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Popular Movies of the 1980s

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 4

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

80s Fun
Credit: MorgueFile.com

The 80s

 "Pac-Man" was all the rage in the 80s, and one of the longest running musicals, "Cats" opened on Broadway. Both "The Cosby Show" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show" begin broadcasting, and the Supreme Court ruled that taping television shows at home on a VCR did not violate copyright law.

Do you remember your favorite movies of the 1980s? Here are some of the most popular movies from that decade in alphabetical order.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (Widescreen Edition)
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Popular Movies of the 1980s

A Christmas Story - (1983, Bob Clark) (Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon)
A Fish Called Wanda - (1988, Charles Crichton) (Kevin Kline, John Cleese)
A Nightmare on Elm Street - (1984, Wes Craven) (John Saxon, Robert Englund)
A Passage to India - (1984, David Lean) (Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee)
A Room With a View - (1986, James Ivory) (Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter)
A Soldier's Story - (1984, Norman Jewison) (Adolph Caesar, Howard E. Rollins)
Airplane! - (1980, Jim Abrahams) (Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty)
Amadeus - (1984, Milos Forman) (F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce)
Arthur - (1981, Steve Gordon) (Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli)
Atlantic City - (1980, Louise Malle) (Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon)
Back to the Future - (1985, Robert Zemeckis) (Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd)
Big - (1988, Penny Marshall) (Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins)
Blade Runner - (1982, Ridley Scott) (Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer)
Blood Simple - (1984, Joel Coen) (John Getz, Frances McDormand)
Blue Velvet - (1986, David Lynch) (Kyle MacLachlin, Dennis Hopper)
Body Heat - (1981, Lawrence Kasdan) (William Hurt, Kathleen Turner)
Brazil - (1985, Terry Gilliam) (Jonathan Pryce, Robert DeNiro)
Broadcast News - (1987, James L. Brooks) (William Hurt, Holly Hunter)
Bull Durham - (1988, Ron Shelton) (Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins)
Caddyshack - (1980, Harold Ramis) (Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield)
Chariots of Fire - (1981, Hugh Hudson) (Ben Cross, Ian Charleson)
Cinema Paradiso - (1988, Giuseppe Tornatore) (Philippe Noiret, Salvatore Cascio)
Crimes and Misdemeanors - (1989, Woody Allen) (Woody Allen, Martin Landau)
Dangerous Liaisons - (1988, Stephen Frears) (Glenn Close, John Malcovich)
Das Boot - (1981, Wolfgang Peterson) (Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer)
Die Hard - (1988, John McTiernan) (Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman)
Do the Right Thing - (1989, Spike Lee) (Spike Lee, John Turturro)
Driving Miss Daisy - (1989, Bruce Beresford) (Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy)
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial - (1982, Steven Spielberg) (Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace)
Fanny and Alexander - (1982, Ingmar Bergman) (Pernilla Allwin, Bertil Guve)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High - (1982, Amy Heckerling) (Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh)
Fatal Attraction - (1987, Adrian Lyne) (Michael Douglas, Glenn Close)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - (1986, John Hughes) (Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck)
Field of Dreams - (1989, Phil Alden Robinson) (Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones)
Full Metal Jacket - (1987, Stanley Kubrick) (Mathew Modine, Adam Baldwin)
Gandhi - (1982, Richard Attenborough) (Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen)
Ghostbusters - (1984, Ivan Reitman) (Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray)
Glory - (1989, Edward Zwick) (Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman)
Hannah and Her Sisters - (1986, Woody Allen) (Woody Allen, Mia Farrow)
Henry V - (1989, Kenneth Branagh) (Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi)
Hoosiers - (1986, David Anspaugh) (Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper)
Hope and Glory - (1987, John Boorman) (Sebastian Rice Edwards, Sarah Miles)
Jean de Florette - (1986, Claude Berri) (Gerard Depardieu, Yves Montand)
Kagemusha - (1980, Akira Kurosawa) (Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki)
Kiss of the Spider Woman - (1985, Hector Babenco) (William Hurt, Raul Julia)
Local Hero - (1983, Bill Forsyth) (Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert)
Lost in America - (1985, Albert Brooks) (Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty
Melvin and Howard - (1980, Jonathan Demme) (Jason Robards, Paul Le Mat)
Missing - (1982, Costa Gavras) (Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek)
Mona Lisa - (1986, Neil Jordan) (Bob Hoskins, Michael Caine)
Moonstruck - (1987, Norman Jewison) (Cher, Nicolas Cage)
My Dinner with Andre - (1981, Louise Malle) (Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory)
My Left Foot - (1989, Jim Sheridan) (Daniel Day Lewis, Fiona Shaw)
Once Upon a Time in America - (1984, Sergio Leone) (Robert DeNiro, James Woods)
Ordinary People - (1980, Robert Redford) (Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore)
Out of Africa - (1985, Sydney Pollack) (Meryl Streep, Robert Redford)
Places in the Heart - (1984, Robert Benton) (Sally Field, John Malcovich)
Platoon - (1986, Oliver Stone) (Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen)
Poltergeist - (1982, Tobe Hooper) (Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams)
Prizzi's Honor - (1985, John Huston) (Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner)
Raging Bull - (1980, Martin Scorsese) (Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci)
Raiders of the Lost Ark - (1981, Steven Spielberg) (Harrison Ford, Paul Freeman)
Rain Man - (1988, Barry Levinson) (Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise)
Raising Arizona - (1987, Joel Coen) (Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter)
Ran - (1985, Akira Kurosawa) (Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao)
Return of the Jedi - (1983, Richard Marquand) (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford)
When Harry Met Sally [Blu-ray]
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Salvador - (1986, Oliver Stone) (James Woods, James Belushi)
Scarface - (1983, Brian De Palma) (Al Pacino, Steven Bauer)
sex, lies, and videotape - (1989, Steven Soderbergh) (James Spader, Andie MacDowell)
She's Gotta Have It - (1986, Spike Lee) (Tracy Camilla Johns, Spike Lee)
Stand By Me - (1986, Rob Reiner) (River Phoenix, Corey Feldman)
Tender Mercies - (1983, Bruce Beresford) (Robert Duvall, Tess Harper)
Terms of Endearment - (1983, James L. Brooks) (Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine)
The Big Chill - (1983, Lawrence Kasdan) (Kevin Kline, Glenn Close)
The Breakfast Club - (1985, John Hughes) (Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez)
The Color of Money - (1986, Martin Scorsese) (Paul Newman, Tom Cruise)
The Color Purple - (1985, Steven Spielberg) (Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg)
The Elephant Man - (1980, David Lynch) (John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins)
The Empire Strikes Back - (1980, Irvin Kershner) (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford)
The Executioner's Song - (1982, Lawrence Schiller) (Tommy Lee Jones, Rosanna Arquette)
The Killing Fields - (1984, Roland Joffe) (Sam Waterston, John Malcovich)
The King of Comedy - (1983, Martin Scorsese) (Robert DeNiro, Jerry Lewis)
The Last Emperor - (1987, Bernardo Bertolucci) (John Lone, Joan Chen)
The Last Metro - (1980, Francois Truffaut) (Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve)
The Little Mermaid - (1989, Ron Clements, John Musker) (Jodi Benson, Sam Wright)
The Princess Bride - (1987, Rob Reiner) (Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn)
The Right Stuff - (1983, Philip Kaufman) (Scott Glenn, Ed Harris)
The Road Warrior - (1981, George Miller) (Mel Gibson, Syd Heylen)
The Shining - (1980, Stanley Kubrick) (Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall)
The Stunt Man - (1980, Richard Rush) (Peter O¹Toole, Steve Railsback)
The Terminator - (1984, James Cameron) (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton)
The Untouchables - (1987, Brian De Palma) (Kevin Costner, Sean Connery)
The Vanishing - (1988, George Sluizer) (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets)
This Is Spinal Tap - (1984, Rob Reiner) (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest)
Tootsie - (1982, Sydney Pollack) (Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange)
When Harry Met Sally - (1989, Rob Reiner) (Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - (1988, Robert Zemeckis) (Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd)
Wings of Desire - (1987, Wim Wenders) (Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin)
Witness - (1985, Peter Weir) (Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis)


May 24, 2011 8:14pm
Wow Introspective, that's quite a comprehensive list! I'm a child of the 1980s so most of my favorite movies are in this article. Thanks for the article!
May 28, 2011 10:01pm
Hi dadbintheadmin; thanks so much.
May 29, 2011 10:36am
Great list! I still enjoy watching some of these movies on TV!
Mar 28, 2012 6:11pm
Me too, thanks Deb!
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