The Best '80s British Movie

by ElMaruecan82 | created - 4 months ago | updated - 4 months ago | Public

They had the Cure, Genesis, Margaret Thatcher... and the movies. Indeed, if only for the many masterpieces that graced the silver screen, the British could proudly claim "Rule, Brittania! Brittania, rule... the screen!"

Which of these 1980s British movies is your personal favorite?

After voting, you may discuss the list here

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords




IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 47,954 | Gross: $58.97M

2. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 202,888 | Gross: $52.77M

3. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Crime

80 Metascore

In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.

Directors: Charles Crichton, John Cleese | Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin

Votes: 120,007 | Gross: $63.49M

4. Brazil (1985)

R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error and becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 171,639 | Gross: $9.93M

5. The Mission (1986)

PG | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Eighteenth century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn

Votes: 50,609 | Gross: $17.22M

6. Withnail & I (1987)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

In 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the countryside for a holiday that proves disastrous.

Director: Bruce Robinson | Stars: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown

Votes: 35,509 | Gross: $1.54M

7. Local Hero (1983)

PG | 111 min | Comedy, Drama

An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don't go as expected.

Director: Bill Forsyth | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson

Votes: 18,210 | Gross: $5.90M

8. 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.

Director: John Mackenzie | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman, Leo Dolan

Votes: 16,418

9. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

An ambitious Pakistani Briton and his white boyfriend strive for success and hope when they open a glamorous laundromat.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Richard Graham

Votes: 12,578 | Gross: $2.45M

10. My Left Foot (1989)

R | 103 min | Biography, Drama

97 Metascore

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan

Votes: 59,434 | Gross: $14.74M

11. Mona Lisa (1986)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A man recently released from prison manages to get a job driving a call girl from customer to customer.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine, Robbie Coltrane

Votes: 11,444 | Gross: $5.79M

12. A Room with a View (1985)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Romance

80 Metascore

When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Meeting... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott, Julian Sands

Votes: 35,011 | Gross: $20.97M

13. The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, History

A young artist is commissioned by the wife of a wealthy landowner to make a series of drawings of the estate while her husband is away.

Director: Peter Greenaway | Stars: Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman, Anne-Louise Lambert, Hugh Fraser

Votes: 8,005

14. Educating Rita (1983)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

52 Metascore

In London, twenty-seven year-old hairdresser Rita decides to complete her basic education before having children as desired by her husband Denny. She joins a literature course in an open ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Michael Williams, Maureen Lipman

Votes: 11,034 | Gross: $14.65M

15. Hope and Glory (1987)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A semi-autobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War 2. For a young boy, this time in history was ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sebastian Rice-Edwards, Geraldine Muir

Votes: 11,107 | Gross: $10.02M

16. 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.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands

Votes: 46,710 | Gross: $34.70M

17. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A film is being made of a story, set in 19th century England, about Charles, a biologist who's engaged to be married, but who falls in love with outcast Sarah, whose melancholy makes her ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae, Emily Morgan

Votes: 10,620 | Gross: $22.60M

18. The Meaning of Life (1983)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Musical

The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.

Directors: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam | Stars: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones

Votes: 101,420 | Gross: $14.93M

19. Gregory's Girl (1980)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Gregory is a normal teen who is infatuated with a classmate. He must work to win her affection.

Director: Bill Forsyth | Stars: John Gordon Sinclair, Dee Hepburn, Jake D'Arcy, Clare Grogan

Votes: 6,735

20. 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.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox, Zena Walker

Votes: 4,213 | Gross: $5.31M

21. A Passage to India (1984)

PG | 164 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox

Votes: 15,177 | Gross: $27.19M

22. Cry Freedom (1987)

PG | 157 min | Biography, Drama, History

59 Metascore

South African journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country, after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend, the black activist Steve Biko.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Josette Simon, Wabei Siyolwe

Votes: 11,313 | Gross: $5.90M

23. Shirley Valentine (1989)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

52 Metascore

Shirley's a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband's chip'n'egg, wondering what happened to her life. She compares scenes in ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Pauline Collins, Tom Conti, Julia McKenzie, Alison Steadman

Votes: 6,088 | Gross: $6.35M

24. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

NC-17 | 124 min | Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.

Director: Peter Greenaway | Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard

Votes: 30,943 | Gross: $7.72M

25. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 52,209 | Gross: $42.37M

26. Caravaggio (1986)

93 min | Biography, Drama, History

55 Metascore

A retelling of the life of the celebrated 17th-century painter through his brilliant, nearly blasphemous paintings and his flirtations with the underworld.

Director: Derek Jarman | Stars: Noam Almaz, Dexter Fletcher, Nigel Terry, Sean Bean

Votes: 4,538 | Gross: $0.00M

27. Burning an Illusion (1981)

101 min | Drama

A young black woman in England becomes increasingly frustrated with her life with her lazy, demanding boyfriend, and with the help of friends seeks something better.

Director: Menelik Shabazz | Stars: Cassie McFarlane, Victor Romero Evans, Beverley Martin, Angela Wynter

Votes: 81

28. Sid and Nancy (1986)

R | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Music

76 Metascore

The relationship between Sid Vicious, bassist for British punk group The Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen is portrayed.

Director: Alex Cox | Stars: Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Debby Bishop

Votes: 26,656 | Gross: $2.83M

29. 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 »

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski | Stars: Jeremy Irons, Eugene Lipinski, Jirí Stanislav, Eugeniusz Haczkiewicz

Votes: 2,268

30. Henry V (1989)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Biography, Drama

83 Metascore

In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd, James Larkin

Votes: 26,025 | Gross: $10.16M

31. Babylon (1980)

95 min | Drama

The movie centers around Brindsley Forde's character blue. He fronts a reggae sound system based in west London. The movie captures the trials and tribulations of young black youths in troubled London in the early eighties.

Director: Franco Rosso | Stars: David N. Haynes, Trevor Laird, Victor Romero Evans, Brian Bovell

Votes: 522

32. Maurice (1987)

R | 140 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

After his lover rejects him, a young man trapped by the oppressiveness of Edwardian society tries to come to terms with and accept his sexuality.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: James Wilby, Rupert Graves, Hugh Grant, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 13,538 | Gross: $3.13M

33. Wish You Were Here (1987)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama

In a staid English seaside town after the Second World War, young Lynda grows up with her widowed father and younger sister. Rebellious Lynda has been swearing constantly from an early age.... See full summary »

Director: David Leland | Stars: Emily Lloyd, Trudi Cavanagh, Clare Clifford, Barbara Durkin

Votes: 2,334 | Gross: $3.28M

34. Threads (1984 TV Movie)

112 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, War

92 Metascore

The effects of a nuclear holocaust on the working class city of Sheffield, England and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson | Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly, Rita May

Votes: 9,346

35. Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama

Realistic story of working class Yorkshire life. Two schoolgirls have a sexual fling with a married man. Serious and light-hearted by turns.

Director: Alan Clarke | Stars: Siobhan Finneran, Michelle Holmes, George Costigan, Lesley Sharp

Votes: 2,987 | Gross: $0.12M



Recently Viewed