Flashback to the Cinema of 1982

A quick glance down the list of top movies from 1982 (thanks to Box Office Mojo) is quite the trip down Memory Lane. I picked 1982 because I knew what would be the number one movie, which was a big deal to most kids around my age back then. That’s right, our favorite Reece’s Pieces eating alien won the box office. Big time.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial more than doubled the next closest competitor, with a whopping $359 million showing that year. But isn’t this a perfect example of “Who didn’t see that movie?”

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was in the top ten that year. It came out six weeks after E.T. I’m pretty sure my parents were in line to see The Best Little while my brother and I were in line to see E.T. The question is why did they wait six weeks before taking us to see E.T.?

One of my favorites, Sylvester Stallone, shows up twice on the list with First Blood and Rocky III. Hard to believe this was actually the beginning of his guns and grenades string of movies.

Stallone’s partner in action, Arnold, makes the list with Conan the Barbarian. Another action star begins his climb to the top as well.

Wanna know where my admiration for Diane Lane started? (Oh, you didn’t know she’s my favorite actress EVER? Well you do now). Right there on the race track beside Kenny Rogers in Six Pack. I have to watch that movie when I see it on TV. I’m guessing the pitch to a studio for this one was pretty easy back then. “Kenny Rogers. NASCAR. Kids who curse too much.” A classic for me.

Another one worth mentioning is Night Shift, starring Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, and Shelley Long. An early directorial effort by Ron Howard, the premise alone makes it worth watching as two night-shift morgue workers start a pimping business. Another classic for me.

But if E.T. scored big for the kid in us all, then surely Fast Times at Ridgemont High scored big for the teenager in us. I didn’t see this one at the time, but I sure picked it up a year or two later on cable. And I watched it a hundred times it feels like. But it introduced me to Cameron Crowe, who deserves his own post in the future as I can’t discuss movies without mentioning his influence on me.

Now I have to look up the top albums from 1982, but that’s another post, too.


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