The Greatest Year for Film: 1982 - 2/20/2021
After watching several film retrospectives, I got to thinking about what might be the best year for motion pictures
releases. 1982 is one of the candidates I would offer. And here are a few of my thoughts on some of the
memorable films from that year and what they mean to me.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - June 4th
This film saved the Star Trek franchise after the disappointing 1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I
give all the credit for the success of this film to director Nicholas Meyer. His introduction of new uniforms,
the submarine warfare style of the final battle, and the overall pace and tension throughout the movie. For
many Star Trek fans, including myself, this has become one of the best in the series.
Poltergeist - June 4th
This film is often promoted as being written and produced by Steven Spielberg, which hides the fact that the movie
is directed by Tobe Hooper. Yeah, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Tobe Hooper. I first saw this
movie on cable, and it was amazingly scary fun.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - June 11th
I remember the buzz surrounding this movie and the huge word-of-mouth praise. I recall seeing it with Mom and
Jeff at the Athena Cinema on Court Street in Athens. This may have been the first time I ever cried during a
movie. Mom felt that the movie was appropriate for Crissy to see, so a week later we went again. This
time I knew what to expect and told myself that I wouldn't cry this time. Nope, I was wrong. I still
cried. Damn you, Spielberg. This was also the first time I had even seen a movie in a theather twice
during its initial run.
Blade Runner - June 25th
I never saw this movie in a theater and over the years with the numerous edits, I’m not sure which version was
the first one I saw. It took me many years to discover this movie, but man do I love it now. Ridley
Scott and Harrison Ford are just awesome.
The Thing - June 25th
This is another movie I didn’t catch at the theater, but watched many times on TV. This story has the most
innovative monster concept ever. The idea that anyone might unknowingly be a deadly life form that spreads
like a virus. John Carpenter and his team make the best use of the most ingenious practical special effects
to scare the crap out of the audience.
It is hard to believe that all five of these films came out in June. But that’s not all; Anne, Grease 2,
Firefox, The Secret of NIMH and Tootsie were also released that same month.
Tron - July 9th
I begged Mom to let me see this movie unto seeing the unbelievable graphics in the trailer. I really geeked
out on the images on the big movie screen. I felt like I had been transported inside a video game.
The Dark Crystal - December 17th
This was another classic I found on television. This movie felt like a whole new medium of storytelling. Jim
Henson and Frank Oz are so ingenious and creative.
And if that isn’t enough, here are some other memorable films also released in 1982: An Officer and a Gentleman,
Conan the Barbarian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, First Blood, 48 Hours, The World According to Garp and The Best
Little Whorehouse in Texas.
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