Happy Anniversary A-Z (Well, W)

A few weeks back Patrick Goldstein on his LA Times blog asked “Is there any Hollywood movie that isn’t having an anniversary this month?” He could reasonably have said this year as well because every time I surf the net or pick up a magazine there is a anniversary piece about a classic or cult movie that came out 20 years ago, 25 years ago, 30 years ago and so on. There are quite a few good articles so I thought I’d compile a far from complete listing of some of the best ones. Here goes:

AIRPLANE! (Dir. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, & Jerry Zucker, 1980)

The gag-a-minute disaster film satire just turned 30 (USA release date July 2nd, 1980) and there are a gaggle of tributes including this New York Times piece:

“Surely It’s 30 (Don’t Call Me Shirley)” – Matt Zoller Seitz

There’s also this well worth checking out piece:

“Airplane!, one of the best comedies ever made, celebrates its 30th anniversary (with videos)” – Scott Wampler (Examiner.com)

BACK TO THE FUTURE (Dir. Robert Zemeckis, 1985)

This anniversary, the film’s 25th, was marked by what’s been called a “twitter hoax” involving a photoshoped picture of Doc Brown’s Delorean dashboard. You can read about it here:

“Debunked: ‘Back To The Future’ Twitter Hoax” Jeff Sneider (TheWrap.com)

Pretty funny but Conan O”Brien’s tweet was funnier:

“Today’s the 25th anniversary of “Back to the Future” – The movie that popularized DeLoreans, Flux Capacitors, & almost nailing your own mom.”

THE BLUES BROTHERS (Dir. John Landis, 1980)

1980 comes up a lot here – it was quite a summer. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s musical car chase extravaganza was definitely a highlight as these links attest:

“Remembering ‘Blues Brothers’ 30 years later” – Christopher Borrelli (Chicago Tribune)

“30 years later and ‘Blues Brothers’ still on a mission from God”Steve Spears (Tampabay.com)

“The Blues Brothers Gets Vatican Seal Of Appoval”Ron Hogan (Popular Fidelity – popfi.com)

CADDYSHACK (Dir. Harold Ramis, 1980)

Score another for 1980 with this much beloved country club golf comedy which pitted the slobs against the snobs. Read on:

“Is it Really the 30th Anniversary of ‘Caddyshack’?!” – Jane Boursaw (filmgecko.net.)

(Dir. Irvin Kershner, 1980)

The second (or the 5th if you want to split hairs) film of the ginormously popular STAR WARS series is widely thought by many, including me, to be the best stand alone installment. Here’s some links to those who think likewise:

“Report from the 30th Anniversary Empire Screening” – Pablo Hidalgo (starwars.com)

The Empire Strikes Back Turns 30, As Do Fans Pyschic Scars” – Mike Ryan (Vanity Fair)

“Empire Strikes 30: Ars looks back at a amzing film” Ben Kuchera (artstechnica.com)

FLETCH (Dir. Michael Ritchie, 1985)

Chevy Chase’s newspaper reporter wisecracks through one of his best comedies, if not the best. This is by far the best column I’ve found yet on the film’s birthday:

“White losers rejoice: Fletch celebrates 25 years” – Peter Hyman (thephoenix.com)

GOODFELLAS (Dir. Martin Scorsese, 1990)

It’s too early for tributes just yet – the film was released on September 19th, 1990. Until then here’s the news of Spike TV’s anniversary tribute:

“Spike TV celebrating ‘Goodfellas’ 20th at Guy’s Choice Awards” (merinews.com)

Stay tuned to this space for more on GOODFELLAS 20th…

(Dir. Steven Spielberg, 1975)

Too many to list here but here’s some of the cream of the crop of 35th anniversary wishes to what many claim was the first summer blockbuster:

“‘Jaws’ 35th anniversary: Remembering the first summer blockbuster” – Andrea Reiher (zap2it.com)

“Jaws’ 35th anniversary: How Jaws changed summer movie blockbusters” Michael Avila (csmonitor.com)

“35th Anniversary of Jaws Begins in a Junkyard” – Robert Falconer (cinemaspy.com)

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (Dirs. Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones, 1975)

Last year it was reported that there would be a 35th anniversary celebration at Doune castle in England (where much of the movie was shot):

“Monty Python reunion planned for Doune castle” (pythononline.com)

I couldn’t find any other info – a date for the reunion or anything so if you know what’s up with it please email me.

PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE (Dir. Tim Burton, 1985):

“Los Angeles Film Festival: Paul Reubens to mark 25th anniversary of ‘Pee Wee’s Big Adventure'” – Susan King (latimes.com)

PSYCHO (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

“Hitchcock’s Psycho at 50, The sounds of violence” Jack Sullivan (WSJ.com)

RAGING BULL (Dir. Martin Scorsese, 1980):

“Brutal Attraction: The Making of Raging Bull”

– Richard Schickel (vanityfair.com)

THE SHINING (Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

“The Shining – 30th Anniversary – May 23, 1980”

WILD AT HEART (Dir. David Lynch, 1990)

Actually other than some notices about 20th anniversary screenings I haven’t found a good anniversary appraisal for this one. I just rewatched it and really loved see it again so maybe I should consider doing one. Hmmm.

I know there are a lot of significant anniversaries I’ve missed – REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955), THE APARTMENT (1960), MASH (1970), NASHVILLE (1975), and many many more so please let me know what else we should be celebrating in the comments below. Looks like a followup is in the cards.

More later…

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