The 1980s produced some of the most iconic and celebrated films of all time, with the increase in technology available for filmmakers seeing a rapid advance in the quality of films and the special effects used. It really isn’t a surprise that part of the fascination with Stranger Things, as the second season takes over our TVs/computer screens, is the 80s setting. There really is no shortage of films to talk about from the 80s as most of the classics are still engrained in our popular culture today. Here is a list of my top film picks of the decade:
Arguably one of the most hilarious comedies of the decade, Ghostbusters is really one of those ‘must see’ films. After a group of scientists (including the legendary Bill Murray) lose their jobs at a university, they embark on a new path of fighting the supernatural with their newly developed tech. Its hard to find anyone who doesn’t know the accompanying song as well. Unfortunately the remake was particularly tragic, but the original is one that will definitely not be forgotten. I mean, who else are you gonna call?
Back to the Future (1985)
Probably one of the most classic films ever, no one can deny how iconic this movie is. Epitomising 80s culture in every way, and with catchy names like Marty McFly, the film completely takes you away. Starring Michael J. Fox, Back to the Future tells the story of a high school student who is sent back thirty years because of an accident his scientist friend Doc Brown has. The comedy is endless as Marty ends up meeting his seventeen year old parents, whom he has to set up before he can go back to his present. Who wouldn’t want to watch a film where a classic Deloriun becomes a method of time travel?
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, written by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford, the big names certainly didn’t disappoint in this film. Starting the award winning trilogy of Indiana Jones films, Raiders of the Lost Ark tells the story of an archaeology professor adventuring through the South American jungle to find a biblical artefact in 1936 in a race against the Nazis. Classed as the ‘epitome of entertainment’ , Indiana Jones is a truly iconic film of the 1980s, with the combination of comedy, adventure and action starting a new era of film making.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
When you think about films and culture from the 1980s it is almost impossible for Star Wars not to pop into your head. Both the Second and Third films were released during this decade, creating an immense sci-fi cult following of fans who are still watching the new movies today. Personally, Episode V is probably one of my favourites of the earliest trilogy, as Luke Skywalker attempts to save the galaxy from the Empire and their battle station. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher the film sees Luke go in search of Jedi Master Yoda, whilst Han and Leia travel in the Millenium Falcon. Lets be honest, if the image of the Millenium Falcon flying through space with Chewbacca on board isn’t iconic, I don’t know what is.
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Surprisingly, I hadn’t actually watched The Breakfast Club until this summer, but it definitely did not disappoint the hundreds of rave reviews I had heard about it over the years. Dubbed a classic American ‘coming of age comedy drama’, the film follows five high school students, each very different, as they spend a day together in detention. Filled with an uplifting message about friendship and acceptance, its not surprising that people refer to this film so much, especially with the iconic final scene where the students walk away from the school to the Simple Minds track ‘Don’t you (forget about me)’, which reached number one in the UK charts that year.
The Princess Bride (1987)
This is one of personal favourite movies of all time, detailing the story of Buttercup. Despite being chosen to marry the Prince of Florian, Buttercup is still heartbroken over the death of Westley, her true love, after he went to sea and was killed by attacking pirates. The young protagonist is kidnapped by a group of bandits, and ends up on an adventurous journey running away from the Pirate whom she believes killed Westley. The film is absolutely charming and heart warming, narrated by an elderly man reading to his bed-ridden grandson. Iconic in the story it tells, The Princess Bride is definitely worth rewatching.