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Friday, April 24, 2015

2015 Quite a Year for Movie Anniversaries

Written by Jon Williams

This year is shaping up to be a pretty big one for movies. Movies like Insurgent, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Furious 7 have already brought tons of people to the box office, and others like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Spectre, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (to name just a very few) are still on the horizon. But that’s looking ahead. Looking back, 2015 also sees a number of classic films celebrating significant landmark anniversaries.

Going back to 1940, a handful of notable films are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. One is The Grapes of Wrath, an adaptation of the classic John Steinbeck novel of the same name, starring Henry Ford and John Carradine. That was also a great year for Disney, which released the animated staples Fantasia and Pinocchio. Unfortunately, both of those titles are in Disney’s vault at the moment, so if you already have copies of them on your shelves, consider yourself lucky.

Moving forward to 1965, some great and notable films are marking 50 years. Doctor Zhivago is an all-time great film, a romance with the backdrop of World War I and the Russian Revolution. For a Few Dollars More (released in 1965 in Italy, but not until 1967 in North America) is one of the Sergio Leone westerns that helped launch the career of Clint Eastwood, a career that’s still going strong all these years later. Thunderball (currently unavailable, although the novel by Ian Fleming is) was one of the first James Bond films to feature the organization SPECTRE as the enemy; fitting, as that’s the title of the Bond film releasing later this year. Finally, there’s The Sound of Music, one of the quintessential movie musicals of all time, which was recently released in a 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray that includes a ton of bonus material in addition to the film.

And then there’s 1990, which was a banner year for great movies. Just look at this list of films released that year, which turn 25 in 2015: The Hunt for Red October. Total Recall (the Schwarzenegger original, of course). Pretty Woman. Ghost. Goodfellas. Home Alone (currently unavailable). Dances with Wolves. Misery. Edward Scissorhands (currently unavailable). Is that a great list of movies or what?

So those are the big landmark anniversaries—25, 50, and 75 years—for 2015. Anything in particular catch your eye, or did we miss anything? And don’t forget, there are plenty of great films celebrating other, not quite as grand anniversaries, such as Rebel Without a Cause (60 years), Jaws (40 years), and Back to the Future (30 years). You can find these great films are more on our website.