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 Film History of the 1980s

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PostSubject: Film History of the 1980s   Film History of the 1980s Empty25.04.09 11:52

Notable 1980s Milestones:

- 36 year old Sherry Lansing was named president of production at 20th Century Fox in 1980 - and became the first female to hold this position and head a major studio (she resigned in 1982 to become an independent producer)
- Dawn Steel became VP for production at Paramount Studios in 1980, and then president of Columbia Pictures in 1987
- in 1980, CNN (Cable News Network) began operations
- in the early 1980s, Sony’s superior video recording standard, termed Betamax, was overtaken by VHS (Video Home System) developed by JVC, with a longer record time of 2 hours; in 1987, when VHS commanded 95% market share, Sony finally began to abandon Betamax
- in 1980, Pioneer began to market its videodisk (laserdisc) players, thereby widening the availability of films for consumer viewing and purchase
- former Beatle John Lennon was shot dead on December 8, 1980 as he entered his New York apartment by Mark Chapman
- in 1981, the music-video cable network MTV began broadcasting on August 1st at 12:01 am - the first music video that was aired was Video Killed the Radio Star - the debut single of the British duo - the Buggles
- child-teen star and cover model Brooke Shields was the most sought-after actress of the early 80s - projecting both innocence and sexuality
- director Milos Forman's Ragtime (1981) was legendary actor James Cagney's first film - a "comeback" - after 20 years of retirement
- Ronald Reagan, a former President of the Screen Actor's Guild (from 1947-1952) and governor of California, became the first movie-star President of the US (the 40th) in 1981. His conservative reign and hard-edged approach toward the Soviet Union was reflected in Hollywood's many action-adventure films of the decade with aggressive, macho stars (Rocky, Rambo, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Clint Eastwood and others) - even his futuristic anti-missile defense system co-opted the name of Lucas' 70s film Star Wars
- Jodie Foster was stalked by mentally-impaired John Hinckley, who tried to impress the actress by attempting to assassinate Reagan in late March, 1981
- actress and aerobics guru Jane Fonda (sporting a striped leotard and leg warmers) released a workout videotape, Jane Fonda's Workout (1982), that became one of the hottest best-sellers for years, due to the increased proliferation of the home VCR
- George Lucas' THX sound system made its debut - the first movie to be shown in a THX-certified auditorium was Return of the Jedi (1983) - see more below
- during the making of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) in 1982, two child actors and Vic Morrow were killed in a freak helicopter crash - as a result, greater precautions would be taken on Hollywood sets
- Walt Disney Productions and Westinghouse Broadcasting launched the cable network The Disney Channel in April, 1983
- future singer/actress Vanessa Williams won the 1984 Miss America title (crowned in September, 1983, she became the first black woman ever to possess the title), but she resigned when it was revealed that she had posed for some sexually explicit photos (taken in 1982) that appeared in two issues of Penthouse magazine (September, 1984 and January, 1985)
- in 1983, 20th Century Fox began to openly solicit deals to display brand names in its films
- the American Movie Classics cable-TV channel started operations in 1984
- in 1984, the Voyager Company introduced its Criterion Collection line of 'special edition,' high-quality, feature-packed laserdiscs, often with state-of-the-art transfers, the CAV (full feature) format, the full theatrical 'letter-box' format, special commentary tracks and supplemental material, dual audio, interviews and annotated commentary by film-makers and scholars, director's cuts, deleted scenes, storyboards and production designs, and other bonus features (theatrical shorts or trailers, shooting scripts, posters, stills galleries, print booklets, out-takes, dual versions of a film, and other extras, etc.) that have since become commonplace on DVDs by the turn of the century
- in 1985, Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute (established in 1980) took over the Utah/US Film Festival and later renamed it the Sundance Film Festival (held annually in January) - "dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors of vision, and to the national and international exhibition of new, independent dramatic and documentary films"
- Rock Hudson's homosexuality was revealed when he became the first major film industry figure to die of AIDS in October of 1985
- on September 8, 1986, Oprah Winfrey became the first African-American woman to host a nationally-syndicated daytime talk show, titled "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
- in 1987, Premiere Magazine began publishing
- The Dead (1987) was legendary director John Huston's last film, with top-billing given to his daughter Anjelica Huston and a script co-written by his son Tony
- the oldest performer to win the Best Actress Oscar was 81 year-old Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

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