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If you’re a fan of ‘80s cinema, you’ve seen at least one Richard Donner movie. The Bronx-born director, who died July 5 at the age of 91, got his start directing off-Broadway plays and TV shows before transitioning into film. After working on “The Twilight Zone,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and “Perry Mason,” Donner went on to helm blockbusters and cult classics such as the “Lethal Weapon” and “Superman” franchises, “The Goonies,” “The Omen,” and “Scrooged.” He also served as executive producer on “Any Given Sunday,” the “Free Willy” franchise, “X-Men,” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
Below, six of the best Donner-directed films that absolutely need to be in your Blu-ray collection. For more content on legendary directors, check out these fascinating books on Stanley Kubruck.
Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, and Harvey Stephens star in this 1976 horror flick about an ambassador who switches his wife’s (Lee Remick) stillborn baby with an orphaned infant and the horror that ensues thereafter. This four-disc set contains “The Omen,” “Damien: Omen II,” and “Omen III: Final Conflict.” Bonuses include director’s interview, the isolated music score, trivia tracks, commentaries, deleted scene, and featurettes. You can also get “The Omen” 3-Movie Collection for around the same price.
“Superman” soared into theaters in 1978 and became the career-defining role for Christopher Reeves. The plot introduced audiences to Superman’s backstory: the destruction of planet Krypton that resulted in a young Clark Kent being adopted and raised on a farm, and later discovering his superpowers. This box set includes remastered versions of “Superman: The Movie,” “Superman: The Expanded Edition,” “Superman II,” “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut,” “Superman III,” “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace,” and “Superman Returns.” Plus, you’ll get over 20 hours of bonus features that include the feature-length documentaries, filmmaker commentaries, featurettes, and archival footage.
The first of the buddy-cop films, “Lethal Weapon” starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as LAPD detectives Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, who find themselves in one dangerous predicament after another. “Lethal Weapon” spawned a four-film franchise, the last of which was released in 1998. This multi-format movie collection has all four along with theatrical trailers, additional scenes, and a bonus disc with retrospective featurettes.
“The Goonies” is the kind of cult classic that helped define ‘80s cinema. With this special edition box set, you’ll get to watch the “The Goonies” in 4K Ultra HD, alongside a replica of the One Eyed Willy’s treasure map, five collectible pins, an iron-on embroidered patch, and treasure chest packaging.
Mel Gibson and Julia Robert star in this ’90s thriller that brought in more than $100 million at the box office. The plot follows a paranoid New York taxi driver and dedicated conspiracy theorist (Gibson) who shares his insane theories with a government attorney (Roberts), only to become entangled in a real-life conspiracy that puts a target on his back.
“Scrooged” offers a modern take on “A Christmas Carol” that’s still hilarious decades after it came out. Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a shrewd but successful TV executive who’s so focused on his career that he drove away the love of his life. On Christmas Eve, Cross fires a staff member, is visited by ghosts, and things change.