July Movie Anniversaries

Every year Hollywood releases hundreds of movies and every year we think next year can’t possibly be as good as this year. Then next year comes and the next and before we know it the movie we loved so much growing up is celebrating an anniversary.

This year several movies that were released in July are celebrating milestone anniversaries. I realize some of you will be asking what about this movie or that movie? I get it, but being able to say something about every movie celebrating an anniversary is just not possible.

Looking back at the wealth of movies that have been released in the month of July you will find such movies as Easy Rider in 1969 to Lake Placid in 1999. Obviously I can’t take a look back at every movie so I narrowed it down and decided to shine a small spotlight on just eight.

Forrest Gump / Released on July 6, 1994 / 25th Anniversary

Based on a novel written by Winston Groom, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and Gary Sinise, follows the life of Forrest Gump, a kind-hearted man with below-average IQ from Alabama who over several decades unknowingly influences several historical events. The movie would become the second highest-grossing movie of 1994 and would go on to win six Oscars earning Tom Hanks his second Oscar for Best Actor, becoming the first actor to win the award in back to back years. Twenty-five years later Forrest Gump is still a satirical look at different moments in American history and is still worth experiencing.

Lethal Weapon 2 / Released on July 7, 1989 / 30th Anniversary

Lethal Weapon 2 is the follow up to the 1987 hit Lethal Weapon. Starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as LAPD officers Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh. Lethal Weapon 2 sees Riggs and Murtaugh take on the South African consulate who are smuggling drugs and krugerrands all while trying to protect Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) a federal witness who just happen to of laundered a half a billion in drug money, also from the South African’s.

Lethal Weapon 2 was careful to preserve its comic-action formula by allowing the audience to see Gibson and Glover running around in all of its chaos and craziness. A house on stilts being pulled down, falling seven stories from a hotel window into a pool and best of all a bomb under a toilet. Besides it still being a great movie there’s one thing from Lethal Weapon 2 that remains true thirty years later.

“They F*** YOU at the drive-thru, okay? They F*** YOU at the drive-thru! They know you’re gonna be miles away before you find out you got f***ed! They know you’re not gonna turn around and go back, they don’t care. So who gets f***ed? Ol’ Leo Getz! Okay, sure! I don’t give a f***! I’m not eating this tuna, okay?”

American Pie / Released on July 9, 1999 / 20th Anniversary

Five best friends set out to loose their virginity before they graduate high school. Best known for the scene where Jim (Jason Biggs) sees a warm apple pie sitting on his parent’s kitchen counter and proceeds to have an intimate encounter with said pie. Jim’s father played by Eugene Levy walks in adding to the awkwardness and laughter. We also can’t forget Alyson Hannigan’s, Michelle Flaherty and “This one time, at band camp,” It would spawn three sequels, including American Pie 2 in 2001, American Wedding in 2003 and American Reunion in 2012.

When Harry Met Sally / Released on July 14, 1989 / 30th Anniversary

A romantic comedy directed by Rob Reiner, starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. Conceived as an idea after Rob Reiner had gone through a divorce and had returned to the single life. The movie follows Harry and Sally from the time they meet, sharing a car ride from Chicago to New York and then twelve years of chance encounters. Since its release thirty years ago, When Harry Met Sally has become the essential relationship movie.

Of course you can’t talk about When Harry Met Sally without talking about the delicatessen scene. Harry and Sally meet for lunch in Manhattan and argue over a man’s ability to recognize when a woman is faking an orgasm. Sally makes the point that men can’t tell the difference and to prove her point to Harry, she fakes one as everyone in the diner watches. When the scene comes to a conclusion Sally casually goes back to eating when a nearby female customer tells her waiter “I’ll have what she’s having.” Director Rob Reiner’s mother played that nearby customer.

True Lies / Released on July 15, 1994 / 25th Anniversary

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Arnold, directed by James Cameron. True Lies follows U.S. government agent Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger), who struggles to find balance as a spy and as a husband/father with his family. Many may not realize this, but True Lies was the first movie to have a $100 million dollar budget, something Cameron never wanted to talk about at the time of the movies release. True Lies was also able to make Tom Arnold as “Gib” enjoyable to watch on screen. Tom Arnold has always been an actor I’ve never really cared for, but in True Lies he’s great. Cameron had planned on making a sequel sometime in 2002, but then the September 11th attacks occurred in New York City and those plans were scrapped, Cameron said terrorism was no longer something to be taken lightly.

Death Wish / Released on July 24, 1974 / 45th Anniversary

Death Wish starred Charles Bronson as an architect who becomes a vigilante after his wife is killed and his daughter is sexually assaulted during a home invasion. The novel that the movie is based on actually denounces vigilantism where the movie embraced it. Bronson would go on to make four sequels between 1982 and 1994.

The Amityville Horror / Released on July 27, 1979 / 40th Anniversary

Featuring James Brolin and Margot Kidder as a young couple who buy a house that’s haunted by supernatural forces. Based on alleged experiences by the Lutz family after buying a new house in Amityville, New York. Although the movie didn’t receive great reviews it managed to finish 1979 as the second highest grossing movie of the year and considered by many as a classic of the horror genre.

The Blair Witch Project / Released on July 30, 1999 / 20th Anniversary

First opening in a limited release on July 14, 1999 before getting a wider release on July 30th. Known as the movie that popularized the “found-footage” technique it follows three students who hike in the Black Hills filming a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch.

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