Category: 1980’s Best Movies

BEST MOVIES OF THE 1980’S

When you think of the ’80s, a few images come to mind: shoulder pads, big hair, and all-cheesy-everything. However, the decade had more to contribute to pop culture than being known as the New Jersey of the 20th century. The 1980’s were also an era for incredible classic movies, ones that shifted the film industry as we know it. From John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club to Steven Spielberg’s E.T., the movies of the 1980’s not only shaped its generation, but inspired subsequent generations in every way imaginable.

Vision Quest (1985)

High school wrestler Louden Swain (Matthew Modine) feels he must do something significant in his life shortly after turning 18. Despite vehement advice against it from his father (Ronny Cox) and coach (Charles Hallahan), Swain decides to try to lose over 20 pounds in a very short time in an attempt to take on the defending state champion of a lower weight class. Meanwhile, he falls for the edgy, older Carla (Linda Fiorentino), who provides further distraction for the young wrestler.

Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the leader of Rydell High School's Pink Ladies, a gang of girls who are counterparts of the school's group of greasers called the T-Birds. Stephanie is tired of her relationship with top T-Bird Johnny Nogerelli (Adrian Zmed), so she breaks up with him and quickly catches the eye of English exchange student Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield). Hoping to win her over, Michael tries to overcome his nerdy ways while holding off the jealous Johnny.

Grease 2 (1982)

Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the leader of Rydell High School’s Pink Ladies, a gang of girls who are counterparts of the school’s group of greasers called the T-Birds. Stephanie is tired of her relationship with top T-Bird Johnny Nogerelli (Adrian Zmed), so she breaks up with him and quickly catches the eye of English exchange student Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield). Hoping to win her over, Michael tries to overcome his nerdy ways while holding off the jealous Johnny.

Repo Man (1984)

After being fired from his job, Los Angeles slacker and punk rocker Otto (Emilio Estevez) lands a gig working for an eccentric repossession agent named Bud (Harry Dean Stanton). At first, Otto is reluctant to work as a repo man, but he grows to love the fast-paced job. After learning of a Chevy Malibu that has been given a $20,000 price tag, Otto embarks on a quest to find the car with the beautiful Leila (Olivia Barash), who claims the trunk’s contents are otherworldly.

Crocodile Dundee (1986)

A New York reporter heads to Australia to interview the living legend Mike Dundee (Paul Hogan). When she finally locates him, she is so taken with him that she brings him back with her to New York. In New York, Mike Dundee is amazed by the wonders of the city and the interesting people there.

After avenging the death of his wife and young son at the hands of a vicious gang leader, Max (Mel Gibson) drives the post-apocalyptic highways of the Australian outback, fending off attacks from nomadic tribes that prey on outsiders. Falling into an encampment led by the relatively peaceful Pappagallo (Mike Preston), Max at first schemes to steal their oil, but soon becomes the group’s reluctant defender against the hulking Humungus (Kjell Nilsson) and his ruthless marauders.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

When we recorded this episode, the Coronavirus pandemic had just begun. Four weeks later, listener Jeremy’s commission gives us the timely 1981 post-apocalyptic Mad Max: Road Warrior. In this episode, Gene points out the worst choice of vehicle in a gas shortage and we discover the science of boomerangs and their connection to a lonely childhood and answer the question of who from the pod would be whom if cast in this movie. And, to wrap it all up, we get in a goodbye to every listener just in case the virus overtakes us all before we hit publish.

Based on the popular board game, this comedy begins at a dinner party hosted by Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving), where he admits to blackmailing his visitors. These guests, who have been given aliases, are Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), Mr. Green (Michael McKean), professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn) and Col. Mustard (Martin Mull). When Boddy turns up murdered, all are suspects, and together they try to figure out who is the killer.

Clue (1985)

Based on the popular board game, this comedy begins at a dinner party hosted by Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving), where he admits to blackmailing his visitors. These guests, who have been given aliases, are Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), Mr. Green (Michael McKean), professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn) and Col. Mustard (Martin Mull). When Boddy turns up murdered, all are suspects, and together they try to figure out who is the killer.

Motorcycle racer Lyle Swann (Fred Ward) is cruising through the Mexican desert when he accidentally stumbles into a time-travel experiment and finds himself transported back to the Old West of the 1870s. There he encounters an attractive local woman (Belinda Bauer) and a gang of criminals led by Porter Reese (Peter Coyote). Lyle’s motorized bike is impressive in the past — until it runs out of gas. Now Lyle must rely on his wits to take care of business and return to his own time.

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982)

Motorcycle racer Lyle Swann (Fred Ward) is cruising through the Mexican desert when he accidentally stumbles into a time-travel experiment and finds himself transported back to the Old West of the 1870s. There he encounters an attractive local woman (Belinda Bauer) and a gang of criminals led by Porter Reese (Peter Coyote). Lyle’s motorized bike is impressive in the past — until it runs out of gas. Now Lyle must rely on his wits to take care of business and return to his own time.

Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, Donna Dixon, Bruce Davison, Terry Gilliam, Frank Oz, Vanessa Angel, Bernie Casey, Charles McKeown, William Prince, Bob Hope, Joel Coen, Sam Raimi, Martin Brest, Tom Hatten, James Daughton, Jim Staahl, Bjarne Thomsen, Sergei Rusakov, Costa-Gavras, Seva Novgorodtsev, Stephen Hoye, Ray Harryhausen, Mark Stewart, Sean Daniel, Jeff Harding, Heidi Sorenson, Margo Random, Douglas Lambert, Christopher Malcolm, Terrance Conder, Matt Frewer, Tony Cyrus, Gusti Bogok, Derek Meddings, Robert Paynter, Gurdial Sira, Michael Apted, B.B. King, Larry Cohen, Ricco Ross, Richard D. Sharp, Stuart Milligan, Sally Anlauf, John Daveikis, Laurence Bilzerian, Richard Kruk, Heather Henson, Erin Folsey, Bob Swaim, Nancy Gair, Guy Standeven

Spies Like Us (1985)

Looking for a way out of their mundane government jobs, Austin Millbarge (Dan Aykroyd) and Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase) take the entrance exam for a CIA espionage program. Immediately chosen to take part in a top-secret mission in the Middle East by the officious Gen. Sline (Steve Forrest), the new recruits are set upon by Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Soon it becomes clear that the hapless pair are being used as decoys to expose the Russians for a Cold War nuclear showdown.

Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda Wyss). When Beth dumps Lane, he decides to kill himself, making bumbling attempts at suicide. Outside of his morbid endeavors, Lane spends time with his oddball buddy, Charles (Curtis Armstrong), and befriends Monique (Diane Franklin), a visiting French student. Eventually, Lane resolves to race Beth’s obnoxious new beau on the ski slopes, with unexpected results.

Better Off Dead (1985)

Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda Wyss). When Beth dumps Lane, he decides to kill himself, making bumbling attempts at suicide. Outside of his morbid endeavors, Lane spends time with his oddball buddy, Charles (Curtis Armstrong), and befriends Monique (Diane Franklin), a visiting French student. Eventually, Lane resolves to race Beth’s obnoxious new beau on the ski slopes, with unexpected results.

Following the death of his wife, Los Angeles police detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) becomes reckless and suicidal. When he is reassigned and partnered with Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), Riggs immediately clashes with the older officer. Together they uncover a massive drug-trafficking ring. As they encounter increasingly dangerous situations, Riggs and Murtaugh begin to form a bond. Riggs' volatile behavior might just help them apprehend the criminals -- if it doesn't kill them both first.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

Following the death of his wife, Los Angeles police detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) becomes reckless and suicidal. When he is reassigned and partnered with Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), Riggs immediately clashes with the older officer. Together they uncover a massive drug-trafficking ring. As they encounter increasingly dangerous situations, Riggs and Murtaugh begin to form a bond. Riggs’ volatile behavior might just help them apprehend the criminals — if it doesn’t kill them both first.