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. Hmmmm

    1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
    2. Empire Strikes Back
    3. Ghostbusters
    4. Blade Runner
    5. Princess Bride
    6. Blues Brothers
    7. Aliens
    8. Spinal Tap
    9. The Right Stuff
    10. Full Metal Jacket

    Ask me tomorrow and I’d probably come up with an entirely different list, or at least a different order.

    • I wouldnt have the Chutzpah to ask you tomorrow. LOL 😀

      Solid list. We see eye to eye on most of them.

      Your love of Space exploration shows through, bud. I WOULD say that I stand my ground that Alien is better than Aliens. But that may be a moot point here… you just left that off your list cause it’s a 70s movie, right?

  2. My list would definitely include most of the movies mentioned before like Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Batman, Beetlejuice, Die Hard, Terminator, Princess Bride, etc.
    In addition to those, I’d add on Maximum Overdrive and The Hitcher.
    In terms of animated films, the 80s had so many really great ones also: Little Mermaid, Land Before Time, Great Mouse Detective, Black Cauldron…

    I’m sure if I sat down and looked through a complete list, I’d have even more.

    • Maximum Overdrive. EMILIOOOO!!


      Boy, the Hitcher was some dark stuff wasn’t it? LOL. Thats just some sick, sick material right there. Heh. Still remember that one pretty clearly.

  3. “The Emerald Forest”. Based on a real story, John Boorman’s film is about a boy lost in the jungles of Brazil and raised by natives “the invisible people”. All the non-natives are evil in one way or another from the corporation building the huge dam to kidnappers and gunrunners! Sound familiar? It should. Cameron stole it almost scene for scene to make “Avatar”! Boorman was one of the great directors of the 1980’s!

    • Oh for God’s sake, is there any movie people DONT claim Avatar was a shot for shot ripoff of? Ferngully, Dances with Wolves, Emeral Forest… give the man a break. He’s as good a Hollywood reheater as everyone else.

      Meanwhile, I haven’t seen “The Emarald Forest”. Not how cleverly I dstra– SQUIRREL!!

      • No squirrels in the Brazilian rain forest! Otherwise they would have ended up in “Avatar”.

  4. Without any doubt, ‘Rain Man’ is my favourite film of the 80s – followed probably by ‘Top Gun’, not because of cinematography, but because of the story and the music in the film.

    • The Tom Cruise double feature! 😀 That guy did pretty much own the 80s, didnt he? LOL

      Recommending tomorrow’s podcast to you too then, Diana, I think you’d enjoy it. LOL.

      Thanks for chiming in. I still dont think anyone has mentioned “Risky Business” What is WRONG with you people?? 😀

  5. There are too many. I can’t chose!!!! And everyone keeps reminding me of others. So instead, I’ll just say that one of the movies I DID NOT like was E.T. I’m probably the only one that didn’t like that movie.

  6. I’m glad you mentioned John Hughes right in the post, so Breakfast Club is included. I’m sure your intrepid team will dig enough titles but so far I did not read a super suspense-comedy: Clue. It is SO funny.

  7. I love that poster, saw it a while ago on a wordpress blogger who only knew like 7 of the movies and even got Back to the Future wrong and was impressed that I knew about 20 of them off the top of my head.

    As for the actual topic, hands down Princess Bride. I could watch that every week for a year and not grow tired of it. I also loved all of the similar fantasy/sci-fi movies too, but Princess Bride is definitely at the top of my list.

    • I actually just made sure I could name them all myself… the only one I cant get is F. Why that wouldnt be Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is beyond me… do you know what that one is, Bubba?

      • You don’t know Flight of the Navigator?! You must watch it, it’s a really great fantasy sci-fi movie along the lines of The Goonies, only a bit cheesier. And I did know that Princess Bride only became successful later on, like so many movies made ahead of their time.

      • It’s been many a year since I’ve seen Flight of the Navigator, but I remember it being a lot of fun. I agree with Bubba, you should watch it sometime, simply because it’s one of those flicks that if you’re an 80s kid, you’re kind of expected to have seen. (As to why not Ferris there, I guess he decided to go with something other than the easy and obvious. I’m more perplexed about Zelig, to be honest. I know Z is tough, but surely “Zapped!” fits in with the tone of the others more.)

      • Hah! Heather Thomas…

        Oh. Where were we. Oh, yeah, well, shit man, nowadays I hate having to say “Ive never seen that” about anything. So I should fill that gap anyhow.

  8. This is such a broad question, so I’m going to look at my Flickchart and see what it says.

    According to that site, my ’80s top 10 is The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Aliens, Back to the Future, Say Anything, Do the Right Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Superman II, The Right Stuff, and The Karate Kid.

    Pretty conventional choices, but they work for me.

    • Great minds think alike.

      When I was preparing for the 80s draft podcast, that was the first thing I did. Sort Flickchart by decade. Mine AND all users. 😀

      Flickchart power, baby.

      Meanwhile, solid choices. I concur on the quality of all of them… of course some I have ranked more highly than others. 😀

  9. Going by what dvds I have with my in my dorm

    E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blues Brothers, Empire Strikes Back, Stand By Me, Beverley Hills Cop, Gremlins!, Lethal Weapon, Don Bluth films, Top Gun, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Stripes, Plains Trains and Automobiles

    and pretty much what everyone else has said.

    • Wow, Good Morning Vietnam. There’s one we missed yesterday.

      Nice selection Nic. Keep an eye on them in your dorm. Make sure no one steals them. Those bastards. I oughta kick their… oh wait. LOL my own personal flashback is intruding on this comment 😀

  10. Dead Ringers, Blow Out, The Terminator, An American Werewolf in London, The Killer, Blue Velvet, Raging Bull, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, The Thing.

    • You know I’ve never seen Blow Out? I shall now wear the cone of Shame.

      I’ve kept meaning to ever since Eric at The Warning Sign posted about it. I was like… I should check that out. There’s never enough time!! GAH!!

      The rest are impeccably chosen, sir, yes!

  11. My top 10 movies from the 80s (in no particular order apart from the first one) are:

    Alien was not better than Aliens – just a different animal (no pun intended). Aliens is still my fave of the whole franchise.
    And, yeah, pretty much wall-to-wall blockbusters, what can I say? LOL

    • Ohhhhhh… you HAD me until the PS!

      I was like YES! Blade Runner #1? Hell yeah!

      But then… cmon… I need to run a poll about this. Alien was way better than Aliens. Gahd. Although I’m certainly beginning to feel as if I’m surrounded… LOL

      • I’ll (sort of) back you up. I agree that they’re two wholly different animals. If they weren’t the same franchise, it’d almost be unreasonable to compare them at all. But Alien is the “best” of the franchise.

        Alien is more cerebral, and the better film, in my opinion. It’s more original and it’s scarier. Aliens is a fantastic action movie. But when it tries to make you think, it just rehashes the original’s themes with dumbed down versions. The universe is lucky that James Cameron is so goddamn good at stealing other peoples ideas, beating you over the head with a message, and making an AMAZING adventure ride out of it. Without his unique gift, I bet Aliens would have ended up Terminator 3 bad. Or even worse… Highlander 2 bad.

        Alien 3 is closer to the original, and is itself, more original thematically than Aliens. I really feel it gets a bad rep because so many people were expecting more of the sequel than the original. Ressurection is closer to Aliens, except it doesn’t even try to make you feel anything, other than sad at the death of the thinking man’s Sci-Fi-Horror film.

      • Wow. I know a dude that would love to read THIS comment. LOL.

        Anyways, thanks for having my back on Alien… but I dont think Alien3 gets a bad rap. I just rewatched it, its kind of a dreary mess. It was ok, and I dod like it better than Resurrection, myself, but I wouldnt call it undeserving of its rep…

        Gotta call it out

      • OK, I have to admit, Alien was more cerebral and scarier than Aliens. But what kind of argument is saying that the original movie in a franchise is more original than its sequels? No kidding, Sherlock! LOL I just think Aliens won out as all-round big-screen entertainment, the well-documented Cameron Non-Stop Rollercoaster Ride effect. Hell, in addition to almost non-stop action, it had humour, pathos and that absolutely visceral sequence where Ripley goes back for Newt and calls out the Alien queen with “get away from her, you bitch!” I have watched the movie many, many times and every time the whole place erupts at that moment! Pure cinema.
        yeah, so OK, Cameron has his big ol’ blind spots, who doesn’t? His simplistic take on corporate/military greed and short-sightedness doesn’t seem to have changed one jot between Aliens and Avatar (‘find out what the blue monkeys want!’); you could wish for him to become a tad more sophisticated in his portrayal of these things, but it seems unlikely and what the heck – he is still one of the best writers/directors of big-scale action movies out there.

      • “But what kind of argument is saying that the original movie in a franchise is more original than its sequels?”


        Cameron’s “simplistic take on corporate/military greed and short-sightedness” is one of the huge reasons why I dont think it’s even close between the two movies. You could basically add “Motherhood” to that list, too. LOL But, I understand, its got special effects and action sequences, so people like it better.


      • Ooh, ‘Motherhood’… low blow! LOL
        Yep, it’s always easier/more fun to disconnect the old brain and enjoy the shiny, fast-moving object rather than actually thinking during a cinematic experience!
        Doesn’t mean the blockbusters are better movies, but they’re easier – just like eating snack food is easier than taking time to make and appreciate the complex flavours of a good meal.

  12. Man, some GREAT comments here and some fantastic choices. Let’s just go back to the 80’s shall we? haha.

    Okay, aside from some of the big ones mentioned (E.T., Goonies, Star Wars, Indy, Die Hard, Aliens, etc), which all stand to reason, I’ll mention my love for some other not-so blockbuster films:

    Honey I Shrunk the Kids, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka!, Annie, Clash of the Titans, The Gods Must Be Crazy, GLORY, Land Before Time, Neverending Story, Coming to America, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit!

    and, although it’s 1990, I still lump it in with the 80’s movies: Mr. Destiny!

    GREAT discussion thread today, Dan!

      • I thought for sure you’d pick up on I’m gonna git you sucka instead of Annie! LOL.

        Yeah, I liked the musical as a kid. Not really for Annie, but just to see them complain so much while doing chores, etc! Because I did the same thing and sang the same songs when the parents would make me clean! haha. It usually led to more chores being added on for being smart. LOL funny memories

  13. There are so many great 80s movies and most of them are already taken. That’s what I get for waiting so long to answer. I agree with Indiana Jones, any John Hughes movie (esp. Sixteen Candles. OMG, Jake Ryan! Also, The Breakfast Club), Teen Wolf, Karate Kid, etc.

    Okay, I’m going to pick Scarface. LOVE that movie!!!! De Palma and Stone, what a pair! “Chi chi, grab the yeyo.”

    • I cannot BELIEVE no one said Scarface yet.

      If this thread wasnt so awesome otherwise. I would close it!

      Have you checked out the podcast? I’m just gonna say it… check this one out… the Scarface segment is EASILY the best part. EASILY. 😀 😀

      • I thought about Goodfellas, but that’s 90. I knew one of those movies came out in the 80s. Kinda pissed that I didn’t think of Scarface now.

  14. Everyone’s got the blockbusters covered. I don’t think I need to go into the Ghostbusters, Empire, Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller, Indiana Jones stuff. I’m going to shout out some of my more cult favourites of the 80s, I think. Some of them were big hits, but I don’t think that many people still enjoy them. I’m not arguing that these are timeless classics or anything… just that *I* could watch them any time, any where, and have. Repeatedly.

    Masters of the Universe
    Evil Dead 2
    Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
    The Abyss

    Yes… some of those are terrible. And not even on purpose. But I love them.

    • We’re the dream warriors, don’t wanna dream no more…

      There’s an 80s staple for me…

      Hellraiser is one of my favorite horror movies of all time. Just a sick, sick concept. Great flick. Scary as Hell. Literally

      LOL “Ricky! I saw zee Highlander! It was shit!!”

  15. Has 48hrs been mentioned yet? I loved that movie as a kid. It was the ultimate 80’s action flick. It launched Eddie Murphy into the stratosphere. Nolte was awesome…I just saw it about two weeks ago on cable and I must say, it holds up well.

    • It has NOT.

      Point, Garner! FIRST to 48 hrs.

      There’s a new Sheriff in town, and his name is Reggie Hammond!

      Not too long since I saw it last… some point within the last few years. I agree, its still a good flick, for sure.

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