Summer is winding down and the amount of movies released are decreasing too. There were only eight movies released in August 1982. I saw half of them and might watch a few more later this year.
Let’s jump into the movies of August 1982.
Movies from August 1982
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
What’s not to like about Fast Times at Ridgemont High? It’s a great movie about a year in the life of high school students at Ridgemont High. What I didn’t know when I first watched it was screenwriter Cameron Crowe went undercover at a high school and wrote about his experiences. The movie is based on his experiences. Crowe was 22 when he went undercover at Clairemont High School in San Diego.
This is one of the quintessential 80s movies. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. I can’t even guess how many times I’ve seen this movie.
The movie launched the career of numerous actors; Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It’s also the movie debut of Nicolas Cage and Eric Stoltz.
The movie deals with what you’d expect from teens and high school life, relationships, homecoming, dating, sex and drugs. The characters are a good cross section of high school too. I grew up in a small Iowa town and we had every archetype portrayed in the movie at my high school. With the exception of the surfer dude. No tasty waves in Iowa, totally bogus.
Then there’s the infamous Phoebe Cates scene. Swimming pool, red bikini, you know it. Doesn’t anybody ever f***ing knock anymore? It’s so ingrained in cinematic history it was even spoofed in 1989’s Christmas Vacation.
Making the movie even better is the soundtrack. It features some of the best musical acts of the 80s; Jackson Browne, The Go-Gos, The Cars, Tom Petty, Bill Squier, Sammy Hagar, Stevie Nicks and the list goes on and on.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High was a box office hit making over $27 million on a $4 million budget. Audiences and teens loved it and still do. The critics, as normal, hated it. Roger Ebert gave it one star and called it a “scuz-pit of a movie.”
You can watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High on FuboTV.
Friday the 13th Part III
I love 80s horror movies. Friday the 13th is one of the big three horror franchises of the 80s, making hockey masks scary for everyone. In 1982 Friday the 13th Part III hit the screens and in true early 80s fashion they made the third movie in 3D.
The early 80s saw a glut of 3D movies and Friday the 13th Part III was one of the first released in the 80s. Followed by Parasite, Jaws 3-D, Amittyille 3-D and Silent Madness. By the mid-80s 3D movies stopped in the US, Silent Madness, released in 1984, was the last 80s 3D movie. The next 3D movie released in the US was 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
3D technology is over 100 years old and yet it still needs improvement. I’ve watched numerous 3D movies over the years and none of them are worth the effort. It’s a gimmick. It’s been a gimmick since the start and is still a gimmick. I wish it was better but it’s not. Maybe someday it will be like Back to the Future 2.
Friday the 13th 3D doesn’t add much to the 3D world. The movie titles fly at you, there’s popcorn popping, snakes slithering around and knives flying at you. But nothing groundbreaking.
Despite my dislike of 3D movies, Friday the 13th was a huge hit, although it was panned by the critics. It opened at number one in the box office knocking E.T. out of the top spot. It was the second highest grossing horror movie in 1982, right behind Poltergeist.
Friday the 13th Part III marks the first time Jason wears his iconic hockey mask.
You can watch Friday the 13th Part III on Paramount+.
An Officer and a Gentleman
I saw this one years after it hit the the theater. It’s a good movie about a Navy brat who wants to become a Navy pilot. After graduating college and despite his father’s disapproval he joins the Navy and attends Officer Candidate School (OCS).
An Officer and A Gentleman stars Richard Gere as Mayo, Louis Gossett Jr. as Gunnery Sergeant Foley and Deborah Winger as Paula, the local townie trying to land a Navy Officer.
The movie chronicles Mayo’s time at OCS, his challenges, his doubts and his hatred for Foley. Along the way is a love story between Mayo and Paula.
An Officer and A Gentleman was a huge box office success making over $190 million. It’s the third highest grossing movie of 1982 behind E.T. and Tootsie.
An Officer and A Gentleman was nominated for six Academy Awards; Best Actress (Winger), Best Supporting Actor (Gossett Jr.), Best Screenplay, Editing, Original Score and Original Song.
Louis Gossett Jr. won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar and “Up Where We Belong” sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes won Best Original Song Oscar. Winger lost the Best Actress Oscar to Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice.
Sword and sorcery movies are right up my alley. The 80s were arguably the best decade for sword and sorcery and The Beastmaster is a decent entry in the genre.
The evil priest Maax is told by witches he will die at the hand of King Zed’s unborn son. Before Maax’s minions can kidnap the newly born son, villagers rescue the boy. When the boy, Dar (Marc Singer), grows up his village is annihilated by Maax’s barbarians and Dar vows revenge.
His gift is the ability to communicate with animals and he is joined by a golden eagle and two ferrets. Yes, ferrets. Seems like lions or tigers or wolves would be better companions. But ferrets it is.
Dar meets a slave girl, Kiri (Tanya Roberts) and together they set out to fulfill his quest for revenge.
The Beastmaster did OK at the box office. It’s real success came during it’s television run. The Beastmaster was a mainstay on WTBS (now, TBS) and TNT. It evened garnered two sequels and a TV series.
You can watch The Beastmaster on Amazon Prime.
Other movies released in August 1982
There were a few other movies released in August 1982. Class of 1984 looks interesting. I may have to hunt it down and watch it. The Junkman is the sequel to 1974’s Gone in 60 seconds. It holds the holds the Guinness World Record for wrecking over 150 vehicles in a movie.
I’ve seen a couple Cheech & Chong movies but not the one below. I don’t think I’ll ever watch it.
If you’ve seen any of them let me know in the comments below.
Despite a limited number of movies there is something for everyone. Comedy, fantasy, teen movie and horror.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High and An Officer and A Gentleman made the most impact and are still enjoyed today.
What are your favorites from August 1982?
Next week we’ll look at August 1987.