December 21, 2014

Flashbacks - 1983 and beyond

A last look at my old movie magazine shelf...

While my collection of horror and sci-fi books and mags is another matter, this shelf of general movie magazines has a wider appeal and proved very popular on Twitter. Here's the last few highlights, skipping through the rest of the 1980s.

After this, my collection became very specialised, and I rarely bought Empire magazine, especially as their opinions were so differently tuned than mine. I switched to Movieline for a few years, though my life was mostly ruled by the collectors' bible Video Watchdog, which is also still running today.

All my early peeks inside the mags of the 70s are linked at the end of this article. Here we finish off the decade, starting with 1983...

Dustin Hoffman put on a dress and won an Oscar in Tootsie. Another winner, American Horror Story's Jessica Lange, was also on a roll with star roles at the time.

The third Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, lands in London at three West End Cinemas, in 70mm.

Film Review, July

Flashdance hit big that summer, though the news soon broke about Jennifer Beals not doing all her own dancing. Though a big clue was all of the stark backlighting...

Another busy summer, another Bond, another Star Wars, another Superman...

Film Review, August

Meanwhile, Scorsese was about to release The King of Comedy. Here he is with De Niro as Rupert Pupkin.

Film Review, August

The last Monty Python film, The Meaning of Life, snuck out quite quietly. Terry Gilliam directed the short supporting film that later attacks the main feature! His next directing credit would be the epic Brazil.

A new, but short-lived, movie magazine Movie Scene had great colour pages. This spectacular cover from Fright Night...

...and this publicity shot for John Carpenter's Big Trouble In Little China.

More sequels, here's Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

Merchant/Ivory delivered this relatively frank gay drama, based on a novel by E.M. Forster, who also inspired their acclaimed successes with adaptions of his A Room With A View, A Passage To India and later Howard's End. Maurice features a great role for young Hugh Grant.

Films Illustrated, November

Photo from a one-page interview with Randall Cook, who provided some startling visual effects for the superbly entertaining horror, The Gate.

After being derided in many roles, Arnold was finally taken more seriously in The Terminator and Predator.

Writer/director Derek Jarman's films were some of the few that were made that angrily fought back against A.I.D.S. paranoid British society. Tilda Swinton was a regular collaborator in these experimental visual poems, mostly shot on Super 8 film.

Director Ken Russell's last great works appeared in a loose trilogy, sharing a few overlapping cast members: Lair of the White Worm, The Rainbow and Salome's Last Dance (above).

Great shot of Paul McGann on location for Withnail & I.

Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix in Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho.

Earlier magazine flashbacks from 1963 to 1982, can be found in the sidebar, at right...


  1. Oh what a feeling, thanx for the trip down memory lane, it reminds me how much cooler movies where in the 80's, a sentiment I keep going back to. I love that idea of pairing a film with an awesome soundtrack....the cool music stays with you through the decades and a song becomes synonymous with the Top Gun and "Take my Breath Away"....I guess they don't do this anymore because its probably expensive. When done right, it worked like magic.

  2. These images bring back some memories. Big Trouble was so awesome!

  3. Greetings from another magazine junkie. Just discovered your site. I also have a great collection of "Films & Filming" magazines, having discovered it when I was 16 in 1962. I have since tracked down those first 100 issues - thanks to eBay job lots - and have all the 1960s issues, it was running out of steam in the 1970s but all magazines have their heyday. Ditto Films Illustrated. I even liked Sight & Sound then, I don't now.
    My own blog has a lot on them at 'magazines' and 'films and filming' labels.