“Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time.” ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The passage of time, ‘tis a quirky thing.
This weekend I purchased the Blu-ray of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan’s Body Heat, a modern take on film noir classics a la Double Indemnity and The Postman Rings Twice set in 1980s Florida during a heat wave. Famous for introducing Kathleen Turner as one of the sexiest female actors of the time and for its (tastefully done) erotic scenes, Body Heat was Lawrence Kasdan’s directorial debut and proved that he was more than a screenwriter-for-hire.
Interestingly, I discovered – after I bought the Blu-ray on Amazon for an amazingly low $9.99 – that I ordered Body Heat exactly 40 years after its theatrical release.
(Talk about serendipity….)
I dimly remember that Body Heat had been out in theaters in 1981; it was mentioned briefly in the brief authors’ bio in The Empire Strikes Back Notebook, a Ballantine Books paperback published in November of 1980 that presented Kasdan’s screenplay with selected storyboards and commentary by the writer, director Irvin Kershner, and producer George Lucas. But I had forgotten that Body Heat was out in theaters only two and a half months after Raiders of the Lost Ark premiered.
So, not only had I purchased Body Heat on its anniversary, but the movie was a contemporary of the iconic first entry of the Indiana Jones series.
My mind was blown.
Body Heat is 40…freakin’….years…old.
This, of course, got me started on the whole “Wow, time flies” thing.
For funsies, let’s take stock to see how old some of my favorite films – released in my lifetime – are (as of August 30, 2021) today.
- Star Wars (1977): 44 years
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): 40 years
- Superman (1978): 43 years
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982): 39 years
- When Harry Met Sally…(1989): 32 years
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980): 41 years
- Apocalypse Now (1979): 42 years
- E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982): 39 years
- Jaws (1975): 46 years
- The Hunt for Red October (1990): 31 years
- The Great Escape (1963): 58 years
- Summer of ’42 (1971): 50 years
- Red Dawn (1984): 37 years
- A Bridge Too Far (1977): 44 years
- Apollo 13 (1995): 26 years
- Stand by Me (1986): 35 years
- Working Girl (1988): 33 years
- Saving Private Ryan (1998): 23 years
- American Graffiti (1973): 48 years
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977): 44 years
- Air Force One (1997): 24 years
- The Terminator (1984): 37 years
- Zulu (1964): 57 years
- Titanic (1997): 24 years
- Witness (1985): 36 years
“I blinked my eyes
and in an instant,
decades had passed.” ― John Mark Green, Taste the Wild Wonder: Poems
 Prior to Body Heat, Kasdan had written the definitive screenplay for Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, as well as the script for Raiders of the Lost Ark, both of which were produced by George Lucas.
 And, until I purchased it this past weekend, I had not watched it.
 This is not a “ranked” list. I chose the titles more or less randomly. I also limited the scope of the selection to movies released within my lifetime.
2 thoughts on “On Movies: Reflections on Films, Life, and the Passage of Time”
I tend not to feel old until I look at Star Wars and figure the difference between today and when Star Wars was released is greater than the difference between when Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz or Gone With the Wind was released.
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1977 – 1939 = 38 years
2021 – 1977 = 44 years
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