Movie Essentials (special edition): 1978

This special edition of Movie Essentials has been written and contributed to Hammervision by friend and fellow Essentials guru, DAVID BECKER:

As I've been following John's Herculean efforts in summing up the "essential" movies of each year of his life, I found myself longing to revisit those few years when I was alive, but John wasn't.  Thus, I've taken it upon myself to revisit the years between 1978 and 1973 and to provide my own "Essentials" for those very formative years.  I could wax more poetically about this, but why not just get on to the first list.

It was a big year for serial killers as John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy both got arrested.  Charlie Chaplin's remains were stolen from his last resting place.  Larry Flynt got shot and paralyzed.  Pete Rose got his 3000th hit.  The first Unabomber attack occurred at Northwestern.  Garfield made his debut.  At the Oscars, Annie Hall won best picture and, heart-breakingly, Star Wars did not.  The Camp David Accords were signed.  The Susan B. Anthony dollar came into existence.  It was a good year for screen-writers too as Pope Paul VI died and 33 days after being named Pope, Pope John Paul I died -- giving rise to part of the plot of Godfather III.  Likewise, a Lufthansa heist at JFK gave the basis for part of Goodfellas.  The essential movies for 1978 are as follows:

Check back in the coming weeks for more Essentials from David Becker - going all the way back to his birth year: 1973!

Oh, and just as an aside - I think Becker's crazy for excluding Dawn of the Dead and The Deer Hunter from this list.  Those would easily replace Up in Smoke and Every Which Way But Loose for me.  I'd also take out Foul Play and replace it with Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which is actually a pretty creepy conspiracy thriller. Otherwise, I concur. - Hammer


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  • Unless I am missing something, your camp swimming phobia is due to "Friday the 13th," not "Halloween."

  • In reply to jamestwilson:

    I think you're right about that one... I don't remember any sleep-away camp scenes in Halloween. Maybe Mr. Becker was so haunted by Halloween that it affected every aspect of his life, even those summer camp swimming days.

  • In reply to Hammer:

    Absolutely correct. I totally flipped those in my head. Inexcusable. Goes to show that I am just not a big horror movie person.

  • Gross

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