1979 was an interesting year, besides the happenstance of my birth. The Cold War was still going strong, with the USSR invading Afghanistan. Jimmy Carter was coming to the end of his time in office. It was a time of transition and change.
And some great movies came out that year. I’ve actually never watched Alien or Moonraker, but these are five movies I have watched and loved.
5The Life of Brian
If you’ve never watched Monty Python, do yourself a favor. This is the movie Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is from. Banned in multiple countries for being sacrilegious, it was even promoted as such, for instance, as being “too funny for Norway.”
The plot is based around a case of mistaken identity. Brian is born in the stable next to Jesus Christ (which confuses the three wise men). As he grows up, he’s mistaken as the Messiah, despite his protestations. The more he protests, the less people believe him.
If you love comedy, definitely check out one of the greats.
You know how every action movie uses Ride of the Valkyries for that scene where the calvary comes swooping in? It’s because of this movie. Also why every Vietnam movie use The End.
This movie is almost as famous for it’s behind the scenes troubles as it’s classic filmmaking. Brando arrived overweight and unprepared. Lead actor Martin Sheen had a heart attack from the stress. Sets were destroyed and filming in the jungle made everything worse. Director Francis Ford Coppola had to go through hours and hours of footage to make a useable movie. A remake of the novella The Heart of Darkness, the production seemed intent on making the story’s point of how men eventually succumb to their primal state.
This first Mad Max doesn’t take place after the apocalypse. It does have Mel Gibson, a kickass car and a lot of violence.
Max Rockatansky is a police officer after a gang of motorcycle toughs. After his wife and child are killed, things turn personal. It’s worth watching if for nothing else then a very young (and not yet crazy) Mel Gibson, and to see the movie that spawned a franchise. The director is George Miller, who returned to the franchise with Fury Road.
2Star Trek The Motion Picture
Besides the groovy uniforms, Star Trek the Motion Picture has a lot of (for the time) top special effects, which ballooned the budget and nearly capsized the production. But it had enough profit to green light The Wrath of Khan a few years later.
The original plan was to bring back Star Trek as a series, but when that fell through, they pushed out this movie. In the film, the intrepid crew investigates the sudden appearance of a giant alien presence calling itself V’ger. It’s often long and slow, but it’s still better then The Final Frontier.
1The Muppet Movie
This is, unashamedly, my all time favorite movie. It’s a happym positive movie that’s mostly stood the test of time, save some of the cameos and jokes are probably dated for anyone that doesn’t watch older movies.
The plot is simple enough. Kermit is discovered singing in his swamp and decides to head off to Hollywood in pursuit of his dream. Along the way he meets Fozzie, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, the Electric Mayhem band and a whole host of others. They are pursued by Doc Hopper, who wants to use Kermit for his frog legs franchise.
Ultimately the movie is about friendship and pursuing your dreams despite the obstacles, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Plus The Rainbow Connection and other great songs.
Did I miss anything else? Do you love these too? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!