If you’re a fan of 80s movies, then you’ll want to check out this list of must-see films that you may have never heard of. From cult classics to hidden gems, these are the movies that you need to add to your watch list.
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The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American teen coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes. It stars Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy as high school students from different socio-economic backgrounds who spend a Saturday in detention at their high school. The film debuted in theaters on February 15, 1985.
Pretty in Pink
Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American romantic comedy film about a teenage girl who falls in love with a wealthy older man. The film was directed by John Hughes and starred Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, and Jon Cryer. Pretty in Pink wasRingwald’s third collaboration with Hughes, after Sixteen Candles (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985).
While Pretty in Pink was not as commercially successful as Hughes’ previous films, it received positive reviews from critics. The film has since been ranked among the greatest teen movies of all time.
John Hughes’ 1984 classic “Sixteen Candles” is a coming-of-age story about a high school girl whose family forgets her 16th birthday. Despite its lighthearted moments, the film deals with some heavy topics like racism, sexism, and teen pregnancy. Molly Ringwald delivers an iconic performance as the birthday girl, Sam, and the film also features a young Anthony Michael Hall and John Cusack. “Sixteen Candles” is a must-see film for any fan of Hughes or Ringwald, and it’s sure to please anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t quite fit in.
Weird Science is a cult classic from the 80s that you’ve probably never heard of. It’s about two teenage nerds who use a computer to create the perfect woman. Of course, things don’t go as planned and hilarity ensues. If you’re a fan of 80s movies, you need to check this one out.
The Goonies is a classic 80s movie that follows a group of kids who go on an adventure to find buried treasure. Although it may not be as well-known as some other 80s movies, it’s definitely one of the must-sees.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg, co-produced by Kathleen Kennedy and executive produced by John Williams. It stars Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore and Pat Welsh. It tells the story of Elliott (Thomas), a boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed “E.T.”, who is stranded on Earth. Elliott and his siblings help it return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.
The film was released on June 11, 1982 in 1,945 theaters in the United States where it grossed $792 million against a production budget of only $10.5 million becoming the highest-grossing film of all time until it was surpassed by another Spielberg film, Jurassic Park in 1993. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture which it lost to Gandhi; it won four for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects. Along with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Jurassic Park, E.T.’s release expanded Hollywood’s audiences’ notions of blockbuster successes beyond action fare into the realm of science fiction and family fare as well. In 1994, it was deemed “culturally significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Who could forget Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? It’s the ultimate 80s movie about a high school student (Matthew Broderick) who ditches school and spends the day in Chicago with his girlfriend (Mia Sara) and best friend (Alan Ruck). Ferris is charming, cunning, and resourceful, and the movie is filled with unforgettable scenes, like when he pretends to be sick to get out of going to school, or when he takes his friend’s dad’s Ferrari for a joyride. If you’re looking for a classic 80s movie that’s sure to entertain, look no further than Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The Outsiders is a 1983 American coming-of-age drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film stars Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane, and Tom Waits. The story follows two groups of young men in Oklahoma during the 1960s: the “greasers”, from the wrong side of the tracks who wear their hair long and greasy and engage in petty crime; and the “Socs”, from the wealthy neighborhoods who drive fancy cars and obsess over their looks. When one of the greasers gets into a fight with a Soc and kills him, the two groups clash violently.
The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, written by Robert Mark Kamen, and produced by Jerry Weintraub. The film stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, and Martin Kove. It tells the story of a Japanese immigrant Mr. Miyagi who agrees to train a bullied teenager named Daniel LaRusso in karate to defend himself against his tormentors.
Karate Kid was a sleeper hit upon its release, earning $90 million in the United States against a $8 million budget. It was the highest-grossing film of 1984 in North America. It spawned three sequels: The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994); as well as a television series adaptation, Cobra Kai (2018–present).
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club is one of the most iconic films of the 1980s. It tells the story of five teenage students who are serving detention on a Saturday morning. They come from different social backgrounds and initially don’t have much in common, but as they spend time together, they begin to form bonds and understand each other better. The film deals with important themes like bullying, peer pressure, and conformity, and it’s still relevant today. If you’re a fan of 80s movies, this is one you can’t afford to miss.