Favourite Movie From Each Year Of The 1980s


A List

1980 - The Empire Strikes Back
1981 - Gallipoli

1982 - Blade Runner

1983 - Scar Face
1984 - Bevely Hills Cop
1985 - The Breakfast Club
1986 - Platoon and The Mission can’t split these two materpieces

1987 - Empire of the Sun
1988 - Die Hard
1989 - Glory

B List

1980 - Stir Crazy

1981 - Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982 - A Officer and a Gentleman
1983 - Risky Business
1984 - The Karate Kid
1985 - Clue
1986 - Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
1987 - Full Metal Jacket

1988 - Rain Man
1989 - Henry V


Same methodology as for the earlier threads, but where a film is an all-time favourite I’ve added an asterisk. Unlike @swoodly I think the 80s produced some great films, although a couple of years were very thin.

Favourite: The Long Good Friday, The Elephant Man
Others: Dressed to Kill, Melvin and Howard

1981: Diva
Others: Atlantic City, Body Heat, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Gregory’s Girl

Favourite: Blade Runner*, The Verdict*
Others: The Year of Living Dangerously, Sophie’s Choice, Missing

Favourite: Local Hero*
Others: Risky Business

Favourite: The Natural, Paris Texas, The Terminator
Others: This is Spinal Tap

Favourite: None really
Others: Cocoon, A Room with a View, Witness, Pale Rider, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Jagged Edge

Favourite: Aliens*, Hannah and her Sisters*
Others: The Fly, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Something Wild

1987: Babette’s Feast*, The Big Easy, Broadcast News
Others: Au revoir les enfants, Fatal Attraction. Wings of Desire, Withnail and I, Wall Street, The Untouchables, Predator

Favourite: A Fish Called Wanda*
Others: Dangerous Liaisons, The Vanishing (Dutch version, not the terrible Hollywood remake), Working Girl, Rain Man

[This year has been edited because somehow I got my years mixed up.]

Favourite: Crimes and Misdemeanours*
Others: The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover, Field of Dreams, When Harry Met Sally


I only like Cook, Thief for the bathroom scene.
Did nothing for me, but…
I didn’t complain.


1980 Caddyshack
1981 Stripes
1982 Blade Runner, Rocky III
1983 Strange Brew
1984 This is Spinal Tap, Ghostbusters
1985 The Breakfast Club, Back to the Future
1986 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
1987 Spaceballs, Raising Arizona
1988 Rain Man, Coming to America
1989 Back to the Future II


Mrs Wim

1980 Flying High
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982 E.T.
1983 The Outsiders
1984 Top Secret (Police Academy honourable mention)
1985 The Breakfast Club
1986 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (The Money Pit honourable mention)
1987 The Princess Bride (honourable mention Fatal Attraction)
1988 Heathers (Mrs Wim is prepared to fight me on the year for this…honourable mention Die Hard)
1989 Meet the Feebles (honourable mention Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure)


As with the other decades, my favourites for each l have numbered as 1. This decade has supplied most of my all time fave movies, probably 8 of my top 10.

1980’s Films


  1. The Stunt Man. Adapted and directed by Richard Rush with Peter O’Toole, Barbara Hershey, Steve Railsback, Alex Rocco, Allen Garfield, Chuck Bail & Philip Burns.

  2. Kagemusha. Co–written and directed by Akira Kurosawa with Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kinechi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu, Hideji Otaki, Daisuke Ryu, Masayuki Yui, Kaori Momoi, Mitsuko Baisho, Takashi Shimuri & Kamatari Fujiwara.

  3. Flying High (aka Airplane). Written & directed by Abrahams, Zucker & Zucker with Robert Hayes, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges & Robert Stack.

  4. Where the Buffalo Roam. Directed by Art Linson with Bill Murray (Dr. Hunter S. Thompson), Peter Boyle, R.G. Armstong, Rene Auberjonois & Bruno Kirby.

The Blues Brothers. Directed by John Landis with John Belushi, Dan Aykryod, Cab Calloway, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Steve Cropper, John Lee Hooker & Ray Charles.

Breaker Morant. Directed by Bruce Beresford with Edward Woodward, Bran Brown & Jack Thompson.

Bad Timing. Written by Yale Udoff. Directed by Nicolas Roeg with Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell & Harvey Keitel.

Tom Horn. Directed by William Wiard with Steve McQueen, Linda Evans, Richard Farnsworth, Billy Green Bush & Slim Pickens.


  1. Das Boot (The Boat). Directed by Wolfgang Peterson with Jurgen Prochnow.

  2. lndiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark. Written by George Lucas. Directed by Steven Spielberg with Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, John Rhys – Davies & Denholm Elliott.

  3. The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Written by John Fowles (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay).

Directed by Karel Reisz with Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons & Hilton McRae.

  1. Body Heat. Directed by Lawrence Kasden with William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Mickey Rourke & Ted Danson.

Thief. Directed by Michael Mann with James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Robert Prosky, Tom Signorelli & Dennis Farina.


  1. Blade Runner. Directed by Ridley Scott with Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Darryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos, Brion James, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong, William Sanderson, Morgan Paull & M. Emmett Walsh.

  2. Gandhi. Directed by Richard Attenborough with Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen, Edward Fox & Candice Bergen.

  3. Tootsie. Written by Larry Gelbart. Directed by Sydney Pollack with Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Bill Murray & Charles Durning.

  4. The Year of Living Dangerously. Directed by Peter Weir with Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Noel Ferrier & Linda Hunt.

Fitzcoraldo. German production. Written and directed by Werner Herzog with Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy, Grande Otelo & Peter Berling.

Tron. Directed by Steven Lisberger with Bruce Boxleitner, Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Cindy Morgan & Bernard Hughes.

Videodrome. Written and directed by David Cronenberg with James Woods, Sonja Smits, Deborah Harry.

  1. Runaway Train. Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, co–written by Edward Bunker. Directed by Andrei Konchalovski with Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, John P. Ryan, Kyle Heffner , T.K. Carter, Stacey Pickren, Edward Bunker, Danny Trejo, Tom ‘Tiny’ Lister & Kenneth McMillan.

  2. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. Directed by Nagisa Oshima with David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuchi Sakamoto, Takeshi & Jack Thompson.

  3. The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Novel by John Fowles, Screenplay by Harold Pinter. Directed by Karel Reisz with Merryl Streep, Jeremy lrons, Hilton McRay, Emily Morgan, Charlotte Mitchell, Lynsey Baxter, Jean Foulds, Peter Vaughan & Leo McKern.

  4. Gorky Park. Directed by Michael Apted with William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Joanne Pakula, Brian Dennehy, Ian Brannen, Michael Elphick, Richard Griffiths, Ricky Fulton, Alexander Know & Alexei Sayle.

Risky Business. Directed by Paul Brickman with Tom Cruise, William Atherton, Joe Pantoliano & Rebecca De Mornay.

Baby, It’s You. Directed by John Sayles with Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano & Joanna Merlin.

A Chinese Ghost Story, Part 1. Screenplay by Yuen Kai Chi. Directed by Ching Siu Tung with Leslie Cheung, ■■■■ Tsu Hsien & Wo Ma.

El Norte. Written and directed by Gregory Nava with Zaide Silva Gutierrez, David Villalpando, Ernesto Gomez Cruz, Alicia Del Lago & Miguel Gomez Giron.


  1. The Never Ending Story. Directed by Wolfgang Peterson with Noah Hathaway, Barrett Oliver, Tami Stronach, Patricia Hayes & Sydney Bromley.

  2. Smashing Mirrors. (aka Gebroken Spiegels). Dutch production. Written and directed by Marleen Gorris with Lineke Rijxman, Henriëtte Tol, Edda Barends, Coby Stunnenberg & Anke Van’t Hof. |

  3. lndiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Directed by Steven Spielberg with Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, John Rhys – Davies & Denholm Elliott.

  4. Blood Simple. Debut movie written and directed by the Coen brothers with France McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stomayr, Dan Hedaya & M. Emmett Walsh.

Terminator. (1) Directed by James Cameron with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Beihn & Linda Hamilton.

The Legend of Surami Fortress. Directed by Sergei Paradjanov with Veriko Andzhaparidze, Dodo Abashidze, Sofiko Chiaureli, Dedukhana Tserodze, Tamar Tsitsishvili & Zurab Kipshidze.

Body Double. Directed by Brain De Palma Melanie Griffith, Craig Wasson & Deborah Shelton.

This is Spinal Tap. Directed by Christopher Guest.


  1. Brazil. Screenplay Written by Tom Stoppard & Charles McKeown. Directed by Terry Gilliam with Jonathon Pryce, Kim Weisz, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Bob Hoskins, Katherine Helmond, Peter Vaughan, Robert De Niro, Ian Richardson & Jim Broadbent.

  2. Ran. Kurosawa’s adaptation of King Lear. Directed by Akira Kurosawa with Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû, Mieko Harada & Yoshiko Miyazaki.

  3. Back To the Future 1. Directed by Robert Zemeckis with Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd & Lea Thompson.

  4. After Hours. Directed by Martin Scorsese with Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette Verna Bloom. Terri Garr, Will Patton, Cheech & Chong.

My Life as a Dog. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom with Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Brömssen, Anki Lidén, Melinda Kinnaman, Kicki Rundgren.

Insignificance. Directed by Nicholas Roeg with Michael Emil, Theresa Russel, Gary Busey, Tony Curtis & Will Sampson.

Letter to Brezhnev. Directed by Chris Bernard with Peter Firth, Alfred Molina, Tracy Marshak-Nash & Alexandra Pigg.


  1. Manhunter. Directed by Michael Mann with William Peterson, Kim Griest, Brian Cox, Dennis

Farina, Joan Allen, Stephen Lang, Frankie Faison & Tom Noonan.

  1. Stand By Me. Directed by Rob Reiner with Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell & Kiefer Sutherland.

  2. The Mission. Directed by Roland Joffe with Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, F. Murray Abraham and Cherrie Lunghi.

  3. Jean De Florette. Directed by Claude Berrl with Yves Montand, Gerard Depardieu & Daniel Auteuil.

The Adventures of Milo & Otis. Written and directed by Masanori Hata, narrated by Dudley Moore.

El lmperio de la Fortuna. Directed by Arturo Ripstein with Ernesto Gomez Cruz, Blanche Guerra, Alejandro Parodi & Zaide Silvia Gutierrez.

Something Wild. Directed by Jonathon Demme with Ray Liotta & Melanie Griffith.


  1. The Last Emperor. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci with John Lone, Joan Chen, Ryuichi Sakamoto & Peter O’Toole.

  2. Predator. Directed by John McTiernan with Arnold Schwazenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, R.G. Armstrong & Shane Black.

  3. Cry Freedom with Denzel Washington. Written by Donald Woods. Directed by Richard Attenborough with Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Josette Simon, John Thaw & Penelope Wilton.

  4. Raising Arizona. Written and directed by the Coen Brothers with Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Jon Goodman, William Forsythe, Tex Cobb & Frances McDormand.

Persepolis. Written by Marjane Satrapi (comic), Vincent Paronnaud (scenario). Directed by Vincent with Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve & Gena Rowlands.


  1. The Big Blue. Directed by Luc Besson with Jean Reno, Jean – Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette, Paul Shenar, Sergio Castellitto, Jean Bouise, Marc Duret & Griffin Dunne.

  2. The Bear. From the book by Oliver Curwood. Directed by Jean–Jacques Annaud with Bart and Youk the bears, Tcheky Karyo, Jack Wallace & Andre Lacombe.

  3. Salaam Bombay. Directed by Mira Nair with Shafiq Syed, Raghubir Yadav, Nana Patekar, Irshad Hashmi & Hansa Vithal.

  4. My Neighbor Totoro. Animation directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

The Lighthorsemen. Directed by Simon Wincer with Peter Phelps, Shane Briant, Bill Kerr, Tony Bonner, Serge Lazareff, Gary Sweet, Sigrid Thornton, Anthony Andrews, Anthony Hawkins & Gerard Kennedy.

Grave of the Fireflies. Animation. Directed by Isao Takahata with Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shitaishi, Yoshiko Shinohara & Akemi Yamaguchi.


  1. Field of Dreams. Directed by Phil Robinson with Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta & Burt Lancaster.

  2. lndiana Jones – And The Last Crusade. Directed by Steven Spielberg with Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Allison Moody, John Rhys – Davies, River Phoenix & Denholm Elliott.

  3. Back To the Future 3. Directed by Robert Zemeckis with Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd & Mary Steenbergen.

  4. When Harry Met Sally. Directed by Rob Reiner with Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher & Bruno Kirby.

The Truman Show. Directed by Peter Weir with Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney & Natasha McEllhorne.

Red Heat. Story, production and direction by Walter Hill with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O’Ross, Larry Fishbourne & Gina Gershon.

Body Heat. With William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Ted Danson & Mickey Rourke.


Slow down CJ…they’re for the next thread in the series :wink:


1980 - Flying High
1981 - The French Lieutenant’s Woman
1982 - Sophie’s Choice (my Meryl Streep obsession continues)
1983 - National Lampoon’s Vacation
1984 - The Terminator
1985 - Out of Africa (“I had a farm in Aaaafrica”. Yes, Meryl again. I know. Shut up!)
1986 - Crocodile Dundee
1987 - Good Morning Vietnam
1988 - A Fish Called Wanda
1989 - Field of Dreams


Save that one for next decade.


Was that ‘88? Dang, I had it in as ‘89 and Die Hard ‘88. Now I’m in a fix.


LMW is determined to have it as her 1989 movie.
I dunno.


IMDb has it as a 1988 movie but then shows it as being released in the US in March 1989

(Further investigation shows an Italian release date of October 1988)


Yeah just read that. I’m comfortable with 1989.


This what happens when you cut and past in haste, you get ahead of yourself.


Suspect that Shakespeare in Love wasn’t 1988 either.


1980 flying high
81 porkies
82 flying high 2
83 yellowbeard
84 spinal tap
85 back to the future
86 footrot flats
87 predator/spaceballs*
88 die hard/the naked gun*
89 Batman

*cannot be seperated logistically, emotionally or cerebral euphorically.


88 midnight run


80 Flying High
81 American Warewolf in London
82 Monkey Grip
83 The Outsiders
84 Once Upon A Time In America
85 The Breakfast Club
86 Youngblood (yep, cheesy AF with classic 80s movie montage)
87 Lethal Weapon
88 Heathers
89 Road House


80- empire strikes back
81- raiders of the lost ark
82-the thing
83- return of the Jedi
84- the terminator ( though the first police academy is very entertaining)
85- witness/ breakfast club( can’t split them)
87- pradator( this was insanely hard, I loved both lethal weapon and The untouchables)
88- die hard/ missipi burning- can’t split them. Both brilliant films
89- Indiana Jones and the last crusade. Though the Burbs is very entertaining and The Abyss and Black Rain are very very underrated


I love just about all the movies on your list but I’ve never seen Monkey grip - makes me think I need to check it out. Does it still hold up today?