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What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

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What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Old 09-20-23, 09:24 AM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by Noonan
Everything already listed is valid. I'd like to add Coming to America.
I think Beverly Hills Cop is a better Eddie Murphy example IMO.
Old 09-20-23, 09:34 AM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Tango & Cash. It's pure 80s and I can't imagine it being made in any other decade.
Old 09-20-23, 10:24 AM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

My initial thought was Ferris Bueller's Day Off or The Breakfast Club, but opening the thread and seeing Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I was immediately swayed.
Old 09-20-23, 11:04 AM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by Count Dooku

There are reasons to say Top Gun or Wall Street as well, because they define the economic and political climate.

Or you could just see the 80s as a golden age of blockbusters and youth-oriented films.
Made me think of Red Dawn. Which incidentally integrates a lot of the action stuff from that side of film, as well
Old 09-20-23, 11:49 AM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Ferris Bueller's Day Off or The Breakfast Club or Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Revenge Of The Nerds or Valley Girl or War Games (in spite of it's completely nonsensical and unrealistic premise) or Beverly Hills Cop or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure or Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (I've never seen the movie but its trailer really makes it look like a pure 80s film).

Any/all of those scream *80s* from the roof and would be movies I'd use to show someone about life in the 80s.

Because the OP stated: "the perfect, made in the 80ís, all about the 80ís, totally 80ís movie" - I wouldn't include Back to the Future as, while originating in the 80s, it is more a 50s movie with a "fish out of water" aspect. I love Ghostbusters but it has more of a 70s comedy vibe.
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Old 09-20-23, 01:22 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Beverly Hills Cop. Shows all aspects of the 80s from normal fashions to the extremes. The boxy cars, the soundtrack. It even featured semi futuristic tech (the GPS system at the Beverly Hills station) that didnít exist as such at the time but seemed real and looks era appropriate now. Thatís not easy to do. And aside from the look and sound, thereís the fish out of water story at its peak.
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Old 09-20-23, 01:28 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
Ferris Bueller's Day Off or The Breakfast Club or Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Revenge Of The Nerds or Valley Girl or War Games (in spite of it's completely nonsensical and unrealistic premise) or Beverly Hills Cop or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure or Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (I've never seen the movie but its trailer really makes it look like a pure 80s film).

Any/all of those scream *80s* from the roof and would be movies I'd use to show someone about life in the 80s.

Because the OP stated: "the perfect, made in the 80ís, all about the 80ís, totally 80ís movie" - I wouldn't include Back to the Future as, while originating in the 80s, it is more a 50s movie with a "fish out of water" aspect. I love Ghostbusters but it has more of a 70s comedy vibe.
See, I would counter that it uses the 50s as a way to comment on the 80s
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Old 09-20-23, 02:48 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

You guys are forgetting one key element. Every TRUE 80s movie has to have at least one obligatory song from the 60s in it. For example, and I'm not even mentioning all the ones that take place (Or reflect) during the 60s...

Top Gun-"You've lost that loving feeling"
The Naked Gun-"Into Something Good"
St. Elmo's Fire-"Respect"
Major League-"Wild Thing"
Weird Science-"Oh Pretty Woman"
After Hours-"Last Train to Clarksville"
Short Circuit 2-"I Heard it Through The Grapevine"
Blood Simple-"It's The Same Old Song"
Starman-"Satisfaction"
Ferris Bueller's Day Off-"Twist & Shout"
One Crazy Summer-"Dancing in the Streets"( Multiple Beach Boys songs)
Manhunter-"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"
Can't Buy Me Love-(Title track)
Ernest Goes To Camp-"Happy Together"
Sixteen Candles-'Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry"
Children of a Lesser God-"I've been loving you too long"
Adventures in Babysitting-"Then He Kissed Me"
Masters Of The Universe-"Purple Haze"
She's Having A Baby-"How Sweet it is to be loved by you"
Lost in America-"Born to Be Wild"
Pretty in Pink-"Try A Little Tenderness"
River's Edge-"Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go"
Innerspace-(Multiple Sam Cooke songs)
Legal Eagles-"Good Lovin'"
Ghostbusters 2-"Higher & Higher"
Less Than Zero-"Moonlight Drive"
Better Off Dead-"Breaking up is hard to do"
Weeds-"I Can't Help Myself"
Flight Of The Navigator-"I Get Around"
New York Stories-"Whiter Shade of Pale"
(And John Landis appeared to have keys to the Motown vault all throughout the 80s & 90s)

One of the leading candidates of this topic (Fast Times/Ridgemont High) has qualified with Darlene Love's "Winter Wonderland"

Last edited by Mondo Kane; 09-20-23 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 09-20-23, 03:17 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

I think Less Than Zero captured the gaudy look and sound of Beverly Hills excess in the 1980s quite nicely, or at least how I would have imagined it. As a teenager myself in the mid-late 1980s, I think River's Edge captured the realistic look, feel and attitude of that time.
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Old 09-20-23, 03:42 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?


Old 09-20-23, 04:14 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Now we need to filter out the movies in this thread for freeze frame endings. Bonus points if the freeze frame takes over 30 seconds to fade to black.
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Old 09-20-23, 04:30 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by Noonan
Everything already listed is valid. I'd like to add Coming to America.
Originally Posted by devilshalo
I think Beverly Hills Cop is a better Eddie Murphy example IMO.
Trading Places would be a solid choice. It touched on the Reagan era economy/politics similar to Wall Street but with a comedic approach.
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Old 09-20-23, 04:51 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by bluetoast
Now we need to filter out the movies in this thread for freeze frame endings. Bonus points if the freeze frame takes over 30 seconds to fade to black.
Sleepaway Camp is the clear winner in that department!
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Old 09-20-23, 05:50 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

A lot of the films mentioned are youth culture and didn't represent the 80s for the vast majority of people. If you were a kid at the time, yeah. Even though Woodstock and Easy Rider ooze the 60s, they only represent the 60s to a corner of the population. Given, youth culture always dominates the overall culture, there are BIGGER things that appeal to everyone.

Back to the Future had everything for everybody. The movie works on all levels for all people. Second place is E.T. for same reasons, although it lacks the teen culture element.
Old 09-20-23, 06:18 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by rw2516
A lot of the films mentioned are youth culture and didn't represent the 80s for the vast majority of people. If you were a kid at the time, yeah. Even though Woodstock and Easy Rider ooze the 60s, they only represent the 60s to a corner of the population. Given, youth culture always dominates the overall culture, there are BIGGER things that appeal to everyone.

Back to the Future had everything for everybody. The movie works on all levels for all people. Second place is E.T. for same reasons, although it lacks the teen culture element.
E.T. is the first one I thought of. It covered some emerging topics in the 1980's: divorce, single working mom raising kids, 80's tech, and cultural icons of the time like the Star Wars toys.

In my opinion, BTTF doesn't completely fit all the requirements. While it starts out in the 1980's showcases some styles and fashions of the 80's, it's not all about the 80's as most of it takes place in the 1950's and is more about the nostalgia of that era.
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Old 09-20-23, 06:19 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by rw2516
A lot of the films mentioned are youth culture and didn't represent the 80s for the vast majority of people.
Traditionally, whatever the current youth culture was would become the trend-setting barometer for the various decades. Of course today traditional examples of "youth culture" extends well into the population's 30, 40 and 50-year-olds.
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Old 09-20-23, 06:20 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

My favorite Ď80s movie is probably Die Hard, but it kicked off a whole decade of similar action movies so it feels more like part of that. So Iíll go with Breakfast Club.
Old 09-20-23, 06:26 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

A lot of good contenders have been listed, but I'm going with an outside-the-box choice: Commando.
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Old 09-20-23, 06:37 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

I guess I think about this question in a different way. A lot of the answers in this thread are among the best movies of all time and actually transcend the decade in which they were made and take place. For whatever reason, when I think of a movie that just exudes the 80s and belongs squarely in the decade but doesn't actually transcend it in any meaningful way, Better Off Dead would be my pick.
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Old 09-20-23, 07:17 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane
You guys are forgetting one key element. Every TRUE 80s movie has to have at least one obligatory song from the 60s in it. For example, and I'm not even mentioning all the ones that take place (Or reflect) during the 60s...

Made me think that the Q 80s movie would have to have synthesizer soundtrack like Risky Business or Vision Quest or Blade Runner or Terminator
Old 09-20-23, 07:48 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by bluetoast
Beverly Hills Cop. Shows all aspects of the 80s from normal fashions to the extremes. The boxy cars, the soundtrack. It even featured semi futuristic tech (the GPS system at the Beverly Hills station) that didnít exist as such at the time but seemed real and looks era appropriate now. Thatís not easy to do. And aside from the look and sound, thereís the fish out of water story at its peak.
I like how your avatar is agreeing with your choice here ...
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Old 09-20-23, 08:06 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by rw2516
A lot of the films mentioned are youth culture and didn't represent the 80s for the vast majority of people. If you were a kid at the time, yeah. Even though Woodstock and Easy Rider ooze the 60s, they only represent the 60s to a corner of the population. Given, youth culture always dominates the overall culture, there are BIGGER things that appeal to everyone.
What about something like Sheís Having a Baby? Granted, it still touches on Americaís younger generation but it covers more universal topics like establishing yourself into adulthood, marriage issues, raising children, living in the suburbs, etc.

Itís also very definitely an ď80s movieĒ.
Old 09-20-23, 08:28 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

So many to choose from. Needs to be a John Hughes movie. Has to be the Breakfast Club - what a soundtrack!
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Old 09-20-23, 11:08 PM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

How about the movie Nineteen Eighty-Four?
Old 09-21-23, 06:01 AM
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Re: What do you think is the quintessential 80ís movie?

Originally Posted by orangerunner
Traditionally, whatever the current youth culture was would become the trend-setting barometer for the various decades. Of course today traditional examples of "youth culture" extends well into the population's 30, 40 and 50-year-olds.
I'd argue youth culture only sets the trend for films that are made and marketed toward youth audience which is what?, 20% of population? Most people didn't see these movies and are only remembered as they are because people who were young at the time remember them. I wouldn't call an Elvis or Beach Party movie a quintessential 60s movie.
What about The Big Chill? An 80s movie that has everything 80s but is disqualified because the characters are to old?
Youth pop culture usually does progress to being the main culture a decade or two later, but by then newer youth cultures have developed to replace them. There is always a separation between youth and mainstream culture.
The thing about BTTF is that it has 80s youth culture mixed with 50s youth culture, hence, no matter what age you were in 1985, everybody had the same experience watching it.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High came out to early to reflect the 80s. It's more about the late 70s (That 70s Show). Rather than being about the 80s, the culture copied it.

Halloween, Friday the 13th, Fog, Howling are 70s style horror. Nightmare on Elm Street is the true 80s horror movie that set the trend and the existing franchises adjusted to it.

Action stuff like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, although released in late 80s, set the trend for the 90s. First Blood could have been released in 1975. Not Rambo. Rambo is dyed in the wool 80s/90s.

The films from the first few years of a decade are more in step with the previous decade. The films from the last few years of a decade are setting the trend for the early years of the next decade. It's films from the middle years that belong solely to that decade.

Last edited by rw2516; 09-21-23 at 06:14 AM.
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