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Ron Pennington

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‘Superman’: THR’s 1978 Review

On Dec. 10, 1978, Warner Bros. unveiled Richard Donner’s Superman at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for its premiere. The Christopher Reeve-starring film launched a big screen franchise and went on to be nominated for three Oscars (for film editing, original score and sound) at the 51st Academy Awards. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is […]

‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’: THR’s 1979 Review

On March 30, 1979, Universal unveiled Buck Rogers in the 25th Century in theaters. The 89-minute, PG-rated campy sci-fi adventure film, an attempt to capitalize on George Lucas and 20th Century Fox’s Star Wars, ended up grossing $21.6 million ($77 million, adjusted for inflation) stateside. A TV series was then launched in August of the […]

‘Smokey and the Bandit’: THR’s 1977 Review

On May 19, 1977, Universal premiered Burt Reynolds’ Smokey and the Bandit at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review of the action comedy is below. One of the last American frontiers is the open road, and the men who drive the 18-wheelers across these paved wildernesses are the […]

‘Airplane!’: THR’s 1980 Review

On July 2, 1980, Paramount unveiled in theaters Airplane!, which would eventually become known as one of the great movie comedy satires. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below. Paramount should have an easy summer, just sitting back and collecting the huge profits that will be flying in daily on Airplane! This Howard W. Koch […]

‘Being There’: THR’s 1979 Review

In late December 1979, United Artists premiered Being There, starring Peter Sellers, in New York. The 130-minute comedy was nominated for two honors at the 52nd Academy Awards, winning one for Melyvn Douglas in a supporting role. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below. Jerzy Kosinski’s delightful parable of a simple-minded man whose naivete is […]

‘Blazing Saddles’: THR’s 1974 Review

On Feb. 7, 1974, Warner Bros. unleashed a 125-minute, R-rated Western from Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles. The film went on to be nominated for three Oscars at the 47th Academy Awards. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below:  Mel Brooks has come up with his most outrageous comedy to date in the brilliantly funny Blazing […]

‘Raging Bull’: THR’s 1980 Review

Robert De Niro "should be a leading contender in this year's Oscar competition."

‘Batman’: THR’s 1989 Review

On June 23, 1989, the Dark Knight stormed into American theaters. The result? A Tim Burton blockbuster that kick-started the Batman series on film. The original Hollywood Reporter review, which praised the movie’s “surrealistic visual style,” is below. Created 50 years ago as a comic book hero, the character of Batman has provided the basis […]

‘Star Wars’: THR’s 1977 Review

On May 25, 1977, a sci-fi movie hit theaters. That day, The Hollywood Reporter’s reviewer explained the basics of Jedi Knights, Lord Darth Vader and “a self-propelled computer” (R2-D2) to readers unfamiliar with a galaxy far, far away. Read the original Star Wars review below:  Star Wars, a Lucasfilm Ltd. production for 20th Century-Fox, will […]

‘Halloween’: THR’s 1978 Review

On Oct. 25, 1978, writer-director John Carpenter unleashed Halloween in theaters, spawning decades of imitations and sequels of the iconic horror title. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below:  Teenage girls in jeopardy is usually a good ingredient for horror, and director John Carpenter makes the most of the situation in Halloween, a tense and frightening film […]