Thirty years ago, I remember UFO’s and disco!
By the end of 1977, I was ten years-old and had just come off of a summer dominated by STAR WARS mania! ABC-TV was ruling supreme with blockbuster shows like The Six Million Dollar Man, Charlie’s Angel’s (Cheryl Ladd had just arrived!), Happy Days and future classics like Three’s Company, Soap and The Love Boat had just premiered. Elivs Presley was dead, the Yankees had won the world series against the Dodgers (“Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!”) and Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States.
Two new films were about to be released. One would make science fiction history. The other would revolutionize the disco culture:
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND was released in November 1977. It was Steven Spielberg’s third theatrical feature. Unlike it’s sci-fi competitor, Star Wars, it focussed less on action and more on the spiritual journey that mankind would experience upon it’s first encounter with alien intelligence. The special effects, in two words, were wonderous and awesome! It even made the cover of Newsweek magazine. I had the pleasure of seeing it when it premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. It remains today, my favorite Spielberg film of all time.
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER was released in December 1977. It starred an already-famous John Travolta, fresh off of Welcome Back, Kotter. It revived a disco culture that was already showing signs of fading away and inevitably became an explosion of music and dancing! The soundtrack provided by the legendary Bee Gees was a radio chart-topper, and still remains one of the highest-selling movie soundtracks of all time. It was the first R-rated film my parents ever took me to see at the cinema at North Shore Towers in Bellrose, New York, where my family lived at the time. It remains one of my favorite films of the 1970’s.
Movies are memories. Great movies and memories are forever.