What makes some movie years better than others? Perhaps it’s better studio executives making good decisions about which movies to “green light.” Maybe a particularly talented group of directors is working in the same era. Or maybe… it just happens that way. For whatever reason, 1979 was one of those outstanding years, and here are some of the reasons why:
10 – Bo Derek, Dudley Moore, and Ravel’s “Bolero.” Directed by Blake Edwards.
Alien – Did it belong in the sci-fi or horror category? Yes. Starring Sigourney Weaver, directed by Ridley Scott.
All That Jazz – Lots of dancing, lots of dancer drama. Starring Roy Scheider, directed by Bob Fosse.
…And Justice for All – “You’re out of order! This whole trial is out of order!” Al Pacino goes nuts, directed by Norman Jewison.
Apocalypse Now – The true madness of Vietnam. With Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando, and Martin Sheen. Directed by Frances Ford Coppola.
Being There – Peter Sellers’s tour de force as Chauncey Gardner. Directed by Hal Ashby.
Breaking Away – A father, a son, a bicycle race, a surprise hit. Directed by Peter Yates.
The China Syndrome – The movie that has crippled America’s nuclear industry. Starring Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon, directed by James Bridges.
Kramer vs. Kramer – Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep fight for custody of their child. Directed by Robert Benton. Won Academy Award for Best Picture.
Manhattan – I wanted to move to NYC after I saw this movie. I still do. Woody Allen directs, with Diane Keaton and Mariel Hemingway.
The Muppet Movie – The highest-grossing movie of the year. Directed by James Frawley.
Norma Rae – Sally Field proves she had true acting chops. Directed by Martin Ritt.