The Omen, starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, was released on June 25, 1976. The film received mixed reviews but it was a box office success and spawned a franchise that includes three sequels and a remake. The Omen also launched the directing career of Richard Donner, whose next feature – 1978’s Superman – was a massive hit.
Ridley Scott’s stone-cold sci-fi neo-noir classic Blade Runner – based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – was released on June 25, 1982. Set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, Blade Runner stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a replicant bounty hunter who may or may not be a replicant himself (spoiler alert: he’s a replicant). Blade Runner was a box office disappointment, especially compared to other Ford films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but in time it became a cult classic and one of the most revered and influential sci-fi features ever. It also kicked off the era of Philip K. Dick adaptations, including Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, The Adjustment Bureau, and Amazon’s series The Man in the High Castle.
Speaking of stone-cold classics, Purple Rain was released on June 25, 1984. The first album to officially credit Prince’s backing band, The Revolution, Purple Rain was the soundtrack to the film of the same name and Prince’s first number one album on the Billboard 200 (it spent twenty-four consecutive weeks in the top spot). Purple Rain also yielded four top-ten singles: “When Doves Cry”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Purple Rain”, and “I Would Die U”.
Freaks and Geeks co-stars Linda Cardellini and Busy Phillips jointly celebrate their birthdays on June 25. They’re both as adorable as ever.
Only five days until Stranger Things 4, Volume 2 is released (not that I’m counting). So far, season four is my favorite since the first; based on the trailer, I’m hopeful the final two episodes will deliver on that promise. By the way, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” has gone to #1 in nine countries, including the UK and Australia; it currently sits at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. My guess is that the song will get another boost after the release of “Papa” and “The Piggyback” on Friday. I’m also guessing that “The Piggyback” will also resolve my long-running theory that time travel will play a role in the series.
Friday night at the Glastonbury Festival, Phoebe Bridgers led the audience in a chant of “Fuck the Supreme Court”, a sentiment I wholeheartedly share. Bridgers also assisted The Jesus and Mary Chain with this gorgeous version of one of my all-time favorite songs.
Nora Ephron died ten years ago today. A three-time Oscar nominee (Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally…, Sleepless in Seattle), Ephron parlayed a journalism career into screenwriting when she helped write an adaptation of All the President’s Men with then-husband Carl Bernstein. The script wasn’t used, but it caught the attention of a producer who offered Ephron a job writing a television movie called Perfect Gentleman. In 1983, she wrote her first film script, Silkwood, and published her first novel, Heartburn, a semi-autobiographical account of her failed marriage to Bernstein. With When Harry Met Sally…, Ephron began producing films as well and in 1991, she made her directorial debut with This Is My Life. She went on to direct such beloved movies as Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. In 2006, Ephron was diagnosed with leukemia. She was able to make one more film – 2009’s Julie and Julia – before passing away in 2012. May her memory be a blessing.
The AFI tribute to Julie Andrews is now available on YouTube, and it’s a delight from start to finish.
Chris Isaak is celebrating his 66th birthday today, and now I’m off to listen to San Francisco Days.