The Bad News Bears

The Bad News Bears

Written by Bill Lancaster (Burt's son) and directed by Michael Ritchie (who had helmed adult fare like The Candidate and Smile), this winning 1976 film worked on a lot of levels-and not just the "hey, those naughty kids are cussing" level either. There was the underdog triumph story at the movie's core; there was the satire of the uniquely American institution of Little League and its overly-involved bench parents (in the year of our country's bicentennial, no less). There was also a redemptive character piece at work, as Buttermaker, via his group of misfits, tried to get his shambled life together once and for all. Continue reading...

Splash

Splash

Don't ask why, but little girls always aspire to be the following: super heroines, career women, princesses and mermaids. Before The Little Mermaid's Ariel inspired little girls to centipede in their swimming pools, hold their breath as long as they could, and play mermaids all the livelong summer day…there was Daryl Hannah in Splash. Continue reading...

BJ and the Bear

BJ and the Bear

After years of being reminded that a dog is man's best friend, we learned in the 70s that primates make pretty good pals as well, especially when one is driving a truck. First, we saw Clint Eastwood traveling the nation's highways with his sidekick orangutan in two successful movies, Every Which Way But Loose, and the follow-up, Every Which Way You Can. Then, as network executives began to see the potential of such an interspecies pairing, we were treated to a lighthearted weekly series called BJ and the Bear. Continue reading...

One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time

Prolific producer Normal Lear, famous for sitcoms such as All in the Family and Good Times, treated television audiences to another gem in the 70s, about a divorced mother and her two teenaged daughters. Offering the same trademark blend of tackling serious topics, while always keeping the laughs coming, One Day at a Time endeared itself to the viewing public for nine seasons and remains a beloved series to this day. Continue reading...

Valley Girl

Valley Girl

Like, oh my god, there was once this faraway place where teenage girls like totally created their own bitchin’ subculture and language. All right, perhaps it wasn’t so far away - a stone’s throw from downtown Los Angeles actually, in the suburban San Fernando Valley. These trendy inhabitants came to be lovingly known as Valley Girls, thanks to a memorable 1981 Frank Zappa song, “Valley Girl” in which he and his daughter Moon Unit openly mocked their lifestyle and their “Valspeak.” Two years later, the romantic comedy Valley Girl was released, paying homage to this little slice of Southern California subculture. And the result was nothing short of gnarly…fer sure. Continue reading...

The Jerk

The Jerk

Steve Martin, once a writer for the Smothers Brothers, became a household name thanks to his comic antics on Saturday Night Live, his sell-out concerts and comedy albums, and the hit single "King Tut." He had made an appearance in the musical flop Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but Carl Reiner's The Jerk, released in 1979, was Martin's first starring role, co-written with Martin to emphasize his unique smart-but-stupid shtick. Continue reading...

Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein

Part spoof, part homage, all comedy, Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, released in 1974, did for old-fashioned horror what his Blazing Saddles had done for westerns earlier that year. Shot in black and white, with a spooky score from John Morris, and even using the lab set from 1931's original Frankenstein, Brooks' film looked and sounded every bit the serious horror film ... at least until the first slapstick gag. Let's take a look back at this classic 70s comedy. Continue reading...

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice

Nobody ever said it was easy to be dead. But, no matter how exasperating eternal life might be, a recently deceased couple learned the hard way that one should be careful of what they wish for – they just might get it. Such was the plight of the Maitland family in Tim Burton’s wonderfully quirky and decidedly dark 1988 comedy, Beetlejuice. Continue reading...