Today is my 30th birthday. I’m not usually one to make a huge fuss of these things but a milestone birthday kind of makes you take stock, at least for a moment. This is a film blog though so as a chance to post today without having to get reflective and personal, I thought I’d take a quick look at the films that turn 30. The films of 1985.
1985 was a great year for movies. It had a great mix of classic comedies, thrillers and one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. My initial idea was to watch and review a film from 1985 in celebration but the chance to get my wife to watch both parts of The Dark Knight Returns animated movie was too good an opportunity to pass-up. (She fell asleep during the second one).
For starters, 1985 was the year that Sylvester Stallone tore up the cinema screen. Sly would star in both Rambo First Blood: Part 2 and take on the Russians and end the Cold War in Rocky 4.
Not to be outdone, Arnie would star in one of his many notable action movies with Commando, while taking on the fantasy genre once again in Red Sonja. No Terminator but it would do. Clint Eastwood would give us Pale Rider and Harrison Ford would star in classic thriller Witness. A good year for the ageing movie star – coincidentally, most of which are getting a slight career rejuvenation as of late.
The Horror scene hasn’t changed much. Sequels made their impact in 1985 as much as they do today. Day of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and Friday the 13th Part 5. It seems the constant stream of sequels isn’t necessarily a new things after-all.
That being said, 1985 gave us movies which have made some sort of impact this year too. It is of course no coincidence that 30 year anniversaries would inspire new versions of classic movies so this year, 30 after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, we have had Tom Hardy’s take on the classic anti-hero. National Lampoon’s European Vacation is just Vacation today and at the end of next month will be Bond’s latest adventure, 30 years after A View to a Kill and the last of Roger Moore’s version of the character.
Big time directors would get to stretch their creative juices too. Steven Spielberg would produce the drama The Colour Purple starring Whoopi Goldburg and Oprah Winfrey. Terry Gilliam would give the world his dystopia in Brazil and Tim Burton would offer Pee-Wee Herman one more Big Adventure. It wasn’t just the directors from the West either – Akira Kurosawa gave the world Ran (although I confess I had never heard of it before I started this post).
There was plenty of classic, iconic films that people of my age look back on fondly. Films that epitomise the 80s seem to have been released in 1985. For example; The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weird Science, Teen Wolf and Cocoon.
Finally though, there is only one film that 1985 needs to be known for; Back to the Future. That perfect mix of action, comedy, sci-fi and just a little bit of harmless incest. It still holds-up today and thankfully has avoided the dreaded remake/reboot/sequel that has been long suggested but never completed.
Overall, 1985 was not just a great year to be born but a great year for movies too. From classic superstar vehicles like Rambo and Commando, to the epitome of childhood, 80s movies like The Goonies and Teen Wolf. Above all, it gave us one of the coolest and most iconic films of all time: Back to the Future. All this and not a superhero movie in sight.