Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1985

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 1985
Year
Event and Significance
1985
Robert Redford's Sundance Institute (established in 1980) took over the Utah/US Film Festival by 1986. It was named after Redford's character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Later in 1991, it was renamed the Sundance Film Festival (held annually since 1981 in January in Park City, Utah and expanded in length) - "dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors of vision, and to the national and international exhibition of new, independent dramatic and documentary films." The first Grand Jury Prize went to the Coen Brothers noirish debut film Blood Simple (1984).
1985
The first Blockbuster Video store opened in Dallas, Texas.
1985
Cable-TV's The Discovery Channel launched or debuted on June 17, 1985.
1985
Director Just Jaeckin's Emmanuelle (1974, Fr.), the first of a series of soft-core films (and lots of imitations) starring Sylvia Kristel, finished its record 10 year plus showing (since June 1974) in early February 1985 at the Paris Triomphe Cinema on the Champs-Elysées, beating out previous record-holder West Side Story.
1985
More than 45 top American recording artists gathered after the American Music Award ceremony on January 28, 1985 to record We Are the World, a single written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, released to raise money for African famine relief.
1985
John Hughes' coming-of-age teen film The Breakfast Club (1985) was extremely influential in its depiction of five stereotypical teen characters (populars, jocks, druggies, brains, and loner groups), all portrayed by Brat Packers. They were attendees at a Saturday school detention while experiencing teen angst - struggling with issues of conformity and parental values. In the end, they all wrote one letter to Mr. Vernon, signed "The Breakfast Club," to describe their group as a whole: "...we think you are crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the most simplest term, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out, is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?"
1985
The low-quality Blood Cult (1985) about devil worship, shot entirely on videotape, was the first horror film designed explicitly for the video market. It signaled the start of features made specifically for the home-video market (also the destination for sub-standard feature films unworthy of release), now that VCRs were abundant.
1985
Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985) was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won zero Oscars - tying a record. This 'un-achievement' tied the shutout record held previously by The Turning Point (1977) - both films had the most nominations (11) without a single win.
1985
75 year-old Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's historical samurai epic Ran (1985, Jp.), a re-interpretation of Shakespeare's King Lear, was released. It was the last of his great masterpieces.
1985
Hunk film star Rock Hudson, a closet homosexual, died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, at age 59 after a battle with AIDS. He was the first celebrity to announce publically that he had AIDS. As a result of the disclosure, the Reagan Administration finally responded to and acknowledged the burgeoning AIDS epidemic.
1985
The comedy Topper (1937) was the very first B/W feature film to be released to the home video market in 1985 in a 'colorized' version, using computer technology - a controversial modernizing technique at the timee.
1985
Bill Watterson's syndicated daily comic strip Calvin and Hobbes debuted on November 18, 1985, featuring a six year-old boy and his stuffed Tiger.
1985
When the classic Miracle on 34th Street (1947), converted by Color Systems Technology (CST) for 20th Century Fox to a colorized version, aired in 1985, it became the highest rated non-network movie in syndication.
1985
Disney's PG-rated film The Black Cauldron (1985) (their 25th full-length animated film) was the first animated feature film to contain 3-D CGI elements (digital fire and a boat), and the first Disney animated feature to use 3-D computer graphics technology. In fact, it was the studio's first PG-rated animated theatrical feature film.
1985
The fourth film in the popular Rocky series, Rocky IV (1985) became the most financially successful sports film of all-time, and was the third highest-grossing (domestic) film of the year. It had a production budget of $31 million, and box-office gross receipts of $128 million (domestic) and $300 million (worldwide).
1985
The highest-grossing (domestic) film of 1985 was the fantasy film Back to the Future (1985), at $210.6 million. It was the first of three popular films starring Michael J. Fox, and helped to encourage an onslaught of time-travel related films in the 80s and 90s. The movie has often been considered one of the greatest teen flicks of the 1980s - notable for its special effects and for the Huey Lewis and the News soundtrack. The second highest-grossing (domestic) film of the year, Rambo, First Blood Part II (1985), wasn't even close at $150.4 million.
1985
Clue (1985), the first film based on a board game, came from the popular Parker Brothers mystery board game. Three separate endings were shot and screened in different theatres. Each ending had a different solution for the various murders. Some newspaper print ads specified the ending (Ending A, B, or C), although in most cases, viewers were frustrated by the arbitrary nature of the solution and the ambiguous clues that led up to the ending. The first two endings were "What If?" endings, and the third ending was the actual ending.
1985
British character actress Marianne Stone was noted as having the most screen credits for a living actress - a record-breaking 159 films, from 1943-1985. Her most notable roles were in the UK's series Carry On, and in Kubrick's Lolita (1962) as Vivian Darkbloom. She died at the age of 87 in late 2009.
1985-6
Pixar Animation Studios, originally part of Lucasfilm (and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM)) specialized in developing animation created exclusively on computers. It was purchased by Apple Computer's Steve Jobs and made an independent company in 1986. The first fully 3-D digital (or CGI)-animated character in a full-length feature film, known as the 'stained-glass knight', was created for the Spielberg-produced Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) by Pixar, when Pixar was still part of Lucasfilm (and Industrial Light and Magic). It brought them a Best Visual Effects nomination.
1985
The national average ticket price for theatre admission was $3.55, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).


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