Time and generations are incredible and unpredictable elements. And when we talk about cinema, the popularity of a work and its resonance say a lot about the time in which it fits and the reflection of their society. For example, a film that made a lot of noise 40 years ago may not resonate with the same force over the decades, finding itself “blackened” for new generations. Just as we can also have the reverse and see the resurgence of productions that the public of the past shrugged their shoulders, letting go white. For this reason, it is all about admiring cinematographic works that become real phenomena, transcending the mere fact of being films and becoming cultural events, maintaining their popularity with new generations over time. Here in this new post, we’ll take you back in time, celebrating precisely those movies that turn 40 in 2021 and are still very popular with fans. Check.
Indiana Jones and the raiders of the lost ark
Without a doubt, the most popular film of 40 years ago is the first adventure of the most famous archaeologist of the seventh art: Indiana Jones. By this time, the blockbusters had already taken place. Steven Spielberg had Shark (1975). And George Lucas already had two Star Wars: Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The duo’s union (Spielberg as director and Lucas as producer) couldn’t go wrong. And so, another audience phenomenon was born, recalled and commented on until today. The proof is that a fifth episode is scheduled for 2022.
Evil Dead – The demon’s death
Probably the second most popular film in 40 years is This Terror, which does not leave people’s mouths either. Independent and artisanal film, the project was made with the touch of a box at the base of the camaraderie… and hey, it came out much better than several big productions. The secret of success is that at the helm we had a young man who would become a true master in his art: Sam Raimi. Five young friends, a cabin in the woods, supernatural elements are hiding. A simple formula, but which created a sub-genre and which remains influential to this day.
Mad Max 2 – The Hunt Continues
If we search the dictionary for a synonym for cult film, we will likely find a cover photo of Mad Max 2. The first film was a small independent Australian production. We felt the scope of the work increase considerably in this second and gain contours of overproduction, even if it did not reach as much. It’s amazing what director George Miller did with what he had in hand. So much so that it opened the door to two more sequels that, yes, looked like a blockbuster once and for all.
New York escape
The same goes for this production directed by John Carpenter, arguably the most cultured filmmaker of the ’80s (and genres such as horror, sci-fi, and fantasy). Even those who haven’t watched, are probably familiar with the figure of the anti-hero Snake Plissken (immortalized by Kurt Russell). Not even an unfortunate streak (Fuga de Los Angeles, 1996), more focused on humor, succeeded in making the original shine.
An American werewolf in London
We understand when movies like Indiana Jones and Evil Dead, which launched long-running franchises (along with their sequels), resonate through the decades. Even more impressive may be cases like the one in this article, the significance and importance of which has been maintained through the ages that generated only one movie. Well, almost … let’s forget the unwanted sequel An American Werewolf in Paris (1997) – which has little or nothing to do with the original. An American Werewolf in London is a benchmark for practical effects to this day and continues as a definitive werewolf film.
007 – For your eyes only
The 007 franchise is one of the most enduring in the seventh art, having debuted in the early 1960s and, with no less than 24 films released (and one more on the Needle to debut this year), undated. fencing. It’s only natural that his films continue to attract the attention of adventure and action fans, and moviegoers in general. For 40 years, however, this fifth assault by Roger Moore on the character has been one of the least memorable in the collection.
Halloween II – The nightmare continues!
1981 in the cinema, that is to say 40 years ago, has become the pinnacle of slashers in the seventh art. And the most famous of this year, which still retains its popularity today, is Halloween II. All because Halloween – The Night of Terror (1978), by John Carpenter, had revolutionized the style, creating a sub-genre of its own. With a lot of work on his hands due to New York Escape, Carpenter only wrote and produced this sequence, but didn’t direct.
Friday the 13th, part 2
Closely following the above item is its most famous “clone”. Even the creators of the original Friday the 13th have no qualms that it was just a Halloween copy. But a simple copy that has worked very well financially. Naturally, this would generate a continuation the following year. But, unlike Halloween, whose streak went less than the original, Friday the 13th, Part 2 is considered superior to its original and one of the best in the ‘immortal’ franchise. It is the exalted humiliated being.
Excalibur – The Sword of Power
Today, superheroes are suitable for cinema on the left and on the right. But before them, some very popular classic characters have also gone through countless adaptations since the inception of the cinema. One of the most famous is King Arthur and all the legend around Camelot. Here, this universe took on an air of medieval epic overproduction, telling the tale of Arthur, the Excalibur sword, the wizard Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table. The film is still considered by many fans as the best film adaptation of this mythology.
It’s always good when an Oscar-winning film manages to transcend itself by becoming equally popular with audiences. For a long time, cinema awards were seen as “something for the English to see”, pompous films that did not speak the same way to the ordinary viewer, as they spoke to critics and intellectuals, for example. Carriages of Fire, winner of the Oscar for Best Picture 40 years ago, is a good example of a work that achieves such success by walking in both worlds. Even if you have never seen this sports report on marathon runners competing in the 1924 Olympics, you are certainly familiar with the timeless soundtrack composed by the iconic Vangelis.
Scanners – Your Mind Can Destroy
Like John Carpenter, we can cite the Canadian David Cronenberg as a true master of his art and an icon of the horror, fantasy and science fiction genres. Known as Blood Baron and King of Venereal Horror, “Cronenbleeerg” has in this film its first big success and the rise to fame. Here, scientific experiments on human beings create individuals capable of destroying only with the power of their mind. You have certainly heard of it, even without having seen it.
A blow in the night
Here, John Travolta had already scored two goals with the musicals The Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease – In Times of the Shining (1978), and returned to work with the director who gave him one of his first chances. At the movie theater. It is in Carrie – The Strange (1976), based on the book by Stephen King, that Travolta will participate in his second feature film for the big screen. The director is another “monster”, Brian De Palma, who with Um Tiro na Noite has continued to keep the nickname of the new master of suspense and great disciple of Alfred Hitchcock.
Wrath of the Titans
Launched 40 years ago, Fúria de Titãs did not go as well as MGM expected, causing all the merchandising prepared to accompany the launch of the film to “implode”, such as a line of dolls for example. At that time, the stories of epic fantasies of sandals, swords and a thousand creatures were very much in vogue. So having the Olympian gods as characters in the plot was a very attractive proposition. Years later, the feature reached cult status and caused Warner to revitalize the brand with a remake (2010) and sequel (2012) – well known to the new generation.
Porky’s – The house of love and laughter
One of the most devious films in movie history, Porky’s is remembered today as the strongest influence in the American Pie franchise, for example, which can be seen as a modernized version of the above-mentioned work. While he does amazing things when it comes to sex, Porky’s also shows his heart when he talks about prejudice, racism, justice and misogyny.
Heavy Metal – Fantastic Universe
Yes, one of the most famous films from 40 years ago in theaters is animation. But this is not just any animation, but an adult, lewd and extremely subversive. It was the kind of “tape” that parents wouldn’t let little ones watch, even though its cover was extremely striking for children. Formed of micro-plots, the film is described as “a bizarre anthology of fantastic tales of sour fantasy, eroticism and terror”. A sequel was released in 2000, without the same impact.
Body on fire
The erotic thrillers of the 90s, see Instinto Selvagem (1992), marked an era. But they have a lot to be thankful for for the influence of works from the previous decade, like this Burning Bodies, launched 40 years ago. The typical film noir plot shows an extremely attractive woman convincing her lover to murder her rich husband. What matters are the strong doses of sexuality, which boil the web. The scenario is Florida during a heat wave, which contributes to inflamed moods. Kathleen Turner has never been more sensual than Matty Walker, one of the greatest femme fateles the cinema has ever seen.
Escape to victory
Always in the collective consciousness of being the film where “Stallone facing our Pelé”. Yes, dear reader, this meme is not an urban legend, and in fact these very different personalities worked together on a production. The other reason for its resonance is that it deals with a theme that is a worldwide passion, football, being one of the best examples of sport in cinema. During World War II, the Nazis organized a football match in Paris, in German-occupied France. Opponents are prisoners of war, led by Sylvester Stallone, Pelé and Michael Caine – who are planning an escape from the concentration camp.
Arthur – The Seductive Millionaire
The most famous film in the career of English short film Dudley Moore, many still associate his image with that of the millionaire drunkard and bon vivant. Arthur was nominated for Best Screenplay and Actor for Moore, and won Best Song and Supporting Actor for John Gielgud, who plays the protagonist’s butler. 30 years later, in 2011, a remake was released with Russell Brand missing as the protagonist, and Greta Gerwig and Helen Mirren in the cast. One thing many may not know is that the original Arthur had a sequel released seven years later, titled Arthur – The Ruined Millionaire, with the same cast.
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