Richard Corliss's Top Tens of 1980 - 1997by kingwilson | created - 27 May 2011 | updated - 27 May 2011 | Public
I've only seen these lists on the net, but man oh man would I love to read some of his original articles on this stuff!
1996 has no list.
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1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Altered States (1980)
R | 102 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically.
Votes: 26,875 | Gross: $19.85M
4. Heart Beat (1980)
R | 110 min | Drama
The life and friendship between the icons of the Beat Generation - Neal Cassady, Carloyn Cassady and Jack Kerouac.
5. 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: 266,035 | Gross: $23.38M
6. Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979)
R | 104 min | Drama
Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.
Votes: 1,764 | Gross: $2.00M
7. Best Boy (1979)
111 min | Documentary, Biography
In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his retarded, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period.
8. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Biographical story of Loretta Lynn, a legendary country singer that came from poverty to worldwide fame. She rose from humble beginnings in Kentucky to superstardom and changing the sound and style of country music forever.
Votes: 14,251 | Gross: $67.18M
9. Roadie (1980)
PG | 106 min | Comedy, Music
A young Texas good ol' boy has a knack with electronic equipment, and that talent gets him a job as a roadie with a raucous travelling rock-and-roll show.
Votes: 946 | Gross: $4.23M
10. Mad Max (1979)
R | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.
Votes: 167,391 | Gross: $8.75M
11. The Mystery of Oberwald (1980)
129 min | Drama, Romance
A hunted man breaks into the castle at Oberwald to kill the Queen, but faints before doing so. He is Sebastian, the splitting image of the King who was assassinated on his wedding day. The ... See full summary »
12. Thief (1981)
R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.
Votes: 19,214 | Gross: $11.49M
13. Reds (1981)
PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.
Votes: 18,055 | Gross: $40.38M
14. Napoleon (1927)
240 min | Biography, Drama, History
A film about the French general's youth and early military career.
1981 #4. Re-release.
15. Body Heat (1981)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.
Votes: 25,780 | Gross: $24.06M
16. 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: 50,709 | Gross: $34.97M
17. 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: 748,007 | Gross: $248.16M
18. Let There Be Light (1946)
Not Rated | 58 min | Documentary, War
A group of mentally traumatized veteran patients is followed as they go through psychiatric treatment.
1981 #8. Re-release.
19. Taxi zum Klo (1980)
Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Frank Ripploh is a bit of a rascal: he's a bearded and shaggy-haired teacher, and he's gay with a very active sex life and an interest in making films. He keeps his personal life and ... See full summary »
20. Alligator (1980)
R | 91 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.
21. 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: 315,013 | Gross: $435.11M
22. Moonlighting (1982)
PG | 97 min | Drama
A Polish contractor, Nowak, leads a group of workmen to London so they can provide cheap labor for a government official based there. Nowak (Irons) has to manage the project and the men as ... See full summary »
23. 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: 147,113 | Gross: $12.47M
24. Brideshead Revisited (1981)
659 min | Drama, Romance
Two young men meet at Oxford. Charles Ryder, though of no family or money, becomes friends with Sebastian Flyte when Sebastian throws up in his college room through an open window. He then ... See full summary »
25. Diner (1982)
R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama
A group of college-age buddies struggle with their imminent passage into adulthood in 1959 Baltimore.
Votes: 16,319 | Gross: $14.10M
26. Poltergeist (1982)
PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller
A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.
Votes: 119,773 | Gross: $76.61M
27. Blade Runner (1982)
R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
Votes: 573,885 | Gross: $27.00M
28. Veronika Voss (1982)
R | 104 min | Drama
A washed up UFA actress, kept by her doctor, raises suspicion in a sports journalist.
29. 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: 84,715 | Gross: $177.20M
30. Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982)
R | 82 min | Documentary, Comedy
Richard Pryor performs his stand-up comedy act on the Sunset Strip.
Votes: 3,200 | Gross: $36.30M
31. Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980– )
Not Rated | 931 min | Crime, Drama
In late-1920s Berlin, Franz Biberkopf is released from prison and vows to go straight; however he soon finds himself embroiled in the city's criminal underworld.
32. The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982)
R | 105 min | Drama, Romance, War
The Night of San Lorenzo, the night of the shooting stars, is the night when dreams come true in Italian folklore. In 1944, a group of Italians flee their town after hearing rumours that ... See full summary »
33. The Big Chill (1983)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama
A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends.
Votes: 28,208 | Gross: $56.20M
34. 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: 49,348 | Gross: $21.50M
35. Terms of Endearment (1983)
PG | 132 min | Comedy, Drama
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter's family problems.
Votes: 45,703 | Gross: $108.42M
36. Heart Like a Wheel (1983)
PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
Shirley Muldowney is determined to be a top-fuel drag racer, although no woman has ever raced them before. Despite the high risks of this kind of racing and the burden it places on her ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,085 | Gross: $0.27M
37. Boat People (1982)
R | 109 min | Drama
A Japanese photojournalist revisits Vietnam after the Liberation and learns harsh truths about its regime and its "New Economic Zones".
38. Christine (1983)
R | 110 min | Horror
A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.
Votes: 57,233 | Gross: $21.20M
39. Yentl (1983)
PG | 133 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
A Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy to enter religious training.
Votes: 10,527 | Gross: $40.22M
1983 #9 (1983 has no #10 listed)
40. After the Rehearsal (1984 TV Movie)
R | 70 min | Drama
Rational, exacting, and self-controlled theater director, Henrik Vogler, often stays after rehearsal to think and plan. On this day, Anna comes back, ostensibly looking for a bracelet. She ... See full summary »
41. L'Argent (1983)
Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama
A forged 500-franc note is passed from person to person until carelessness leads to tragedy.
42. Crimes of Passion (1984)
R | 107 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
A mysterious woman, fashion designer by day, prostitute by night, and accused of murder, is hounded by two men: a married father of two, and a sexually repressed preacher.
Votes: 5,296 | Gross: $2.91M
43. An Englishman Abroad (1983 TV Movie)
61 min | Drama
Actress Coral Browne travels to Moscow, and meets a mysterious Englishman. Turns out he's the notorious spy, Guy Burgess. Based on a true story, with Ms. Browne playing herself.
44. Entre Nous (1983)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Drama, War
In 1942 in occupied France, a Jewish refugee marries a soldier to escape deportation to Germany. Meanwhile a wealthy art student loses her first husband to a stray Resistance bullet; at the... See full summary »
45. Gremlins (1984)
PG | 106 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.
Votes: 163,751 | Gross: $148.17M
46. 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: 253,788 | Gross: $5.32M
47. Places in the Heart (1984)
PG | 111 min | Drama
In central Texas in the 1930s, a widow, with two small children, tries to run her small 40-acre farm with the help of two disparate people.
Votes: 8,727 | Gross: $34.90M
48. Un dimanche à la campagne (1984)
G | 90 min | Drama
An elderly painter whose son visits with his family on the weekends, is also surprised by a visit from his still-single daughter.
Votes: 1,806 | Gross: $2.41M
49. The Terminator (1984)
R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
Votes: 678,337 | Gross: $38.40M
50. 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: 849,328 | Gross: $210.61M
51. 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: 74,533 | Gross: $2.15M
52. The Book of Mary (1985)
28 min | Short, Drama
Marie, eleven years old, is experiencing difficult times. Her parents will separate. The perception of her universe is profoundly disturbed. This exacting portrait of a child immerses in ... See full summary »
53. Brazil (1985)
R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error, and becomes an enemy of the state.
Votes: 166,543 | Gross: $9.93M
54. Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985)
PG | 88 min | Comedy
In San Francisco, an immigrant Chinese widow welcomes the new year with some unhappiness: she's 62 now, she wants to make a trip to China to pay last respects to her ancestors, a fortune ... See full summary »
55. Into the Night (1985)
R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller
A discouraged man gets caught up in the dangerous activities of a woman on the run.
Votes: 8,797 | Gross: $7.56M
56. Out of Africa (1985)
PG | 161 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.
Votes: 59,560 | Gross: $87.10M
57. 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: 40,695 | Gross: $10.63M
58. 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: 89,861 | Gross: $3.52M
59. Wetherby (1985)
R | 102 min | Drama, Mystery
The mysterious death of an enigmatic young man newly arrived in the suburb of Wetherby releases the long-repressed, dark passions of some of its residents.
Votes: 1,208 | Gross: $1.30M
60. The Fly (1986)
R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.
Votes: 134,165 | Gross: $40.46M
61. The Sacrifice (1986)
PG | 149 min | Drama
At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return.
Votes: 17,429 | Gross: $0.30M
62. Kaos (1984)
R | 188 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Five stories by Luigi Pirandello set in turn-of-the-century Italy.
Votes: 2,062 | Gross: $0.33M
63. Shadowlands (1985 TV Movie)
92 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
Noted author and scholar finds love, then must endure its loss...
64. The Color of Money (1986)
R | 119 min | Drama, Sport
Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.
Votes: 63,950 | Gross: $52.29M
65. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Peggy Sue faints at a high school reunion. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her own past, just before she finished school.
Votes: 29,055 | Gross: $41.38M
66. Bliss (1985)
R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama
After a near-death experience, a man wonders if he actually did die and is now in Hell.
Votes: 1,136 | Gross: $0.66M
67. True Stories (1986)
PG | 90 min | Musical, Comedy
A small but growing Texas town, filled with strange and musical characters, celebrates its sesquicentennial and converge on a local parade and talent show.
Votes: 4,004 | Gross: $2.55M
68. No Surrender (1985)
R | 100 min | Comedy
A scheduling mixup means two groups of old-timers have reserved the same bar for a party on the same night. The situation is trickier than expected since the bar is in Liverpool, and one ... See full summary »
69. Dancing in the Dark (1986)
PG-13 | 93 min | Drama
1986 #10 (tie)
70. Heartburn (1986)
R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama
A food writer pregnant with her second baby finds out her husband is having an affair.
Votes: 7,814 | Gross: $25.31M
1986 #10 (tie)
71. 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: 23,300 | Gross: $51.25M
72. Empire of the Sun (1987)
PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War
A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.
Votes: 99,503 | Gross: $22.24M
73. Innerspace (1987)
PG | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.
Votes: 46,468 | Gross: $25.89M
74. The Last Emperor (1987)
PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History
The story of the final Emperor of China.
Votes: 78,927 | Gross: $43.98M
75. 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: 332,283 | Gross: $30.86M
76. Project X (1987)
PG | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi
An Air Force pilot joins a top secret military experiment involving chimps, but begins to suspect there might be something more to the mysterious "Project X".
Votes: 9,058 | Gross: $18.53M
77. Raising Arizona (1987)
PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Crime
When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.
Votes: 110,010 | Gross: $22.85M
78. Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987)
101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Sammy and Rosie are an unconventional middle-class London married couple. They live in the midst of inner-city chaos, surround themselves with intellectual street people, and sleep with ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,244 | Gross: $1.20M
The Storyteller (1987– )
Hans My Hedgehog
TV-G | 24 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
A farmer's wife wishes to have a child so badly she doesn't care what it looked like. And as if by a miracle, she does get pregnant but the child, Hans, looks like a cross between a human ... See full summary »
80. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
R | 118 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted, at a cost, when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives.
Votes: 53,118 | Gross: $63.77M
81. The Singing Detective (1986)
415 min | Drama, Musical, Mystery
Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.
82. 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: 53,209 | Gross: $3.21M
83. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
R | 164 min | Drama
The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.
Votes: 43,734 | Gross: $7.63M
84. Pelle the Conqueror (1987)
PG-13 | 157 min | Drama
The end of the 19th century. A boat filled with Swedish emigrants comes to the Danish island of Bornholm. Among them are Lasse and his son Pelle who move to Denmark to find work. They find ... See full summary »
Votes: 8,630 | Gross: $2.05M
85. Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Drama
The story of Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept.
Votes: 12,704 | Gross: $19.65M
86. Beetlejuice (1988)
PG | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy
When a recently-deceased ghost couple find their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them.
Votes: 213,951 | Gross: $73.71M
87. Monkey Shines (1988)
R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
A quadriplegic man has a trained monkey help him with his paralysis, until the little monkey begins to develop feelings, and rage, against its new master.
Votes: 8,883 | Gross: $5.34M
88. Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
R | 119 min | Drama, Romance
A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman.
Votes: 57,037 | Gross: $34.70M
89. Biloxi Blues (1988)
PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama
A group of young recruits go through boot camp during the Second World War in Biloxi, Mississippi. From the play by Neil Simon.
Votes: 12,759 | Gross: $43.18M
90. Oliver & Company (1988)
G | 74 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A lost and alone kitten joins a gang of dogs engaged in petty larceny in New York City.
Votes: 36,618 | Gross: $74.15M
91. Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
PG-13 | 85 min | Drama, Music
The second film in Terence Davies's autobiographical series ('Trilogy', 'The Long Day Closes') is an impressionistic view of a working-class family in 1940s and 1950s Liverpool, based on ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,703 | Gross: $0.69M
92. 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: 194,831 | Gross: $111.54M
93. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
R | 100 min | Drama
A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.
Votes: 41,885 | Gross: $24.74M
94. Orapronobis (1989)
R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama
In 1985, in the obscure town of Santa Filomena, the Orapronobis, a cult under the leadership of Kumander Kontra (Roco), murders a foreign priest who gave the last rites to an alleged rebel,... See full synopsis »
95. 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: 586,067 | Gross: $197.17M
96. How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)
R | 90 min | Comedy, Fantasy
Dennis Dimbleby Bagley is a brilliant young advertising executive who can't come up with a slogan to sell a revolutionary new pimple cream. His obsessive worrying affects not only his ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,692 | Gross: $0.42M
97. Story of Women (1988)
108 min | Drama, Romance
Marie Latour, a woman of limited schooling, raises two children in a ratty flat during World War II in occupied France. In 1941, her husband Paul returns from German captivity, too weak to ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,216 | Gross: $0.44M
98. Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)
PG | 100 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A Southern California girl befriends three furry aliens after their spaceship lands in her swimming pool.
Votes: 17,697 | Gross: $3.92M
99. 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: 166,183 | Gross: $92.82M
100. Heathers (1988)
R | 103 min | Comedy
In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.
Votes: 70,170 | Gross: $1.11M