Wednesday, May 18, 2016

25 Off My Head - The 80s Movies That Matter

This list goes out to Daniel, who left a comment on yesterday's post about Blue Velvet that got this subject churning -- thing is, I'm pretty sure that David Lynch's film, released on September 19th 1986, is the greatest film of the 1980s. Number One! Once I realized I thought this, from there I got to thinking about the other movies I would put on such a list. I scribbled down a couple dozen, then I did some research & scribbled down a few more, and then I whittled those down to 25 and voila.

I had to make a few random choices to condense - it couldn't be a list of nothing but David Lynch & David Cronenberg movies, for instance (even though it probably could). And lord knows there are probably movies I'm forgetting since I made this list pretty spur of the moment. But here, not in specific order (save the first one because totally) are...

The 80s Movies That Matter The Most, Says Me

(David Lynch, 1986)

(Martin Scorsese, 1985)
(James Cameron, 1986)

(Rob Epstein, 1984)

(Frank Oz, 1986)

(Paul Verhoeven, 1987)

(David Lynch, 1980)

(Ken Russell, 1984)

(Mike Nichols, 1983)

(Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982)

(John Waters, 1988)

(Brian De Palma, 1980)

(Robert Zemeckis, 1988)

(David Cronenberg, 1983)

(James Ivory, 1987)

(James L. Brooks, 1987)

(Terry Gilliam, 1985)

(Wim Wenders, 1987)

(Steven Spielberg, 1981)

(Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

(Jonathan Demme, 1984)

(Pedro Almodovar, 1988)

(The Coens, 1987)

(Stephen Frears, 1985)

(Carpenter, 1982)

Okay so what did I miss?


par3182 said...

that's a helluva list

i'm adding

pee-wee's big adventure
the king of comedy

Anonymous said...

Do the Right Thing though.

JA said...

Excellent additions, par! The first two were on my longer list and got just left off (Pee-wee hurt, and I picked After Hours over King of Comedy because After Hours seems slightly more under-valued to me) and Tootsie should have been -it is quite clearly perfect and delightful.

JA said...

I knew somebody would bring up Do the Right Thing and it bugged the shit out of me how WHITE this list is, believe me I noticed it before I hit post. But I haven't seen Do the Right Thing in 20 years, which means I really have got to re-watch Do the Right Thing. It just felt like I would be paying the movie empty lip service if I included it now, though.

Unknown said...

Amadeus. And Fright Night

Yummy Pizza said...

Clue! April Fool's Day!

Remy said...

Paris, Texas and Terminator.
Great list though

Anonymous said...

I went to a midnight technical screening of the Shinning at the Sutton Theatre the night before it opened. The theatre wasn't full, but there were a lot of people and the excitement was palpable. The lights went down and the music started and everything went up a notch. And then about the 1st hour that excitement had drained out of the room. Stanley Kubrick had been quoted as saying he wanted to make the scariest movie ever made and based on that blood out the elevator teaser we thought that was what we would get. And then that totally weird ending epilog with Shelly Duval in the hospital. What was that?? There was not much chatter when the movie let out over two hours later. But there was immense disappointment. Years later I came to appreciate the movie in a different kind of way I guess, but can still remember how the fizz of anticipating something amazing drained right out of the theatre.

JB said...

Off the top of my head I'm adding;

Empire Strikes Back
Dangerous Liaisons
Stand By Me
When Harry Met Sally

Anonymous said...

Raging Bull, Diva, and BLADE RUNNER

Anonymous said...

Great list, and sure you missed some great films, but that's the way it goes; I would like to point to some personal favorites which were not included, like Possession (1981), Blow Out (1981), Fanny and Alexander (1982), The Fly (1986), and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).

Bill Carter said...

How can you possibly leave out "Heathers"?

Bill Carter said...

...and "Parting Glances" is MIA as well.

Daniel said...

I LOVE this list and will happily take credit for its inspiration! The 80s is a big ol' blind spot for me because I was born in '84, so all the adult movies made in that decade just passed me by. Of the few others I've seen I would add: Amadeus, Possession, Tootsie, The Little Mermaid, Au Revoir Les Enfants, Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources, and, most importantly, Airplane! And, if I'm being honest with myself, probably The Breakfast Club.

Christof said...

Great list! I might add...

The Draughtsman's Contract

JA said...

Great picks, everyone! A bunch of these were on my longer list, while a couple I feel horrified to admit I missed altogether and YOU'LL NEVER DRAG THOSE TITLES OUT OF ME. ;)

Keep 'em coming though!

JH said...

Tootsie DEFINITELY needs to be added!

Robert Kirby said...

Ordinary People! Always, Ordinary People. Good list, a lot of my faves on there.

Robert Kirby said...

And of course Do the Right Thing - always, always: a top 5 of all time for me. See it again immediately.

Anonymous said...

John Huston's "Prizzi's Honor" -- also "E.T." and, to agree with another responder -- "BEETLEJUICE"

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking some really bizarre shit like L'Adila or Ms.45 should have snuck in here. Also, maybe The purple rose of Cairo, Mystery Train, Mauvais Sang, and if I'm being completely honest, Desperately Seeking Susan (yeah, I know). And The Lonely Lady.
And of course movies by some directors mentioned here, like What Have I done to deserve this?, The 4th man, Querelle, Married to the mob, The king of comedy, Paris Texas.
Great list, though. You should make a part 2. The 80s was a great, underrated time for movies.