Film Honors: 1980

My own personal choices for the year. They reflect not just necessarily what I think is the best or essential cinema, but perhaps resonate with me or inspire, both at the time, and still today. Subject to alter choices if new viewings are worthy enough. Other published Film Honors posts can be found at the menu at the top of the page.

Actress Support

Eileen Brennan (Private Benjamin)
Carrie Fisher (The Empire Strikes Back)
Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull)
Ann Reinking (All That Jazz)
Meryl Streep (Kramer vs. Kramer)

Actor Support

Melvyn Douglas (Being There)
Judd Hirsch (Ordinary People)
Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People)
Joe Pesci (Raging Bull)
Jason Robards (Melvin and Howard)


Cast Ensemble

All That Jazz
The Empire Strikes Back

Screenwriting Original

Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker (Airplane!)
Robert Alan Aurthur, Bob Fosse (All That Jazz)
Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back)
Jean Gruault (Mon oncle d’Amérique)
Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, Harvey Miller (Private Benjamin)

Screenwriting Adapted

Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer)
Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch (The Elephant Man)
Jerzy Kosiński, Robert C. Jones (Being There)
Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson (The Shining)
Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin (Raging Bull)

Picture Editing

All That Jazz
The Empire Strikes Back
Raging Bull
The Shining


Bob Fosse (All That Jazz)
Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back)
Stanley Kubrick (The Shining)
Alain Resnais (Mon oncle d’Amérique)
Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull)


Set Designing

The Elephant Man
The Empire Strikes Back
Heaven’s Gate
The Shining

Costume Designing

The Empire Strikes Back
Heaven’s Gate
My Brilliant Career
Somewhere in Time


John Alcott (The Shining)
Michael Chapman (Raging Bull)
Giuseppe Rotunno (All That Jazz)
Takao Saitô, Shôji Ueda (Kagemusha)
Peter Suschitzky (The Empire Strikes Back)

Score Composing

John Barry (Somewhere in Time)
Ralph Burns (All That Jazz)
John Carpenter (The Fog)
John Morris (The Elephant Man)
John Williams (The Empire Strikes Back)

Special Effects

The Empire Strikes Back
The Final Countdown
Flash Gordon
The Fog
Superman II

Sound Designing

All That Jazz
The Empire Strikes Back
Raging Bull
The Shining

Actor Lead

Robert De Niro (Raging Bull)
Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer)
Jack Nicholson (The Shining)
Roy Scheider (All That Jazz)
Peter Sellers (Being There)

Actress Lead

Judy Davis (My Brilliant Career)
Nicole Garcia (Mon oncle d’Amérique)
Goldie Hawn (Private Benjamin)
Gena Rowlands (Gloria)
Mary Tyler Moore (Ordinary People)


Motion Picture

Airplane! (Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker) USA
All That Jazz (Bob Fosse) USA
The Elephant Man (David Lynch) USA
The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner) USA
Kramer vs. Kramer (Robert Benton) USA
Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa) Japan
Mon oncle d’Amérique (Alain Resnais) France
Private Benjamin (Howard Zieff) USA
Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese) USA
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick) UK / USA


A true marvel of cinema, the brilliant middle chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back helped kick the 80s off in bold style. But some great competition this year too. Comment away below with your views.


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