Thriller

  • Directors: John Landis
  • Producers: George Folsey Jr
  • Writers: John Landis, Michael Jackson
  • Genres: Horror, Romance, Short, Thriller, Music
  • Actors: Michael Jackson, Ola Ray, Vincent Price

It is the late 1950s. A teenaged Michael and his unnamed date (Ola Ray) run out of gas in a dark, wooded area. They walk off into the forest, and Michael asks her if she would like to go steady. She accepts and he gives her a ring. He warns her, however, that he is “different”. A full moon appears, and Michael begins convulsing in agony â€“ transforming into a horrifying werewolf. His date shrieks and runs away, but the werewolf catches up, knocking her down and begins lunging at her with his claws.

The scene cuts away to a modern-day movie theater (exteriors filmed at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles[9]), where Michael and his date â€“ along with a repulsed audience â€“ are actually watching this scene unfold in a movie called “Thriller” starring Vincent Price. Michael’s date is scared, but he is clearly enjoying the horror flick (part of the dialogue of the unseen film contains Landis’ signature line “See you next Wednesday” before the audience screams again). Frightened, his date leaves the theatre. Michael hands his popcorn to the stranger next to him, and catches up to her, smiling and saying “It’s only a movie!” Some debate follows over whether or not she was scared by the scene; she denies it, but Michael disagrees.

After the credits, when they concurrently show the zombies dancing again, the disclaimer humorously states, “Any similarity to actual events or persons living, dead (or undead) is purely coincidental.” Landis’ An American Werewolf in London likewise offered this disclaimer. After the warning the zombies dance back to the grave then another zombie comes into view and gives a horrifying grimace to the camera that freeze frames before blood runs down the screen and the screen turns to black.

Coming to America

  • Directors: John Landis
  • Producers: Leslie Belzberg, George Folsey Jr, Mark Lipsky
  • Writers: Story, Eddie Murphy, Screenplay, David Sheffield, Barry W Blaustein
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Eriq La Salle, Samuel L Jackson

Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy), the prince and heir to the throne of the fictitious African country Zamunda, is discontented with being pampered all his life. The final straw is when his parents (James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair) present him with a bride-to-be (Vanessa Bell) he has never met before, trained to mindlessly obey his every command.

Akeem concocts a plan to travel to America to find a wife he can both love and respect. He and his servant & friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) arrive in Queens County, New York, and after several scrapes, find an apartment in the neighborhood of Jackson Heights. They begin working at a local restaurant called McDowell’s (the restaurateur’s attempt to copy McDonald’s) passing themselves off as students. When he first meets Akeem and Semmi, owner Mr. McDowell (John Amos) explains all the minute differences between his place and McDonald’s, ending with the line, “They use the sesame seed bun. My buns have no seeds.”

Akeem falls in love with Lisa (Shari Headley), Mr. McDowell’s daughter, who possesses the qualities the prince is looking for. The rest of the film centers on Akeem’s attempts to win Lisa’s hand in marriage, while adjusting to life in America and dodging his royal duties and prerogatives. Unfortunately, Semmi is not comfortable with the life of a poor man and thus unintentionally causes a near-disaster when, alerted by a plea for more financial help, the Zamundian royal family travels to the United States. Lisa learns that Akeem is actually a prince and is at first angry and confused as to why he lied to her about it. At this point, she refuses to marry Akeem and Akeem returns to Zamunda with a broken heart. At the end, we see Akeem about to wed a bride who he discovers is Lisa. They ride off in a carriage after the ceremony.

The Blues Brothers

  • Directors: John Landis
  • Producers: Bernie Brillstein, George Folsey Jr, David Sosna, Robert K Weiss
  • Writers: Dan Aykroyd, John Landis
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Music
  • Actors: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Carrie Fisher

“Joliet” Jake Blues is released from Joliet Prison into his brother Elwood’s custody, having been paroled after serving three years of a five-year sentence for armed robbery. Jake is irritated at being picked up in a battered former Mt. Prospect police car instead of the Cadillac the brothers used to own, but is mollified when Elwood demonstrates the “new” Bluesmobile’s performance by vaulting it over an open drawbridge.

Over Jake’s protests, they visit their childhood home, a Roman Catholic orphanage. They learn the institution will be shut down unless $5,000 in property taxes can be paid. Jake indicates they can quickly obtain the funds, but the orphanage director, Sister Mary Stigmata (nicknamed “The Penguin”), emphatically refuses to accept any stolen money from the brothers. She drives them out, and tells them not to return until they have redeemed themselves. At the prompting of Curtis, the elderly orphanage worker who introduced the duo to the blues, the brothers visit a lively evangelical church service where Jake has an epiphany: they can legitimately raise the funds by re-forming their legendary rhythm and blues band.

As they head home, Elwood’s driving attracts the attention of two Illinois State Police troopers named Daniel and Mount. Elwood proceeds to both escape and earn the officers’ undying enmity by driving through a shopping mall. Arriving at the flophouse which Elwood calls home, the brothers also suffer a bazooka attack launched by a “Mystery Woman” who is targeting Jake, but neither is injured or even significantly perturbed. The next morning, as the troopers, who are assisted by Detective Burton Mercer, are about to arrest the pair, she remotely detonates a bomb that demolishes the entire building. The brothers again emerge unharmed from the rubble and casually depart on their errand, followed by the troopers a few moments later.

After a gravity-defying escape from the Illinois Nazis, Jake and Elwood arrive at the Richard J. Daley Center, where the Bluesmobile literally falls to pieces. Finding the office of the Cook County Assessor, they discover a sign saying “Back in 5 minutes.” As they wait, the building is stormed by hundreds of police, state troopers, SWAT teams, firefighters, Illinois National Guardsmen, and the Military Police. An assessor clerk (Steven Spielberg in a cameo) finally appears, and the brothers pay the tax bill. Just as their receipt is stamped, handcuffs are placed on their wrists, and they turn to face a sea of armed law officers. As the film ends, Jake is back in prison, now joined by Elwood and the rest of the band, and they play “Jailhouse Rock” for their fellow inmates.

Coming to America

  • Directors: John Landis
  • Producers: Leslie Belzberg, George Folsey Jr, Mark Lipsky
  • Writers: Story, Eddie Murphy, Screenplay, David Sheffield, Barry W Blaustein
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Eriq La Salle, Samuel L Jackson

Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy), the prince and heir to the throne of the fictitious African country Zamunda, is discontented with being pampered all his life. The final straw is when his parents (James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair) present him with a bride-to-be (Vanessa Bell) he has never met before, trained to mindlessly obey his every command.

Akeem concocts a plan to travel to America to find a wife he can both love and respect. He and his servant & friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) arrive in Queens County, New York, and after several scrapes, find an apartment in the neighborhood of Jackson Heights. They begin working at a local restaurant called McDowell’s (the restaurateur’s attempt to copy McDonald’s) passing themselves off as students. When he first meets Akeem and Semmi, owner Mr. McDowell (John Amos) explains all the minute differences between his place and McDonald’s, ending with the line, “They use the sesame seed bun. My buns have no seeds.”

Akeem falls in love with Lisa (Shari Headley), Mr. McDowell’s daughter, who possesses the qualities the prince is looking for. The rest of the film centers on Akeem’s attempts to win Lisa’s hand in marriage, while adjusting to life in America and dodging his royal duties and prerogatives. Unfortunately, Semmi is not comfortable with the life of a poor man and thus unintentionally causes a near-disaster when, alerted by a plea for more financial help, the Zamundian royal family travels to the United States. Lisa learns that Akeem is actually a prince and is at first angry and confused as to why he lied to her about it. At this point, she refuses to marry Akeem and Akeem returns to Zamunda with a broken heart. At the end, we see Akeem about to wed a bride who he discovers is Lisa. They ride off in a carriage after the ceremony.