84 From ’84: The Beginning

The invention of the motion picture began in the late 19th century. In those early days it was still seen as a novelty, nothing to take seriously. By the early 1900s there were vast improvements with more films being made. One of the innovators during that time was D. W. Griffith, he pioneered film editing and film storytelling. He’s probably best know for his 1915 movie Birth of A Nation.

Besides the advancements in film making Griffith left one other legacy. In 1919, Griffith along with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks founded United Artist studio. It was meant to give artists control over their craft and not commercial studios. Ironically in 2015 MGM purchased United Artists and in 2019 when Amazon bought MGM, United Artists was rolled into MGM and is now a memory.


In the 1920s Hollywood film making entered its Golden Age. The next forty years would see a boom in creativity and innovation in the movie industry. It also saw the rise of the major studios with Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros and MGM dominating the industry.

As the industry began to decline in the late 60s a new breed of filmmakers were on the scene. The 70s saw a ‘New Hollywood’ revival with young directors like John Carpenter, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, George A. Romero, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Ridley Scott.

The New Hollywood era, mainly the 1970s, is known for its’ gritty realism, overt sexuality, nudity and brutal violence. Some of my favorite movies are from that era.

new hollywood

As the 70s transitioned to the 80s movies also changed. The gritty realism gave way to the high-concept movie and the ‘Blockbuster Era’ was born. Simply put, a Blockbuster is a movie that can be easily sold and has a broad appeal. While the first blockbuster was Jaws in 1975, the 80s would build the film industry on the back of Blockbuster movies.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, the list goes on and on and on. It seemed every summer there was an abundance of great movies to watch.

1984 movie posters

In the last 120 years of the film industry there have been thousands of great movies. But they have been scattered across the decades. A few good movies in 1969, a handful in 1963, a bunch in 1976 but the 80s was a special time.

There was a magically moment in time when the movie gods came together and created the greatest two years in movie history. It all began in February 1984 when Footloose hit the silver screen. Over the next 23 months some of the greatest movies ever hit theaters. The curtain didn’t close on this window of greatness until the release of Enemy Mine in December 1985.

I’ve already covered what is arguable the Greatest Summer of Movies in another series of posts. It’s hard to choose which year was best for movies 1984 or 1985 but have no doubt when it comes to the top year for movies, 1984 and 1985 are the only two on the list.

This year, I’ve decided to embark on a movie journey forty years in the making. To honor the 40th anniversary of the great (and not so great) movies of 1984 I’ll be watching 84 movies from 1984.

Starting on Memorial Day 2024 I’ll be watching one movie a day from 1984 and posting about it here on Geekster. You might be wondering what movies were released in 1984. Here is a short list:

Beverly Hills Cop, Footloose, Ghostbusters, Conan the Destroyer, Revenge of the Nerds, The Karate Kid, Police Academy, Star Trek III, Sixteen Candles, The Toxic Avenger, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Purple Rain, Missing in Action, and so many more.

Come back on Memorial Day for the first movie.

About Pitfall Gary 146 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.

1 Comment

  1. Fun! Some good ones in there, but once you get past the top 50, I am a little scared of what you will have remaining to watch to get to 84. Look forward to following your effort.

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