Friday, May 30, 2014

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989), DRVING MISS DAISY (1989)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's Top Box Office Month(1989)

And the top 5 box office movies for 1989 were...

1. Batman
2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
3. Lethal Weapon 2
4. Look Who's Talking
5. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Favorite from the top 5: Batman. Clearly between Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. If I had to pick from these two ten years ago, I would have gone with Indiana. On second viewing, I didn't like Indiana quite as much as I did previously and I like the Michael Keaton/Tim Burton Batman more the second time around. But you should still see both at least once.

Batman
Least favorite from the top 5: Look Who's Talking. Not that it isn't without some laughs, but the silly talking baby movie in the top five? Really?

Look Who's Talking

The only 1001 entry in the top five here is Batman, so I'm going to have to dig deeper down the box office list once again.

Crimes and Misdemeanors
Crimes and Misdemeanors (only 61 for the year at the box office) is the final film from Woody Allen's 80's decade where he put together quite a string of quality work: Zelig, Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters and Radio Days to name a few.

Crimes and Misdemeanor has two intersecting stories. The first has Martin Landau as Jubal, a successful doctor and family man who has a mistress who has gone off the deep end and threatens to expose their affair to his wife. (Didn't Jubal see and learn from Fatal Attraction?). The second part of the story has Allen as Cliff, a struggling documentary filmmaker who vies for the affection of a pretty associate producer (Mia Farrow) against his obnoxious but successful brother-in-law played by Alan Alda.

The movie hits on a lot of Allen themes, chief of which is expressed by the rabbi who is slowly going blind, "I couldn't go on living if I didn't feel it with all my heart a moral structure, with real meaning, and forgiveness, and a higher power, otherwise there's no basis to live." Cliff and Jubal don't actually meet until the end of the film and I find the resolution to be appropriately unsatisfying. (I mean that in a good way).


Driving Miss Daisy
Driving Miss Daisy, based on Alfred Uhry's play about the friendship between an older white southern widow and her black driver was most successful at the box office (Number 6 for the year) and also won the Best Picture Oscar and Best Actress for Jessica Tandy. It didn't make the 1001 book, maybe because one might see it as an overly sugarcoated exploration of race, especially compared to the other major race movie of 1989, Do the Right Thing. That being said, when looked at as a story about the relationship between the two people, it's a nice character study, though giving it the Best Picture Oscar was probably going a bit too far. I also saw a lot of this movie being filmed in my hometown of Decatur, Georgia, for what it's worth. 

Well, I've run out of years for the 80's. Guess it's time to move forward (or maybe backward?) 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

RAIN MAN (1988), WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? (1988), BIG (1988)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's top box office month: (1988)


And the top 5 box office movies for 1988 are.. 

1. Rain Man
2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
3. Coming to America
4. Big
5. Twins

Least Favorite of the Top Five: Big. I have nothing against Big really, in fact it's an enjoyable fantasy for the most part, but I just like the Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America and the Schawenneger/Devito comedy Twins a little more. (Can you imagine so many comedies in the top 5 movies of the year today?) Big is about a kid (a thirteen-year old) that makes a wish to be big and turns into Tom Hanks the next day. And it is pretty funny to see Tom Hanks act like a kid. In fact, that's the whole movie. The problem is is that Hanks seems to be acting more like a seven or eight year old than teenager. But since Hanks gets involved romantically with a grown woman, having the kid be any younger would make the romantic scenario even creepier than it already is. Hanks also gets a job in a big New York toy manufacturer and we are to assume he can just walk in their offices with no resume or background and get hired and within a few weeks, through his childlike reaction to toys, get promoted to Vice President of toy development (or something like that). Once again, suspension of disbelief.

Perhaps I'm just thinking too much here and should laugh at Tom Hanks pretend to spray foam out of his nose.

Would I watch it with my kids? Yes

Would it make my 1001 list? No


Big

Favorite of the top 5: It's a race for me between the top two entries on this list (and both are on the 1001 list). We have the Barry Levinson film Rain Man, which features Dustin Hoffman as an autistic savant who is kidnapped (sort of) by his younger brother Tom Cruise. How their relationship develops is the core of the film. Rain Man would certainly make my book. It has many poignant moments most of which involve the evolving relationship between the brothers.. It also has a few moments that are a bit forced, such as Cruise finding a small town doctor to examine Hoffman mostly to establish the plot point that Raymond is phenomenal with numbers and a Vegas scene that is fun, but a bit much at times. Still a moving and recommend film.

And an extra toast to the old guy in the doctor's waiting room rambling on about the history of Wells Fargo.

But my choice for favorite my favorite of the top 5 is (kind of to my surprise) is Who Framed Roger Rabbit? This animation/live action combo movie may not seem as technologically revolutionary as it did in 1988, but the character development of the animated (the delightfully goofy Roger and the seductive Jessica) and real characters (the everyman gumshoe Eddie Valiant and the evil, freeway loving Judge Doom) strikes a great balance. And who wouldn't want to have a place like Toon Town to visit? Toon Town is built up throughout the movie and doesn't disappoint when we finally get there.

And an extra toast to Roger Rabbit's human  leading man, the late great Bob Hoskins!



Raymond and his new main man in Rain Man

"DIP!" in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

FATAL ATTRACTION (1987), GOOD MORNING VIETNAM (1987), MOONSTRUCK (1987)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's top box office month: (1987)

1. Three Men and a Baby
2. Fatal Attraction
3. Beverly Hills Cop II
4. Good Morning, Vietnam
5. Moonstruck

Least favorite movie from the top 5: Three Men and a Baby. Despite the fact that I'm not real fond of Beverly Hills Cop II, Three Men and a Baby is the winner (loser) here. I mean really? That's the number one movie of the year? A pretty bland remake of a French comedy starring Steve Guttenburg was the number one movie of the year? I ask again. Really?

Three Men and a Baby

Favorite movie from the top 5: I have three 1001 movies left of the top five from 1987. They are  Fatal Attraction, Good Morning Vietnam and Moonstruck.

Fatal Attraction
No movie was more talked about in 1987 than Fatal Attraction. Part horror film, part romance gone wrong, part thriller, it was a film about the possible consequences of infidelity that seemed to hit the theaters just at the right time. Glenn Close as the lovelorn psychopath probably would have been my choice for the Academy Award, but is the film itself my favorite of these three?  
Good Morning, Vietnam
Good Morning, Vietnam was Robin Williams finally getting a movie that was a good fit for his improvisational talents. It came out the year after Platoon and Full Metal Jacket, but is a Vietnam comedy more in the vein of MASH than those other two films. And I'm a Robin Williams fan, but is it my favorite of the three?
Moonstruck
The last film of the three on this list is Moonstruck and was the one film of the three that I wasn't looking forward to seeing again. I hadn't seen it since it was new twenty-something years ago.

So, I put in the Blu-Ray I rented late and night and fell asleep after about ten minutes. I tried again the next night and fell asleep after about thirty minutes. I gave it one more try the next night starting with the parts I nodded off during the previous night. I finally managed to stay awake and see the whole thing and you know what? I really enjoyed it. It's  very well written (by Oscar winner John Patrick Shanley) and observant comedy with a truly fine cast (Vincent Gardenia as the dad is my favorite) and reminiscent of the Woody Allen comedies of the era.

And much to my surprise...Moonstruck is my favorite of the three.

If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On: The importance of music in all three of these movies is worth noting.  The baker Ronny Cammereri (Nicholas Cage) in Moonstruck loves Pucchini's La Boheme, which he listens to before taking Loretta Castorini (Cher) to the opera of the same name which leads to his successful wooing of the girl.

The Psychotic Alex (Glenn Close) listens to Madame Butterfly while turning on and off the light switch in her apartment in one of Fatal Attraction's most famous scenes.

Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) doesn't go for opera. In fact, spinning the hits with The Beach Boys and James Brown is what gets him in trouble at his Vietnam radio station in the first place. But I do wonder, if those albums weren't allowed to be played on the air, why were they at the radio station in the first place?

Monday, May 19, 2014

PLATOON (1986), HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's top box office month: (1986)

And the top 5 box office movies for 1986 are...

1. Top Gun
2. Crocodile Dundee
3. Platoon
4. Karate Kid II
5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

The Enterprise Crew go back to 1986 San Francisco in Star Trek IV

Favorite movie from the top 5Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
As a long time Star Trek fan, I pretty much have to put what many Trekkies consider the best of the Star Trek movies, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (I'm still a Wrath of Khan guy) in the number one slot here. This one has admittedly a pretty silly plot about the Enterprise crew taking a Klingon bird of prey back in time to 1986 to bring a humpback whale into the future to save humanity. That's a lot to swallow. But if you can suspend your belief enough, this one is awfully fun. The best parts are the crew trying to communicate with the people of the time. (Chekhov looking for "Nuclear Vessel," Scotty trying to start a computer, which is probably a Commodore but I can't remember, by talking to it, Spock trying to figure out what exact change for a bus means, and Kirk trying to use the colloquialisms of the day, "Double Dumb Ass on You!"

Top Gun
Least Favorite movie from the top 5: Top GunTop Gun is only listed here because it was the number one movie of the year. Otherwise I would have chosen The Karate Kid II mostly because I had to hear the Glory of Love Song by Peter Cetera about a thousand times at the office I worked at in 1986. Luckily, I haven't heard it in recent years, but the memory remains..

Any more on Top Gun can be referred to here  http://1001afilmodyssey.blogspot.com/2011/02/top-gun-1986.html


Hannah and Her Sisters #30
It often seems that at Academy Award time that there are two front-runners for Best Picture that are truly different. In 1986, we had Platoon, Oliver Stone's penetrating study of his tour of duty in Vietnam and Woody Allen's ensemble comedy Hannah and Her Sisters.

Honestly, I like Hannah better. In fact it is right at the top of my list of favorite Woody Allen movies. The plot threads between the characters are wonderfully placed, the comedy touches are memorable and the cast (Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey etc.) is perfect. I've seen it several times and hope to see it again.

That being said, I have no problem with Platoon winning Best Picture. William Goldman said in referring to the Cannes film festival, that the jury prize really has to go to the movie with the most "weight." I think the same thing can be said of the Academy choices. You can certainly make the case that there were better movies in the 80's than Gandhi, The Last Emperor or Driving Miss Daisy, but the fact that the subjects of these films were important definitely helped the Academy decide to award the top prize to these films. How could E.T., Moonstruck or Field of Dreams compete with that?

No film fits this "weight" definition in the 80's more than Platoon. I saw it when it first came out and am seeing it again for the first time in twenty-seven years.It is a no hold barred account of the Vietnam conflict by someone (Oliver Stone) who was in the middle of it. The scene where the platoon burns a village is probably the best scene and hardest to watch in the movie. The platoon also comes with it's good and evil images (Willem Dafoe as a Christ figure and Tom Berenger as the Devil on earth). It is definitely heavy. It is about as heavy as it gets. And I have no problem with it winning the Oscar, but I'm not sure I'm going to be inclined to ever watch it again.

Platoon



Friday, May 16, 2014

KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985), PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1985)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's top box office month(1985)

And the top 5 box office movies for 1985 were...

1. Back to the Future
2. Rambo: First Blood, Part II
3. Rocky IV
4. The Color Purple
5. Out of Africa

Favorite movie from the top 5: Back to the Future. I know I should pick one of the higherbrow movies like The Color Purple or Out of Africa here, but I got to go with Marty McFly and Back to the Future. It really is a movie that has stood the test of time (Pun intended)

Back to the Future


Least favorite movie from the top 5: Rock IV. I mentioned in my previous post, that I had never seen a Karate Kid movie all the way through. I've also never seen a Rambo movie (I've seen Son of Rambow, but that doesn't count here). But since I have seen Rocky IV, this is an easy choice for the bottom of the top five box office of the year. The movie actually gets off to a strong start with the death of Apollo Creed, but as the movie wears on and Rocky fights the Russian and the crowd begins to start rooting for Rocky for seemingly no reason, all I could do was shake my head at it. As I left the theater, I  continued to shake my head.


Rocky I too many




Kiss of the Spider Woman #53

Down the box office charts from that year is #53 Kiss of the Spider Woman. The plot is pretty simple. In a generic country of your choosing, there are two men sharing a cell. Valentin lives for the fight. Lives for justice. Lives for revolution. 

The other one lives for the romance only. Molina can recount in detail a romantic Nazi propaganda movie without having any problem with the politics within it.

The two characters are so different from each other that they seem like different parts of one more fully developed person. I don't mean that negatively as I think the two are pretty fascinating most of the time. Towards the end, the feminine becomes more revolutionary and the revolutionary becomes more of a romantic. This may border on being cliche and predictable for some, but I think the story is strong enough to avoid it. The Oscar winning performance of William Hurt and the always good Raul Julia definitely are a plus, since most of the movie is just the two of them.


Purple Rose of Cairo #78

The Purple Rose of Cairo came in even lower than Kiss of the Spider Woman at #78 for the year. I'm not sure why, as it's a most enjoyable comedy and one that brings up that fantasy that many moviegoers have of interacting directly with the characters in a movie you are watching or having those characters come to life. It's romantic and sad, and Woody Allen movie tend to usually be pretty niche and attract a more select audience. Well, I went to see all his movies during the 80's. I think it was his peek creative time. Though Hannah and Her Sisters was my favorite of his film from the decade, Purple Rose of Cairo is a worthwhile addition to the 1001 list as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

GHOSTBUSTERS (1984), BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's top box office month: (1984)

And the top 5 box office movies for 1984 are...

1. Beverly Hills Cop
2. Ghostbusters
3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
4. Gremlins
5. The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid


Least Favorite Movie from the top 5: The Karate Kid. I've got to confess, I've only seen clips of The Karate Kid. I just never worked up any enthusiasm for seeing this. But what else am I going to pick from this list? Temple of Doom isn't nearly as bad as some make it out to be and it doesn't feel right to pick Gremlins...I think I'll just move on to the top two and I got lucky for this year in that the top two movies for the year are also 1001 book entries.

Ray, Venkman and Egon prepare to do battle in Ghostbusters

Favorite movie from the top 5: Ghostbusters I admit the first time I saw Ghostbusters, I had a hard time getting in to it at first. I mean a bunch of guys start a business where they go around New York and catch ghosts like exterminators? What? But when I took a breath and took it in, I began to enjoy it. Bill Murray was damn funny. So were Rick Moranis and  the Sta-Puft marshmellow man.  It's Ghostbusters. Just enjoy it.


The four Ghostbusters battle the Sta-Puft Marshmellow Man

Beverly Hills Cop
The top box office movie of the 1984 was Beverly Hills Cop. Few movies are more representative of the 80's for me than this one, from the music (The Pointer Sisters, Glenn Frey etc.) to the shootouts, to the just enough plot to let star Eddie Murphy do his schtick, which is really what the movie is all about. He's funny, but at the same time, he's as badass a cop as Shaft or Superfly.

I always heard that this was originally supposed to be a Sylvester Stallone vehicle. I can't even imagine what that would have been like. I'm sure the Lisa Eilbacher character (No one had better 80's hair than Lisa Eilbacher in this movie!) would have been "the girlfriend" if Stallone had been in it. But I guess the producers figured that a romance between the blonde and the black guy would have pushed the envelope a little much for what was certain to be a hit.

Lisa Eilbacher and Eddie Murphy stay platonic in Beverly Hills Cop


Saturday, May 10, 2014

THE BIG CHILL (1983), THE RIGHT STUFF (1983)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's top box office month : 1983

And the top 5 box office movies for 1983 were...
1. Return of the Jedi
2. Terms of Endearment
3. Flashdance
4. Trading Places
5. War Games

Favorite movie from the top 5: Return of the Jedi. Hard for me to choose between Return of the Jedi, Terms of Endearment and Trading Places. You have a science fiction movie, a family drama and a comedy. Apple vs. Oranges vs. Avocados. But since Jedi is my favorite of the Star Wars trilogy, I'm going with that one. However, if we are talking about the updated version of Jedi where the apparitions at the end of the film are Yoda, Obi Wan and the young Anakin from the second trilogy!!, I'm choosing Terms of Endearment just for spite.

Return of the Jedi (Acceptable ending)

Return of the Jedi (Unacceptable ending)

Least favorite movie from the top 5: War Games. I'd rate the battle for last of the top five as a toss-up between War Games and Flashdance. I always thought War Games was overrated when it became a hit. It's not bad, but I was never really wild about it. Maybe I just need to see it again, though I don't have much of a desire to do so. Flashdance was a popular movie that is pretty easy to make fun of. The screenplay for Flashdance was written by Joe Eszterhas. And since I recently enjoyed his book The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God, I can't put his movie at the bottom. I know that isn't the best reasoning, but sorry War Games, you lose!

War Games

The Big Chill #13

The funny thing about a 1983 movie where thirtysomethings talking about the days of 1968 and Civil Rights, Vietnam and student protest is trying to imagine these same thirtysomethings in 2014 talking about 1999, since it is the mathematical equivalent. What would they talk about in this 2014 updating? The dot com crash? Y2K?

The Big Chill may be best viewed alongside of the similarly themed (and earlier) The Return of the Secaucus Seven.



The Right Stuff #33

I had to think a bit about my favorite movie of 1983 from the top 5 at the box office, but I won't hedge on naming The Right Stuff as my favorite film from that year. Of course, growing up in an age where the Mercury and Apollo astronauts were revered definitely puts a bias in me from the beginning. Tom Wolfe's book strongly emphasizes the Cold War aspect of the story of the Mercury Seven (and Chuck Yeager). The film stresses that too, but the individuality of the characters and the heroism of their mission is what comes through to me and puts it at the top of my 1983 list. And when Chuck Yeager emerges from the wreckage of a burning plane at the end of the movie, well, how can you not feel the testosterone drip off the screen? 

But why is this award winning classic only at number #33 for the year? I looked at the movies on the box office list for that year directly ahead of The Right Stuff and they include: Porky's II: The Next Day (a forgettable teen sex comedy), Spring Break (a forgettable teen sex comedy), Class (a forgettable teen sex comedy) and My Tutor (which is a forgettable teen...you know). 




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

E. T. (1982), TOOTSIE (1982)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's Top Box Office Month: 1982

And the top 5 box office movies for 1982 were...

1. E. T.
2. Tootsie
3. An Officer and a Gentleman
4. Rocky III
5. Porky's

Least favorite of the Top 5: 3-way tie between An Officer and a Gentleman, Rocky III and Porky's. I'm completely copping out on this one. The #3 through #5 movies of this year have positives and negatives.

Anyway, it's a three way tie for the bottom (or runner-up depending on you outlook)

Rocky III has more of the standard good Rocky fight scenes, the emergence of Mr. T as Clubber Lang and the interesting twist of Rocky and Apollo Creed becoming allies. It's okay, but not nearly as good as the first one. On the other hand, it's not nearly as bad as Rocky IV.

Rocky III
An Officer and a Gentleman has a winning romantic combination in Richard Gere and Debra Winger, a nice theme song and a memorable ending. It's also pretty emotionally manipulative and fairly predictable.
An Officer and a Gentleman

Porky's is a movie that I'm sure I liked better when I was a teenager than I would like now. It is pretty juvenile and relies heavily on juvenile humor of giving its characters names in accordance with their manhood (like Meat and Pee Wee.)  Hee Hee. It's a little funny at that.

Porky's

Favorite of the top 5: (tie) Tootsie and E. T. I figured since I copped out on the least favorite, I'd cop out on the favorites too. But how can you choose between Dustin Hoffman in drag in one of the best comedies of the 80's and the icon alien adventure E. T.? 

Well, I can't, though the Academy bypassed both for Gandhi that year, but that's another story.

Note to self: Be more decisive in the future about what you like and don't like.


Tootsie

E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial


Sunday, May 4, 2014

BODY HEAT (1981), REDS (1981)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's Top Box Office Month: (1981)

And the top 5 box office movies for 1981 were...

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. On Golden Pond
3. Superman II
4. Arthur
5. Stripes

Favorite of the top 5: Superman II. The second Christopher Reeve Superman movie is probably still my favorite of any superhero movie. It may be a combination of the time it came out and the superhero movie coming into its own. If I had been ten years older or younger, I probably wouldn't pick Superman II from this list. It is what it is. But really how can you beat Terrence Stamp as Zod for a bad guy?

Superman II

Least favorite of the top 5: The last half-hour of Stripes. I like all the top five movies on this list, so it is hard to put one on the bottom. However, though I haven't seen Stripes in years, I do remember the movie peeked during the scene where Bill Murray finishes his basic training with Murray's famous, "Army training sir!"line. And that should have been the end of the movie! But it goes on and they are transporting nuclear weapons or driving around in an Urban Assault Vehicle or something...it really brings the movie down a notch for me, though I still like it and it does have the forever lovely P. J. Soles as the leading lady. But I would have just lopped off the last thirty minutes and gone with a shorter movie.

Stripes

The only 1001 movie from this list is Raiders of the Lost Ark and I've already done a blog on that. So once again, I'm going to have to dig deeper into the list.


Body Heat #33

I was actually a little surprised that Body Heat was only #33 on the box office list for the year as I remember it as being pretty big at the time. It harkens back to film noir as well as any movie from the 80's could, yet updates it with twists and turns that would have never gotten anywhere near the sensors of that earlier time. The plot is full of surprises if you haven't seen it before and Kathleen Turner  is on the short list of hottest film fatales of all-time.


Reds #13

Coming in at #13 is Reds, Warren Beatty's epic story of socialist/anarchist John Reed. I confess to never feeling in the mood to watch this movie before, but now that I've seen it, it does possess the grand sweep that a good epic should possess. At the core of this film is the love story between Reed and Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton). I don't think it's in the Lawrence of Arabia great film category, but it's a worthwhile effort and involving despite the very long running time. 

My favorite part of the movie was the running commentaries and interview excerpts from actual people that actually knew John Reed.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

DRESSED TO KILL (1980), THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980)

What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's Top Box Office Month: (1980)

And the top 5 box office movies for 1980 were...

1. The Empire Strikes Back

2. 9 to 5

3. Stir Crazy

4. Airplane!

5. Any Which Way You Can

Favorite of the top 5: Airplane! Silly in spots and often imitated, Airplane! gets the nod only partly because it is the movie I have quoted the most over the years. Of course, whenever I say "I take my coffee black, like my men," I always make sure to explain the context.

Airplane!

Least favorite of the top 5: 9 to 5. Perhaps I always read this movie wrong, but I actually sympathized with the Dabney Coleman "boss" character when these women took their revenge on him. I'm pretty sure this wasn't the filmmaker's intent.
Nine to Five

Also from 1980: The only two 1001 movies from this list are The Empire Strikes Back and Airplane!. I've already done blogs on them. So I've had to go down deeper on the box office list to find anything.

The Elephant Man #25

Coming in at #25 for the year is the critically acclaimed film, The Elephant Man.

I first heard of The Elephant Man when his story was recounted in a chapter of The book Very Special People by Frederick Drimmer. Drimmer included a chapter written by Dr. Frederick Treves about his horribly deformed patient named John Merrick. 

A couple of years later, I saw the stage version of The Elephant Man, where there is no special makeup for the actor playing Merrick. The audience just had to use it's imagination with the help of the actor playing the part to picture Merrick's aliment.

The movie version of The Elephant Man I saw  at the theater when it first came out and haven't seen since. Watching it again, it strikes me as a very moving piece and succeeds in showing the humanity underneath Merrick's affliction. He comes across as a most noble sort and we root for him to find a shred of happiness in what has been a very bleak existence. 

The question that arises for me in watching the mistreatment of Merrick is...why do we do it? Why do we torture and mock the afflicted and abuse. Why do we do it?

Dressed to Kill #21


At number #21 for the year 1980, we have Dressed to Kill. I actually had to go off the list for this one, but it was one of my favorite movies when I saw it in the Summer of 1980. Even then, it appeared like a reworking of many of the themes of Psycho, but I was willing to overlook that as it was still pretty provocative, well done and suspenseful.

Seeing it again, I still liked it. De Palma certainly knows how to build suspense well, and you may want to check it out if you like the genre or De Palma's other movies. Or if you just want to see Angie Dickinson (actually her body double) naked.