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El Chuxter
10-05-2004, 02:24 PM
What are the best 80s movies?

I don't mean the best movies of the 80s, nor do I mean the Oscar-winners. If you lived in the 80s, you know what I mean by "80s movie." :)

They're sometimes cheesy, sometimes corny, occasionally dated, but overall, they're fun--often in a way that films rarely are anymore. These are movies that you've seen a bazillion times, and you can still watch them over. These are flicks you can show your kids and (despite their probably laughing at the hairstyles) they'll love 'em too. (Or maybe they're films you wouldn't let your kids see in a million years. ;))

Here's some of my picks, and I'm sure I'm forgetting several that someone will fill in later:

The Goonies: Does anyone not love this movie? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Sean Astin goes off on a quest to destroy a rin--I mean, to find pirate treasure! ARRRRRRR!! :Pirate:

(And speaking of which)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
The best use of the Star Wars theme in any movie aside from Star Wars. And Ben Stein's crowning film role.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High:
Okay, the film wasn't all that great when you look back at it, but two words: Phoebe Cates. Yowza! That famous scene and a certain metal bikini-clad princess defined beauty for an entire generation.

Gremlins:
Another Phoebe Cates classic, though she wasn't nearly as cool as Gizmo and Stripe.

The Princess Bride:
The most quotable movie ever, and one of the best. This is one of the few on this list that belongs more in "Best Movies of the 80s" than "Best 80s Movies."

Back to the Future:
"So you're my Uncle Joey? Better get used to those bars." Because who hasn't dreamed of going back in time and making out with their mom? At least in nightmares? :)

Coming to America:
Eddie Murphy at the height of his comedic powers, playing about 40 different characters, and it features Darth Vader and (IIRC) Mace Windu. "Let's give it up for Sexual Chocolate!"

The Naked Gun:
The Zucker Brothers' best film of the decade, and probably Leslie Nielsen's greatest triumph. This is so incredibly quotable, I couldn't pick a favorite line. But I'll try anyway. "Nice beaver." "Thanks. I just had it stuffed."

Spaceballs:
George Lucas in Love, Troops, and Hardware Wars are great spoofs, but this is the definitive send-up of Star Wars.

Uncle Buck:
Another John Candy classic (but aren't they all?). This was before we knew how annoying Macauley Culkin would be plastered all over every surface once Home Alone hit theaters.

Short Circuit:
Because Number Five is alive, and he needs input! Input! I almost hate to say it, but this is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure:
Another super-quotable gem, and any movie with George Carlin, Neo, and the chick from the Go-Go's has to rock, dude!

Pee Wee's Big Adventure:
Tim Burton's first flick. I'd say still one of his best, but it's tough to judge in a career with no low points. :p (JT, I'm waiting for your response regarding Batman Returns.)

Beetlejuice:
Tim Burton's other great 80s movie. (Yeah, Batman was in the 80s, but it's a great movie, period.)

Highlander:
I could watch this a gazillion times, but let's face it: they don't make this type of action movies anymore. Oh, wait, yeah they do, but they call it Daredevil.

The Terminator:
Another borderline "great movie period," but the incredibly cornball special effects and score make the case for this being an 80s movie.

Nothing But Trouble:
HBO used to have the rights to show this and Midnight Madness (which could've made the list except it's too old) and nothing else! John Candy playing a woman, Dan Akroyd playing a sort of weird mutant guy, and Chevy Chase as himself! Woo!

Ghost Dad:
Okay, this one is pretty bad (let's just say it definitely isn't Cosby's best moment), but I know no one who doesn't still laugh hysterically at the "I am Satan" and "I'm with the phone company" bits.

Ghostbusters: Because when Ghost Dad's on the list, who ya gonna call?

JON9000
10-05-2004, 02:45 PM
Highlander:
Never saw the appeal.

I nominate Sixteen Candles. And I don't even care that it is a quasi chick flick. Have it on the rack fellas, just in case a girl makes it into your apartment. (Although Goonies seems to catch their fancy as well.)

James Boba Fettfield
10-05-2004, 04:56 PM
*scans list*

Where the **** is the Breakfast Club?! WHERE?!

I would also like to add Revenge of the Nerds and Top Gun. So 80's and so good.

El Chuxter
10-05-2004, 05:01 PM
C'mon, didn't I say I'd likely miss a few? Merely an oversight on my part.

And how about two others:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Lost Boys

James Boba Fettfield
10-05-2004, 05:09 PM
Well, godfather of the 80's John Hughes stuff aside...

Do you think Robocop would qualify? I'm leaning toward yes, but I'm not entirely sure.

El Chuxter
10-05-2004, 05:12 PM
I considered it, but I think of it as more a "great movie from the 80s." Kinda like ESB or Indiana Jones. Some of the Reagan-bashing humor in Robocop is a bit dated, but otherwise it holds up pretty well, and still looks pretty cutting edge.

Slicker
10-05-2004, 06:01 PM
As I read the opening title of the thread and the opening line a list almost exactly like yours jumped to mind. The one movie that stood out is one of the best movies ever made: "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". How can you not love Spicoli. They just don't make em' like they used to. Good job on the list by the way!:D :D :D :D

Bel-Cam Jos
10-05-2004, 07:55 PM
One of my favorite movies of all time is Airplane!, which sneaks into the '80s by a year, I believe. What was that about the most-quoted movie of all time? Cut me some slack, Jack! Great, great, great! And The Sequel wasn't bad, either. :D

Others I'd add:
The Breakfast Club: I have seen it on TV so many times, that I'd forgotten just how much profanity was laced throughout this film. Any film that sets you in the place of one of the characters is bound to be good.
The Man With One Red Shoe: Funny, odd, cool.
Krull: fantasy combined with confusion. Typical '80s concept!
The Last Starfighter: see above.
TRON: C'mon, people! So the early '80s didn't have "totally awesome" CGI yet. This one was radical... to the max!
Field of Dreams: I determine a great film by how easy/difficult it is for me to avoid watching it on cable. I cannot avoid this one. I don't know if it's an "80s" film, but I say it is! ;)
Goonies: already mentioned.
Pee Wee's Big Adventure: already mentioned.

I thought the Naked Gun was from the '90s, however it fits an '80s feel.

Darth Jax
10-05-2004, 08:17 PM
great choices so far, but Top Secret needs to be included.

i'd also include Weird Science and Real Genius.

Exhaust Port
10-05-2004, 08:50 PM
Rad: It was a great movie if you are about 11 years old about BMX bikes.

mrpauldeeds
10-05-2004, 09:25 PM
Labryinth: i think you forgot this one......"SMELL BAAAAAAD!" lol and david bowie in that outfit...ohh god gross, but still i love this movie.
Goonies: all time favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: very original concept
The Lost Boys: great vampire movie
Ghostbusters: who can forget those blasters and traps and such??
Short Circuit: my first words... 'short circuit'
Spaceballs: best Star Wars spoof
Childs Play: god scared the crap outta me when i was little
Monster Squad: group of kids killing monsters like werewolves and vampires. its good.

wasnt E.T. made in the 80's?? cuz that belongs here too!:D

DarthQuack
10-05-2004, 10:27 PM
How can any of you forget classics like

Big
Porky's
Revenge of the Nerds
Predator
The Gumball Rally (Might be 70's)
the Burbs

B'Omarr Monkey
10-05-2004, 11:05 PM
Pee Wee's Big Adventure:
Tim Burton's first flick. I'd say still one of his best, but it's tough to judge in a career with no low points. :p (JT, I'm waiting for your response regarding Batman Returns.)

I'm not JT, but I will say his career definitely had a low point and it wasn't Batman Returns (which I thought was far better than Batman), the low point was Planet of the Apes. I've loved everything else he did, but this movie has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Back on track: I think as movies that really encompass the 80s sensibilties, quality not being a factor, Ghostbusters, The Breakfast Club, The Big Chill, E.T., Ferris Beuhler's Day Off, Mask, Bladerunner, Top Gun, Footloose, An Officer and a Gentleman, Back to the Future and Risky Business can all be sealed in a time capsule and that will take care of that decade, except for one film which is the best of the 80s in quality and style: Blue Velvet.

You could also probably throw in Buckaroo Banzai.

Rocketboy
10-05-2004, 11:32 PM
I agree with the list for the most part, but there are some glaring and disgraceful omissions:
Batman
The Indiana Jones trilogy
Empire and Jedi
A Christmas Story
Top Gun
Friday the 13th
National Lampoon's Vacation
Scarface
Police Academy
Revenge of the Nerds
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Fletch
Little Shop of Horrors
The Three Amigos
Platoon
Harry and the Hendersons
Eddie Murphy Raw
Lethal Weapon
Young Guns
Big
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Die Hard
Road House (SWAYZE!)
Major League
Christmas Vacation

Ji'dai
10-05-2004, 11:35 PM
All of my favs have been mentioned:
Blade Runner
Ghostbusters
The Terminator
Predator
Beetlejuice
Lost Boys (fantastic soundtrack too, carried the CD in my car all through HS & college)
the 'Burbs
Back to the Future

James Boba Fettfield
10-05-2004, 11:38 PM
Some of these mentions I do not believe embody the "80's movie" style that Chux is looking for.

Rocketboy
10-05-2004, 11:55 PM
I htink they do, but I guess it's a matter of opinion.
They're sometimes cheesy, sometimes corny, occasionally dated, but overall, they're fun--often in a way that films rarely are anymore. These are movies that you've seen a bazillion times, and you can still watch them over. These are flicks you can show your kids and (despite their probably laughing at the hairstyles) they'll love 'em too. (Or maybe they're films you wouldn't let your kids see in a million years. )

JediTricks
10-06-2004, 05:21 AM
Chux, excellent choice on Goonies, Ferris Bueller, BTTF, Bill & Ted, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, and Ghostbusters. I actually saw Nothing but Trouble in theaters, it was ok but hardly a landmark film and pretty crummy on re-viewings (unlike Ferris, which I watched every day after school for almost 6 months :D).

I'm with JBF, Revenge of the Nerds, Top Gun, The Breakfast Club, and Robocop all should be on this list.

I'm with BCJ with the addition of Airplane!, Tron, and The Last Starfighter.

Jax, I was going to say Weird Science as well, excellent call! Real Genius is a great film too, I'd add it but I think not enough people saw it to fit this list (or maybe I'm wrong).

Paul Deeds, I'm with you on Labrynth!

Quack, my support to Big and Predator too.

B'OMarr, awesome choice on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

Rocketboy, agree with NL's Vacation, Police Academy, Scarface, Fletch, Lethal Weapon, Young Guns, Roger Rabbit, Die Hard, and Major League. Nice list!

I'd also add Better Off Dead and possibly also One Crazy Summer to the list.


The reason I'm not including BladeRunner is because it really is so far ahead of its time, same reason I didn't add Aliens. Fast Times at Ridgemont High seemed like more of a late '70s film to me more than an '80s film.


Oh, and just so I don't disappoint, I think Batman Returns is a self-indulgent waste, Burton spread the plot too thin with multiple villains and cheap gags in place of solid atmosphere, and sets that felt like overblown versions of the campy '60s TV show. Far too much art department eye candy and not enough depth and soul. Catwoman was a putrid waste of a character, and the Penguin is sorely misused - especially in the painful ending that felt like it was culled straight from studio notes. Ultimately, the film feels big-budget yet limited in scope, design, and writing, with light peering in through the wool pulled over our eyes far too often.

Kidhuman
10-06-2004, 07:08 AM
I loved Back to School

Mandalorian Candidat
10-06-2004, 10:49 AM
Three words...

BETTER OFF DEAD

B'Omarr Monkey
10-06-2004, 11:10 AM
Somehow we seem to have overlooked "Flashdance" and the Rambo trilogy, which I think define 80s movies as much as anything John Hughes made.

I included "Bladerunner" because it was really an examination of the future through 80s lenses. The fashions, hairstyles etc, were very 80s, including the retro 40s and 50s looks which were incorporated into 80s styles. The bleakness of it, which seems cliched now, was very innovative, and really came out of the Reagan-years with the cold war, and terrible environmental damage occuring. If the movie had been made even 10 years later, with the same participants, it would have looked very different.

El Chuxter
10-06-2004, 11:45 AM
I thought Airplane was a 70s movie, but I'm probably just wrong. :rolleyes:

Totally forgot Monster Squad. I wonder if that's on DVD. A true cheesefest! :D

I agree with the additions (well, the ones I've seen :D), though some (like ET, Indy, ESB, etc) are great movies, but not quite the "great 80s movies" I was looking for. Man, I really left off some classics!

JT, Nothing But Trouble is kinda like Ghost Dad: some real weaknesses, but some really classic bits. Just seeing the late great John Candy as a mute woman is worth watching it alone.

And further submitted for your approval:

The Dark Crystal
The Last Starfighter
The Karate Kid
Three Amigos
Spies Like Us

It's not as rewatchable by a long shot, but Masters of the Universe screams 80s.

Doc Hollywood, My Cousin Vinnie, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were a bit late to be 80s movies, right? (I'm pretty sure Buffy was after Pee Wee's scandal, so I'm almost completely sure on that one.)

And, there was another sci-fi fantasy cheesefest movie that played on cable all the time in the 80s that had a scene of a cyclops getting smushed in a door to a mountain and featured a shot of a dude being shot by a laser while on some sort of bridge and then having the longest, most ridiculous death scene (after Pee Wee in Buffy, of course) ever filmed. Anyone know what it was?

I also move that, despite it's being way too old, Midnight Madness was played so dadnappit much on HBO up until 84 or 85 that it deserves honorary 80s movie status.

Slicker
10-06-2004, 12:29 PM
You guys seem to be forgetting about the greatest George Lucas movie of the 80's. Not Indiana Jones. Not Empire or Jedi. I'm talking about: Howard. The. Duck. Oh yeah it wasn't a nightmare it was the true story of a space faring duck and you know that you all loved it. For more on this greatest of movies and the wonderful effects it had on its executive producer just click on the link. Enjoy!:D :D http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/movies/howard_duck_000907.html (http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/movies/howard_duck_000907.html)

Bel-Cam Jos
10-06-2004, 07:27 PM
I cannot believe that I forgot Top Secret! and Predator. Great films, either funny or full of that '80s shoot-'em-up-real-good action. Some other great ones are Stand By Me or Dead Poets' Society.

I think that any SW film (or perhaps any Indy J ones or E.T.) are assumed. If you do not like them, then you are entitled to your opinion. And that opinion is wrong. ;)

I find it interesting that no Star Trek films were mentioned (or if they were, I heard no loud "woo hoo"s about 'em).

Other semi-honorable mentions:
Mr. Mom (on a list, I'd put it at 38, 39, whatever it takes)
Weird Science
C.H.U.D. :eek:
Nightmare on Elm Street (I've never liked horror movies much, but this one was good)
Explorers (I think a lot of people even forget this Stand By Me in space-type film exists)
The 'Burbs (another Carrie Fisher/Tom Hanks jem)

Hellboy
10-06-2004, 08:07 PM
Many of my choices have been mentioned already but I'd add these to the list for sure:

-Escape From New York
-Blue Thunder
-Wall Street
-Flash Gordon
-Trading Places
-Big Trouble in Little China
-Midnight Run
-Red Dawn
-48 HRS.
-Dragonslayer

Kidhuman
10-06-2004, 09:08 PM
I thought Airplane was a 70s movie, but I'm probably just wrong. :rolleyes:

I thought they were the 70's too. BUt oh well.

I also enjoyed

Police Academy
Rambo
THe Thing(John Carpenter)
Rocky III
Easy Money
BladeRunner
ROTJ
ESB

B'Omarr Monkey
10-07-2004, 03:37 PM
I find it interesting that no Star Trek films were mentioned (or if they were, I heard no loud "woo hoo"s about 'em).

Other semi-honorable mentions:
Mr. Mom (on a list, I'd put it at 38, 39, whatever it takes)
Weird Science
C.H.U.D. :eek:
Nightmare on Elm Street (I've never liked horror movies much, but this one was good)
Explorers (I think a lot of people even forget this Stand By Me in space-type film exists)
The 'Burbs (another Carrie Fisher/Tom Hanks jem)


I don't think the Trek films made the list because they aren't very 80s in feel. Mr. Mom I agree on, Explorers probably shouldn't be on the list, but it's on my DVD buy list for October!!Stand By Me itself, while being a great movie, does not exude an 80s feel at all.

Two other essential 80s movies that I don't think have been mentioned are:

Tootsie and

The Road Warrior

There's also Working Girl

JediTricks
10-09-2004, 02:56 AM
Star Trek 4 was VERY '80s! Save the freakin' whales, for corn's sake. It was a dark time for Trekkies like myself, when all the regular folks fell in love with ST4 and wanted to share the feeling with a real Trekkie. Don't get me wrong, the film is pretty good, but Grandma mentioning "double-dumb-*** on you!" and "there are whales there named 'George' and 'Gracie'," it makes me want to gnaw my own ears off.

JON9000
10-09-2004, 04:26 PM
Red Dawn

Wall Street

War Games

Three movies that were, if not great (at least in the case of Red Dawn & War Games) almost perfect encapsulations of the 1980's mindset.

B'Omarr Monkey
10-10-2004, 12:09 AM
Star Trek 4 was VERY '80s! Save the freakin' whales, for corn's sake. It was a dark time for Trekkies like myself, when all the regular folks fell in love with ST4 and wanted to share the feeling with a real Trekkie. Don't get me wrong, the film is pretty good, but Grandma mentioning "double-dumb-*** on you!" and "there are whales there named 'George' and 'Gracie'," it makes me want to gnaw my own ears off.

I concede you on STIV, but it's still not iconic of the 80s, in the same way that a John Hughes movie is, or something like "Staying Alive." I think the point of this is to be picking the movie equivalents of bands like "Wham," "Duran Duran," "Cyndi Lauper," "Billy Idol," "Flock of Seagulls," etc., rather than 80s music like Bruce Springsteen's "Born In the U.S.A." album, which while an example of 80s music is not really in the same category as Michael Jackson's "Thriller," or Huey Lewis and the News singing "I Want a New Drug," both of which are the musical equivalent of say "Sixteen Candles" or "Trading Places."

James Boba Fettfield
10-10-2004, 12:12 AM
I agree, B. Monkey. As I mentioned earlier, some of the mentions seem to be based on it being made in the 1980's, rather than it giving off that 80's feel.

Ha ha, it's hard to explain, but it makes sense up here in my head. :crazed:

I cannot believe I am actually arguing this.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-10-2004, 10:09 AM
some of the mentions seem to be based on it being made in the 1980's, rather than it giving off that 80's feel.
But then, by that reasoning, Quicksilver, with I think Kevin Bacon and Paul Rodriguez would be an "80s feel" movie (because it dealt with stock trading and a big city lifestyle contrasted with down-on-your-luck reality) but not Silverado, because its set in the old West.

I'm not here to bash a list thread (I LOVE list threads, um, I think list threads are, like totally tubular to the max ;) ). I am here to bash myself for missing Red Dawn on my lists. "Wolverines!!!" (p.s. In the "Special Edition" of RD, they have digitally replaced that yell with "Buckeyes!!!" ) :p

I wonder if this warrents a thread titled "The Best '90s Movies"?

James Boba Fettfield
10-10-2004, 10:32 AM
I suppose I can give an example of what I mean.

Someone mentioned War Games. I think that is a perfect example of what I consider an 80's film. Now someone else mentions Empire Strikes Back. To me, that's not an 80's film. I will let it go, but I hope you can understand what I mean.

I would bash the Wolverines right now, but the Bucks don't look too hot.

B'Omarr Monkey
10-10-2004, 11:23 PM
Silverado would not be an "80s" movie, not becasue it is a western, but because it does not feel very "80s." You could argue "Young Guns" as an 80s movie, because of the Brat Pack casting, but it still doesn't really count.

There are plenty of period movies that are more evocative of the decade they were filmed in than the era they were set in. For example "Bonnie and Clyde" this movie is supposed to be about the 1930s, but reeks of the 1960s. The SW movies are pretty timeless, despite all those 1970s sideburns and hair styles.

"Quicksilver" isn't really an 80s movie, not due to content, but because it doesn't evoke the essence of 80s culture the same way something like "The Breakfast Club" does.

It's basically defining the 80s in the same way we define the 70s via disco, iron on t-shirts, and The Brady Bunch, instead of by "Jeremiah Johnson" or "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

tagmac
10-10-2004, 11:59 PM
Going with the 80's mindset, I'd have to rank the following at the top of my list:
Red Dawn
Top Gun

While Red Dawn is certainly the more dated of the two, either could be made to fit in today.

Of the other types of movies, I think what El Chuxter means is that when you watch these movies, it actually makes you feel like you're a kid again, right back in the 80's. Movies like Spaceballs, Indy, Empire, Batman, TMNT, Roger Rabbit.....they just don't give me that feeling. You need that heavy dose of 80's music in the background, the clothing styles, the Reaganism, heck even background images of popular 80's items like Atari, Michael Jackson posters, or those portable video games that looked like tiny arcades. To me, even 80's special effects don't always give that same feeling. Tron fits, as does part of the Terminator, but I'm not sure about The Last Starfighter, Pee Wee, or Beetlejuice (the music on the last two makes me think Tim Burton, not the 80's."

That being said, my top pics would be:
The Goonies - definitely number 1!
Back to the Future - the music alone does it
Gremlins
Ghostbusters - 80's NYC captured quite well
The Karate Kid - typical clothes and attitude of the 80's
Coming to America
any film with the original Brat Pack in it

....and two that nobody mentioned yet:
Crocodile Dundee
Romancing the Stone - the only Michael Douglas movie I can stand to watch, although Danny DeVito's comedy is what really makes it worth watching.

Kidhuman
10-11-2004, 06:56 AM
nobody mentioned yet:
Crocodile Dundee
.


Thats because it sucked.

Darth Jax
10-12-2004, 12:15 PM
The Secret of My Success oozes 80's cheese. Carlton Whitfield/Brantley Foster - the names alone justify it being mentioned. Throw in the terrific generic 80's sounding music that accompanies it. i can't pass it up when its on late nite TV.

Hellboy
10-12-2004, 06:38 PM
The Secret of My Success oozes 80's cheese.

I agree and its probably safe to say anything that starred Michael J. Fox besides the BTTF trilogy falls into the 80's cheese category. Who can forget such 80's classics like Teen Wolf, Light of Day and Bright Lights Big City. :p

Kidhuman
10-12-2004, 07:31 PM
Bachelor Party anyone?

Hellboy
10-12-2004, 08:07 PM
Bachelor Party anyone?

Definitely KH.

Not sure if this one has been mentioned and I'm actually surprised that I didn't think of it sooner but Stripes is another good one. :classic:

Kidhuman
10-12-2004, 08:15 PM
Stripes was awesome, funniest part is when Murray lifts the suitcases and hurts himself. I am laughing thinking about it

Huckleberry Josh
10-22-2004, 11:29 PM
I can't believe no one mentioned Mannequin.That's like one of the best 80's movies of all time, even if it is a chick flick!

Sentinel18725
10-23-2004, 12:00 AM
Keep me with the following: GREAT MOVIES FROM THE 80's!

Red Dawn
Top Gun (first video tape at a low cost)
Rad
Thrasher
Rambo's
Ghostbuster
Bachelor Party

How about those gems?