Time After Time is a column that re-visits specific years in cinema to evaluate and discuss the films that arrived in theaters, and the overall impact the year had on the history of movies. You can find it here every other Wednesday.
I'm back in my time machine with the broken dial, and this time I'm headed to good ol' 1984.
What Was the Story?
Ronald Reagan was a popular president, and the country was enjoying a nice, booming economy, based on a fallible plan that would backfire in the coming years. Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Prince and Tina Turner were at the top of the charts, with MTV helping record sales (Yes, they actually showed music videos back then). People were reading Lee Iacocca's autobiography, "The Aquitaine Progression," by Robert Ludlum, and "The Talisman," by Stephen King and Peter Straub. And, inexplicably, people started buying George Orwell's "1984" again. On TV, there was "Dallas," "Dynasty," "The Cosby Show" and "Family Ties."
In 1984, Hollywood began to fear the rise of VHS home video cassette players; would they spell the death of big screen movies? Not anytime soon. It was a year for big blockbusters, many of which were based on original screenplays and movie stars, though almost every single hit would be sequelized and/or remade in the coming years. Hollywood also discovered a new source of income: movie soundtracks. Movies like 'Against All Odds,' 'Beverly Hills Cop,' 'Footloose,' 'Ghostbusters,' 'Purple Rain,' 'Streets of Fire,' 'The Woman in Red,' and others threw hits up the charts. It was quite a year for spending and buying.