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DISCLAIMER: All film criticism is extremely subjective and there is no such thing as the definitive list of the Greatest (English-language) Films. Great Films can't be measured scientifically because greatness is extremely subjective. Just because we like a film doesn't mean that you will like it as well. Please feel free to leave us a comment with the films that you think are the greatest which we have not included on our list.

Not only was 1979 a big year for movies but it was also a big year for actors making their film debuts and the deaths of some truly great talent. Here is a snap shot of the American film industry.

Making Their Film Debuts:

  • Rosanna Arquette – More American Graffiti
  •     Lorraine Bracco – Duos sur canapé
  •     Matt Craven – Meatballs
  •     Ted Danson – The Onion Field
  •     Keith David – Disco Godfather
  •     Matt Dillon – Over the Edge
  •     Cary Elwes – Yesterday’s Hero
  •     Danny Glover – Escape from Alcatraz
  •     Dennis Haysbert – Scoring
  •     Sam J. Jones – 10
  •     Wayne Knight – The Wanderers
  •     Christine Lahti – …And Justice for All
  •     Diane Lane – A Little Romance
  •     Hayao Miyazaki (director) – The Castle of Cagliostro
  •     David Paymer – The In-Laws
  •     Chris Penn – Charlie and the Talking Buzzard
  •     Jean Reno – The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting
  •     Mickey Rourke – 1941
  •     Ricky Schroder – The Champ
  •     Wallace Shawn – Manhattan
  •     Martin Short – Lost and Found
  •     Timothy Spall – Quadrophenia
  •     Daniel Stern – Breaking Away
  •     Patrick Swayze – Skatetown, U.S.A.
  •     Christoph Waltz – Breakthrough
  •     Peter Weller – Butch and Sundance: The Early Days
  •     Ray Winstone – That Summer!
  •     JoBeth WilliamsKramer vs. Kramer



Top-grossing Films

1.Kramer vs. KramerColumbia$106,260,000
2.The Amityville HorrorAmerican International Pictures$86,432,520
3.Rocky IIUnited Artists$85,182,160
4.Apocalypse NowUnited Artists$83,471,511
5.Star Trek: The Motion PictureParamount$82,258,456
6.Alien20th Century Fox$80,931,801
7.10Warner Bros.$74,865,517
8.The JerkUniversal$73,691,419
9.MoonrakerUnited Artists$70,308,099
10.The Muppet MovieAssociated Film Distribution$65,200,000

Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: Kramer vs. Kramer – Jaffe, Columbia

Best Director: Robert BentonKramer vs. Kramer

Best Actor: Dustin HoffmanKramer vs. Kramer

Best Actress: Sally FieldNorma Rae

Best Supporting Actor: Meryl StreepKramer vs. Kramer

Best Supporting Actress: Melvyn DouglasBeing There



Among Those Who Died In 1979:

MonDateNameAgeCountryProfessionNotable films
Jan11Jack Soo61USAActor
  • Flower Drum Song
  • The Oscar
16Peter Butterworth59UKActor, Writer
  • Oliver!
  • The First Great Train Robbery
16Ted Cassidy46USAActor
18Cyril J. Mockridge82UKComposer
25Dick Crockett63USAStuntman, Actor
Feb12Jean Renoir84USADirector, Writer,     Actor
  • The Rules of the Game
  • La Grande Illusion
16Louise Allbritton58USAActress
  • Pittsburgh
  • Sitting Pretty