In a year where Frankie wanted you to Relax, Bonnie was dealing with a Total Eclipse of The Heart and people were wondering the correct way of spelling Kajagoogoo, three very important things were born; He-Man and The Masters of The Universe, The McNugget and yours truly. It was a varied time for movies and whilst my number one on the list was the main event, these other four will always hold a special place in my heart for various reasons.
Be warned, I have a very eclectic taste in flicks and at least two of these fall on the “oh well I guess someone has to love them” side of cinematic tastes.
“Papa, can you hear me?” Whilst her dear father might not be able to hear her, the rest of us got a visual treat as 40 year old Barbra Streisand stepped behind the camera as director and in front of the camera as an 18 year girl, who dresses as a boy in the pursuit of an education and accidentally ends up married to another woman. It certainly has some of Babs’ more memorable musical numbers and easily one of the more bizarre plots of any Streisand movie (not, however, the MOST bizarre – that goes to Nuts). I still have the soundtrack on my phone today and after a few wines will happily treat anyone to a rousing rendition of “Piece Of Sky” – costume included.
1983 was a great year for the “Master Of Horror” Stephen King as two of his novels got the cinematic treatment. Cujo for me goes to show how a very simple premise – St Bernard gets rabies and holds a family hostage in their car – can work wonders with the right director and cast. It’s a tense movie, with major kudos going to Dee Wallace and her portrayal of a mother dealing with an unhappy marriage, whilst simultaneously keeping you on the edge of your seat wondering if her epileptic son will get the help he needs whilst battling the elements and a 200lb Cujo. Stephen King himself has praised the adaptation stating that Dee Wallace’s portrayal of Donna Trenton, is his all-time favorite adaptation of any of his characters.
Irene Cara made it into the charts and won an Oscar with the catchy single released from this energetic dance movie about a welder desperate to break free from her mundane life of welding and exotic dancing for tips by applying for ballet school. Jennifer Beals shines with her big hair, leotard and ankle warmers and absolutely steals the show with a number of high-intensity dance routines. As a young boy, I watched this more than any other movie and even now as a 33-year-old, I have it on DVD, VHS, and Blu-ray. I might not have the most conventional tastes but when I commit to loving something- I’m in it for the long haul!
The Dead Zone
The second Stephen King adaptation of 1983, which started my life long love of everything Christopher Walken related. The story of Johnny Smith who upon waking from a coma has the power to see the future when he touches people and has to use this new gift to stop World War Three. It got a revival in 2002 with an amazing TV show, but this is where the tale began. Another truly tense and in parts terrifying flick which leaves you reeling at the end, I can still remember the nightmares I used to have when I watched it. Being a die-hard King fan, I always enjoy anything that sticks closely to the source material which this does.
Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return Of The Jedi
I think if I placed this anywhere other than number one on the list I would be stripped of my geek card. The finale in the genre defining series saw the return of Luke and Co and the introduction of The Ewoks, who were such a fan favorite they even ended up with 2 spin off movies of their own. Admittedly this is actually my favorite of the series, I love the first two but I always felt that this was the strongest addition to the series due to the depth of the characters the audience had grown to love with the first two films. This movie has it all – action, romance, high-stakes and as mentioned before furry creatures who bring some lighthearted comedy to an otherwise dark final entry.
What is your favorite film from 1983? Comment below.