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Twilight Zone: The Movie Tag

Don’t think of an elephant. Now you see an elephant, don’t you?

Star Wars. Harry Potter. Jurassic Park. Jaws. Now you’re hearing the music of John Williams, aren’t you? Williams turns 79 today and yet is still turning out music for his most prominent collaborator, Steven Spielberg. Spielberg’s adaptations of Herge’s intrepid character Tintin and the novel War Horse will both have Williams’ musical touch, as has every theatrical movie in his career except for Twilight Zone: The Movie (which was handled by Jerry Goldsmith) and The Color Purple, via Quincy Jones.

You can’t have a website devoted to pop culture, or a column called The Composers for that matter, without honoring Mr. Williams’ unmistakable mark on modern filmmaking. Happy birthday, may you have many more, and may there be more music in all our collective future.

As the latest round of would-be blockbusters lines up at a theater near you, Popdose looks back at the box office totals of yesteryear. This week, we revisit the Top 10 films of July 9, 1983!

10. The Survivors
Michael Ritchie directed The Candidate and The Bad News Bears in the ’70s, but by 1983, he’d fallen on hard times, slumming his way through turkeys like The Island and Student Bodies. On paper, teaming Robin Williams’ cocaine-fueled jackassery with Walter Matthau’s dry wit must have looked like a home run, but Survivors went down as one of the year’s biggest duds, limping its way through a pitiful gross and savage reviews (Roger Ebert called it “aimless,” “self-indulgent,” and “confusing”). It’s a shame, but really, what else could anyone expect from a movie featuring Robin Williams being fired by a parrot and shrieking “honky mofo”?