My Favorite Films of the 1980s

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1.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world. (115 mins.)
“ Top of the list. ” - sapphiresky
 
2.
The Elephant Man (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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. (124 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
3.
The Breakfast Club (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought. (97 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
 
4.
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship. (96 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
 
5.
Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (124 mins.)
Director: Michael Apted
 
6.
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. (119 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
 
7.
The Goonies (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure. (114 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
8.
Witness (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
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. (112 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
 
9.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle. (100 mins.)
Director: Emile Ardolino
 
10.
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When Keith goes out with Amanda, the girl of his dreams, Amanda's ex-boyfriend plans to get back at Keith. Meanwhile, Keith's best friend, tomboy Watts, realizes she has feelings for Keith. (95 mins.)
Director: Howard Deutch
 
11.
The Shining (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (146 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
12.
Pretty in Pink (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A poor girl must choose between the affections of her doting childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy. (96 mins.)
Director: Howard Deutch
 
13.
Tightrope (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
New Orleans single dad and cop Wes Block goes after a serial rapist-killer but when he gets too close to the target the hunter suddenly becomes the hunted. (114 mins.)
Director: Richard Tuggle
 
14.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers. (110 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
15.
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities. (114 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
16.
Sudden Impact (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A rape victim is exacting revenge on her aggressors in a small town outside San Francisco. "Dirty" Harry Callahan, on suspension for angering his superiors (again), is assigned to the case. (117 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
17.
Urban Cowboy (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Bud is a young man from the country who learns about life and love in a Houston bar. (132 mins.)
Director: James Bridges
 
18.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. (115 mins.)
 
19.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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. (127 mins.)
 
20.
St. Elmo's Fire (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood. (110 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
 
21.
Child's Play (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A single mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer. (87 mins.)
Director: Tom Holland
 
22.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young beautician, newly arrived in a small Louisiana town, finds work at the local salon, where a small group of women share a close bond of friendship and welcome her into the fold. (117 mins.)
Director: Herbert Ross
 
23.
Rain Man (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country. (133 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
 
24.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with an obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion. (93 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
 
25.
La Bamba (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. (108 mins.)
Director: Luis Valdez
 
26.
Mask (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A teenager with a massive facial skull deformity and biker gang mother attempt to live as normal a life as possible under the circumstances. (120 mins.)
 
27.
The Trip to Bountiful (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In 1940s Texas, an elderly woman is determined to visit her childhood home for one last time. (108 mins.)
Director: Peter Masterson
 
28.
Gremlins (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. (106 mins.)
Director: Joe Dante
“ It's all about Gizmo. He's so cute. ” - sapphiresky
 
29.
The Untouchables (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team. (119 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
30.
Big (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. (104 mins.)
Director: Penny Marshall
“ Adorable, deliciously far-fetched early Hanks film. :) ” - sapphiresky
 
31.
Just One of the Guys (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Terry Griffith has got it all -- looks, popularity, the perfect college boyfriend, and an article that's... (90 mins.)
Director: Lisa Gottlieb
“ Love this movie. :) ” - sapphiresky
 
32.
Housekeeping (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In the Pacific Northwest in 1955, two young sisters, abandoned by their mother, wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie... (116 mins.)
Director: Bill Forsyth
“ Different, but an interesting watch for me. ” - sapphiresky
 
33.
Terms of Endearment (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love and her daughter's family problems. (132 mins.)
Director: James L. Brooks
 
34.
Children of a Lesser God (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice. (119 mins.)
Director: Randa Haines