The Thatcher Crisis Years

1980s politics blog from TV historian Tony McMahon

top movies 1979

The 70s was an incredible decade for movies. And it ended with some real corkers that covered key themes of the time. The top movies of 1979 include some legendary contributions to the history of cinema. Alien and Star Trek continued the decade’s obsession with space travel. This was, after all, the era of the Apollo missions and men on the moon.

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture revived the cult 60s TV series for the big screen. The actors were noticeably craggier! Alien conveyed a dark and dystopian view of a space age future where the monsters were truly horrific and your fellow humans were a thoroughly dysfunctional bunch.

Kramer vs Kramer centred on a divorce and the devastating results of a couple splitting up. It’s not a movie that gets repeated much on our satellite TV channels but in 1979, it grossed significantly more than Alien.

Rocky II was set in the boxing ring – a sport that was dominated by giants in the 70s and was Saturday TV viewing for millions on both the BBC and ITV. And finally, Apocalypse Now brought  home the continuing angst caused by the failed Vietnam War with a story based on Joseph Conrad’s gloomy novel Heart of Darkness.

Here’s a list of the top five grossing movies for 1979:

  • Kramer vs Kramer – US$106m
  • Rocky II – US$85m
  • Apocalypse Now – US$83m
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture – US$82m
  • Alien: US$80m

One thought on “Top movies of 1979

  1. Katie says:

    Wow, never seen a young Meryl before – absolutely gorgeous.

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