What’s the greatest 1980s movie ever?

THEY are part of our culture, back in the day when everybody watched the same things - because there was nothing else to watch.

The 1980s was, in many ways, a fantastic era for movies and many of the biggest hits from that decade are still going today, either as sequels, reboots or spin-offs featuring the same characters.

The debate about reviving Crocodile Dundee has refocused attention on these legendary flicks.

These are the ones that also entered our lives in a permanent way, with their classic lines, quips and situations now an integral part of the culture.

So what is the best? Which one had the greatest impact on us? Vote now - and also tell us if we have missed your favourite.

GREMLINS

Everybody wanted a Mogwai as a pet in the 1980s.
Everybody wanted a Mogwai as a pet in the 1980s.

SPAWNED (quite literally) a host of sequels as well as inspiring a host of catchphrases. The adorable Mogwai were the perfect pets, unless exposed to water or fed after midnight. Water made them spawn more Mogwai (nasty ones) and feeding them after midnight turned them into evil Gremlins. It was funny, scary and a little bit romantic as well. Yes, some of the effects are dodgy by today's standards but nobody who was a teenager in the 1980s can resist crying: "Bright light! Bright light!" if someone shines a torch in their face, even today.

CROCODILE DUNDEE

Paul Hogan as Crocodile Dundee.
Paul Hogan as Crocodile Dundee.

 

THIS movie Paul Hogan into a superstar and convinced America that Australia is a wild bushland place filled with macho he-men. So what the hordes of tourists attracted by the recent Superbowl ad pretending to be a "reboot" will make of Bondi's hipsters is anybody's guess. The "That's not a knife" line is legendary and even the hardest heart went all gooey at the ending. Yes, there are flaws but there's a reason why people are calling for it to be remade - it's a 1980s classic.

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF

Ferris Bueller's Day Off made wagging school look brilliant.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off made wagging school look brilliant.

The amazingly simple tale of a teenager who decides to wag school for the day because the sun is out and persuades his girlfriend and best mate to come along for the ride. From this simple premise comes a cinematic classic.

He fools his parents, outwits the mean deputy principal, wins over his angry sister and has a brilliant time just doing simple things. Just listening to his unbelievably boring teacher intone: "Bueller? Bueller?" and "Anyone? Anyone?" makes you smile. And it also has quite the message, as his best mate discovers the power of honesty.

DIRTY DANCING

That lift, featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, back when she had a normal nose.
That lift, featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, back when she had a normal nose.

 

"NOBODY puts Baby in the corner." That line, along with the legendary dance lift, is all you need to remember about this film. The rest of it is a bit of a muddle but hey, it was the 1980s.

Throw in a brilliant soundtrack and an uplifting message about being yourself and you have a winner. You are not a child of the 1980s if you haven't seen this.

DIE HARD

Bruce Willis certainly dies hard.
Bruce Willis certainly dies hard.

STILL going today, as an increasingly grumpy and bald Bruce Willis keeps saving the day against impossible odds. The brilliant Alan Rickman was a genius villain and Willis was actually convincing as the cop in the wrong place at the right time.

While "Yippe-ki-yay Motherf ... er" doesn't have the same uses as some of the other lines, it's the one people remember, while Rickman's falling-backwards-off-the-top-of-a-building routine has also been copied relentlessly.

THE KARATE KID

Ralph Macchio was about 30 in the Karate Kid but he made it work.
Ralph Macchio was about 30 in the Karate Kid but he made it work.

IT HAS been sequelled to death, copied relentlessly and then rebooted in China as the kung-fu kid. But nothing can beat the original. People pretending to fight just have to go into the classic "crane" pose from the ending to bring a laugh for anyone from the 1980s.

That and the Mr Miyagi-isms such as: "Wax on, wax off" have entered the lexicon. The tale of the bullied teen turning the tables on his attackers to win a title, respect and the love of a girl is simply universal

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

Robert Englund as Freddie Kreuger featured in millions of nightmares in the 1980s.
Robert Englund as Freddie Kreuger featured in millions of nightmares in the 1980s.

 

NOT everyone was allowed to watch this horror classic - but we all managed to do it anyway. The "One-two, Freddie's coming for you" line still echoes down the years and sends shivers up the spine.

And you can never get enough of watching Johnny Depp sucked down into a waterbed and then turned into a blood geyser. There's so many sequels it's not funny and it was the cause of many a sleepless night in the 1980s because Freddie only comes for you in your dreams. Brilliant.

POLICE ACADEMY

If Steve Guttenberg (left) wasn’t in a 1980s movie, it wasn’t worth watching.
If Steve Guttenberg (left) wasn’t in a 1980s movie, it wasn’t worth watching.

 

AGAIN, there were more sequels than characters in this series, which started brilliantly. Yes, the sexual jokes were a little ham-fisted and there were even 

more boobs being flashed than an episode of Game Of Thrones.

But nobody who saw this hilarious tale of slackers and losers triumphing over the odds to become star cops can ever look at a speech lectern or the idea of a Blue Oyster bar without laughing. If you don't know why, you need to watch it

LETHAL WEAPON

Oh the mullet and the mo ... Danny Glover and Mel Gibson rock 1980s fashion.
Oh the mullet and the mo ... Danny Glover and Mel Gibson rock 1980s fashion.

THIS was from the day when Mel Gibson just acted mad. The cop on the edge is teamed with a black cop (Danny Glover) who plays it by the book and loves cardigans. It was funny, violent and inspired a host of sequels. Mel's bare bum in the moonlight walk scene has also been copied dozens of times.

ALIENS

Sigourney Weaver as the brilliant Ellen Ripley.
Sigourney Weaver as the brilliant Ellen Ripley.

"GET away from her, you bitch!" Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is one of the best female characters ever and her challenge to the Alien Queen has been reproduced in a variety of ways many times over - most recently in the final Harry Potter movie when Mrs Weasley jumps in to save her daughter from the evil Bellatrix.

This was a sequel that bettered the brilliant original. Moving, terrifying and thrilling, it was everything that was great about the 1980s.

What is the greatest 1980s movie of all time?



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