1979 in film

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The year 1979 in film involved many significant events.

Highest grossing films (U.S.)[edit]

The top ten 1979 released films by North American gross are as follows:

Highest-grossing films of 1979
Rank Title Studio Domestic gross
1. Kramer vs. Kramer Columbia Pictures $106,260,000[1]
2. The Amityville Horror American International Pictures $86,432,520[2]
3. Rocky II United Artists $85,182,160[3]
4. Apocalypse Now United Artists $83,471,511[4]
5. Star Trek: The Motion Picture Paramount Pictures $82,258,456[5]
6. Alien 20th Century Fox $80,931,801[6]
7. 10 Warner Bros. / Orion Pictures $74,865,517[7]
8. The Jerk Universal Pictures $73,691,419[8]
9. Moonraker United Artists $70,308,099[9]
10. The Muppet Movie ITC Entertainment / Henson Associates $65,200,000[10]

Major events[edit]


Academy Awards:

Best Picture: Kramer vs. Kramer - Jaffe, Columbia
Best Director: Robert Benton - Kramer vs. Kramer
Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman - Kramer vs. Kramer
Best Actress: Sally Field - Norma Rae
Best Supporting Actress: Meryl Streep - Kramer vs. Kramer
Best Supporting Actor: Melvyn Douglas - Being There
Best Foreign Language Film: The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel), directed by Volker Schlöndorff, W. Germany

Golden Globe Awards:

Best Picture: Kramer vs. Kramer
Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman - Kramer vs. Kramer
Best Actress: Sally Field - Norma Rae
Musical or comedy:
Best Picture: Breaking Away
Best Actor: Peter Sellers - Being There
Best Actress: Bette Midler - The Rose
Best Director: Francis Ford Coppola - Apocalypse Now
Best Foreign Language Film: La Cage aux Folles (France)

Palme d'Or (Cannes Film Festival):

Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, United States
The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel), directed by Volker Schlöndorff, W. Germany

Golden Bear (Berlin Film Festival):

David, directed by Peter Lilienthal, West Germany

Notable films released in 1979[edit]

U.S.A. unless stated



























Notable deaths[edit]

Month Date Name Age Country Profession Notable films
January 16 Peter Butterworth 59 UK Actor, Writer Oliver!The First Great Train RobberyRobin and MarianNight and the CityA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ForumMurder, She SaidCarry On... Up the KhyberCarry On CampingThe Day the Earth Caught FireCarry On Screaming!Carry On DoctorCarry On Abroad
16 Ted Cassidy 46 USA Actor Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidMackenna's Gold
25 Dick Crockett 63 USA Stuntman, Actor, Producer Dirty HarrySpartacusBlazing SaddlesDiamonds Are ForeverThe Pink PantherThe Towering InfernoThe PartyIt's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad WorldBatmanThe Pink Panther Strikes AgainThe GetawayThe Return of the Pink PantherThe Thing from Another WorldAround the World in 80 DaysRevenge of the Pink Panther10The Great RaceGuys and DollsEarthquakeThe Hunchback of Notre DameHarperThe HindenburgAcross 110th StreetWhat Did You Do in the War, Daddy?The Notorious Landlady
February 12 Jean Renoir 84 USA Director, Writer, Actor The Rules of the GameGrand Illusion
March 1 Dolores Costello 75 USA Actress, Soundtrack The Magnificent AmbersonsLittle Lord FauntleroyThis Is the Army
2 Edith Craig 71 USA Actress After the Thin ManBroadway Bill
6 John Robinson 70 UK Actor Lawrence of ArabiaThe Longest DayGentleman Prefer Blondes
19 John Tate 64 UK Actor Invasion
22 Ben Lyon 78 USA Actor, Soundtrack, Writer Hell's AngelsNight NurseIndiscreetI Cover the WaterfrontWine of YouthThe Crooked CircleThe Big TimerLady with a Past
April 4 Edgar Buchanan 76 USA Actor ShaneWichitaDestryRawhideMcLintock!CimarronThe Man from ColoradoBuffalo BillRide the High CountryThe Over-the-Hill Gang
May 26 George Brent 80 USA Actor, Soundtrack Jezebel42nd StreetDark VictoryThe Painted VeilSo Big!The Spiral StaircaseThe Great LieTomorrow Is ForeverThe Rains Came
29 Mary Pickford 87 USA Actress, Producer, Writer Ben-Hur: A Tale of the ChristCoquette
June 2 Larisa Shepitko 41 Soviet Union Director WingsThe Ascent
2 Jim Hutton 45 USA Actor Walk, Don't RunWho's Minding the Mint?The Honeymoon MachineThe Horizontal LieutenantBachelor in ParadiseWhere the Boys AreMajor DundeeHellfightersThe Green Berets
11 John Wayne 72 USA Actor, Producer, Soundtrack The SearchersRed RiverStagecoachSands of Iwo JimaPittsburghThey Were ExpendableFort ApacheShe Wore a Yellow Ribbon3 GodfathersThey Were ExpendableTycoonBlood AlleyWake of the Red WitchThe Quiet ManThe High and the MightyHondoHatari!Rio BravoThe AlamoThe Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceNorth to AlaskaThe Longest DayIn Harm's WayDonovan's ReefTrue GritThe Sons of Katie ElderBranniganMcQEl DoradoChisumRio LoboHellfightersThe Green BeretsRooster CogburnThe CowboysThe Shootist
16 Nicholas Ray 67 USA Director, Writer, Actor Rebel Without a CauseIn a Lonely PlaceJohnny GuitarBigger Than LifeKing of Kings55 Days at PekingThey Live by NightOn Dangerous GroundFlying LeathernecksKnock on Any DoorMacao
21 Julian Orchard 49 UK Actor, Soundtrack, Writer Revenge of the Pink PantherThe Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter BrotherCarry On DoctorThe Slipper and the RoseDon't Lose Your HeadCarry On HenryFollow That Camel
July 8 Michael Wilding 66 UK Actor, Producer Stage FrightWaterlooUnder CapricornIn Which We ServeThe Egyptian
25 Eric Pohlmann 66 Germany Actor The Third ManFrom Russia with LoveThunderballThe Return of the Pink PantherLust for LifeAnastasia
28 George Seaton 68 USA Director The Country GirlMiracle on 34th Street36 HoursThe Proud and ProfaneTeacher's PetAirport
31 Beatrix Lehmann 76 UK Actress The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
August ?? Betty Henderson 72 UK Actress The 39 StepsThe MaggieUpstairs and DownstairsHome to Danger
17 Vivian Vance 70 USA Actress, Soundtrack The Great RaceThe Lorax
30 Jean Seberg 40 USA Actress, Soundtrack, Producer BreathlessAirportPaint Your WagonLilithSaint JoanA Fine MadnessThe Mouse That Roared
September 2 Felix Aylmer 90 UK Actor BecketHamletThe Life and Death of Colonel BlimpQuo VadisExodusIvanhoeAnastasiaHenry VSeparate TablesThe MummyNight Train to MunichKnights of the Round TableThe Road to Hong KongNo Highway in the SkyCaesar and CleopatraFrom the TerraceThe CitadelThe Chalk GardenSo Long at the FairThe Way to the StarsPrince of FoxesMajor BarbaraEdward, My SonThe Master of Ballantrae
12 Jocelyne LaGarde 54 Tahiti Actress Hawaii
22 Frederick Piper 76 UK Actor The 39 StepsThe Man Who Knew Too MuchBecket
23 Catherine Lacey 75 UK Actress The Lady VanishesThe Private Life of Sherlock HolmesI Know Where I'm Going!
26 Arthur Hunnicutt 69 USA Actor The Tall TEl DoradoThe Big SkyCat Ballou
October 15 Geoffrey Moon  ??  ?? Actor Star Wars Episode IV: A New HopeThe Hound of the Baskervilles
17 John Stuart 81 UK Actor SupermanVillage of the DamnedSink the Bismarck!The MummyNumber SeventeenThe Revenge of FrankensteinQuatermass 2Young WinstonRoyal FlashParanoiacThe Pleasure GardenThe Naked TruthThe Magic BoxToo Many CrooksFour Sided TriangleMadonna of the Seven MoonsElstree CallingThe Scarlet BladeHindle WakesMine Own ExecutionerMr. Denning Drives NorthL'AtlantideThe Men of Sherwood Forest
30 Graham Ashley 52 UK Actor Star Wars Episode IV: A New HopeHennessyAdventures of a Taxi DriverThe Tell-Tale HeartThe Black PantherAdventures of a Private Eye
November 2 Saro Urzi 66 Italy Actor The GodfatherBeat the DevilThe Sucker
8 Sydney Tafler 63 UK Actor The Spy Who Loved MeAlfieThe Lavender Hill MobSink the Bismarck!Passport to PimlicoReach for the SkyFire Maidens from Outer SpaceCarry On RegardlessBerserk!The Cockleshell HeroesCottage to LetMake Mine MinkIt Always Rains on SundayToo Many CrooksA Kid for Two FarthingsThe 7th DawnThe Adventurers
20 Michael Darbyshire 62 UK Actor, Soundtrack, Writer Chitty Chitty Bang BangThe Slipper and the Rose
23 Merle Oberon 68 USA Actress, Soundtrack, Producer Wuthering HeightsThe Scarlet PimpernelThe Dark AngelDesireeA Song to RememberThe LodgerTemptationBerlin ExpressLydiaThe Price of FearNight SongHotel
30 Zeppo Marx 64 USA Actor, Special Effects, Director Duck Soup
December 5 Jesse Pearson 49 USA Actor Bye Bye Birdie
10 Ann Dvorak 68 USA Actress ScarfaceThree on a MatchFlame of Barbary CoastThe Secret of Convict Lake
12 Jon Hall 64 USA Actor, Special Effects, Director The HurricaneCharlie Chan in ShanghaiThe Invisible Man's RevengeInvisible Agent
23 Ernest B. Schoedsack 86 USA Director, Cinematographer, Producer King KongThe Most Dangerous GameMighty Joe YoungThe Son of Kong
24 Michael Collins 58 Canada Actor GoldfingerThe Battle of the River PlateBear Island
25 Joan Blondell 73 USA Actress GreaseThe Public EnemyGold Diggers of 1933Desk SetNightmare AlleyThe Cincinnati Kid



  1. ^ "Box Office Information for Kramer vs. Kramer". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Box Office Information for The Amityville Horror". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Box Office Information for Rocky II". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Box Office Information for Apocalypse Now". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Box Office Information for Star Trek: The Motion Picture". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Box Office Information for Alien". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Box Office Information for 10". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Box Office Information for The Jerk". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Box Office Information for Moonraker". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Muppet Movie". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 7, 2014.