantastic! I love his "dance a little sidestep" dance! LOL!

I really enjoyed The Year of Living Dangerously as well.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Victor/Victoria is a good choice!
Loved Robert Preston in it and I have often wondered why Julie Andrews didn't do more films.

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