Tossin’ It Out There: What are YOUR Favorites Films From the 1980s?

Ok everyone, it’s time for this week’s “Tossin’ It Out There”!

Now, for all of our new friends who found us last week through the Stallone/Schwarzenegger poll, NO, this is not a retro blog. LOL. I do talk about things OTHER than the 80s! 😀

But we have been working on the “80s Movie Draft” for the (title pending) Movie Podcast, and I thought that I would give everyone a chance to sound off… put the blood in the water, so to speak.

The 1980s was a great decade for movies. Action movies, slasher flicks, John Hughes movies, some great franchises, MORE action flicks… there’s no shortage of movies to choose from. Trust me, we just did an exercise in it. 😀 From “Airplane!” to “Zelig”  the 80s covered the bases, as the poster embed illustrates.

So which are your favorites? Try not to get carried away and list hundreds for us… but say YOU were prepping for an 80s draft… which movies would be YOUR must haves? What would you grab in the first rounds? LOL.

Some monster-sized classics emerged from the 80s. “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “E.T.”, “Ghostbusters”, but there were also no shortage of quirky decade signature movies like “Weird Science” or “Teen Wolf”. Comedies in abundance, from the genesis of the “Teen Sex Comedy” with “Porky’s” to more wholesome family fare like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids”.

There’s far too many for me to list out, and I don’t need to. YOU know them too. And that’s what we want to hear… Which 80s Movies Are YOUR Favorites? Click through and leave a comment, and feel free to comment in reply to others. Just be respectful 😀 Movie discussion is the name of the game on these!

And this week? It’s all about the 80s!


199 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What are YOUR Favorites Films From the 1980s?

  1. I love the 80s…so many classic films. I’ll refrain from naming any of Sly and Arnold movies.
    Karate Kid, Die Hard, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghost Busters, Aliens, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Porky’s, Vacation…man, there’s just so many more I could list.


    But in a nutshell, ET, Ghostbusters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future, Karate Kid, Rocky III and IV, Ferris Bueller, Beetlejuice, Return to Oz (the best Wizard of Oz film hands down!), Beverly Hills Cop, Big, Blade Runner, Breakfast Club, Inner Space, Labyrinth, The Lost Boys, The Thing, Top Gun…

    Oh my god, there are just too many for my nutshell!

    • That’s a big nutshell! 😀

      I agree though. When we did the draft, my issue wasn’t “Oh Man, these guys are stealing my picks” It was “Oh Man, I only get to pick ten?” LOL.

      Wayyy too many awesome flicks that decade. It was just great

      • I always figured that because I’m a child of the 80s, they’re the decade who’s films appeal to me most. Even though I was barely functioning during most of the decade. (Due to being born in 84, nothing tragic!)

        So I’m wondering if children of the 90s feel the same way about that decade.

        Though I know already… films of the 80s rule over any other decade 😉

      • The 80’s was definitely the decade where you could put out anything and it would sell. Weekend at Bernies, Weird Science, Mannequin…….I mean seriously….these would never fly today. The 80’s were just awesome!

    • Points for Jaina… I was just going to reply to another comment and I was like, this CANT be the first time someone mentioned Breakfast Club! Sure enough, didnt need to get far. Jaina had my back. 😀

  3. My all time favorite 80’s movies: Dirty Dancing, Back to the Future, and Breakfast Club.

    Setting aside many of the obvious movies we’ve talked about on your blog before…..I’ll add Lost Boys, War Games, Better off Dead, Sixteen Candles, Outsiders, YoungBlood, Legend of Billy Jean, Field of Dreams, and Poltergeist.

  4. Just about everything released in 1982.

    Here are the first ten that come to my head: “E.T.”, “Empire Strikes Back”,”Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Terminator”, “Indiana Jones III: The Last Crusade”, “The Princess Bride”, “Hoosiers”,”Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and “Die Hard”. (Bonus: “The Last Starfighter”)

  5. I once hosted an 80s Movie night (final choices were Police Academy and Predator) in which a movie-loving friend of mine announced the 80s to be the worst decade for cinema, and he refused to admit that a single good movie had been made in that period, so I backhanded him with Die Hard, Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Breakfast Club, The Thing and Ghostbusters, and haven’t spoken to him since.

    • A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn’t deserve to be at such a sweet event!


      You basically dropped the bomb of movie awesomeness on him! LOL That’s great LVF. Fun story. 😀

  6. Field Of Dreams, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The World According To Garp, E.T., I’m sure there’s a lot more but at my age, the memories become fuzzy.

    • Yeah, I’m looking forward to that, seeing as my memory sucks already.

      I havent seen Garp since it was released, so that must be 30 years or so… Is it worth going back to? I barely remember that one myself

  7. I have to agree with everyone else, 80’s movies are amazing and I love so many of them. It’s a fantastic decade of all different types of movies. I could list all of my favorites but that would just take too long and anyways most of them are listed in the above comments. But probably my all-time favorite from the 80’s would have to be “Say Anything…”.

    • 😀 😀

      I’m going to have to fight the temptation to give out podcast spoilers all day long, I can tell. Let’s just say thank you for your validating comment.

      I dont want to sell, buy or process anything either 😉

      • Oh and here are some others that I haven’t seen mentioned yet, “Coming To America”, “Trading Places”, “Mystic Pizza” “Legal Eagles” and “Cannery Row”, Love them too. Ugh there are too many to name that I love. So before I keep popping in with a thousand more comments I’m just going to have to stop myself and say THEM ALL.

      • Yes it is very hard. Especially since I’m back to list 2 more that I just had to mention, then I’m going to check myself into an addicted to 80’s movies rehab. Anyways I couldn’t forget about “Lucas” and “Cinema Paradiso”.

  8. So many of my favorites are already listed but a few not on the list: Dragon Slayer, Goonies, Night Of The Comet, Adventures in Babysitting, Terminator, Raising Arizona…

    • KRULL!!

      Text cant convey the happy laugh I just let loose. LOL. 😀 Tank and I had a good laugh on our show about remembering the name of the weapon… it’s a Glaive. LOL

      You’ve got some great horror selections in there too, Halloween II is a good choice. Not a Friday the 13th fan though?

  9. In order…


  10. Asking me what my favorite 80’s movie is is like asking me what my favorite breathe of air was. The 80’s is when I first started paying attention to movies…plus there are sooooooo many great ones from that decade. But if I must pick a few…

    – The Empire Strikes Back
    – The Blues Brothers
    – Raising Arizona
    – Ghostbusters
    – Back to the Future
    – Better off Dead
    – Raiders of the Lost Ark
    – This is Spinal Tap

    There are many more…but I’ll spare you for now.

    • “I’ll spare you for now.”

      Yes, thank you. I hate talking movies. Especially 80s movies. 😀

      Great list, good choices. I concur!

      Plus you’ve got a couple in there with awesome soundtracks, too. I listened to the Blues Brothers soundtrack for a long time, and of course, Spinal Tap? Pfft. They’re visionaries. 😀

      • Having grown up in Chicago, The Blues Brothers is required viewing. I’ve always considered it an “Urban Epic.” Landis’ finest moment.

  11. What? No love for The Karate Kid or Stranger Than Paradise? Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure barely counts as an 80s movie, but I have to include it, since I’ve seen it more times than any other film from any decade.

    • EXCELLENT!! (Guitar riff)

      I have to confess I’ve never seen Stranger than Fiction, but I have MASSIVE love for The Karate Kid… and I’m SURE it’s going to get it’s due here. Definitely.

      As will Bill and Ted 😉

  12. Can’t believe nobody’s mentioned Brazil yet, but– Brazil. I’ll put down Blade Runner and Empire, but those have been touched on already and I don’t think I need to add more to the praise and according of significance to the overall tally for either; they’re great, demonstrably, and I can watch them anytime, anyplace, and always get sucked in by them.

    But Brazil, well, that’s its own beast. When I talk about Gilliam to people who don’t have much familiarity with his work, I typically point to Brazil as the best starting point; this may be counter-intuitive in a way, because Brazil is easily one of the weirdest fucking things he’s ever made (discounting Tideland), but I think if you’re going to get into Gilliam you need to be prepared to absorb some general oddness. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t go further with him. So Brazil sorts out those who can withstand Gilliam from those who cannot. It’s on my top ten still, so I think that says where I stand on it pretty clearly.

    That’s also the approach I take with Cronenberg– want to start somewhere on his body of work? Begin with Videodrome. I quite love the fact that nearly 20 years after its release, the movie still has relevance and manages to feel contemporary in a way, but I like to look at it as a good benchmark for what Cronenberg gets up to in his cinema. (Though I don’t think it’s his weirdest film. Close, but not quite. That honor goes to Naked Lunch.)

    And I’ll leave off with Crimes & Misdemeanors, which is my favorite Allen film next to Midnight in Paris. Grant that my experience with Allen is still minimal.

    • Seeing as the topic is “Favorite” films, obviously there’s no rebuttal.

      But I ran into this issue myself this weekend on the podcast… There’s a difference between what you like personally, what you think is the BEST, and then what you think are representative of the decade.

      Which, I think is why a lot of people wouldnt mention these films. Even if they do think they’re great, or hold them in esteem, they dont speak to the decade as say, “The Brekfast Club” might.

      It’s everyone’s favorites, so, rock on… but you did say “You couldnt believe no one mentioned…” and I think thats why.

      Seriously? I cant believe some of the films I left on the board that I’ve been a virtual Apostle for on this blog… and I didnt draft them because I thought other films spoke to the 80s more. 😦

      • Absolutely there’s a difference between personal likes and “best”– but I’m surprised nobody else likes Brazil enough to have mentioned it more than 30 comments in. I can’t be the only person who likes these movies, right? If we’re talking about favorites, well, that just gives me a frowny face.

      • I loved BRAZIL aswell Andrew. I understand how you feel. I don’t think anyone mentioned ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA either. This saddens me 😉

      • Once Upon a Time in America is another good one, but I have to set aside an entire evening to watch it comfortably so I can’t really call it a favorite even if I do like it a whole lot.

      • I think Crimes and Misdemeanors and Brazil really represent the 80’s in a big way (Brazil hitting 1984 better than *the* 1984, ya know?) I was going to mention Broadway Danny Rose, but Crimes and Misdemeanors is just an incredible movie and hit the ethical dilemmas at the core of the 80s. It could arguably be Allen’s best. Just not as fun and good for repeat viewing as Ghostbusters or Die Hard.

  13. There are too many to number! Goonies always. Die Hard. Always. Predator. Legend. Labyrinth. Omg… The Never Ending Story! and so many many more!! Combine all the list from action movies, adventure, Sci-fi and more!!! Love 80’s movies! Plus, Big Troubl in little China, Escape from New York, and Tango and Cash!!! Let’s not forget Kurt Russull! so many! “shakes head”

    • LOL!!! I almost made your head explode with this one! 😀

      It was a great decade for movies, I’m psyched everyone feels the same way I do… You’re a big Kurt Russell fan huh? No love for “The Thing” though? Just not a horror fan?

      Cause that movie is awesome too… 😀

      • Lol! Yes you did! And I love the Thing!!! Even though I’m not one for horror. 🙂 but I saw it mentioned already and was trying to pick some which I had not seen yet on the list. 🙂 my hubby says I write like an 80’s action flick… Which I take as a compliment. 🙂

  14. Great Decade of Films; tough to choose; here’s my dirty dozen:
    Beverly Hills Cop
    Back to the Future
    Return of the Jedi
    The Terminator
    Rocky IV
    Romancing the Stone
    The Man from Snowy River
    Top Gun
    American Werewolf in London
    The Blues Brothers
    Little Mermaid

    • S… talk to me about “The Man From Snowy River”

      How ashamed should I be that I havent seen it? All the others I have most certainly seen…. in fact, I’ve seen them all multiple times. LOL 😀

      • Just a good story involving horses, ranch life, and revolves around a young man having to prove himself worthy of living alone in tough Australian mountain country were he was raised. He has to live in the lowlands to prove himself while given menial ranch jobs until a prize horse gets loose and runs with a wild mob of horses. This story has a fantastic sweeping original song and IS romantic, in the vein that old explorers were romantic in touch with nature and bitter elements while carving out their independence. Oh yeah AND mild schmoltz as bosses daughter is also trying to make her own way and crosses paths with the kid. Strong characters of mostly fine Australian actors and Kirk Douglas who plays two feuding brothers.

      • Ordered.

        It better not suck, or its on you…

        LOL, Just kidding, I blind buy all the time. 😀 I did order it though, that and “Drive” to hit the Super Saver Shipping. 😀

      • Well, Chariots of Fire is slow, but good. It gets a lot of backlash because of the Oscar. Which I agree with. That’s some Academy dryness right there, choosing Chariots over Raiders. Hell, I even Like On Golden Pond better.

        But… it is what it is. I dont get to vote, so… 😦

      • C’mon Fogs… LOVE movies about horses. 😉

        No, I still have not recovered form THAT podcast…

      • LOL!!

        For TPMP’s 1 year anniversary in Sept I think I’m gonna recommend we do a clip show or something.

        You can bet your bottom dollar THAT bit’ll be on there. LOL. I still think of that too. LOL. SO funny. 😀

  15. Only three hours in, and already pushing 50 comments. Impressive, man.

    As for my favorites… aw, man, you mean I have to try and pick? 😀 ESB, ROTJ, Indy, Ghostbusters, BTTF, Princess Bride, all covered by others, you know where I stand there.

    The Black Cauldron. Three Amigos. The Dark Crystal. Excalibur. The Blues Brothers. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. UHF.

    Also big nostalgia love for The Transformers: The Movie. I know it’s not great, but I was the exact target audience at the time.

  16. The 80’s produced two films that are the definitive of their genres and two of my personal favourites. I can’t see past BLADE RUNNER, it’s still the best Sci-fi film I’ve ever seen and the highly underrated Sergio Leone/Robert DeNiro gangster epic ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.

  17. A late entry from the West Coast…I still have to put in my two cents.
    I stand by a ton of these that other people have mentioned so I won’t repeat them, but venturing over to Europe I have to add Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Diva.

    • Oh wow. LOL. Foreign movies aren’t my thing, so I cant comment on your picks, Jan.

      But wow, I hope we dont get THERE, where the West Coast feels “Late to the party” 😦 ! Its all about Favorites, and opinions… you dont have to be the first to mention anything! Just tell us about you and your taste!

      Which in this case, you know, is different from mine… but that’s not the point of the “game” either!! 😀 😀

      • Ok I am getting a clearer picture and am a little shocked – you are an ISOLATIONIST. 🙂 I dare you to see these two, though. They are very hip, very funny, very 80’s. Diva has a great Paris underground chase scene and vicious villains, mysterious good guys…don’t assume because it’s French that it is not for you!

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