Thursday, July 1, 2010

25 Years Ago This Month (July 1985)

Back to the Future opened in July 1985 and was the king of the summer box office, taking in $210 million during its run to finish at number 1 for the year and number 9 all-time. It's currently sitting at number 91 on the all-time list. This was one of my absolute favorites as a child and I watched it repeatedly. Michael J. Fox became a major film star as a result, although he'd already achieved big success on his television sitcom "Family Ties." He shot both the TV series and the film simultaneously, acting on the TV sound stage by day, and doing the film shoot by night. That "To be continued..." teaser at the end dogged me for what seemed like an eternity when in actuality it was only 4 years before the much-anticipated sequel was released. Of course, these days the sequel is planned and written while the first film is being shot so they can release it the next year or two years later. Because nowadays the first film is little more than an extended commercial for the sequel. How things have changed in 25 years.

Another film I used to watch when I caught it on TV, but which I was never crazy about was Explorers, about three boys who build a space ship and travel away from earth and meet some aliens who learned everything they know about our planet from television. It starred a 14 year old Ethan Hawke and 14 year old River Phoenix.

A film I loved as a kid and can still bring some big laughs is Tim Burton's feature film directorial debut, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.

Also released that month was George Romero's Day of the Dead, the third in the zombie series. Speaking of sequels, there was the second Mad Max sequel, Beyond Thunderdome starring Mel Gibson again and Tina Turner and the dreadfully unfunny second Vacation film, National Lampoon's European Vacation.

Lawrence Kasdan's buddy western Silverado starring Kevin Kline, a pre-famous Kevin Costner, Danny Glover and Scott Glenn was also released.

Disney released its 25th animated feature, The Black Cauldron. Its dark subject matter most likely kept it from being a success. Anyway, Disney had been in a down period for its animated features since the sixties and wouldn't reinvent itself until 1988 with Oliver & Company and The Little Mermaid in 1989.

For the art film crowd Kiss of the Spider Woman was released. William Hurt would go on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role.

-Boris Becker, aged 17, became the youngest ever winner of the Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship, a record he still holds today.
-Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher to strike out his 4000th batter. To date only 3 other pitchers have reached that mark.
-NY Yankees retired Roger Maris's #9.
-Christa MacAuliffe was selected to be the first school teacher to go into space.
-Madonna appeared fully nude in Playboy magazine.
-Less than 3 months after pulling it off the market, the Coca-Cola Company reintroduced their original formula, renaming it Coca-Cola Classic after the failed campaign of New Coke.

Birthdays for those turning 25 this month:
-Mario Gomez, on Germany's World Cup squad this year
-Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico's number two goalkeeper in this year's World Cup
-James Lafferty from TV's "One Tree Hill"
-Gael Clichy, a footballer for Arsenal and member of the French squad that failed to advance beyond the first round in this year's World Cup. He started at left back in place of the Patrice Evra in the final group match against South Africa

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