This blog is devoted to all those pieces of 20th century culture too often pooh-pooh'ed by the so called 'high brow' crowd. The stuff that conjoures words like 'vibrant', 'garish' and 'lurid'. Cheap paperbacks, b-movies, exploitation, fantasy, horror and hokey sci-fi - all have a place on this blog where the trash of yesterday is recognised as the classics of today.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What was Christmas Like... 30 Years Ago?


The three biggest grossing movies for December 1980, which incidentally, are all in the top ten highest grossers for that year. Also, Flash Gordon which I've included for its later cult appeal despite it's poor box office take in 1980.

Christmas Number Ones

Topping the Billboard Top 100 Hits in the US was Lady by Kenny Rogers.

And in the UK; the tooth-rottingly sweet There's No-one Quite Like Grandma performed by Stockport-based St. Winifred's School Choir.


Rubik's Cube
The brainchild of a Hungarian professor in the mid-70s became the 'it' Christmas toy of 1980. How times have changed, eh? Imagine handing this to a member of the current Nintendo Wii/PlayStation III generation and saying "Here you go, kid. Merry Christmas. Knock yourself out"! A real reminder of a more simpler time, the Rubik's Cube was a fad that has remained with us ever since. People still buy these. Even my parents had one back in the day.

The Empire Strikes Back

With the franchise on its second movie and before the later years of Ewoks and Jabba's muppet show, Star Wars was at the top of its game in 1980. After famously being caught with their pants down in 1977 when they severely underestimated the first movie's popularity, Kenner made up for lost time with its sequel and with a whole new array of bounty hunters, rebels in snow gear and Imperial war machines to choose from, Christmas 1980 was a bountiful harvest for many a young Star Wars fan.

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