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Golden Raspberry Awards: 1982

Razzies - 1982

The third annual Golden Raspberry Awards were still a relatively low-profile affair.  Attendance reportedly doubled from the first year to the second and doubled again from the second year to the third, but the ceremony was still a potluck dinner party at publicist John J. B. Wilson’s house following the Oscar telecast.  The 1982 awards were the last before the awards starting receiving coverage from mainstream media channels.

Let’s dig in to the Razzies of 1982.

This year brought with it a new category:

Worst Career Achievement Award

Winner: Irwin Allen

irwinallen_capture

Irwin Allen was awarded the first Career Achievement award.  I have to think this was meant affectionately despite the implication that Allen’s career is somehow the worst of anything.  Allen was a TV and movie producer whose nickname was “the master of disaster”.  In the 60’s, Allen produced cheesy TV shows like Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Land of the Giants.

In 1972, Allen produced the hit disaster movie, The Poseidon Adventure.  For those who may not know, The Poseidon Adventure is kind of the gold standard of the disaster movie genre.  Gene Hackman stars as a priest (naturally having an existential crisis as all movie priests were in the 70’s) who leads a group of survivors to safety when their ship overturns.  I consider it the Die Hard of disaster movies in that it more or less defined the genre going forward.

In fact, Allen’s movies inspired the novel that Die Hard was based on.  Allen followed up The Poseidon Adventure with the star-studded disaster pick, The Towering Inferno.  Author Roderick Thorp saw The Towering Inferno and used it as an inspiration for his novel, Nothing Lasts Forever which was adapted into the first Die Hard movie many years later.  So in a way, Allen is also responsible for the “Die Hard on a…” genre of action movies.

Allen went on to produce The Swarm and the Poseidon Adventure sequel, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure.  He also produced a TV show based on The Swiss Family Robinson which starred a young Helen Hunt.  Allen was responsible for a string of TV movies with exclamation points in their title like Flood!, Fire! and Cave In!

By the time he was recognized by the Razzies, Allen was slowing down due to declining health .  He died eight years later of a heart attack.  I’m not sure that Allen’s career qualifies as the “Worst” of anything.  Perhaps this award should carry a different name.  Lifetime Achievement in Genre Entertainment perhaps?  I don’t know.  But I’m going to choose to view this as a compliment to an entertainer who brought a lot of smiles to a lot of faces.

Next: The musical categories

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Posted on October 15, 2015, in Awards, Movies, Razzies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. Wow, they had plenty of really awful material to choose from that year, didn’t they? I agree totally, leave the child actors alone. It is bullying plain and simple.
    The John Williams nom is indeed puzzling. While it’s not his best work, it’s a perfectly serviceable classical movie score.

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    • I was ready to chalk up the John Williams nomination to the sacred cow rule. But when I listened to the score, I had to admit it was a bit shrill. The voters seem to be judging movie scores in a vacuum. So a score for a thriller, which may not be music that is pleasant to listen to in your living room but is a natural fit for the movie, gets nominated.

      Yeah, any year you get Pia Zadora and the Moonies is a good year for Razzies. But the extent of the Annie hate puzzles me.

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  2. Pia Zadora’s greatest sin was that she and her husband bought Pickfair, the legendary home of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford (Pickford lived in the house until her death in 1979), and then demolished it because of “ghosts”.

    And again, I have no problem with criticizing child acting. If a child can be the titled star of a movie, tasked with carrying the film on their shoulders, they can also be criticized for their horrible acting. And ANNIE sucks.

    AIRPORT was really the movie that got the disaster film craze of the 70s going. It was a huge hit in 1970. Without it there may never have been a POSEIDON ADVENTURE. However, the gold standard of disaster films will always be THE TOWERING INFERNO. Its great effects and insanely awesome cast, including Steve McQueen AND Paul Newman, are unmatched in the sub-genre.

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    • I contend that child acting has more to do with the coaching they receive from an adult director than anything else. If you want to honor a child actor, that’s questionable. But calling them out for poor performance is just tacky. Especially when they nominated Quinn in the wrong category. She was by no means the supporting actress in Annie and I have to think she was put in that category specifically so she wouldn’t be overshadowed by Zadora in the Worst Actress category. The movie isn’t great or even good. But I find Quinn’s Razzie shameful.

      I have always found Towering Inferno a bit dull. To me, it’s the movie that pushed everything that worked in the genre just a bit too far. But as a slice of 70’s cheese (hey look, it’s OJ!) you can do a lot worse than Towering Inferno.

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      • I unapologetically love THE TOWERING INFERNO.

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        • I can definitely understand why you would. I don’t know that I have ever really given it a fair viewing. I will have to try again sometime.

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        • Make sure you watch a widescreen presentation of it. I originally had a pan and scan VHS of it. Blech. I upgraded to a widescreen VHS and then a widescreen DVD. Eventually I’ll upgrade to the Blu-ray.

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        • I’ll do that. The only times I have seen it, I’m sure it was pan and scan.

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        • Chalk up another fan here, even though I wouldn’t see it out today – it was one of those must-see-in-theatre flicks of the time. It’s even better if you enjoy in tandem with the MAD magazine parody, “The Towering Sterno.” Remember “the kitchen just sent up an elevator full of barbecued beef!” “Uh, that’s not beef… unless they dressed it in the clothes the people just went DOWN in the elevator, were wearing….”
          Yes. had that in memory which should tell you how often I re-read my issues of MAD back then.

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  3. A lot of people just hate Annie to begin with. “Tomorrow” is one of those songs that became so ubiquitous that it garnered a pretty substantial backlash. For a while there, every little girl whose parents thought she could sing got pushed out onto stage in a red dress to belt it out. The backlash was so severe that to this day, no person in their right mind would use the song for an audition. You are likely to be interrupted and shown the door immediately.

    I tend to agree with you about publicly criticizing child actors in such a formal and organized way. It’s just mean. Believe me, if the kid stinks, they’ll find out soon. Not soon enough to spare an audience, but soon. I’ve worked with little kids on stage a few times and even when they’re good, it’s never a great experience. Youth performers (say 12-17) can be a lot of fun to work with sometimes, in part because they tend to leave their parents at the curb. As a director, I would prefer to simply avoid scripts with little kids altogether. Scheduling becomes a nightmare.

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    • As a kid, I loathed Annie because it was for girls. I was 10. 10 year olds with little sisters are like that.

      I can definitely see where a theater person would have had an axe to grind with the musical. But at this point, the Razzies were still just a pot luck dinner being held by a publicist. I’m guessing not many people who cast a vote had auditioned little girls singing Tomorrow. But yeah, there was probably a bit of backlash towards the subject matter. I suspect the real targets were John Huston and the cast of stars that included Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Tim Curry. Poor little Aileen Quinn was just caught in the crossfire.

      Does anyone really think Quinn was anything less than a satisfactory Annie?

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      • I didn’t like Annie all that much as a movie, but I agree with you that Aileen Quinn was not deserving of all the Razzie targeting–she did, as you say, as well as anyone could reasonably have expected her to.

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        • I’m definitely not a strong advocate for Annie. I know some people grew up on it and love it. It’s never been my cup of tea. Even if it was well done, I wouldn’t be a fan. If you want to be critical of Annie, I’m fine with that. But singling out the child lead (who practically retired after Annie) just seems wrong. You want to go after Finney, Huston or Burnett? Fair game. Also, realistically, while Annie is a flawed movie, I don’t really see it as the Worst of anything except maybe Broadway adaptations released in 1982. There had to be worse movies and screenplays out there.

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  4. I probably have not seen it since it was on TV the first time in around ’85, so I really don’t know if she was good or awful. Considering that every lttle girl in the English speaking world wanted to play Annie, you can look at it a couple of ways. 1) They should have been able to find somebody better than “satisfactory” 2) It wouldn’t matter how good the eventual Annie was, people were going to dislike her.

    Personally, I think both are true.

    I don’t think you had to be auditioning little girls to have gotten tired of “Tomorrow.” Consider how some people feel about “Let it Go.”

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    • My opinion of people who complain about Let It Go is about the same as it would be for anyone complaining about Tomorrow.

      Here’s a clip:

      I really can’t imagine many child actors rising above “satisfactory”. It happens every now and then, but again I think that typically has more to do with having a director who knows how to get a better than average performance out of a kid. Spielberg on ET for instance. Good casting is also a factor, but I don’t hold the child responsible for that.

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      • “Tomorrow” is the better song of the two, but I can absolutely see why people got extremely sick of it.

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        • Ouch. Let It Go slam! As someone who eventually needed a break from the Frozen soundtrack I have very little sympathy for adults who complain about children’s entertainment. Especially those who don’t have a child in the house playing the song on repeat. I can’t speak to Tomorrow haters because I have never met one. But most Frozen haters need to listen to the immortal words of William Shatner and get a life. 😉

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        • I was never pushed to madness by either song, but it is clear that other people have been. I can sympathize with many reasons for disliking music because it often pushes buttons inside us that we didn’t even know were there and because it can be sprung on us against our own will with much less recourse. As an adult, I’ve managed to stop letting it get to me so much in a negative way, but I know what it’s like to have a song cause physical pain because it sucks so much.

          Like Vogon poetry.

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        • Points for the Adams reference.

          Frozen haters were a special case. Most of them were crying because they thought Disney should be paying more attention to them. Now that they are getting their SW land I expect the belly aching to stop.

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        • I’ve had a similar reaction in the past year to “All About That Bass”.

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        • Ooo! Points!! Any chance I’m in the black on these yet?

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        • Lol. I will have to check the ledger.

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  5. There are a lot of Razzie nominations through the years that can very fairly be singled out for criticism for various reasons. As lebeau notes, they have a tendency to focus their sights on specific performers, or types of performer, and pound on them mercilessly through the years.

    However, I agree completely with their singling out that travesty known as The Pirate Movie in the 1982 Razzie nominations. I have loved Gilbert & Sullivan since I was in my early teens, so I would have welcomed a decent film adaptation of G&S–but The Pirate Movie was simply terrible. And worse, there was a long period back in about 1983 where you couldn’t escape it–it was on cable all the time. And even worse for me, I lived in a household where some of my family were the sort to have the TV on virtually all day, so I had to put up with watching the thing over and over.

    I have always wanted to subject everyone responsible for The Pirate Movie to a suitable punishment. Something humorous, but lingering–with boiling oil in it, I fancy. Yes, boiling oil–or molten lead!

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    • Well, if it makes you feel better all of their careers suffered mightily. 😉

      I too was a Pirate Movie hostage in the early days of cable. That thing was on three times a day minimum! We should have a support group.

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      • I find that it’s therapeutic to listen to a recording of G&S’s The Mikado, and then find ways to add the creator’s of The Pirate Movie to Ko-Ko’s “little list” song. Or to envision them subjected to the Mikado’s unique standard’s of justice:

        My object all sublime, I shall achieve in time–
        To let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime;
        And make each prisoner pent unwillingly represent
        A source of innocent merriment! Of innocent merriment!

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  6. Ennio Morricone’s Razzie nom for his score for The Thing is a bit of a headscratcher for me. It’s a great, minimalist piece of music that works perfectly within the framework of the film, adding even further to the tense atmosphere. The Thing is one of my favorite horror films of all time, so I feel like I have to stick up for it here.

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    • Absolutely. At the time, The Thing was a bit of a punching bag. So I suspect this nomination was just an extension of that.

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      • The Thing came out the same month in 1982 as E.T.. Against that cute n’ cuddly alien, The Thing had no chance at the box office.

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        • Yeah that was definitely a case of having the exact wrong release date.

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        • I’m going to make a bold claim: I think June, 1982 could be the greatest month ever in cinema history for science fiction. Get this: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan released on June 4, 1982, and obviously it’s the best Trek film ever made. Just one week later E.T. The Extraterrestrial released on June 11 and it instantly became a pop cultural phenomenon. Two weeks later on June 25, 1982 both Blade Runner and The Thing were released. Unfortunely both films flopped at the box office, but over time both have been reevaluated and are now regarded as sci-fi classics. What a wealth of great sci-fi films in one single month, right?

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        • Bold claim, sure. But 4 great movies in on month. That’s rare in any genre much less sci fi

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        • Both that and Blade Runner came out around the same time and both suffered by being released in ET’s wake. 1982 on the whole was pretty good from a cinematic releases standpoint, especially in the areas of sci-fi and horror.

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  7. I love how you make the correlation between Irwin Allen’s The Towering Inferno and Die Hard. I’m so glad that you brought that up. It’s funny to think but it is absolutely true: if Irwin Allen had never made his hit disaster film then Die Hard never would have existed. I was such a big fan of Die Hard that years ago I actually read Roderick Thorp’s novel Nothing Lasts Forever, and it owes more than a small debt to Irwin Allen’s disaster blockbuster. The disaster flick died out by the time the 70’s ended but in a way a strand of DNA has continued through the Die Hard films and their countless copycat films over the years.

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    • Die Hard really was an evolution of the old disaster genre and it came to dominate action for a while. So Allen’s indirect legacy is a long one.

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      • Die Hard actually follows the novel Nothing Lasts Forever fairly closely, more or less. One big difference is instead of John McClane (Joe Leland in the novel) visiting his estranged wife like in the film, he’s an aging father visiting his daughter. The film ends similarly to the novel: Hans Gruber is hanging perilously out the window, clutching onto miss McClane, but in the novel instead of being saved by McClane she falls to her death when Gruber takes her out the window with her. I remember being kind of shocked at that ending, after him spending the whole novel attempting to rescue her she just…. plummets to her death along with the terrorist. Kind of a bummer. At least the film has a more triumphant crowd-pleasing ending.

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    • On a note unrelated to the Razzie, but related to DIE HARD, I still find it funny that Frank Sinatra had the first right of refusal on DIE HARD, because the novel it was based on was a sequel to THE DETECTIVE, which Sinatra had starred in 20 years earlier.

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  8. How could anyone walk out of Rocky III and think Mr. T was terrible? He was charasmatic with a real edge of danger to his performance. Rocky may really be in over his head this time! Clubber Lang was a genuine star-making role for Mr. T, I very strongly disargee with Razzies on this one.

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  9. I like that piece by John Williams for “Monsignor”; it sounds like something I’d listen to on WNED Classical FM.
    I viewed “The Seduction” with my parents back in the 1980’s and we all enjoyed it (I still remember the boyfriend getting stabbed with the knife in the hot tub). I’ve seen it pop up on television in the last few years but never went back to it.
    I have no beef with “Annie”; i think it does its job, in the past, today, and tomorrow, tomorrow.
    Mr. T was cool/badass/refreshing in “Rocky III” (even better in “The A-Team”, though my favorite has always been Murdock, I like the entire team), so forget that stuff.
    Arnold Schwarzenegger I guess I can understand, but he proved a lot of doubters wrong, I bet.

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    • One thing I do try to remember is that we have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. We know Schwarzenegger went on to pummel Hollywood and the English language. Morgan Fairchild went on to do an awful lot of TV and not a lot of movies and The Seduction is about as harmless and forgotten as erotic thrillers get. Annie is beloved by the girls who grew up with it and forgotten by most. And Mr. T was just awesome.

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  10. Wait a minute. Jimmy Page, legendary guitarist for Led Zeppelin, created music for Death Wish II? How did I completely miss that when looking over the Razzies list earlier? I’m listening to some of the soundtrack on Youtube right now, and yes, it is very subpar. Even legends sometimes misfire.

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    • I didn’t put 2 and 2 together to realize it was THAT Jimmy Page. Funny. Well, that explains that nomination. I thought they were just picking on Death Wish. Sacred Cow Rule again.

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  11. Welcome to the Basement: Megaforce (1982)

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  12. Ted Hamilton was robbed. He was just awful in The pirate movie, he deserved to win. Ed McMahon performance was only a cameo. He wasn’t that good but he was in it for less than 5 minutes. I’m sure the only reason he won was because he was a big celebrity in an awful film.

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  13. I agree morricones nominations make no sense. While butterfly was an awful film the score and even the song, which was also nominated, Aren’t that bad. They are certainly not ennio morricones best. But they are not bad either.

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  14. I’m surprised the seduction got nominated, since it’s a crappy slasher flick and the razzies never target horror films.

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    • In the early days, they were more likely to do so. They have also never liked TV stars or sex symbols, both of which Morgan Fairchild was. But yeah, I’m not sure the Razzies would nominate a movie like The Seduction today unless there was something more – like a tabloid scandal – involved.

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