Tuesday, September 12, 2017

6 Off My Head: Siri Says 1979

After a bit of a break we're trying to get ourselves back on schedule... which will probably be blown to shreds in about a week when press screenings for the New York Film Fest begin. But for now let us pretend! And so we asked our phone to choose us a number between 1 and 100, as we do, and our phone today gave us the number 79. Which means we're listing our favorite Movies of 1979. I was two at the time and I don't believe my parents were taking me to the movie theater yet (and if they were they were assholes) but I've somehow managed in the time since to see a bunch of 1979 movies all the same. It's a fine year! So fine I refused to narrow this list down from six to the usual five, actually. So let's take a look...

My 6 Favorite Movies of 1979

(dir. Ridley Scott)
-- released on June 22nd 1979 -- 

(dir. James Frawley)
-- released on June 22nd 1979 --  

(dir. Bob Fosse)
-- released on December 20th 1979 --  

(dir. Hal Ashby)
-- released on December 20th 1979 --  

(dir. David Cronenberg)
-- released on May 25th 1979 -- 

(dir. Woody Allen)
-- released on April 25th 1979 --


Runners-up: Apocalypse Now (dir. Coppola), Kramer vs Kramer (dir. Robert Benton), The Warriors (dir. Walter Hill), Nosferatu (dir. Herzog), The Jerk (dir. Carl Reiner), The Amityville Horror (dir. Stuart Rosenberg), Mad Max (dir. George Miller), Phantasm (dir. Don Coscarelli)...

... When a Stranger Calls (dir. Fred Walton), My Brilliant Career (dir. Armstrong), The Marriage of Maria Braun (dir. Fassbinder), The Tourist Trap (dir. Schmoeller), The China Syndrome (dir. Bridges), Woyzeck (dir. Herzog), Zombi 2 (dir. Fulci)

Never seen: Breaking Away (dir. Peter Yates), Moonraker (dir. Lewis Gilbert), 1941 (dir. Spielberg), Norma Rae (dir. Martin Ritt), Stalker (dir. Tarkovsky), The Rose (dir. Mark Rydell), The Tin Drum (dir. Volker Schlondorff), Rock n' Roll High School (dir. Allan Arkush), Love at First Bite (dir. Stan Dragoti), Tess (dir. Polanski)


What are you favorite movies of 1979?


joel65913 said...

Love your first two picks! All That Jazz, Being There and Manhattan are films that everybody seems to like much more than I did. I hated The Brood but I’m not a horror guy.

When a Stranger Calls has a fantastic beginning and end but the middle sags.

Out of what you haven’t seen 1941 is a mess with some interesting bits but it’s too long with too many misfires to wade through for the good. Love at First Bite is goofy fun and Tess absolutely gorgeous to look at but suffers from the same overlength.

Tess does have a very touching dedication at the beginning of the film with a simple title card that says “For Sharon”. Sharon Tate had suggested the Hardy novel to Polanski as a film possibility just before leaving him in England to return to the States for what she thought was the wait before their child was born.

It was a good year so here’s my top ten:

The China Syndrome
The Seduction of Joe Tynan
The Rose
North Dallas Forty
The Muppet Movie
Time after Time
Promises in the Dark
...And Justice for All
Norma Rae

Pierce said...

First of all, you really should see a few of the ones you haven’t seen. I had a friend who was competing in the Tour de France when I saw Breaking Away and was trying to break the habit of chewing on my fingernails. I bit every one of them! Moonraker is one of the best Roger Moore Bonds; don’t waste time on 1941. With the exception of the scene where Robert Stack goes to see Dumbo, it’s not worth it. Sally Field and Bette Midler both give fine performances in Norma Rae and The Rose, respectively. Haven’t seen Stalker myself. The Tin Drum is a good movie, but no great shakes if you don’t see it. Rock ‘n’ Role High School is on TV a lot. Love at First Bite is fun, but dumb. Tess is one of Roman Polanski’s best movies and a beautiful production of the story, very faithful to the book. Natasha Kinski resembles Ingrid Bergman in Saratoga Trunk in it.

Agatha with Vanessa Redgrave as Agatha Christie is a pretty good movie.
Alien. People warned me that this was scary. I didn’t think so.
All That Jazz, Bob Fosse’s heart attack, but a lot of talent on film.
Being There is Peter Sellers’ finest movie
The Black Hole is 20000 Leagues Under the Sea in outer space.
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie. When I saw it in the theater it was called The Great American Chase, I loved it, but it’s missing footage for some of the cartoons.
The China Syndrome is one of Jane Fonda’s best movies ever!
Dracula. A lot of fun. Frank Langella is a very sexy vampire.
The Great Santini. Very fine movie with a terrific cast.
Hair, a heartbreaking movie based on the stage musical.
Kramer Vs. Kramer. Good performances, don’t need to ever see it again.
Manhattan, Woody Allen’s love letter to New York.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian. One of the best comedies ever made.
The Muppet Movie. A very charming and entertaining movie.
Murder by Decree, a clever Sherlock Holmes movie.
Nosferatu the Vampyre, A magnificent movie!
Starting Over, loads of fun. Candice Bergan steals the picture.
Wise Blood. Flannery O’Connor on the screen. Marvelous film.

par3182 said...

*all that jazz*
breaking away
norma rae

Unknown said...

Breaking Away is, inevitably, a bit dated, but its the first movie that made me want to stand up and cheer in the theatre. It has stayed with me for almost 40 years.

Ditto whoever said The Great Santini, another film ripe for a remake and this one feels very TV movie now, but I still love it, especially for Michael O'Keefe and Blythe Danner, some beautiful scenes.

Bill Carter said...

God, I loved "Breaking Away"! I'd probably put it in my all-time top 10. Dennis Christopher gave a beautiful, nuanced performance in the lead, and the supporting actors were across-the-board excellent, in well-developed roles. Sweet film. If you ever need cheering up, this will do the trick.

Other favourites from that year:

Alien, of course
Nosferatu the Vampyre. Unforgettable.
Time after Time, for fun.
Mad Max, for the visuals.