Home
Textual Analysis
Film History
Independent Study
Presentation
Film Project
Case Studies
Forum
Student Work
Shop EU
Shop US
Links
About
IB Film - Film History - 1975-2001
  It was during the 1970’s that the blockbuster we now know was officially born. The movie that has probably started it all was Jaws, since it broke the mold in several major ways. First of all, the cast was unknown. Formerly, the recipe to a successful film was recognizable cast. Second, it used shocking special effects, namely a large mechanical shark that was there to thrill the audience.

It represented a whole new level of realism in the world of film. A few years later, Star Wars continued the trend and the audience were, again, captivated by special effects. In 1978, the door opened for new film makers thanks to a technical innovation called the Steadicam. A famous scene which is using this device is in the Rocky movie, where Stallone is running up the stairs. Instead of being attached to a tripod or dolly, the special device was attached to the cameraman himself, allowing the camera to go anywhere the cameraman walked or ran. Special effects surrounding simplistic and romanticized characters became essentials of the blockbusters; it was the new formula that brought back the large audiences and flowing cash to Hollywood after a longer recess.The movies were now released in smaller numbers on thousands of screens at once and were advertised with massive promotion campaigns. The gross was maximized and it broke the financial slump of the 60’s. 

In the 1980’s, cable companies exploded and wired the viewers with new entertainment possibilities. Independent production was increasing, since it now had less trouble finding an audience. Shows such as M*A*S*H and The Cosby Show became extremely popular. The 1990’s were like the advent of the Digital Age. All across America, CD’s were becoming a commonly used device, as well as DVD’s and sharper cameras. The non-linear format of editing became a true standard in Hollywood. Breakthroughs in computer effects editing made film making cost effective and opened up the possibility of altering the look a film on a computer. With George Lucas releasing Star Wars: E1 in three theaters using completely digital projectors (no film reels needed) and preparing to film the next two using digital cameras only, release on completely digital theaters was encouraged. It was now obvious to Hollywood and the rest of the world that digital is the next evolution in film.

Year History Film
1975 Saigon surrenders, Vietnam War ends, Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft take off for US-Soviet link-up in space. Saturday Night Live premieres on NBC. Home videotape systems (VCRs) are developed in Japan One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest wins Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Actress Oscars. Jaws
1976 Death of Mao Tse-tung. Jimmy Carter elected US President. Ethernet invented. Viking probe lands on Mars. Important books- Alex Haley, Roots. Punk rock recognized as a movement in the UK, US and Australia The Steadicam is used for the first time in Rocky Philip Glass completes Einstein on the Beach-first known example of minimalist composition NBC broadcasts Gone with the Wind-scores record-breaking ratings. Network All the President's Men Taxi Driver Rocky
1977 Nuclear-proliferation pact signed by 15 countries including US and USSR. Lasers are first used to initiate a fusion reaction. Elvis Presley dies Star Wars hits theatres- becomes the second highest grossing film Saturday Night Fever sparks the disco inferno and the popularity of movie soundtracks The average price of a movie ticket in the U.S. is around $2.25 Walt Disney Pictures releases The Rescuers, bringing back interest in animation Annie Hall Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Close Encounters of the Third Kind
1978 First ‘test tube baby’ born. First commercially available cellular phone. Pope Paul VI , dies at 80, new Pope, John Paul I, dies unexpectedly after 34 days in office. Sony introduces the Walkman, the first portable stereo. Grease has its world premiere in Hollywood The first Sundance Film Festival is held The Deer Hunter
1979 Margaret Thatcher elected British Prime Minister. Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. Three Mile Island nuclear accident. The Sugar Hill Gang’s first rap hit, bringing rap into the popular music scene. Important books- William Styron, Sophie's Choice Apocalypse Now
1980 US breaks diplomatic ties with Iran. Ronald Reagan elected president in Republican. John Lennon of Beatles shot dead in NYC. CNN is launched Sharon Stone makes her debut in a Woody Allen movie, Stardust Memories Raging Bull
1981 Egyptian president is assassinated by Islamic extremists. AIDS is first identified MTV goes on the air Tom Cruise makes his acting debut Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982 Israel invades Lebanon. Michael Jackson releases Thriller, selling over 25 million copies Cats opens on Broadway Hugh Grant and Angelina Jolie make their film debut Spielberg’s sci-fi E.T. becomes the highest grossing box-office success until Jurassic Park Coca-Cola company acquires Columbia pictures Blade Runner Tootsie Sophie's Choice E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
1983 US invades Grenada. Terrorist explosion kills 237 US Marines in Beirut. Strategic Defensive Initiative proposed by Reagan (‘star wars’). Second space shuttle, Challenger, makes successful maiden voyage. Introduction of noise-free CDs. ‘Crack’ cocaine is developed in the Bahamas More than 125 million viewers tune in to the last episode of M*A*S*H Terms of Endearment
1984 Soviet Union withdraws from the Summer Olympic Games in the US. Miners strike in the UK. Bob Geldof releases ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ together with Band Aid. Apple introduces the Macintosh personal computer The Cosby Show debuts on NBC Amadeus
1985 Mikhail S. Gorbachev becomes the leader of the Soviet Union. Terrorists seize Egyptian Boeing 737 airliner after takeoff from Athens. Madonna launches her first road show, the Virgin Tour British scientists report the opening of an enormous hole in the earth's ozone layer over Antarctica Out Of Africa The Color Purple
1986 Major nuclear accident at Soviet Union's Chernobyl power station alarms world. Nintendo introduced Barry Diller, head of News Corp., creates Fox, the fourth television network The Oprah Winfrey Show hits national television Platoon
1987 Iraqi missiles kill 37 in attack on US frigate Stark in Persian Gulf, Hussein apologizes. Prime Minister Thatcher wins rare third term in Britain. Prozac released for use in US thirtysomething debuts on ABC and departs from typical dramas, featuring analytical, self-absorbed baby-boomer characters Wall Street Moonstruck Good Morning, Vietnam
1988 US and Canada reach free trade agreement. US Navy ship shoots down Iranian airliner in Persian Gulf, mistaking it for jet fighter. Ninety-eight percent of U.S. households have at least one television set Ted Turner starts Turner Network Television (TNT) and buys MGM's film library Rain Man
1989 Thousands of Beijing students take over the Tiananmen Square in rally for democracy. After 28 years, Berlin Wall is open to West ‘Velvet Revolution’ in most of central and eastern Europe. First World Wide Web server and browser developed. Batman is released Columbia Pictures and Tri-Star pictures are sold to Sony Do the Right Thing
1990 Yugoslav Communists end 45-year monopoly of power. South Africa frees Nelson Mandela, imprisoned 27˝ years. Western Alliance ends Cold War and proposes joint action with Soviet Union and Eastern Europe East and West Germany reunited. Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, setting off the Persian Gulf War. The Simpsons debut. Entertainment Weekly hits newsstands Use of real-time computer graphics to create a character in motion is performed in Robocop 2Goodfellas Dances with Wolves
1991 Soviet Union breaks up after President Gorbachev's resignation. Nirvana releases the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" The Silence of the Lambs
1992 Bush and Yeltsin proclaim a formal end to the Cold War. Czechoslovak Parliament approves separation into two nations. Bill Clinton elected President. There are 900 million television sets in use around the world Unforgiven
1993 China breaks nuclear test moratorium. Clinton agrees to compromise on military's ban on homosexuals. A 13-year-old Los Angeles boy accuses Michael Jackson of fondling him Lost in Yonkers is edited on an Avid Media Composer system-by converting film into digital bits it can now be cut on a computer Tom Hanks wins Oscar for Philadelphia Super Mario Bros. opens, marking the first video game film released Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) is developed Schindler's List
1994 Serbs' heavy weapons pound Sarajevo. US sends forces to Persian Gulf. Four convicted in World Trade Center bombing Steven Spielberg wins his first directing Oscar for Schindler's List Tom Hanks wins Oscar for Best Actor in Forrest Gump The Shawshank Redemption Pulp Fiction
1995 US rescues Mexico's economy with $20-billion aid program. Russian space station Mir greets first Americans. First solo transpacific balloon flight After a six-year hiatus, the James Bond film series resumes with Golden Eye Toy Story is released marking the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery Toy Story
1996 Militant Taliban leaders seize Afghan capital of Kabul. France agrees to end nuclear testing. Chechens capture 2,000 Russians. Approximately 45 million people are using the Internet Fargo
1997 Hong Kong returns to Chinese rule. European Union plans to admit six nations. Swiss plan first payment to Holocaust victims. J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is published in the U.K Titanic becomes the first film ever to gross $1,000,000,000 It is the most expensive film of all time, costing between $250 and $300 million to produce and market
1998 Russia fights to avert financial collapse. Europeans agree on single currency, the Euro Titanic becomes the highest-grossing film of all time and captures a record-tying 11 Academy Awards The American Film Institute announces its list of the top 100 films of all time. Citizen Kane tops the list. Saving Private Ryan
1999 War erupts in Kosovo. The number of Internet users worldwide reaches 150 million Stanley Kubrick dies at the age of 70 Star Wars Episode I--The Phantom Menace opens and breaks a string of box office records The Blair Witch Project emerges as an instant cult classic and becomes the most profitable film of all time The Sixth Sense
2000 Concorde crash kills 113 near Paris. Palestinians and Israelis clash. U.S. presidential election closest in decades. NEAR spacecraft becomes first to orbit an asteroid. "I love you" virus disrupts computers worldwide Reality shows such as The Survivor become extremely popular over the summerCast Away Gladiator Traffic Mission: Impossible II X-Men

 

Back to film history home

 
 

 

free hit counters