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Scarecrow's BEST OF THE 1980s section

Tom Cruise riding a motorcycle, speeding alongside a runway, fist pumping in the air. Molly Ringwald cautiously entering the prom, eyes meeting Duckie's, running to embrace him. Bill Murray, squirming on the floor, covered in goo, quietly saying, "He slimed me."

 

These are some of the iconic images that flashed through my head when the Inventory Office asked us to compile a list of ten favorite films from the 1980s. This is the decade the majority of staffers spent going from elementary to high school--prime years for forming tastes and opinions on film and popular culture. As Matt said when he posted a picture of the section on Facebook: "All the movies you loved as a kid plus all the ones your parents wouldn't let you watch (or that you snuck in at a friend's house because they had cable). Come and realize just how old you've gotten!"

 

The long list of our Best of the 1980s appears here in alphabetical order--just like guest stars on The Love Boat--if only so you can enjoy the juxtaposition of Berlin Alexanderplatz right before Baby Boom. You'll find the section on the other side of the New Blu-ray section. Look for the big awesome sign by our colleague Marc Palm.

 

BLU = Also in the section on Blu-ray

VHS = Only available on VHS

 

The Abyss (1989) dir. James Cameron

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984)  dir. W.D. Richter

The Adventures of Mark Twain (1984) dir. Wil Vinton

After Hours (1985) dir. Martin Scorsese

Airplane! (1980) dir. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker

Akira (1987) dir. Katsuhiro Ohtomo

Aliens (1986) dir. James Cameron

An American Werewolf in London (1981) dir. John Landis   BLU

L’Argent (1983) dir. Robert Bresson

Ariel (1988) dir. Aki Kaurismaki

Arthur (1981) dir. Steve Gordon

Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) dir. Louis Malle

Baby Boom (1987)  dir. Charles Shyer, co-written by Nancy Meyers

Back To The Future (1985!) dir. Robert Zemeckis

Back To The Future Part II (1989) dir. Robert Zemeckis

The Ballad of Narayama (1983) dir. Shôhei Imamura

Barfly (1987) dir. Barbet Schroeder

Batman (1989) dir. Tim Burton

Batteries Not Included (1987) dir. Matthew Robbins, screenplay by Brad Bird

Beetlejuice (1987) dir. Tim Burton

Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Better Off Dead (1985) dir. Savage Steve Holland

A Better Tomorrow (1986) dir. John Woo  BLU

Beverly Hills Cop (1984) dir. Martin Brest

The Beyond (1981) dir. Lucio Fulci BLU

Big Crimewave (1985) dir. John Paizs  VHS

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) dir. John Carpenter  BLU

The Black Cauldron (1985) dir. Ted Berman, Richard Rich

Blade Runner (1982) dir. Ridley Scott

The Blob (1988) dir. Chuck Russell

Blood Simple (1983)  dir. Coen Brothers  BLU

Blow Out (1981)  dir. Brian DePalma  BLU

Blue Velvet (1986) dir. David Lynch  BLU

The Blues Brothers (1980) dir. John Landis  BLU

Boardinghouse (1982) dir. John Wintergate

Das Boot (1981) dir. Wolfgang Petersen

Born on the Fourth of July (1989) dir. Oliver Stone

The Breakfast Club (1985) dir. John Hughes  BLU

Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) dir. Sam Firstenberg

Broadcast News (1987) dir. James L. Brooks  BLU

Broadway Danny Rose (1984) dir. Woody Allen

The Burbs’ (1989) dir. Joe Dante

Burden of Dreams (1982) dir. Les Blank

Bustin’ Loose (1981) dir. Oz Scott

Caddyshack (1980) dir. Harold Ramis

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) dir. Ruggero Deodato

Can’t Buy Me Love (1987) dir. Steve Rash

Child’s Play (1988) dir. Tom Holland   BLU

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) dir. Ching Siu-Tung

Chopping Mall (1986) dir. Jim Wynorski

A Christmas Story (1983) dir. Bob Clark   BLU

Clash of The Titans (1981) dir. Desmond Davis, stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen  BLU

Class of 1984 (1982) dir. Mark L. Lester

Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) dir. Michael Apted

The Color of Money (1986) dir. Martin Scorsese

The Color Purple (1985) dir. Steven Spielberg  BLU

Coming to America (1988)  dir. John Landis

Commando (1985)  dir. Mark L. Lester  BLU

Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt (1989)  dir. Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

Conan The Barbarian (1982) dir. John Milius, based on the story by Robert E. Howard

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989) dir. Peter Greenaway

Creepshow (1982) dir. George Romero  BLU

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)  dir. Woody Allen

Crimes of Passion (1984)  dir. Ken Russell

Cutter’s Way (1981)  dir. Ivan Passer

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)  dir. Stephen Frears BLU

The Dark Crystal (1982)  dir. Jim Henson, Frank Oz   BLU

Day of the Dead (1985)  dir. George Romero  BLU

Dead End Drive-In (1986) dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith

The Dead (1987) dir. John Huston

Deadly Spawn (1983) dir. Douglas McKeown  BLU

Death Wish 3 (1985)  dir. Michael Winner 

The Decalogue (1988)  dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski

Devil at Your Heels (1981)  dir. Robert Fortier   VHS

Die Hard (1988)  dir. John McTiernan  BLU

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) dir. Frank Oz

Do The Right Thing (1989) dir. Spike Lee   BLU

Dolls (1987) dir. Stuart Gordon

Down By Law (1986) dir. Jim Jarmusch 

Dressed To Kill (1980) dir. Brian DePalma

The Dresser (1983) dir. Peter Yates

Drugstore Cowboy (1989) dir. Gus Van Sant

Dune (1984) dir. David Lynch   BLU

E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982) dir. Steven Spielberg

The Elephant Man (1980) dir. David Lynch  BLU

Empire of the Sun (1987) dir. Steven Spielberg

Ernest Goes To Camp (1987) dir. John R. Cherry III

Evil Dead (1982) dir. Sam Raimi  BLU

Evil Dead 2 (1987) dir. Sam Raimi  BLU

The Falls (1980) dir. Peter Greenaway

Fame (1980) dir. Alan Parker   BLU

Fanny & Alexander (1982) dir. Ingmar Bergman  BLU

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) dir. Amy Heckerling  BLU

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) dir. John Hughes  BLU

First Blood (1982) dir. Ted Kotcheff

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) dir. Charles Crichton  BLU

Flash Gordon (1980) dir. Mike Hodges BLU

Flashdance (1983) dir. Adrian Lyne

Flight of the Navigator (1986)  dir. Randal Kleiser

The Fly (1986) dir. David Cronenberg  BLU

Forbidden Zone (1982) dir. Richard Elfman

Friday the 13th (1980) dir. Sean S. Cunningham  BLU

Fright Night (1985) dir. Tom Holland   BLU

G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987) dir. Don Jurwich  BLU

Get Crazy (1983) dir. Allan Arkush   VHS

Ghostbusters (1984) dir. Ivan Reitman  BLU

Ghoulies (1985) dir. Luca Bercovici

Ginger & Fred (1985) dir. Federico Fellini

Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1985) dir. Alan Metter   BLU

Glory (1989) dir. Edward Zwick  BLU

The Goonies (1985) dir. Richard Donner   BLU

The Great Muppet Caper (1981) dir. Jim Henson

Gremlins (1984) dir. Joe Dante  BLU

The Grey Fox (1982) dir. Phillip Borsos  VHS

Gymkata (1985) dir. Robert Clouse

Hairspray (1988) dir. John Waters

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) dir. Woody Allen

Heathers (1988) dir. Michael Lehmann  BLU

Honeysuckle Rose (1980) dir. Jerry Schatzberg (filed under Pure Country)

Hotel New Hampshire (1984) dir. Tony Richardson

Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie (1988) dir. Marcel Ophüls

House of Games (1987) dir. David Mamet

The Howling (1981) dir. Joe Dante

I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) dir. Keenen Ivory Wayans

(Indiana Jones and the) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) dir. Steven Spielberg 

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) dir. Steven Spielberg 

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) dir. Steven Spielberg

Inferno (1980) dir. Dario Argento   BLU

Innerspace (1987) dir. Joe Dante

Iron Monkey (1981) dir. Kuan Tai Chen

Michael Jackson: Moonwalker (1988) dir. Jerry Kramer, Jim Blashfield, Colin Chilvers

Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring (1986) dir. Claude Berri, based on the novel by Marcel Pagnol

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986) dir. Penny Marshall

Just One of the Guys (1985) dir. Lisa Gottlieb

The Karate Kid (1984) dir. John G. Avildsen  BLU

Kickboxer (1989) dir. Mark DiSalle, David Worth   BLU

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) dir. Hayao Miyazaki 

The Killer (1989) dir. John Woo  BLU

The King of Comedy (1983) dir. Martin Scorsese

Knightriders (1981) dir. George Romero

Labyrinth (1986) dir. Jim Henson  BLU

Lady Jane (1985) dir. Trevor Nunn

The Last American Virgin (1982) dir. Boaz Davidson

The Last Emperor (1987) dir. Bernardo Bertolucci BLU

Legend (1985) dir. Ridley Scott   BLU

The Legend of Billie Jean (1985) dir. Matthew Robbins

Lethal Weapon (1987) dir. Richard Donner

Light Years (1988) dir. Rene Laloux   VHS (or PAL Code 2 DVD)

Liquid Sky (1983) dir. Slava Tsukerman

Little Shop of Horrors (1986) dir. Frank Oz

Local Hero (1983) dir. Bill Forsyth

Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) dir. Steve Carver

Love Streams (1984) dir. John Cassavetes  VHS (or PAL Code 2 DVD)

Lovelines (1984) dir. Rod Amateau

Mannequin (1987) dir. Michael Gottlieb

Matewan (1987) dir. John Sayles

Maurice (1987) dir. James Ivory

Midnight Run (1988) dir. Martin Brest

Mishima (1985) dir. Paul Schrader

Monkey Shines (1988) dir. George Romero

Monster Squad (1987) dir. Fred Dekker  BLU

Monty Python: The Meaning of Life (1983) dir. Terry Jones

Moontrap (1989) dir. Robert Dyke

Moving Violations (1985) dir. Neal Israel

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) dir. Hayao Miyazaki

Mystery Train (1989) dir. Jim Jarmusch  BLU

The Naked Gun (1988) dir. David Zucker

Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind (1984) dir. Hayao Miyazaki

Near Dark (1987) dir. Kathryn Bigelow  BLU

The Neverending Story (1984) dir. Wolfgang Petersen  BLU

Night of the Comet (1984) dir. Thom Eberhardt

Night of the Creeps (1986) dir.  Fred Dekker   BLU

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) dir. Wes Craven

1984 (duh)  dir. Michael Radford

Once Upon a Time in America (1983) dir. Sergio Leone   BLU

Ordinary People (1980) dir. Robert Redford

Out of the Blue (1981) dir. Dennis Hopper

The Outsiders (1982) dir. Francis Ford Coppola

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985) dir. Tim Burton   BLU

Phenomena (1985) dir. Dario Argento

Pin (1988) dir. Sandor Stern

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982) dir. Alan Parker

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) dir. John Hughes BLU

Platoon (1986) dir. Oliver Stone   BLU

Police Academy (1984) dir. Hugh Wilson

Police Story (1985) dir. Jackie Chan

Poltergeist (1982) dir. Tobe Hooper  BLU

Porky’s (1982) dir. Bob Clark

Possession (1981) dir. Andrzej Zulawski

Predator (1987) dir. John McTiernan   BLU

Pretty in Pink (1986) dir. Howard Deutch, screenplay by John Hughes

Prince of the City (1981) dir. Sidney Lumet

The Princess Bride (1987) dir. Rob Reiner   BLU

Quiet Earth (1985) dir. Geoff Murphy

Radio Days (1987) dir. Woody Allen

Raging Bull (1980) dir. Martin Scorsese   BLU

Rain Man (1988) dir. Barry Levinson  BLU

Raising Arizona (1987) dir. Coen Brothers   BLU

Ran (1985) dir. Akira Kurosawa   BLU

Rappin’ (1985) dir. Joel Silberg

Re-Animator (1985) dir. Stuart Gordon 

Repo Man (1984) dir. Alex Cox

Return of the Living Dead (1984) dir. Dan O'Bannon   BLU

Revenge of the Nerds (1984) dir. Jeff Kanew

The Right Stuff (1983) dir. Philip Kaufman

River’s Edge (1986) dir. Tim Hunter

Road House (1989) dir. Rowdy Herrington

The Road Warrior (1981) dir. George Miller  BLU

Robocop (1987) dir. Paul Verhoven   BLU

Roger & Me (1989) dir. Michael Moore

A Room With a View (1985) dir. James Ivory  BLU

Round Midnight (1986) dir. Bertrand Tavernier

Running Man (1987) dir. Paul Michael Glaser, based on the novel by Stephen King   BLU

Running on Empty (1988) dir. Sidney Lumet

The Sacrifice (1988) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky   BLU

Salome’s Last Dance (1987) dir. Ken Russell

Salvador (1985) dir. Oliver Stone

Samurai Reincarnation (1983) dir. Kinji Fukasaku

Sans Soleil (1983) dir. Chris Marker (filed under Jetee) BLU

Say Anything (1989) dir. Cameron Crowe

Scarface (1983) dir. Brian DePalma   BLU

Screwballs (1983) dir. Rafal Zielinski   BLU

The Secret of Nimh (1982) dir. Don Bluth   BLU

Seventh Continent (1989) dir. Michael Haneke

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) dir. Steven Soderbergh   BLU

Sherman’s March (1986) dir. Ross McElwee

The Shining (1980) dir. Stanley Kubrick   BLU

Shoah (1985) dir. Claude Lanzmann

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) dir. Howard Deutch, screenplay by John Hughes

Something Wild (1986) dir. Jonathan Demme   BLU

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988) dir. David DeCoteau

Spaceballs (1987) dir. Mel Brooks   BLU

Splash (1984) dir. Ron Howard

Stand By Me (1986) dir. Rob Reiner  BLU

Star 80 (1983) dir. Bob Fosse

Star Struck (1982) dir. Gillian Armstrong

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) dir. Nicholas Meyer

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) dir. Irvin Kershner   BLU

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) dir. Richard Marquand   BLU

Stardust Memories (1980) dir. Woody Allen

Stranger Than Paradise (1984) dir. Jim Jarmusch

Street of No Return (1989) dir. Sam Fuller

Stripes (1981) dir. Ivan Reitman   BLU

Style Wars (1983) dir. Henry Chalfant, Tony Silver

Suburbia (1983) dir. Penelope Spheeris

Tampopo (1985) dir. Juzo Itami

Tender Mercies (1982) dir. Bruce Beresford, screenplay by Horton Foote

Terminator (1984) dir. James Cameron

TerrorVision (1986) dir. Ted Nicolaou

Tetsuo: Iron Man (1988) dir. Shinya Tsukamoto

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) dir. Tobe Hooper

They Live (1988) dir. John Carpenter

Thief (1981) dir. Michael Mann

The Thin Blue Line (1988) dir. Errol Morris

The Thing (1982) dir. John Carpenter   BLU

This is Spinal Tap (1984) dir. Rob Reiner   BLU

Thrashin’ (1986) dir. David Winters

Three Amigos! (1986) dir. John Landis

Three O’Clock High (1987) dir. Phil Joanou

Throw Momma From The Train (1987) dir. Danny DeVito   BLU

Time Bandits (1981) dir. Terry Gilliam   BLU

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) dir. William Friedkin   BLU

Tootsie (1982) dir. Sydney Pollack

Top Secret! (1984) dir. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker

Trading Places (1984) dir. John Landis   BLU

UHF (1989) dir. Jay Levey

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) dir. Philip Kaufman

Uncle Buck (1989) dir. John Hughes

Valley Girl (1983) dir. Martha Coolidge

Vernon, Flordia (1983) dir. Errol Morris

Videodrome (1983) dir. David Cronenberg  BLU

Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984) dir. James Fargo   VHS

WarGames (1983) dir. John Badham

When Harry Met Sally… (1989) dir. Rob Reiner

White Dog (1982) dir. Sam Fuller

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) dir. Robert Zemeckis

Willow (1988) dir. Ron Howard

Wings of Desire (1987) dir. Wim Wenders   BLU

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) dir. Pedro Almodovar

A Zed & Two Noughts (1985) dir. Peter Greenaway   BLU

Zeder (1983) dir. Pupi Avati

 

An up-close look at the 80s sign, drawn by Marc Palm.

 

 

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