The Movies of My Life: 1980-1981

I’ve been sharing a chronological list of the movies of my life.  Not a list of the best films of all time or anything like that, but just a list of films that somehow made the memories that make my life. This edition covers the years 1980 to 1981: a good time.

1980
Airplane.

Before I go too far, I must give a “shout out” (as the kidz say) to a runner-up: Caddyshack.  There’s no shame in the loss here, fellas.  None at all.  Airplane, after all, is quite possibly the second-best comedy ever made (Young Frankenstein, as we’ve previously noted, is likely number one).  It’s pretty darn impressive that you even made a good show of it by lodging in my memory (among other things) a dancing gopher and Bill Murray’s Carl Spackler.  It’s just that, well, you can’t fight the power of Airplane.

I tried and tried to find the perfect clip-set for this classic, but I couldn’t find one. The following selection isn’t bad, though, with the exception of missing that great “A hospital? What is it?” exchange:

. . .

1981
Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Do I really need to say anything here?  Is there any explaining necessary?

Granted, this isn’t my favorite Indiana Jones movie — that honor belongs to The Last Crusade — but it’s nevertheless a fantastic film of memories. The movie posters proclaimed this to be “The Return of the Great Adventure.”  I’m not sure that’s true, mainly because I’m uncertain that “Great Adventure” ever went anywhere. I suppose it depends on the definition of the term.  Whatever “Great Adventure” is, though, there’s no question that Raiders qualifies.  None at all.

As I get older and more interested in the ways of fiction, I confess I’m more and more drawn to this movie not because of the plotting — great though it is — but because of the character of Indiana Jones. He’s a part of our collective psyche now, and I find it fascinating to wonder why he works so well. Part of it’s Harrison Ford, of course.  But what else is it?  Why do we all want to know (or be) Henry Jones, Jr.?

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