Baldwin: Celebrating films’ 40th anniversaries

Greetings, film fanatics of Winchester.

This week, I turned the big 4-0. All week I thought about how it was supposed to make me feel. Some say or act like it were the end of the world when they became 40. Not me.

I do not feel bad, depressed or anxious nor do I yearn to return to my younger years.

I am quite happy where I am at in my life. Forty is not old and I do not feel different than I did 20 years ago.

Through maturity over the years, I have changed in that I have come to appreciate quality over quantity. Celebrate with me as we cover some quality films for you to enjoy as also that turn 40 this year.

“Alien” is the award-winning science fiction fright flick about a space ship crew which become victim to the attacks by mysterious alien lifeform after they land on the surface of the moon. It is a solid film which showcases the talents of Sigourney “Galaxy Quest” Weaver, Tom “Picket Fences” Skerritt, and Kentucky’s Harry Dean “Pretty in Pink” Stanton.

If you want sci-fi but this is too scary, then join Admiral James T. Kirk, William Shatner and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew as they intercept an alien spacecraft in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”

Francis Ford Coppola of Godfather fame returned to the silver screen in 1979 with “Apocalypse Now.” “Apocalypse Now” is the Vietnam War drama starring Martin “Badlands” Sheen as Captain Willard who is sent out into the jungles of Cambodia to assassinate the renegade Colonel Kurtz, Marlon “On the Waterfront” Brando, whom a local tribe reveres as a god.

If you are still in the mood for Vietnam War-related drama, this week in 1979, the number one film at the box office was “The Deer Hunter.”

“The Deer Hunter” is a powerful film starring Robert “Goodfellas” DeNiro and Christopher “The Dead Zone” Walken and how the war impacts and disrupts the lives of close friends in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

For the children, Kermit the Frog and his talented Muppet friends travel across America in the hopes of finding stardom in Hollywood in the “The Muppet Movie.”

Tons of humor, music and cameos from classic stars are sure to please adults and children alike.

If you want to laugh after you tuck the children into bed, then spend some time laughing as Steve “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” Martin portrays an idiotic man tries to survive on his own in St. Louis in “The Jerk.”

A personal favorite of mine, “The Warriors” is an action film set on one night following street gang, The Warriors, and their fight through New York City in hopes of surviving to back onto their turf of Coney Island after being framed by another gang for murder. Cheesy and awesome all at the same time, if you are like me, you will never get tired of watching this cult classic.

“The Amityville Horror” is sure to scare you as newlyweds, Margot “Superman” Kidder and James “The Car” Brolin move into a large house which may or not be possessed by evil after it became available for sale due to the previous family’s involvement in mass murder.

Whatever your age, enjoy it. It’s not the wrinkles on your face, but the brightness of your spark and soul that define you.

Have a film-tastic day.

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society. Find more from Rick on Facebook. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at