Cinema: Bottom-Line Time in Hollywood

1978 's hits (and flops) were full of surprises

In the '30s, when times were tough, movie audiences lined up for screwball comedies, wonderful bits of fluff like Bringing Up Baby with Katie Hepburn and The Awful Truth with Irene Dunne. In 1978, a year of falling dollars and rising prices, audiences often made similar choices. Thought was out. Thrills and chills and, most of all, sheer fun were in. Films that did well were ones that packed an old-fashioned entertainment wallop. "There was a big desire for mindless excitement this year," says Gene...

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