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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Five Best: 1978

courtesy of

Thursday is my wife's birthday, so I decided to take a look at the year she was born and the films that came out. I would apologize for basically publishing her age, but she doesn't actually read my blog :). It was a decent year for movies, but a much better year for babies! Without anymore stalling, let's take a look at the five best from 1978 in alphabetical order.

John Belushi in "Animal House" courtesy of

Animal House

Still one of the funniest films ever made, John Landis and the gang create a rousing look at college life and the infamous Delta Tau Chi fraternity. Littered with memorable scenes and lines, it is still one of the most quotable comedies ever. John Belushi's career defining performance isn't the only hilarious turn in this film. Tim Matheson, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst, Peter Riegert, and the great Donald Sutherland make for a cast of colorful and hard-to-hate students at this mess of a frat house.

Brooke Adams and Richard Gere in "Days of Heaven" courtesy of

Days of Heaven

My favorite of the Terence Malick films (so far - haven't seen "Tree of Life" yet), this Oscar-winning story of a young couple trying to achieve success at the beginning of the century is like watching a painting. It's beautifully shot and acted, and the story that centers around betrayal and jealousy is hopelessly emotional at its core. The award-winning cinematography by the great NĂ©stor Almendros just adds to this gorgeous film that reads more like a sweeping epic than a turn of the century working film.

Robert De Niro in "The Deer Hunter" courtesy of

The Deer Hunter

The best picture winner of the year was named that for a reason. Director Michael Cimino gives us a window into the life of western Pennsylvania factory workers before, during, and after their tours in the Vietnam War. Robert De Niro leads the way with a gritty, emotional performance, but gets plenty of help from fellow Oscar nominee Meryl Streep and Oscar winner for the film Christopher Walken. It's heartbreaking, moving, and a true testament to the horrors of war.

Jamie Lee Curtis in "Halloween" courtesy of


This is the way a horror film should be made. The first of John Carpenter's film series (that subsequently was dragged through the mud) introduced us to a young Jamie Lee Curtis and the notorious psychopath Michael Myers. At age 6, he murdered his sister and was insitutionalized up until his escape days before Halloween 1978. As he rampages through Haddonfield, no one is safe. A terrifying piece of work from start to finish - make sure it's still light out when you watch.
Note: The mask Michael Myers has on is actually a mold of William Shatner's face.

Brad Davis in "Midnight Express" courtesy of

Midnight Express

Tough to pick the fifth member of this list, but I settled on this grueseome prison story of American Billy Hayes (Davis), arrested after trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. The film is grueling throughout, with plenty of violence and torture to appease anyone with a fetish. Davis is excellent throughout, broken down, but holding on to hope of escape. It's an interesting take on foreign policy and growin g fears of terorism, but from the other side.

In case she decides that this is the post she'll read....

Happy birthday darling! Hope you have a wonderful day! Love you very much!

Honorable Mentions

The Last Waltz
Heaven Can Wait
Coming Home

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