It will be forty years this coming summer since the so-called "summer blockbuster" made its mark in popular culture. Sure, there have been many popular films throughout the twentieth century, from Victor Fleming's epic "Gone With the Wind" to Walt Disney's definitive "Snow White" to the hills of "The Sound of Music" and to the mafia saga of "The Godfather," to name a few. But in 1975, an unprecedented amount of expectation and word-of-mouth surrounded a sophomoric feature from a then-young Steven Spielberg.
It was based on a bestselling novel by Peter Benchley about a killer shark terrorizing a small town, and a lot of people were talking about it and wanted to see it. Combining elements of horror, suspense, and adventure, Jaws became the most popular film of all-time, thanks to its record-breaking box-office success, its terrifying impact on audiences who were afraid to go in the water, and the unforgettable effect of John Williams' Oscar-winning score.
|Nature terrorizes man|
|The Millennium Falcon takes light speed|
Five years after the original Star Wars, Spielberg brought a visitor from another world to earth, who formed a special friendship with a lonely boy and made audiences hearts glow along with his own. (Not to mention shedding several tears as well.) From an original screenplay by Melissa Mathison, and featuring another astounding score from John Williams, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial stood as a science-fiction film, a family film, and a drama, all in one.
|Bike in flight|
|Man witnesses a piece of extinct "nature"|
Four years after the park opened, director James Cameron set sail on the maiden voyage of the famed RMS Titanic, combining elements of historical fiction (the infamous 1912 sinking), romance, disaster, and tragedy.
|Leo and Kate "fly"|
|In flight above Pandora|
If you'll notice, three of these six films deal with the relationship and difference between man and nature, while the remaining three contain a sense of flight and adventure. (The former three do have those as well.) And that's what each film is. An adventure and an experience, for better or worse.