TNB Night Owl – Movies of the Eighties

The rope bridge scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Image captured by the News Blender.

Betcha you thought The Owl was done with The Eighties nostalgia trip we took last week. Not quite, there, Max Headroom. Prepare to be blinded with science, or something.

You see, while gathering information to blend into the eighties mix last week, I burned through an inordinate amount of not-insignificant time compiling a list of the eighties’ top (more or less) 100+ movies. While I personally found the list both compelling and profound (well, okay, maybe just factual and fancy free) it was unceremoniously axed from the article by my editor, who deemed said gilded list pushed the size of the article far outside the limits of the envelope. (Inconceivable!)

Wasted time is lost time (except when I decide it is not) and I have determined through careful cost-benefit analysis as well as a consideration of the amount of time, or lack thereof, that I have on my hands today that the time and effort invested previously should not be squandered for a cheeseburger on Tuesday. Whatever that means.

In fashionably quotable form, last week’s Owl went boldly where no owl has gone before and declared, “nothing defines a decade better than its music”. That statement is truer now more than ever, but a close second (or maybe third) is, “movies define a decade pretty good, too”. (Grammatical faux-pas intended).

This list is far from comprehensive, and you are welcome to add to it in the comments section. The list follows immediately after the questions of the night:

What’s your favorite movie from the eighties?

Which movie best represents the eighties?

Which year had the best movies of the eighties?

What are some of your favorite quotes from movies of the eighties?

What’s your favorite genre of movie – action, adventure, animated, fantasy, science fiction, horror, thriller, mystery, comedy, romance, drama, etc?

And now, presented without commentary,


Coal Miner’s Daughter
Ordinary People
Raging Bull
The Blues Brothers
The Empire Strikes Back
The Last Metro
The Shining


An American Werewolf in London
Chariots of Fire
Das Boot
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Evil Dead
True Confessions


Blade Runner
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Fanny and Alexander
Sophie’s Choice
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
The King of Comedy
The Year Of Living Dangerously


A Christmas Story
Return of the Jedi
Tender Mercies
The Big Chill
The Right Stuff


A Nightmare on Elm Street
Beverly Hills Cop
Blood Simple
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Red Dawn
Sixteen Candles
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
The Brother from Another Planet
The Karate Kid
The Killing Fields
The Natural
The NeverEnding Story
The Terminator
This Is Spinal Tap


A Room With a View
Back To The Future
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
My Life as a Dog
The Breakfast Club
The Goonies


Blue Velvet
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Hannah and Her Sisters
She’s Gotta Have It
Stand by Me
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
The Mission
Top Gun


Au Revoir, les Enfants
Babette’s Feast
Beverly Hills Cop II
Broadcast News
Dirty Dancing
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Full Metal Jacket
House of Games
Lethal Weapon
Raising Arizona
The Last Emperor
The Princess Bride
The Untouchables
Wall Street
Wings of Desire


A Fish Called Wanda
Bull Durham
Cinema Paradiso
Dangerous Liaisons
Die Hard
My Neighbor Totoro
The Last Temptation of Christ
The Moderns
The Vanishing
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown


Back To The Future Part II
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Do the Right Thing
Field of Dreams
Ghostbusters II
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Monsieur Hire
My Left Foot
Say Anything
Sex, Lies & Videotape
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
The Little Mermaid
When Harry Met Sally

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About Richard Doud 622 Articles
Learning is a life-long endeavor. Never stop learning. No one is right all the time. No one is wrong all the time. No exceptions to these rules.