Archive for August, 2010


Tess was released December 12th 1980

The first film from director Roman Polanski after his self imposed exile from the United States

Writer John Brownjohn has worked several times with director Roman Polanski, this was their first collaboration

Asked about director Roman Polanski star Nastassja Kinski “As a director, he was 10 times more wonderful than as a lover.”

Roger Ebert’s 4 star review of Tess from 1980 on

Tess on IMDB

Tess was nominated for 6 Oscar and won 3 Art Direction, Cinematography or Costume Design

A commercial for Tess

The Trailer for Tess

Colonel Mortimer, who had the idea for reviewing movies from 1980 before I did, here’s a link to his Tess review and keep an eye out for Mortimer’s Top 10 from 1980 later this year.

Tess available on a Special Edition DVD from

Tess available on a double decker VHS from


Terror Train


Terror Train was released October 3rd 1980

The first directorial effort for Roger Spottiswoode who went on to direct Turner & Hooch and the HBO film And the Band Played On

Writer T.Y Drake did not work for 10 years after Terror Train and only once after that

Actor Ben Johnson also appeared in the 1980 movie The Hunter

Star Jamie Lee Curtis also appeared in the 1980 movies The Fog and Prom Night

The only acting appearance for world famous magician David Copperfield

Roger Ebert’s 1 star review of Terror Train from 1980 on

The trailer for Terror Train

Tell Me A Riddle


Tell Me A Riddle was released December 15th 1980

Director Lee Grant is an Oscar winning actress having won the Best Supporting Actress for 1976’s Shampoo

First script for writer Joyce Eliason whose gone on to a long career in TV Writing

The only script in the career of writer Alev Lytle

Star Melvyn Douglas also appeared in the 1980 movie The Changeling

Douglas died less than a year after the release of Tell Me A Riddle

A rare adaptation of a story by famed writer Tillie Olson

Find the trailer here at

Janet Maslin’s positive review of Tell Me A Riddle from 1980 in the New York Times

A positive review of

Christmas Evil


Christmas Evil was released in December of 1980

The only film in the career of Director Lewis Jackson, though he is credited for a story adapted in 1950 called The Mystery of the Snakeskin Belt

Star Brandon Maggert also appeared in the 1980 movie Dressed to Kill

Maggert is the father of singer Fiona Apple

Character actor Jeffrey DeMunn also appeared in the 1980 movies Resurrection and The First Deadly Sin

First screen appearance for actress Patricia Richardson who went on to fame as Tim Allen’s wife on Home Improvement

Christmas Evil on IMDB

Christmas Evil WIKI

A review of Christmas Evil as part of Quint’s A Movie a day from

A promotional clip for Christmas Evil

A clip from Christmas Evil

John Waters favorite Christmas themed horror film

3 out of 4 star review for Christmas Evil from

Christmas Evil available on DVD at



Maniac was released December 26th 1980 

The first feature film for director William Lustig under his own name, he had directed a pair of films under the name Billy Bagg

Lustig followed up Maniac later in his career with Maniac Cop 1 & 2

Lustig cameos in Maniac as a hotel manager named Al

The only screenplay for writer Joe Spinell who also acted in the 1980 movies Brubaker, The First Deadly Sin, Melvin and Howard, The Ninth Configuration, Cruising and of course in Maniac

Star Caroline Munro turned down the role of Ursa in Superman

Legendary Make Up and Effects man Tom Savini had the pleasure of helping set his own death scene in Maniac

Savini also did make up for the 1980 movie Friday the 13th

Critic Scott Weinberg calls Maniac “The diametric opposite of a refreshing shower” in his review for the Apollo Movie Guide

Vincent Canby compares star Joe Spinell’s performance in Maniac to “Watching someone else throw up. From 198o in the New York Times

Maniac is available on DVD from

Maniac Trailer from 1980

Another trailer for Maniac

A Facebook page dedicated to Maniac

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back


Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back opened May 21st 1980

Directo Irvin Kershner was George Lucas’s instructor at USC Film School

Kershner followed up The Empire Strikes Back with the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again

Final screenplay in the career of writer Leigh Brackett who passed away two years before the film was released

Leigh Brackett’s version of Empire was remarkably different than the final version as noted in this 30th Anniversary article from Cinematical

First credited screenplay for writer Lawrence Kasdan who is a four time Oscar nominee

Actor Mark Hamill also appeared in the 1980 movie The Big Red One

Empire was nominated for 4 Oscars, won 2 including Best Editing

Carrie Fisher also appeared in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers

Alec Guiness also appeared in the 1980 movie Raise the Titanic

Frank Oz, the voice of Yoda, appeared on camera in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers

Empire Strikes Back is cited by many as the best of the Star Wars movies

Roger Ebert’s 4 star review of The Empire Strikes Back from the rerelease in 1997 on

Empire Strikes Back on IMDB

Empire Strikes Back WIKI

Vincent Canby’s notable review of Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back from 1980 in the New York Times

Critic Judith Martin calls Empire Strikes Back a good ‘Junk Movie’ in her 1980 review for the Washington Post

Recently uncovered and uploaded recordings of promotional phone messages from Empire Strikes Back from

Original trailer for Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back

Teaser Trailer from 1980

Trailer for the 1982 re-release of Empire Strikes Back

Fan created music video for Meco’s Dance Remix of The Empire Strikes back theme

The script for Empire Strikes Back

Critic James Berardinelli’s review of Empire Strikes Back for his personal Top 100 of All Time review series at

A Facebook group dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back

The Stunt Man


The Stunt Man was released June 27th 1980

Hailed by some critics as the first great film of the 80’s

Director Richard Rush made one more movie after The Stunt Man, 1994’s The Color of Night and then he simply walked away.

Rush’s last credit is a documentary on the making of and seeming failure of The Stunt Man, The Sinister Story of the Making of The Stunt Man, reviewed here by The Onion A.V Club

Star Peter O’Toole also starred in the 1980 movie Caligula

The last feature film screenplay for writer Lawrence B. Marcus who was nominated with director Richard Rush for Best Adapted screenplay

The Stunt Man was nominated for three Oscars, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Peter O’Toole and Best Director for Richard Rush. No wins.

Stars Barbara Hershey and Steve Railsback co-starred in a TV remake of “From Here to Eternity” just before starring together in The Stunt Man

Martin Sheen, Jeff Bridges and Ryan O’Neal all were considered before director Richard Rush settled on Steve Railsback

Roger Ebert’s 2 star review of The Stunt Man from 1980 on

Janet Maslin’s mixed take on The Stuntman from 1980 in the New York Times

Richard Schickel admired the film more than Mr. Ebert or Ms. Maslin in his 1980 review of The Stunt Man for Time Magazine

The Stunt Man on IMDB

The Stunt Man WIKI

The 2 Disc Special Edition DVD of The Stunt Man is available from

The trailer for The Stunt Man

A scene from The Stunt Man

An introduction to The Stunt Man featured on the special edition DVD from director Richard Rush

Director Richard Rush talks about casting Barbara Hershey in The Stunt Man

A website dedicated to The Stunt Man

The script for The Stunt Man courtesy of

An examination of the themes and a review of The Stunt Man from 1 Heck of a Guy

A Facebook page dedicated to The Stunt Man