For, Friday, June 19, 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: A couple of weeks ago I unearthed a 25-year-old article about movies that play throughout the summer — May-August, Hollywood Standard Time. Today we go back even further, 35 years, to see what summer movies were on the horizon when this story was published in the Deseret News on May 16, 1985, under the art head ‘Summer Movies’ and a smaller headline: ‘Is anything NEW on the horizon?’ — and yet another headline inside, ‘Originality isn’t big this summer.’ Come to think of it, all three headlines apply to every summer. As a local theater chain cautiously opens this week for the first time since the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, it seems apropos. Especially since the No. 1 movie of 1985 is one of the movies that will be playing.

Summer will, as always, bring a tremendous number of movies to local screens between Memorial Day and Labor Day — but it’s amazing how few of them this year look original.

Another James Bond epic, another Mad Max epic, another vacation from National Lampoon, a picture with John Candy that sounds like the last Lampoon vacation, horror movies about werewolves and vampires, thrillers about he end of the world, a military invasions of America, teen comedies galore, sequels and remakes all over the place, and, of all things, westerns


The fact that the western is back is probably the most startling news. Two comedy westerns have kicked off the spring pre-summer flicks — “Rustlers’ Rhapsody” and “Lust in the Dust” — but the big guns, if you will, will come from Clint Eastwood and Lawrence Kasdan down the dusty trail.

And three reissues promise to drain some of this summer’s teenage money as well — “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” which hasn’t been seen for three years, and last year’s “Ghostbusters” and “Gremlins.”

The latest James Bond film (with Roger Moore, of course) is being highly touted, as is a relatively unknown science-fiction picture called “Cocoon.” Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess which films will make money and which will bomb out.


In the meantime, here are the scheduled upcoming summer flicks, as of this writing. But titles, dates and whole films may well be changed before you know it, as the studios play movie roulette, trying to avoid competition with each other’s better shots.

EDITOR’S ENDNOTE: What followed, of course, was a lengthy list of titles and dates, many of which are now forgotten … with good reason. But it was a pretty good year for summer films, with quite a few in the list of top 20 box-office moneymakers for 1985, topped by the year’s biggest hit, ‘Back to the Future.’ Also, ‘Rambo: First Blood, Part II,’ ‘Cocoon,’ ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Fletch,’ ‘A View to a Kill,’ ‘National Lampoon’s European Vacation,’ ‘Pale Rider,’ ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,’ ‘Brewster’s Millions’ and ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.’ Now, whatever its box-office status, ‘A View to a Kill’ is considered one of the worst of the James Bond franchise (and proved to be Roger Moore’s final outing as 007), and the less said about ‘European Vacation’ the better. But the others listed here are still popular titles, as are such other summer of ’85 flicks as ‘Teen Wolf,’ ‘Silverado,’ ‘St. Elmo’s Fire,’ ‘Fright Night,’ ‘Summer Rental’ and ‘Weird Science.’ Happy streaming.