Daily Dirt: ‘Jaws,’ ‘Ferris’ and ‘Vacation’ lead all-time best summer films


Daily Dirt for Saturday, July 6, 2024

Don’t look now, but football season is right around the corner. Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 996 of The Daily Dir

1. Summer movies are often special and wind up as classics. That’s not an accident.

At some point, movie studios decided to save most of their potential blockbuster films for the warm-weather months because families had more free time in those warm-weather months to do things like, say, attend movies. More people in the theaters, more money at the box office. It’s not rocket science.

That said, I have plenty of favorite films, dating to the 1970s when the aforementioned practice started in earnest. I’ve tried to narrow that list down to my 10 favorite flicks from the June through August windows of the last 50 years or so:

  • 1. “Jaws” (1975): Oh the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear …
  • 2. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986): For Ferris, every day was a summer vacation. And we will always thank him for it.
  • 3. “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983): In the ’80s, any adventure with the Griswold family proved a delight. 
  • 4. “The Notebook” (2004): A special kind of love story, especially for a summer night at the movies. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams were a perfect pairing for this marvelous film.
  • 5. “Dirty Dancing” (1987): A timeless classic. If you have yet to see it, you really need to. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were both worthy of a major award.
  • 6. “Say Anything … ” (1989): Every male in the world can identify with John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler character.
  • 7. “Independence Day” (1996): Aliens are about to invade Earth, coupled with music by Aerosmith. A classic.
  • 8. “Before Sunrise” (1995): A summer romance at its finest.
  • 9. “Almost Famous” (2000): Kate Hudson won an Oscar, and deservingly so, for this low-key masterpiece.
  • 10. “Mama Mia” (2008): I didn’t want to see this movie. I went because I’m a loving husband, and my wife wanted to see it in the worst way. I figured it would be little more than a chick flick and a waste of two hours of my life. Wrong! It was tremendous, anchored by a great soundtrack.

2. Did you know (Part 58) …

  • “Inside Out 2” is currently the highest grossing film in the nation, according to boxofficemojo.com.
  • Lay’s Classic is the No. 1 brand of potato chips in the U.S., according to sales. The rest of the top five are Lay’s Wavy, Ruffles, Pringle’s and Kettle.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers , Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions are the early betting favorites to win the 2025 Super Bowl.
  • Alexandre Sarr of the Washington Wizards is the early favorite for NBA rookie of the year.
  • Former offensive lineman Aaron Gibson is considered to be the heaviest player in NFL history at 410 pounds. He played for six years with four teams during a career that started in 1999.

3. Athlon magazine has released its preseason college football rankings:

  • 1. Georgia: Carson Beck is back at quarterback, set to lead a team with no major weakness. 
  • 2. Ohio State: Chip Kelly is the new offensive coordinator. The Buckeyes are going to score a lot.
  • 3. Oregon: The two best teams in the Big Ten are Nos. 2-3 in this poll.
  • 4. Texas: Arch Manning is still waiting in the wings to be the Longhorns’ quarterback.
  • 5. Ole Miss: This will be the year the Rebels make their first college football playoff appearance.
  • 6. Alabama: The Tide No. 6? Heads may roll in Tuscaloosa.
  • 7. Michigan: Sherrone More takes over as coach and the Wolverines are unlikely to go undefeated again.
  • 8. Penn State: That’s four Big Ten teams in the top eight, but who’s counting?
  • 9. Notre Dame: Overrated.
  • 10. Missouri: Tigers are a real sleeper on the overall national picture. This is arguably THE team to watch.

Steve Thought O’ The Day
While I’m not surprised that Lay’s Classic is America’s No. 1 chip, I’m mildly stunned that Pringle’s made the top five.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He put years of research into helping the sales of potato chips.

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