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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1986


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Nicholas Cage wanted to be a champion rower in The Boy in Blue

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Stripper was a documentary involving a competition among exotic dancers. :huh:<_<

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Power was a Sidney Lumet-directed film about polical corruption with a cast that included Richard Gere, Julie Christie, Denzel Washington, Michael Learned, EG Marshall, Beatrice Straight, Kate Kapshaw, JT Walsh, and Gene Hackman. This was the first of a few Lorimar films that Fox handled in 1986-1987.

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The Vidicator was a hi-tech takeoff on Frankenstein.

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Death of an Angel was an odd sounding tale with Bonnie Bedilia.....

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Highlander was the first part of a sci-fi horror series that went on for a few films. Sean Connery was a co-star.

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Lucas, like My Bodyguard earlier in the decade, was one of the more thoughtful teen fiolms of the 1980s and thense one of the more interesting. Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen, and debuting Winona Ryder starred.

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Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, and Tim Curry starred in the elaborite Ridley Scott fantasy Legend, handled by Fox overseas. Universal did the US segments.

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SpaceCamp had bad timing. The tale of several kids (including Joaquin Phoenix) who went to a space camp and then ended up being actually blasted out to outer space was released a mere 4 and a half months after the Challenger disaster. it flopped.

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The Manhattan Project was a suspense film about a high schooler who built an atomic bomb for a science project. Critics liked it.

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Big Trouble in Little China, starring Kurt Russell, was a fantasy comedy that since its release has found a large and appreciative audience.

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Whoopi Goldberg had her first big screen comedy vehicle in Jumpin Jack Flash, also the first directorial effort for Penny Marshall. Stephen Collins, Annie Potts, Tracy Ullman, Jeroen Krabbe, Jonathan Pryce, Carol Kane, Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman, Jim Beluchi, and John Wood were also featured.

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Sigourney Weaver scored a multi-faceted triumph in Aliens, making her one of the few ever nominated for a horror role. The whole film was a slam-bang astonishment.

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The Boy Who Could Fly was a tale of children dealing with grief.

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The Fly  capped up a trio of sci-fi cult films that Fox made in 1986. This gory remake of the 1958 film received high marks for the work of Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.

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Sean Connery was a monk investigating a confounding murder case in The Name of the Rose, also with F Murray Abraham and Christian Slater.

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Sigourney Weaver and Michael Caine appeared in the erotic drama Half Moon Street, a coproduction with RKO.

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Streets of Gold, a boxing tale, had the offbeat costarring team of Klaus Maria Brandauer and Wesley Snipes.

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Emilio Estevez starred and directed in Wisdom, a troubled youth film also with Demi Moore, Veronica Cartwright, and Tom Skerritt.

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And The Morning After, while having a murder frame plot that was easy to figure out, benefited from two fine leading parts for Jane Fonda and Jeff Bridges, both of them giving some of their best work. in some ways, the murder plot felt like a McGuffin, as the real meat of the film was a romantic tale between two lonely, self-destructive souls.

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THE FLY was a decent remake.

JUMPIN' JACK FLASH had some serious continuity problems, but Goldberg's comic performance overcame the deficiencies. This was a 180-degree turn from her recent performance in THE COLOR PURPLE.

Sigourney Weaver's career was scorching hot at this point.

Matthew Broderick's career was also red hot. Paramount released FERRIS BUELLER this very same year.

I have never seen LEGEND. I usually think of WILLOW, made a short time later, when I think of these kinds of films.

THE NAME OF THE ROSE was a huge hit. Not only in theaters but also on VHS. I remember they couldn't keep it stocked at my local video store, because my dad wanted to rent it. And we had to wait awhile to get a copy of it.

I think SPACECAMP also did quite well on video. In fact we knew a family where the parents took their kids to the actual SpaceCamp, which I think is in Alabama. Or was at that time. It was one of those movies that kids enjoyed, a story that inspired kids. I don't think kids really understood the Challenger disaster or let it affect them, the way it affected the adults.

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I really really really want to see Sidney Lumet's Power again, thanks to this post. It's been over 30 years and details have slipped away, but I remember liking it a lot and the cast was dynamite. 

Tom Cruise is to Legend what Johnny Depp is to Cry-Baby, both examples being an odd blip in a long career.  His earnest commitment really helped propel Legend and Tim Curry was the perfect choice for the way over-the-top villain.

I haven't seen The Name of the Rose since its release, but I'm willing to bet it holds up well.

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These are my favorites of the year, with the top two being among my favorites of the decade, regardless of studio:

  1. Aliens
  2. Big Trouble in Little China
  3. The Fly (I'd rank this among the best remakes ever made, and far superior to the original, although I like that one, too. It just seems very juvenile compared to this David Cronenberg version. Perhaps the ultimate "body horror" film.)
  4. Legend (I recommend watching the making-of documentary, as this was a very troubled production. Parts were shot in a soundstage so large that it had weather events form inside the building! I also prefer Legend by a wide margin to Willow, a film that I never cared for much, despite the good production values.)
  5. Highlander (which was really neither sci-fi or horror, but more fantasy; the abysmal second film would take it into sci-fi territory, though)
  6. The Name of the Rose (I have to disagree with part of TopBilled's comments on this one - this was a huge flop in the U.S. when it was released, although it made a lot of money overseas. The book had been a surprise phenomenon, so it was expected to be a big hit here, too, but it ended up tanking. However, it was a success on video, and was an early example of a film failing in the theaters but excelling on home video.)
  7. Lucas
  8. SpaceCamp (Lucas & SpaceCamp are both juvenile, but I saw them many times on HBO back then, and they stuck in memory favorably)
  9. The Morning After

I've also seen WisdomThe Manhattan ProjectPowerJumpin' Jack Flash, and The Boy Who Could Fly.

The Vindicator really isn't very good, but it's a guilty pleasure.

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23 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

These are my favorites of the year, with the top two being among my favorites of the decade, regardless of studio:

  1. Aliens
  2. Big Trouble in Little China
  3. The Fly (I'd rank this among the best remakes ever made, and far superior to the original, although I like that one, too. It just seems very juvenile compared to this David Cronenberg version. Perhaps the ultimate "body horror" film.)
  4. Legend (I recommend watching the making-of documentary, as this was a very troubled production. Parts were shot in a soundstage so large that it had weather events form inside the building! I also prefer Legend by a wide margin to Willow, a film that I never cared for much, despite the good production values.)
  5. Highlander (which was really neither sci-fi or horror, but more fantasy; the abysmal second film would take it into sci-fi territory, though)
  6. The Name of the Rose (I have to disagree with part of TopBilled's comments on this one - this was a huge flop in the U.S. when it was released, although it made a lot of money overseas. The book had been a surprise phenomenon, so it was expected to be a big hit here, too, but it ended up tanking. However, it was a success on video, and was an early example of a film failing in the theaters but excelling on home video.)
  7. Lucas
  8. SpaceCamp (Lucas & SpaceCamp are both juvenile, but I saw them many times on HBO back then, and they stuck in memory favorably)
  9. The Morning After

I've also seen WisdomThe Manhattan ProjectPowerJumpin' Jack Flash, and The Boy Who Could Fly.

The Vindicator really isn't very good, but it's a guilty pleasure.

Thanks for clarifying about THE NAME OF THE ROSE. On its wiki page, the film is listed as making $77 million. On an inflation calculator, $77 million in 1986 equals $180 million today. But apparently it made more overseas. Not sure if the wiki figure includes video sales.

http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1986?amount=77153487

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1 minute ago, TopBilled said:

Thanks for clarifying about THE NAME OF THE ROSE. On its wiki page, the film is listed as making $77 million. On an inflation calculator, $77 million in 1986 equals $180 million today. But apparently it made more overseas. Not sure if the wiki figure includes video sales.

http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1986?amount=77153487

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Yeah, the wiki page mentions how poorly it did here:

"The film did poorly at the box office in the United States: it played at 176 theatres and grossed $7.2 million on a $17 million budget."

This was another movie that used to play on HBO a lot, which helped it build a cult following.

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, the wiki page mentions how poorly it did here:

"The film did poorly at the box office in the United States: it played at 176 theatres and grossed $7.2 million on a $17 million budget."

This was another movie that used to play on HBO a lot, which helped it build a cult following.

I just read the wiki entry. It implies the $77 million was the film's worldwide take ($7 million in U.S. ticket sales, and $70 million abroad). What it made on VHS (home video sales and rentals) doesn't seem to be factored in. So ultimately, I think it was a very profitable film for Fox.

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1 minute ago, TopBilled said:

I just read the wiki entry. It implies the $77 million was the film's worldwide take ($7 million in U.S. ticket sales, and $70 million abroad). What it made on VHS (home video sales and rentals) doesn't seem to be factored in. So ultimately, I think it was a very profitable film for Fox.

Yes, and it's continued to gain an audience ever since. I usually see it listed among Sean Connery's better films now. 

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