Top 100 Films of the 1980'sby bwolskin-9 | created - 18 Oct 2010 | updated - 10 Nov 2013 | Public
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1. Ran (1985)
R | 162 min | Action, Drama
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
Votes: 88,072 | Gross: $3.52M
2. The Right Stuff (1983)
PG | 193 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.
Votes: 49,195 | Gross: $21.50M
PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
After the rebels are overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda. His friends accept shelter from a questionable ally as Darth Vader hunts them in a plan to capture Luke.
Votes: 962,991 | Gross: $290.48M
4. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.
Votes: 165,516 | Gross: $92.82M
5. The Stunt Man (1980)
R | 131 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
A fugitive stumbles on a movie set just when they need a new stunt man, takes the job as a way to hide out, and falls for the leading lady.
Votes: 7,469 | Gross: $7.06M
6. The Color Purple (1985)
PG-13 | 154 min | Drama
A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.
Votes: 66,954 | Gross: $98.47M
7. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.
Votes: 742,972 | Gross: $248.16M
8. Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
R | 145 min | Biography, Drama, War
The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.
Votes: 84,458 | Gross: $70.00M
9. The Road Warrior (1981)
R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.
Votes: 146,625 | Gross: $12.47M
10. The Killing Fields (1984)
R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History
A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.
Votes: 45,283 | Gross: $34.70M
11. Tootsie (1982)
PG | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Michael Dorsey, an unsuccessful actor, disguises himself as a woman in order to get a role on a trashy hospital soap.
Votes: 84,446 | Gross: $177.20M
12. Ordinary People (1980)
R | 124 min | Drama
The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.
Votes: 39,087 | Gross: $54.80M
13. The Little Mermaid (1989)
G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
A mermaid princess makes a Faustian bargain with an unscrupulous sea-witch in order to meet a human prince on land.
Votes: 193,740 | Gross: $111.54M
14. The Long Good Friday (1980)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An up-and-coming gangster is tested by the insurgence of an unknown, very powerful threat.
15. Mississippi Burning (1988)
R | 128 min | Crime, Drama, History
Two F.B.I. Agents, with wildly different styles, arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.
Votes: 72,231 | Gross: $34.60M
16. Talk Radio (1988)
R | 110 min | Drama
A rude, contemptuous talk show host becomes overwhelmed by the hatred that surrounds his program just before it goes national.
Votes: 10,913 | Gross: $3.47M
17. Henry V (1989)
PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Biography, Drama
In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.
Votes: 25,245 | Gross: $10.16M
18. Manon of the Spring (1986)
PG | 113 min | Drama
A beautiful but shy shepherdess plots vengeance on the men whose greedy conspiracy to acquire her father's land caused his death years earlier.
Votes: 18,162 | Gross: $3.94M
19. Kagemusha (1980)
PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War
A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.
20. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
R | 155 min | Drama
A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.
Votes: 177,839 | Gross: $11.99M
21. Babette's Feast (1987)
G | 103 min | Drama
During the late 19th century, a strict religious community in a Danish village takes in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War as a servant to the late pastor's daughters.
Votes: 15,235 | Gross: $4.40M
22. Monsieur Hire (1989)
PG-13 | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A recluse is accused of murdering a young woman simply because his neighbors think he is strange.
Votes: 5,045 | Gross: $1.42M
23. Danton (1983)
PG | 136 min | Biography, Drama, History
Action opens in November of 1793, with Danton returning to Paris from his country retreat upon learning that the Committee for Public Safety, under Robespierre's incitement, has begun a ... See full summary »
24. Das Boot (1981)
R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.
Votes: 189,816 | Gross: $11.49M
25. Blue Velvet (1986)
R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
Votes: 150,560 | Gross: $8.55M
26. Aliens (1986)
R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?
Votes: 554,471 | Gross: $85.16M
27. Glory (1989)
R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History
Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.
Votes: 108,764 | Gross: $26.83M
28. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Unrated | 83 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity.
Votes: 26,081 | Gross: $0.61M
29. Raging Bull (1980)
R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
Emotionally self-destructive boxer, Jake La Motta's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.
Votes: 263,332 | Gross: $23.38M
30. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
PG | 158 min | Adventure, Drama
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.
31. Music Box (1989)
PG-13 | 124 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A lawyer defends her father accused of war crimes, but there is more to the case than she suspects.
Votes: 5,773 | Gross: $6.26M
32. The Accidental Tourist (1988)
PG | 121 min | Drama, Romance
An emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles.
Votes: 13,239 | Gross: $32.63M
33. Excalibur (1981)
PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.
Votes: 50,562 | Gross: $34.97M
34. Platoon (1986)
R | 120 min | Drama, War
A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.
Votes: 325,183 | Gross: $138.53M
35. Blood Simple. (1984)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.
Votes: 74,216 | Gross: $2.15M
36. Chariots of Fire (1981)
PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.
Votes: 45,535 | Gross: $58.97M
37. The Stone Boy (1984)
PG | 91 min | Drama
A Midwestern farm family faces major emotional adjustment after a tragedy results in the death of an older brother.
38. Iceman (1984)
PG | 100 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
A prehistoric Neanderthal man found frozen in ice is revived by an arctic exploration team, who then attempt to use him for their own scientific means.
Votes: 4,468 | Gross: $7.34M
39. Queen of Hearts (1989)
PG | 112 min | Comedy
Eddie Luca is the youngest son in a family of Italian immigrants who has moved to London. Beginning from nowhere, they open a café in an Italian neighborhood. One day their father loses the... See full summary »
Votes: 412 | Gross: $1.24M
40. Paris, Texas (1984)
R | 145 min | Drama
Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.
Votes: 61,194 | Gross: $2.18M
41. The Natural (1984)
PG | 138 min | Drama, Sport
An unknown comes out of seemingly nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent.
Votes: 37,162 | Gross: $47.95M
42. The Elephant Man (1980)
PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
43. Mask (1985)
PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama
A teenager with a massive facial skull deformity and biker gang mother attempt to live as normal a life as possible under the circumstances.
Votes: 22,439 | Gross: $48.23M
44. Hamburger Hill (1987)
R | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.
Votes: 20,529 | Gross: $13.84M
45. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
When Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. must follow in his father's footsteps to stop the Nazis from getting their hands on the Holy Grail first.
Votes: 581,960 | Gross: $197.17M
46. Runaway Train (1985)
R | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving.
Votes: 22,785 | Gross: $7.94M
47. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.
Votes: 313,616 | Gross: $435.11M
48. Death of a Salesman (1985 TV Movie)
PG | 136 min | Drama
An aging traveling salesman recognizes the emptiness of his life and tries to fix it.
49. Hairspray (1988)
PG | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
A 'pleasantly plump' teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.
Votes: 17,424 | Gross: $6.67M
50. Jean de Florette (1986)
PG | 120 min | Drama
A greedy landowner and his backward nephew conspire to block the only water source for an adjoining property in order to bankrupt the owner and force him to sell.
Votes: 21,282 | Gross: $4.94M
51. Personal Best (1982)
R | 124 min | Drama, Sport
The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.
Votes: 2,072 | Gross: $5.67M
52. The Dresser (1983)
PG | 118 min | Drama
An effeminate personal assistant of a deteriorating veteran actor struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.
Votes: 4,072 | Gross: $5.31M
53. The Grand Highway (1987)
R | 104 min | Drama
Louis, a nine-year-old boy from Paris, spends his summer vacation in a small town in Brittany. His mother Claire has lodged him with her girlfriend Marcelle and her husband Pelo while she's... See full summary »
Votes: 1,238 | Gross: $0.76M
54. Batman (1989)
PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure
The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.
Votes: 294,977 | Gross: $251.19M
55. La lectrice (1988)
R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama
A multi-faceted film based on Raymond Jean's novel "La Lectrice". Constance (Miou-Miou) reads the novel aloud in bed to her lover. Inspired by the story of Marie, a woman who advertises her... See full summary »
Votes: 1,397 | Gross: $0.70M
56. Back to the Future (1985)
PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.
Votes: 843,081 | Gross: $210.61M
57. The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
R | 114 min | Drama, Music, Romance
The lives of two struggling musicians, who happen to be brothers, inevitably change when they team up with a beautiful, up-and-coming singer.
Votes: 19,144 | Gross: $16.82M
58. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
R | 229 min | Crime, Drama
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.
Votes: 250,880 | Gross: $5.32M
59. House of Games (1987)
R | 102 min | Crime, Thriller
A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led by a smooth-talking grifter into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men.
Votes: 17,768 | Gross: $2.59M
60. Die Hard (1988)
R | 132 min | Action, Thriller
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Votes: 665,061 | Gross: $83.01M
61. The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)
R | 117 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Drama
In Milagro, a small town in the American Southwest, Ladd Devine plans to build a major new resort development. While activist Ruby Archuleta and lawyer/newspaper editor Charlie Bloom ... See full summary »
Votes: 5,344 | Gross: $13.83M
62. Terms of Endearment (1983)
PG | 132 min | Comedy, Drama
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter's family problems.
Votes: 45,395 | Gross: $108.42M
63. Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)
PG | 104 min | Drama, War
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
Votes: 26,501 | Gross: $4.54M
64. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
R | 124 min | Drama, Romance
A young man must complete his work at a Navy Officer Candidate School to become an aviator, with the help of a tough Gunnery Sergeant and his new girlfriend.
Votes: 41,518 | Gross: $129.80M
65. The Killer (1989)
R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.
66. Insignificance (1985)
R | 109 min | Drama, Comedy
Four 1950s icons meet in the same hotel room and two of them discover more in common between them than they ever anticipated.
67. Cousins (1989)
PG-13 | 109 min | Comedy, Romance
Two couples go to a mutual friend's wedding and end up swapping partners.
Votes: 3,736 | Gross: $22.03M
68. RoboCop (1987)
R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.
Votes: 200,787 | Gross: $53.42M
69. My Left Foot (1989)
R | 103 min | Biography, Drama
Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.
Votes: 56,412 | Gross: $14.74M
70. The Grey Fox (1982)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
When an aging, but gentlemanly stagecoach robber is released from prison, he decides to go to Canada to become a train robber.
71. Pouvoir intime (1986)
PG-13 | 86 min | Thriller
A government ministry's fast-rising head of security asks a shadowy fixer, Meursault, to steal a bag from an armored truck. Meursault goes to Théo, a former night club owner, in prison for ... See full summary »
72. The Untouchables (1987)
R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.
Votes: 238,992 | Gross: $76.27M
73. The Hanoi Hilton (1987)
R | 125 min | Drama, War
A drama focusing on the suffering, torture, and brutal treatment the American P.O.W.s had to deal with daily while in North Vietnam's Hoa Lo Prison, the most infamous P.O.W. camp in Hanoi. ... See full summary »
Votes: 777 | Gross: $0.76M
74. Witness (1985)
R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial.
Votes: 73,054 | Gross: $68.71M
75. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
PG | 82 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
In New Jersey in 1935, a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world.
Votes: 40,546 | Gross: $10.63M
76. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
R | 102 min | Crime, Drama
A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.
Votes: 27,497 | Gross: $4.73M
77. Gandhi (1982)
PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History
Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.
Votes: 191,952 | Gross: $52.77M
78. The World According to Garp (1982)
R | 136 min | Comedy, Drama
A struggling young writer finds his life and work dominated by his unfaithful wife and his radical feminist mother, whose best-selling manifesto turns her into a cultural icon.
Votes: 22,275 | Gross: $29.71M
79. The Princess Bride (1987)
PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.
Votes: 329,482 | Gross: $30.86M
80. Wings of Desire (1987)
PG-13 | 128 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal.
Votes: 52,924 | Gross: $3.21M
81. Hong gao liang (1988)
91 min | Drama, History, Romance
In 1930s China a young woman is sent by her father to marry the leprous owner of a winery. In the nearby red sorghum fields she falls for one of his servants. When the master dies she finds... See full summary »
82. The Man from Snowy River (1982)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
In 1880s Australia, after young Jim Craig's father dies, Jim takes a job at the Harrison cattle ranch, where he is forced to become a man.
Votes: 6,693 | Gross: $20.66M
83. A Taxing Woman (1987)
127 min | Comedy, Crime
If tax evasion is an art, wheeler-dealer Hideki Gondo is Rembrandt. And so, a determined taxing woman gets the tough assignment of trying to catch him.
84. Tchao pantin (1983)
100 min | Crime, Drama
Lambert, a burned-out case, works the night shift at a gas station, rarely speaking, living alone, drinking. Bensoussan, raised in foster homes, now a small-time pusher for a bar owner ... See full summary »
85. Broadcast News (1987)
R | 133 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Take two rival television reporters: one handsome, one talented, both male. Add one Producer, female. Mix well, and watch the sparks fly.
Votes: 23,215 | Gross: $51.25M
86. The Last Emperor (1987)
PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History
The story of the final Emperor of China.
Votes: 78,478 | Gross: $43.98M
87. Man Facing Southeast (1986)
R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery
A patient in a mental hospital claims to be an extraterrestial. Could he be right?
Votes: 3,064 | Gross: $0.73M
88. Gothic (1986)
R | 87 min | Horror
The Shelleys visit Lord Byron and compete to write a horror story.
Votes: 6,007 | Gross: $0.92M
89. Marlene (1984)
Unrated | 94 min | Documentary, Biography
Retrospective on the career of enigmatic screen diva Marlene Dietrich.
Votes: 627 | Gross: $0.85M
90. Chocolat (1988)
PG-13 | 105 min | Drama
A young French woman returns to the vast silence of West Africa to contemplate her childhood days in a colonial outpost in Cameroon. Her strongest memories are of the family's houseboy, ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,274 | Gross: $2.32M
91. Vagabond (1985)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Romance
A young woman's body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death.
92. Die Wannseekonferenz (1984 TV Movie)
87 min | Drama, History
A precise, real-time (exactly 85 minutes - the length of the actual event) reenactment of the infamous Wannsee Conference, a meeting called in January, 1942 to map out the implementation of... See full summary »
93. Summer (1986)
R | 99 min | Drama, Romance
It's July, and Delphine has nowhere to go for the summer. She feels very bored and "empty", but this won't last; one day she accidently meets someone who seems to be totally made for her...
Votes: 4,739 | Gross: $0.04M
94. Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980)
PG | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
The intersecting stories of three people who face difficult choices in life-changing situations are used to illustrate the theories espoused by Henri Laborit about human behavior and the relationship between the self and society.
95. Casualties of War (1989)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, War
During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.
Votes: 36,072 | Gross: $18.67M
96. Parenthood (1989)
PG-13 | 124 min | Comedy, Drama
The Buckmans are a midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse.
Votes: 38,588 | Gross: $100.05M
97. Moonstruck (1987)
PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Loretta Castorini, a bookkeeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she has agreed to marry.
Votes: 39,765 | Gross: $80.64M
98. Something Wild (1986)
R | 114 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up.
Votes: 13,463 | Gross: $8.36M
99. The Bear (1988)
PG | 96 min | Adventure, Family, Drama
An orphan bear cub hooks up with an adult male as they try to dodge human hunters.
Votes: 14,255 | Gross: $31.75M
100. Arthur (1981)
PG | 97 min | Comedy, Romance
Arthur is a happy drunk with no pretensions at any ambition. He is also the heir to a vast fortune which he is told will only be his if he marries Susan. He does not love Susan, but she ... See full summary »
Votes: 22,923 | Gross: $95.46M