Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Small, But Representative Sampling


Wanna go for a ride on my time machine? If so, read on, and buckle up cuz we're going 29 years back. Yes, grab your Jack Nicholson butcher knife, Olivia Newton John roller skates, and of course, ol' Billy Barool (Billy, Billy, Billy...) as we take a look at several months worth of releases from the year, our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty.

So, what exactly am I getting at in this blog post? Well, I was gathering data for a large project and stumbled across a listing of release dates, by week, of some major films spread across various studios during these months. The thing is - I've seen every single one of these film, some dozens of times and many at the theaters in 1980. And, it struck me. Motherfucker, that's some list of films.

So impressive in fact that it got me thinking just how much less we appear to demand from our culture industry "these days." Now, granted, that's not saying much, but look at the partial list of films below and, well, you be the judge. Not a bum film in the lot as far as I'm concerned.

Also granted, I'm looking at this list of films through the perhaps "corrective" lens of 29 years. So, just how much of this is nostalgia and how much of it is valid is debatable. However, I saw many of these films in the theater at the time of their release and the rest within a year or two later - on home video, on "ON TV", or on network television and I loved every single one of them. I ask you, when was the last time we had a four or five month stretch that read like this?

Friday, February 08th 1980
"American Gigolo"
"The Fog" (saw in theater)
"Midnight Madness"

Friday, February 15th 1980
"Saturn 3"

Friday, February 29th 1980
"Don't Answer The Phone"

Friday, March 07th 1980
"Coal Miner's Daughter"

Friday, March 14th 1980

Friday, March 21st 1980
"Forbidden Zone"
"Little Darlings" (saw in theater at least twice)

Friday, March 28th 1980
"The Changeling"(saw in theater)
"Don't Go In The House"

Friday, May 09th 1980
"Friday the 13th"
The Nude Bomb" (saw in theater)

Friday, May 16th 1980
"Breaker Morant"
"The Long Riders"

Friday, May 23rd 1980
"The Shining" (saw in theater)

Friday, May 30th 1980
"Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!)" (saw in theater)
"The Hollywood Knights"

Friday, June 06th 1980
"Up the Academy" (saw in theater)
"Urban Cowboy" (saw in theater)

Friday, June 13th 1980
"Mad Max"
"The Island"
"Wholly Moses!"

Friday, June 20th 1980
"The Blues Brothers" (saw in theater)

Friday, June 27th 1980
"The Stunt Man"

Wednesday, July 02nd 1980
"Airplane!" (saw about 4 or 5 times in theater)

Friday, July 04th 1980
"The Blue Lagoon"

Friday, July 11th 1980
"My Bodyguard" (saw in theater)
"Oh! Heavenly Dog"
"Used Cars" (saw in theater)

Friday, July 18th 1980
"The Big Red One"
"Cheech & Chong's Next Movie"
"Honeysuckle Rose"
"Prom Night"

Friday, July 18th 1980
"Caddyshack" (saw at theater at least twice)

Friday, August 01st 1980
"Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" (saw in theater)
"The Final Countdown" (saw in theater)

Friday, August 08th 1980
"Xanadu" (saw in theater at least twice)

Some of my favorite movies of all-time (as well as most beloved by the public) are in this short and modest list. Caddyshack? The Blues Brothers? The Shining? Friday the 13th? Airplane? Mad Max? Caligula? Not to mention total cult faves like Little Darlings, The Final Countdown, The Long Riders, The Stunt Man and Xanadu. What the fuck do we get nowadays? For me, it amounts to a film I feel like seeing every two or three months and one that I actually go to every 4.

At any rate - if I dug up this time capsule and found these many reels of film, were I a cultural anthroplogist, I might conclude that - well I think you know what I would conclude...

I don't belong here - I belong there. Sure could use me a Tardis.


Gilligan said...

(wiping tear from eye) I think it goes without saying I agree with you to the letter.

Damn you, Oh Heavenly Dog, for besmirching this otherwise perfect list!

Chick Young said...

Gil - I think I wrote this because of your comment on the last post! You and I are a pretty sentimental lot - too nostalgic for the past. I'm trying to like the here and now, but it ain't easy ya know oh me brother?

Well, at least Oh Heavenly Dog had a smokin' Jane Seymour -

Thanks as usual for the love.

The Major said...

Good sir,

While you skipped perhaps the most momentous day on the history of this Earth, the 18th of April, I am amazed at the wealth of quality films and cannot believe that the Final Countdown is from 1980. We've had many a conversation of afternoon movies on WKBD, which this one seems to come to mind.

Speaking of cult classics, have you ever seen "Hollywood Knights?" If not next time you are over we shall enjoy. J will have to suffer through another viewing but it is a cult masterpiece.