We're getting into movies that were still made before I was born, albeit closer than any ones so far. So what kind of movies did 1979 bring us?
Alien: It's sort of sad to mention this anniversary with the recent passing of writer Dan O'Bannon, but this movie still a notable achievement. It showed just what you could do with the right director, camera-work and props. A classic through and through.
The Muppet Movie: Another sad one to celebrate since Jim Henson as been dead, although his death was quite a while ago. How many people would have thought that the Muppets could work on the big screen? It really takes a creative guy to make this work and work so well.
Caligula: Ah, this hallmark of indecency, sneaky production work and chacenery is celebrating 30 years as a film. I'm sure that Helen Mirren and Peter O'Toole are proud to have this on their resume, considering the additional footage added by the man behind Hustler. Interesting stuff.
Meatballs: While not quite as much of a classic as some other 1979 films, this one is notable for having Bill Murray in it and spawning three sequels...with other people in them.
Phantasm: How many of you are surprised to read how old this movie is? I, for one, think of the films as 80s classics, but forget that the first is technically a '70s movie. In spite of this, the movie is remembered quite well. How many new horror series' do you think we will say the same thing about in 20+ years?
Star Trek- The Motion Picture: The mission- to boldly disappoint filmgoers everywhere. Instead of taking five years, this only took two hours of long, expansive space shots and a so-so plot to achieve. It did, however, take three years to return fans faith to the series with 1982's The Wrath of Khan.
Other notable films include Apocalypse Now, Dracula (with Frank Langella), Murder by Decree (an all-star Sherlock Holmes movie), The Life of Brian, Mad Max, HAIR, Escape from Alcatraz, Hercules in New York, The Black Hole, 10, The Amityville Horror and All That Jazz.
I also want to give a special shout-out to 1979's presentation of two long-forgotten sequels: More American Graffiti and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. Can't we ever get beyond The Poseidon Adventure!
Next up in the series, the films from George Orwell's favorite year: 1984. Will this list be the cream of the crop or just crap? Stay tuned...