Here we are, the final day of 80s Movie Month! I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have revisiting some of the best, worst and weirdest the decade had to offer. To finish our look at 80s movies, today’s Top 5 will be counting down the biggest earning films of the decade. With some serious blockbusters released in the 80s, can you guess what made the Top 5? Read on to find out!
Yep, it really is the last week of 80s Movie Month! Where has the time gone?! All the fun and festivities will wrap up on Friday, but today we’re still talking soundtracks, so let’s get to this week’s double play!
There are so many more soundtrack songs I love and want to post (and probably will soon), but for my final two official selections I decided to go with songs from two of the best dance movies of the decade – Flashdance and Footloose.
From Footloose, this is the incomparable Bonnie Tyler with Holding Out For A Hero (with a trademark BT random clip!):
From Flashdance, this is the title track by Irene Cara – Flashdance (What A Feeling):
In a strange coincidence which I totally didn’t plan, today was the 2012 Academy Awards – and today’s post is about the Oscars in the 80s! While the stars and the movies might have changed, the Oscars back then still definitely had all the glitz and glamor that you could want.
One thing that I’ll give to the Oscars is that they do give the big awards to relative newcomers, if it is deserved. All of the following names are irrevocably household today, but back then some of them were only just starting out – these are some of the Best Actor and Actress winners from the decade:
Robert De Niro, Henry Fonda, Robert Duvall, William Hurt, Dustin Hoffman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Newman, Michael Douglas, Sissy Spacek, Katherine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Cher, Jodie Foster.
The directors that took out the big award during the decade are no less impressive – think Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Richard Attenborough, Sydney Pollack and Oliver Stone (twice).
With such an amazing pool of talent, there were so so many brilliant, successful and critically acclaimed films that came out in the 80s. While we all have different tastes and could debate the best until the cows come home, there were ten standouts that beat every other film to take out Best Picture during the decade. How many of the winners have you seen?
1981 – Ordinary People
1982 – Chariots of Fire
1983 – Gandhi
1984 – Terms of Endearment
1985 – Amadeus
1986 – Out of Africa
1987 – Platoon
1988 – The Last Emperor
1989 – Rain Man
1990 – Driving Miss Daisy
On Monday I posted about the indie films that gave some character to the 80s. However, it wasn’t always the independent ones that were the strangest! The decade gave us some strange but wonderful films that I look back on now and just wonder – what were they thinking?!
This Tim Burton comedy-horror starred Michael Keaton as the ghost who helps a dead Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin haunt the family who has moved into their old house. Who could forget Beetlejuice’s striped suit and whacky make up, and the crazy nightmare-scape of the ghost world? This is a brilliant one that was only the beginning of what Tim Burton had to offer.
Pop Eighties favorite David Bowie featured in this movie about a girl who wishes her baby brother to be stolen by goblins. When it comes true she has to make her way through a labyrinth to find the Goblin King (Bowie) and get her brother back. This film single-handedly began my obsession with mazes and labyrinths! I think the Jim Henson puppets were really scary and the Bowie music added to the weird atmosphere of it all.
3. Purple Rain
Prince (before he was Symbol), was a big, big deal in the 80s. So much so that he starred in this pure-ego movie, playing “The Kid” (who is basically just him), a struggling musician trying to keep his band together while having an intense relationship with singer Apollonia. It is best known for its risque sex-scenes and for spawning the hit single When Doves Cry.
This is not your average teen movie. In the beginning you could be forgiven for thinking it is, with the bitchy popular clique (including Shannen Doherty), Winona Ryder playing the girl who doesn’t quite fit in, and the arrival of Christian Slater as the rebel bad-boy love interest. However, when Winona and Christian kill the leader of the popular clique by having her drink drain cleaner, the movie goes in a totally different direction. It is a brilliant satire of both teen movies and teen life in 80s America, with stellar performances by all cast members. This one is a cult classic for a reason!
1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
This is definitely the strangest 80s film I can think of! Billed as a fantasy-comedy-noir, it mixed live action with animation in a seamless way that was quite cutting-edge for its time. Bob Hoskins stars as a private detective who investigates a murder involving cartoon character Roger Rabbit in Toon Town, where all the cartoon characters of the day live (especially interesting was the fact that this Disney film approached rival Warner Brothers to use their major cartoon characters like Donald Duck, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, who surprisingly agreed). I remember loving this movie as a kid, but it’s definitely more of an adult-oriented cartoon (the beguiling Jessica Rabbit certainly wasn’t drawn for kids!). Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a critical success, made a lot of money, and won 3 Academy Awards, but I think it would be most pleased to know it took out the #1 spot for weirdest movie of the decade!
Here we are, the next installment of my fave soundtrack songs from the 80s! And I’ve got some great, cheesy ones for you today!
First, from the guilty-pleasure Tom Cruise film, Top Gun, came this smash hit ballad, Take My Breath Away:
Independent movies are, and always have been, a bit hit and miss, and the 80s indie movie is no exception. However, while there were some shockers, the decade gave us some of the most memorable indie movies in history.
The indie scene centered around film festivals, most notably Cannes and the newer Sundance, which began in 1978 in Salt Lake City in Utah, as a way to promote American-made films and give a platform to independent films. In the 80s it gave awards to films like Blood Simple (by the Coen brothers), Waiting For The Moon (starring Linda Bassett), Last Night at the Alamo, and Sex, Lies and Videotape. This was one of the most famous indie movies of the decade, especially because it captured the time so brilliantly, the pros and cons of modern technology and the increasing focus on voyeurism that resulted from it.