Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Observations — 1981, Good Year For Film, Not So Good For Mao’s Widow


Iran freed 52 US. Hostages.  Egypt’s Anwar Sadat was assassinated. Pope John Paul II wounded.  Israel annexed the Golan Heights. Ronald Reagan became 40th U.S. President. Reagan was wounded in assassination attempt.  Reagan fired 11,500 air traffic controllers. He appointed Sandra Day O’Connor as the first woman nominated to serve on the Supreme Court.  Mao’s widow was sentenced to death.  AIDS was first identified. IBM developed its first personal computer.  George Harrison was fined half a million dollars for subconscious plagiarism — “My Sweet Lord” from ‘He’s So Fine.” Boxer Leon Spinks was mugged for his gold teeth. Bobby Unser won the Indy 500.  Prince Charles and Lady Di became engaged.  Walter Cronkite retired. Porn star John Holmes was arrested for a Laurel Canyon murder. First American test tube baby was born. ‘Nightline,” “Dynasty,” “Falcon Crest” and “Hill Street Blues” premiered.  Cats opened in London, and Torch Song Trilogy had its Broadway premiere. The Pulitzer Prize for literature went to author John Kennedy Toole for Confederacy of Dunces. The Mystery Writers of America gave their top prize, the Edgar, to Dick Francis for his mystery, Whip Hand. Other books topping the charts included Noble House by James Clavell, The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving, Cujo by Stephen King, An Indiscreet Obsession by Colleen McCullough, Gorky Park by Martin Cruz-Smith, Masquerade by Kit Williams, Goodbye Janette by Harold Robbins, The Third Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders, The Glitter Dome by Joseph Wambaugh and No Time for Tears by Cynthia Freeman.   Lots of good movies this year. We watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chariots of Fire, Reds, Das Boot, Pixote, Diva, The Road Warrior, Mephisto, Gallipoli, On Golden Pond, My Dinner With Andre, American Werewolf in London, and Body Heat. Not quite so good in music:  Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers, Starting over by John Lennon, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, “Kiss on the List” by Daryl Hall and John Oates, and “I Love A Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt. “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton and “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon. Born this year were Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Justin Timberlake, Serena Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Among those who died were: Natalie Wood, William Holden, Hoagy Carmichael, Bob Marley, Richard Boone, Edith Head, Paddy Chayefsky, Harry Von Zell, Bill Haley, Joe Louis, Irishman Bobby Sands, and William Wyler.  If you were around during this year of the metal rooster, what were you doing?


1 comment:

Bill Crider said...

I was around, and what I was doing was listening to a lot of that music, seeing most of those movies, and reading a surprising number of the books. It was a pretty good year.