Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1984

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
Introduction | Pre-1900s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

The Year 1984
Year
Event and Significance
1984
In the case of Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that home videotaping or recording (for home use) did not violate copyright laws. It upheld the rights of VCR owners to tape programs off TV. Originally in 1976, Sony was charged with copyright infringement by Universal Studios and the Walt Disney Company, seeking to halt the manufacture of Sony's Betamax magnetic videotape recording system.
1984

The Adventures of Andre and Wally B (1984) was the first fully-computer-generated animated 3-D short film, worked on by future key Pixar player John Lasseter. It was produced by the Graphics Group, a subsidiary of LucasFilm, that was later split off and renamed Pixar.

1984
Splash (1984), a romantic comedy with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, was Disney's first film released under its new film label "Touchstone Pictures (or Films) " - its first entry into more mature themes (and content) in films.
1984
The fish-out-of-water action comedy Beverly Hills Cop (1984) was the biggest box-office (domestic) hit of the year with box-office gross receipts of $234.7 million (domestic), barely edging out Ghostbusters (1984) at $229 million (domestic). Unknown Brooklyn comic, initially on TV's Saturday Night Live, found his greatest stardom with this series (ultimately with two sequels), after appearing in two earlier movies: 48 HRS. (1982) and then Trading Places (1983), although neither of them broke the $100 million level. Murphy became one of the first black movie stars to be widely accepted by white America, with the character of displaced Detroit cop Axel Foley. The soundtrack (Harold Faltermeyer's synthesizer) won a Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture. The very recognizable "Axel F" theme song played throughout the film.
1984
The writing/directing team of Joel and Ethan Coen released their debut film, a modern-day film noir titled Blood Simple (1984).
1984
The PG-13 film rating was introduced, in response to parental protest about the sexualized torture scene (a beating heart was ripped from a victim's chest) in influential producer/director Steven Spielberg's PG-rated Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) (his follow-up film to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)), and also for violence in Gremlins. The PG category was split into two by the Motion Picture Association of America: PG and PG-13 (for a film having a higher level of intensity). Children under the age of 17 could be admitted, but with parental guidance strongly suggested.
1984
The first movie to be released in the US with a PG-13 rating was John Milius' Red Dawn (1984).
1984
The Apple Macintosh computer went on sale to the public on January 24, 1984, introduced by Apple chairman Steve Jobs. It was the first commercially-successful personal computer - with a mouse and graphical-user interface for ease of use, to compete with IBM's and Microsoft DOS computer systems. The computer was introduced by Ridley Scott's TV commercial "1984," costing $1.5 million, which first aired during the third quarter of the year's Super Bowl game - on January 22, 1984. The ad referenced George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and the "Big Brother" conformist society, to be saved by the coming of the Macintosh 128K.
1984
Tri-Star Pictures, formed in 1982 as a joint venture by CBS Television, HBO (Home Box Office) and Columbia Pictures, released its first film in May, The Natural (1984).
1984
Sophisticated leading man/actor William Powell died at the age of 91. He had starred in many noteworthy films during his long career, including The Thin Man series (six films from 1934 to 1947, all opposite Myrna Loy as the crime fighting duo of Nick and Nora Charles). He was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award three times: The Thin Man (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Life With Father (1947), but never won. Other starring film roles included Reckless (1935), Best Picture-winning The Great Ziegfeld (1936), Libeled Lady (1936), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), and Mister Roberts (1955).
1984
The two Conan films (Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer (1984)) had brought some notoriety and fame to body-builder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but his career didn't take off until his archetypal role as an indestructible cyborg assassin, The Terminator in James Cameron's The Terminator (1984).
1984
Director David Lynch's big-budget adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 science-fiction work Dune (1984) was both a critical and box-office disaster. Its total domestic gross was $30.9 million, and all plans for sequels were cancelled as a result.
1984
The Voyager Company debuted its Criterion Collection line of special-edition video laserdiscs, with additional revolutionary features such as language options, original aspect ratio widescreen and letterboxed formats (rather than pan-and-scan), supplementary materials, commentaries by directors on audio tracks, interviews, making-of documentaries, photo galleries (stills, posters, artwork, storyboards, shooting scripts), state-of-the-art mastering, and other extras. Their contributions solidified the laserdisc as the choice of cinephiles for over 15 years. These features later became commonplace on releases of DVDs.
1984
The soundtrack of cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth's and director Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense (1984), featuring the rock band Talking Heads, was recorded on a 24-track Sony digital recorder. It was notable for being the first all-digital film sound in history. Its documentation of the singing group during three nights in December, 1983 at Hollywood's Pantages Theater has often been considered to be the best rock concert film of all-time.
1984
Director John Hughes, the future master of comedic, "teen"-oriented coming-of-age or 'rites of passage' films directed toward a youth audience, released his debut film Sixteen Candles (1984), starring promising red-headed star Molly Ringwald, one of the Brat Packers of the time. The quintessential teenager in John Hughes' youth comedies of the eighties was influential in establishing the female teen archetype, in the next few films The Breakfast Club (1985) and Pretty in Pink (1986).
1984
The Razzies presented the 'Worst Actor' award to Christopher Atkins for his role in A Night in Heaven (1983), and 'Worst Actress' (and 'Worst Picture') awards to Pia Zadora for The Lonely Lady (1983). In 1990, Zadora's film also received a 'Worst Picture of the Decade' nomination and in 2005 the 'Worst 'Drama' of the First 25 Years' nomination.
1984
Actor Rob Reiner made his directorial debut with This Is Spinal Tap (1984) - it set the standard for a mockumentary in its depiction of a fictional heavy-metal rock band named Spinal Tap on tour in the US during the fall of 1982. Its most memorable scene was the one in which a band member described how the amplifier had an "11" on its dial: "These go to eleven."
1984
French film-maker Francois Truffaut died at the age of 52 of a brain tumor. He was famed as one of the founders of the French New Wave movement, as well as being a director, actor, and screenwriter. His most notable films as director were The 400 Blows (1959), Shoot the Piano Player (1960), Jules and Jim (1962), Fahrenheit 451 (1966), Day for Night (1973) - Academy Award winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, and The Story of Adele H. (1975).


Previous Page Next Page