Well, kids, summer movie season is in full swing, if you couldn’t tell from the many numerically organized titles in the weekly box office reports. And while there aren’t as many movies worth celebrating this summer as you might like, it is still the season that sees studios unveiling their big guns, and accidentally capturing the national zeitgeist on the side. You know how much Flavorwire loves to peek behind the scenes of iconic movies, so that’s what we’ve done here — gathering 90 set photos from 19 summer classics.
The Goonies RELEASE DATE: June 7, 1985
Back to the Future RELEASE DATE: July 3, 1985 FUN FACT: The final photo is from early on in the shoot, before Michael J. Fox replaced Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly.
Jurassic Park RELEASE DATE: June 11, 1993
Raiders of the Lost Ark RELEASE DATE: June 12, 1981
Ghostbusters RELEASE DATE: June 8, 1984 FUN FACT: That’s Chevy Chase, making a visit to the set, dancing down the steps with Bill Murray in the last photo.
The Blues Brothers RELEASE DATE: June 20, 1980 FUN FACT: … and there’s Bill Murray visiting his SNL castmates Belushi and Aykroyd.
Batman RELEASE DATE: June 23, 1989
The Dark Knight RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2008
Star Wars RELEASE DAY: May 25, 1977
The Empire Strikes Back RELEASE DATE: May 21, 1980
Return of the Jedi RELEASE DATE: May 25, 1983
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial RELEASE DATE: June 11, 1982
Poltergeist RELEASE DATE: June 4, 1982 FUN FACT: Spielberg directed E.T. and produced (some say shadow-directed) Poltergeist at nearly the same time, a sunny and dark side of his suburban world. (They hit theaters within a week of each other.) The bottom photo catches Spielberg with both groups of kids from his two films.
Do the Right Thing RELEASE DATE: June 30, 1989
Escape From New York RELEASE DATE: July 10, 1981 FUN FACT: That’s James Cameron, who worked on the film as matte painter and director of photography for special visual effects, in the bottom picture.
Apocalypse Now RELEASE DATE: August 15, 1979
Gremlins RELEASE DATE: June 8, 1984
Die Hard RELEASE DATE: July 15, 1988
Total Recall RELEASE DATE: June 1, 1990