Sign in to follow this  
CinemaInternational

A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1981

11 posts in this topic

Things landed with a thud in 1981. There were some hits, and they financed the Best Picture winner overseas, but the year's bloom just wasn't there. before we get to the releases, it should be noted that Fox was scheduled to release one film in 1981, but then dropped out of releasing it after one of the supporting players was brutally murdered. This film was Peter Bogdanovich's latter-day cult favorite They All Laughed.

MV5BYTM3MjZhOTQtZjIxNi00OTUxLWJkOTgtMmM0

With that now established, onto the ones Fox did have a hand in releasing.....

First up, a low-budget Canadian horror by name Suzanne. [Note, the only notation of Fox's business with this film is in a book and on IMDb]

MV5BMzY0NGY2NjUtZjlhMC00MjE0LTgyMWItNjBm

Paul Newman and Ed Asner were holding down a policehouse in a very dangerous area in Fort Apache, The Bronx

MV5BOGY2OWViYmUtMjU4Ny00ZTM1LTlhZWItYmEw

William Hurt told a lie and said he witnessed the murder of Chao-Li Chi in order to get closer to his crush reporter Sigourney Weaver in Eyewitness. It was a mistake that might end up costing him his life. Also with Christopher Plummer, James Woods, Morgan Freeman, Pamela Reed, Steven Hill, and Irene Worth.

MV5BYmFlNDFlNmItYTY0Yy00MTU3LWFjOTktNTZl

On the Right Track was a feature vehicle for young TV star Gary Coleman. Also with Maureen Stapleton.

On_the_Right_Track_Poster_(1981).jpg

Sam Neill was playing the now grown demon seed in The Final Conflict, the last part of the Omen trilogy.

Omen_III_the_final_conflict.jpg

Chariots of Fire was handled by WB in the states, but Fox handled it elsewhere. The inspirational drama certainly shone brightly and won Best Picture.

MPW-19228

Jerry Lewis came back in Hardly Working.

Hardlyworking.jpg

Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin in the same film signifies gritty action, and that was on the menu in Death Hunt.

DeathHunt1981.jpg

Back to horror with Tom Skeritt and Michelle Phillips vs the lions in Savage Harvest

MV5BM2RmYjEwNjgtNDZlNy00ZWZiLWJhYWYtNzY4

Mel Brooks decided to spoof all sorts of films in History of the World - part I

MV5BODBmM2FlMWYtZGYzOC00ZDc3LWEyMzQtOTUw

The Cannonball Run was the year's biggest financial hit. It also introduced Fox's first new logo since 1953.

MV5BNDJmZDRkMDAtM2JiNS00ZjdlLThiOTYtMWVh

George Hamilton, Brenda Vaccaro, and Lauren GHutton next were in Zorro, the Gay Blade, a spoof of swashbucklers.

Zorro_the_gay_blade.jpg

Chu Chu and the Philly Flash had a promising cast, but the film promptly vanished after a slate of scorched-earth reviews.

Chu_chu_and_the_philly_flash.jpg

the Chosen was one of the more distinguished offerings of the year and certainly gave Rod Steiger a rich supporting turn.

MV5BOWNmNGZmNzAtZjY2Ni00ZmRlLThkNGMtYmY2

The Woman Inside was a film involving a gender-change. It was filmed it 1979, and was the final film for supporting player Joan Blondell.

304358-the-woman-inside-0-230-0-345-crop

Keith Carradine starred in the much admired suspense film Southern Comfort, a hit here, and a critical smash in England.

MV5BMWFiNGJhN2UtNWY0My00ZWFlLTk2NzMtZTg5

Bruce Dern played a psycho who kidnapped and forcibly tattooed Maud Adams in Tattoo. The poster (not shown here) was notorious at the time.

MV5BOTA2M2FlMzEtMjRlYS00ZDBmLThkNDItODg0

Shock Treatment was the little-known sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Shock_Treatment_poster_1_sheet.JPG

The Amateur, with John Savage and Christopher Plummer, was a tale of assassination, spies, and intrigue.

Amateurposter.jpg

Chevy Chase had bizarre powers in Modern Problems

Modern_Problems_Poster.jpg

Taps was essentially Lord of the Flies in a military academy. A chillingly effective film, but relentlessly disturbing, it was a surprise hit. Performances were all very fine, especially Timothy Hutton's work. Sean Penn made his debut; Tom Cruise made his first impact. Note to George C Scott: First billing isn't everything.....

MV5BNjJmOGJkZDEtNzAwZC00YmFjLTliZGYtZDQ5

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. Southern Comfort (a personal favorite)
  2. Chariots of Fire
  3. Modern Problems
  4. Taps
  5. The Cannonball Run
  6. History of the World, Part 1
  7. Fort Apache, the Bronx
  8. Eyewitness

I've also seen The Final ConflictShock TreatmentTattoo, and Death Hunt.

Chu Chu & the Philly Flash was painfully awful.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen any of these. Not even TAPS, which looks like something I'd enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember only a few scenes form Chariots of Fire: the opening, the running around the campus, Ian Holm training Ben Cross, and the pastor refusing to run on Sunday. Haven't seen it since it opened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Arsan404 said:

I remember only a few scenes form Chariots of Fire: the opening, the running around the campus, Ian Holm training Ben Cross, and the pastor refusing to run on Sunday. Haven't seen it since it opened.

The first time I saw it, I wasn't at all impressed. I felt it was one of the most undeserving Best Picture winners in the history of the Oscars. Many years later I watched it again, and liked it a bit more. After seeing it another 2 or 3 times, I've now grown fond of it, if not effusively so. I still think Reds or Raiders of the Lost Ark should have won Best Picture, though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The first time I saw it, I wasn't at all impressed. I felt it was one of the most undeserving Best Picture winners in the history of the Oscars. Many years later I watched it again, and liked it a bit more. After seeing it another 2 or 3 times, I've now grown fond of it, if not effusively so. I still think Reds or Raiders of the Lost Ark should have won Best Picture, though.

I didn't like it very much, either. The beginning is stunning, and then the movie went on at a very slow pace. The scenes that I remember are possibly the only scenes that I liked. Maybe I need to see it again, 2 or 3 more times. 

It's interesting how we sometimes change our minds about a movie or book after a while.

And as for the Oscars that year, my favorite is Atlantic City.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Arsan404 said:

I didn't like it very much, either. The beginning is stunning, and then the movie went on at a very slow pace. The scenes that I remember are possibly the only scenes that I liked. Maybe I need to see it again, 2 or 3 more times. 

It's interesting how we sometimes change our minds about a movie or book after a while.

And as for the Oscars that year, my favorite is Atlantic City.

Yes...I am a fan of ATLANTIC CITY as well. One of Burt Lancaster's best performances.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I haven't seen any of these. Not even TAPS, which looks like something I'd enjoy.

I've seen three. Chariots of Fire (which is likely the one the most people have seen), Taps, and The Chosen (which Fox only distributed in theatres; it is a fine film and especially of note in its depiction of Hacidic Jews, a topic rarely brought up in films). Of these others, I intend on going after Southern Comfort, Eyewitness, Fort Apache the bronx, and the erstwile They All Laughed (which i have a copy of on hand but haven't gotten around to yet). Maybe Cannonball Run as well.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I've seen three. Chariots of Fire (which is likely the one the most people have seen), Taps, and The Chosen (which Fox only distributed in theatres; it is a fine film and especially of note in its depiction of Hacidic Jews, a topic rarely brought up in films). Of these others, I intend on going after Southern Comfort, Eyewitness, Fort Apache the bronx, and the erstwile They All Laughed (which i have a copy of on hand but haven't gotten around to yet). Maybe Cannonball Run as well.

Thanks for making me not feel so left out. :) 

I have deliberately stayed away from CHARIOTS OF FIRE, because everything about it screams "self-important" and "we only made this for an Oscar and succeeded" to the point where I am sure I wouldn't enjoy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Thanks for making me not feel so left out. :) 

I have deliberately stayed away from CHARIOTS OF FIRE, because everything about it screams "self-important" and "we only made this for an Oscar and succeeded" to the point where I am sure I wouldn't enjoy it.

Try to leave your preconceived notions aside, and take the film for what it is. Judged on what you've posted in the past, this movie seems like something you'd like. I have seen few mainstream (sort of) films that deal with religion with such respect and grace. I say "sort of" because it was a mid-budget British film that became a surprise hit. I really don't think anyone expected the Oscars (I can't really think of any Oscar winners previously that are similar to it), or that the film would become a bit of a cultural touchstone for a while, thanks to the score.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Try to leave your preconceived notions aside, and take the film for what it is. Judged on what you've posted in the past, this movie seems like something you'd like. I have seen few mainstream (sort of) films that deal with religion with such respect and grace. I say "sort of" because it was a mid-budget British film that became a surprise hit. I really don't think anyone expected the Oscars (I can't really think of any Oscar winners previously that are similar to it), or that the film would become a bit of a cultural touchstone for a while, thanks to the score.

I read a story about Chariots not too long ago, that the main person responsible for its resultant success was actually film critic Roger Ebert. The film premiered at Cannes. Audience loved it, but the film was mauled by the French press. Ebert loved the film, wanted to help it, so that year it won some title as being the American critics pick for best of the festival. That title has never been used in any other year. And it garnered the attention of WB who decided to give it a gradual word of mouth rollout in the states. The fact that it actually won Best Picture was considered a shock though. Most were predicting Reds or On Golden pond to take it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us