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In Dire Straits
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What do you all think was the year of the 80's that produced the best movies? My vote goes to 1984. If you look at the box office listing for that year, there is classic after classic there. Just check out the top 6 for 1984:

1 Beverly Hills Cop Par. $234,760,478 2,006 $15,214,805 1,532 12/5
2 Ghostbusters Col. $229,242,989 1,506 $13,578,151 1,339 6/8
3 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Par. $179,870,271 1,687 $25,337,110 1,687 5/23
4 Gremlins WB $148,168,459 1,537 $12,511,634 1,511 6/8
5 The Karate Kid Col. $90,815,558 1,111 $5,031,753 931 6/22
6 Police Academy WB $81,198,894 1,587 $8,570,007 1,063 3/23

Wow! 5 of the 6 are genre defining movies of the 80's with the exception of Temple of Doom which is still a great movie but most don't consider it the best of the Indy films. Other classics from boxofficemojo's listing for 1984 are:

10 Splash BV $69,821,334 1,186 $6,174,059 829 3/9
16 Revenge of the Nerds Fox $40,874,452 989 $1,513,090 364 7/20
20 Red Dawn (1984) MGM $38,376,497 1,822 $8,230,381 1,822 8/10
21 The Terminator Orion $38,371,200 1,112 $4,020,663 1,005 10/26
31 The Last Starfighter Uni. $28,733,290 1,287 $6,011,695 1,287 7/13
40 A Nightmare on Elm Street NL $25,504,513 380 $1,271,000 165 11/9

and many more...

Another great year of the 80's which didn't produce as many big genre defining hits but had a lot of great movies that didn't lead the box office for that year was 1987. The number 1 movies, Three Men and a Baby was not one of my favourites but here are some classics that were from 1987:

9 Lethal Weapon WB $65,207,127 1,420 $6,829,949 1,256 3/6
10 The Witches of Eastwick WB $63,766,510 1,337 $9,454,238 1,103 6/12
12 Predator Fox $59,735,548 1,636 $12,031,638 1,623 6/12
16 Robocop Orion $53,424,681 1,601 $8,008,721 1,580 7/17
17 Outrageous Fortune BV $52,864,741 1,316 $6,404,783 1,081 1/30
21 Planes, Trains and Automobiles Par. $49,530,280 1,684 $7,009,482 1,118 11/25
30 The Running Man TriS $38,122,105 1,694 $8,117,465 1,692 11/13
31 Spaceballs MGM $38,119,483 1,389 $6,613,837 1,384 6/26
32 Summer School Par. $35,659,098 1,366 $6,012,274 1,366 7/24
35 Adventures in Babysitting BV $34,368,475 1,148 $2,901,297 1,126 7/3
38 The Lost Boys WB $32,222,567 1,249 $5,236,318 1,027 7/31
41 The Princess Bride Fox $30,857,814 803 $206,243 9 9/25

My top 3 years of the 1980's in order are:

1. 1984
2. 1987
3. 1985

What are your favourite years for movies of the 80's?

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Secret Admirer
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Cool post, it's interesting to see films listed by year. I rarely think of them in that context.

For me, I have to go with 1989, because of one movie. Roadhouse.

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Crash
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Great thread, but...no way...no way...no way!!! 1986 all the way! I think that this was one of the best movie years since I've been alive. As proof, look at this list. You have at least one movie a night for a month to enjoy, many of which are some of the decade's very best films--and I'm sure that I've left off someone's favorite (though I'm thinking that there's not much love for "Touch and Go" or "Wiseguys" even though I like them both a lot).

Blue Velvet
The Fly
Aliens
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Stand by Me
Manhunter
Platoon
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Mona Lisa
The Mission
Sid and Nancy
River's Edge
Hoosiers
Salvador
Something Wild
The Color of Money
Star Trek IV
Ruthless People
Peggy Sue Got Married
Crocodile Dundee
Little Shop of Horrors
9 1/2 Weeks
Down and Out in Beverly Hills
Pretty in Pink
Lucas
About Last Night
The Manhattan Project
Big Trouble in Little China
At Close Range
52 Pick-Up
The Boy Who Could Fly
Back to School
The Money Pit
F/X
and...of course, Top Gun

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aTomiK
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Crash, you certainly left two absolute classics off:

Night of the Creeps and The Wraith!!!

But i´m with you, ´86 it is.

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aTomiK
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Some other movies i love from 1986:

Avenging Force
Band of the Hand
Cobra
The Delta Force
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Highlander
The Hitcher
Invaders from Mars
Iron Eagle
Rad
The Transformers: The Movie
Trick or Treat

and there´s still many many more...

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Crash
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I knew that I would miss a few but could count on loyal folks like you, aTomiK, to pick up the slack. I'm kicking myself that I forgot "The Hitcher" and "Night of the Creeps," which are two long-standing favorites. "Highlander" is a film that I've always admired more as a well-made guilty pleasure than a true favorite. The rest of your list has some good, albeit lesser, choices, though I've never really liked Tobe Hooper's "Invaders from Mars" remake. It looks good, but I'll take his "Lifeforce" any day as a REAL guilty pleasure. "Trick or Treat" is pretty much forgotten, but it is a good horror film for sure.
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80'sRocked

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1986 is my fave too....I have said it here tons of times! You also forgot Eliminators and Fire with Fire!!!
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Crash
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How could I forget "Fire with Fire"? <ducking> Some of the gals/Virginia Madsen fans on here are going to kill me!

Yay! Cheers to 1986!

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Secret Admirer
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Since '86 has taken over, how about Modern Girls and Hamburger: The Motion Picture.

And let's not forget Firewalker!

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Valley

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I would have to go with 1986 as well..

Top Gun
RAD
Modern Girls
Night of the Creeps
April Fool's Day
Aliens
Chopping Mall
Back To School
Lucas
Thrashin'
Deadly Friend
Labyrinth

My second pick is 1985:

Back To the Future
The Goonies
Just One of the Guys
Secret Admirer
Weird Science
Better Off Dead
Tuff Turf
Vision Quest
Teen Wolf
Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Fletch

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In Dire Straits
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I was looking at it in terms of great movies that made money at the box office and/or helped define a genre. 1984 is the top of the picks for that. 1986 had it's fair share of box office classics but was outweighed by it's B-movie classics. Still, I only said great movies so I guess, 1986 is the winner. Some of my favourites from 1986 with their box office figures are:

1 Top Gun Par. $176,786,701 1,531 $8,193,052 1,028 5/16
2 Crocodile Dundee Par. $174,803,506 1,495 $8,038,855 879 9/26
4 The Karate Kid Part II Col. $115,103,979 1,610 $12,652,336 1,323 6/20
9 Ruthless People BV $71,624,879 1,114 $5,274,306 1,111 6/27
10 Ferris Bueller's Day Off Par. $70,136,369 1,330 $6,275,647 1,330 6/13
11 Down and Out in Beverly Hills BV $62,134,225 1,084 $5,726,495 806 1/31
13 Stand by Me Col. $52,287,414 848 $242,795 16 8/8
19 Peggy Sue Got Married TriS $41,382,841 1,107 $6,942,408 865 10/10
21 Short Circuit TriS $40,697,761 1,310 $5,346,808 1,033 5/9
22 Pretty in Pink Par. $40,471,663 1,117 $6,065,870 827 2/28
29 Gung Ho Par. $36,611,610 1,175 $7,170,830 1,150 3/14
47 House NW $19,444,631 1,440 $5,923,972 1,440 2/28
48 Flight of the Navigator BV $18,564,613 1,024 $3,115,097 952 8/1

Actually, maybe I should have ranked this year higher. It's very hard to rank the years 1983-1987 as they were all fantastic. These were the glory days of cinema. Check out boxofficemojo.com and click on 'Yearly' and see the top 50 movies of each year by box office. That is what I was going on.

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Chris the CandyFanMan
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I'd have to go with 1984 myself in addition to those mention above (although I believe I read once that Ghostbusters made more than Beverly Hills Cop, although it was close with no more than $4 million difference between them), we of course should include all-time classics like Sixteen Candles, Romancing the Stone, and The Neverending Story, which can also be considered genre-defining; combined with everything mentioned, what more is there to argue about?
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Valley

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You guys are making a great case for 1984! That is a wicked Box Office top 5.

And Sixteen Candles is in my personal top 5.

Plus add in Night of the Comet, Streets of Fire, Breakin', and The Terminator.

[ 27. August 2010, 21:01: Message edited by: Valley ]

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In Dire Straits
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I agree with all the above too. Sixteen Candles, The Neverending Story and Night of the Comet are all-time classics.
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Nick
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Great thread... [Smile] How do we we feel about the years mentioned in the wider context of the 80s as a whole..? Like music and culture?

For example, I'd have to go with '84 if asked to pick a year, based not just on movies. Perhaps it's because I was 16 that year, but I'd like to think that it was also because culturally, 1984 was really the year that the 80s really got 'into it's stride'...

We'd had 1982 with the hi energy of Fame (the TV series and the song 'Hi Fidelity' was everywhere in the UK in the summer of '82). It's colorful tone both musicically and culturally seemed to set the tone for what followed. The new romantics and new wave just seemed 'right' somehow and the gloom of the '70s seemed to just wash away...

1983 saw the themes continue. Everything seemed new and experimental, not to mention neon colored! Music seemed changed forever with tracks like Shannon's 'Let the Music Play'. The dance musical genre was continued with 'Flashdance' and 'Staying Alive'.

1984 saw the electro & dance movie themes continue with movies like 'Breakin'', 'Footloose', 'Beat Street' etc and the music was evolving fast with many examples of it appearing in mainstream movies like 'Beverly Hills Cop'. So much great stuff seemed to be coming from everywhere and there was a real feeling of excitement in the air..

1985 just took it so high it had to burn out. Neon colours were everywhere. Paint splatter graphics on everything, including brochures for hifi equipment and double glazing etc. But things had peaked and 1985 was the last of the 'pure' 80s years for me, before it inevitably crumbled into cliche and charicature of what had gone before.

Of course there were exceptions afterwards and plenty of great stuff, but it seemed the 'purity' of it all was lost somewhere in 1985, leaving 1984 at the peak of the neon drenched fun that, for me, defined the 80s...

As always, just my $0.02 [Smile]

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80'sRocked

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Nick is right. Every year had a ton of greatness!
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Logan 5
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I'm with Nick on this, there was something of a cultural 80's high watermark in '85 that began to slowly slide afterwards, and '84 is when it was everywhere but not yet burnt out.

However, I decided long ago... never to walk in anyone's shadow. No, seriously, I decided long ago that if you wanted to, you could make a case for almost every year from about '81 onwards being the 'best' or at the very least a 'great' year right up 'til about '88, because each year had such a massive cluster of pop-culture awesomeness.

I tend not to go by the calendar year when trying to find the great 'year', and I say; mid '84 to mid '85. Without checking that more or less includes Live Aid / Band Aid, Breakfast Club / Sixteen Candles, Gremlins, Goonies, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and so on (it also includes the UK release of Marvel's Secret Wars and Transformers, but I won't go into that).

Several things happened in late '85 and through '86 that killed the previous 80's slowly; Miami Vice made the 'yacht clothes' look the norm by putting it on TV; Wham! split up; Duran lost two members; Hair Metal took over MTV (and would dominate the late 80's); Whitney Houston appeared... and so on.

But let's face it - the 80's rocked and in this debate everyone's a winner!

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Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by logan5:
However, I decided long ago... never to walk in anyone's shadow. No, seriously, I decided long ago that if you wanted to, you could make a case for almost every year from about '81 onwards being the 'best' or at the very least a 'great' year right up 'til about '88, because each year had such a massive cluster of pop-culture awesomeness.

I tend not to go by the calendar year when trying to find the great 'year', and I say; mid '84 to mid '85. Without checking that more or less includes Live Aid / Band Aid, Breakfast Club / Sixteen Candles, Gremlins, Goonies, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and so on (it also includes the UK release of Marvel's Secret Wars and Transformers, but I won't go into that).

But let's face it - the 80's rocked and in this debate everyone's a winner!

Couldn't agree more... [Smile] And I'm sure that our ages at the time would have had a lot to do with our perceptions.. I'm sure that someone on here would have been 16 (or whatever) in, say, '87 and, quite rightly, would consider that to be his/her best year [Smile]

But, like Logan, I definitely see the 'magic' period, as just that... An indefineable period of time somewhere in the mid 80s when trainers had to be old and dirty looking, you never wore matching socks and there seemed to be a 'Harold Faltermeyer' -esque feeling to the soundtrack of life... lol [Smile]

Ahh.. the memories... Where's Doc Brown.. I gotta go BACK.. [Big Grin]

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Nick
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PS: I wasn't trying to hiijack the thread... So please keep talking about your favorite movie years too [Smile]

Paul will (quite rightly) moderate me in a minute for not staying on topic... [Wink]

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Devolution
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Devolution here,

Man, this is a tough decision. We are talking about some great years here, 84-87. The Golden Age of John Hughes, The Brat Pack, Eddie Murphy, John Candy, The Corey's. Picking one year from another is tough just because it's all personal preference of favorite movie.

90% of the movies that I quote are from these years. That is a little crazy.

We are DEVO

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Kash
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1984 was the high water mark, no doubt about it. Almost every movie from the year is as well known today as it was back then. A vintage, not since repeated, year for film.
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Secret Admirer
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So basically I'm on my own with 1989?
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