Top 15 Movies of Summer 1979
Don't believe for a minute that Hollywood's obsession with recycling past hits is a new-millennium trend. As far back as the earliest days of cinema, filmmakers were looking for new ways to repackage familiar material.
It was all about sequels and remakes 20 years ago, 40 years ago and 80 years ago, as our list of the Top 15 Movies of Summer 1979 shows. Among that season's offerings were new chapters in the American Graffiti, Rocky and James Bond stories; there were also another version of the world's most famous vampire for fans to seek their teeth into.
Plus, new franchises launched that summer too, with movies about a haunted house in Amityville, a creepier-than-usual undertaker and the Alien saga getting their starts. Plus, the Muppets made their first big-screen appearance that year.
Our list reflects most people's summer time frame, rather than Mother Nature's, so it begins in mid-May (when Apocalypse Now made its debut at Cannes) and runs through early September, when a tiny Australian horror movie finally got a widespread release. There are at least three undisputed classics here, which you'll find topping the list below, but all of these films are worth seeing for one reason or another.
Summer movie season got bigger over the years, swelling in the '80s to the point where every weekend now features at least one huge event film. It was a more restrained era four decades ago, when box-office records weren't busted every other week and the season's biggest films didn't drop out of sight within a month, as you'll see in our below list of the Top 15 Movies of Summer 1979.