80 Greatest 80s Movie Moments

Return of the Jedi (1983)

The Moment: Admiral Ackbar realises what most of us already suspected. “It’s a trap!”

Only In The ’80s: …would a prawn get the film’s best line.

If It Was Made Today: Ackbar would speak in dodgy, borderline-racist patois.

Three Amigos (1985)

The Moment: Steve Martin, Martin Short and Chevy Chase seek an audience with the Singing Bush, but it’s too busy singing.

Only In The ’80s: Read the cast list back. Say no more.

If It Was Made Today: Double Oscar-winner Randy Newman would probably be too expensive to play the Bush.

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

The Moment: Inventive Python-esque payback, as mad Kevin Kline gets his c-c-c-comeuppance from stuttering Michael Palin via steamroller.

Only In The ’80s: …would Cleese, Palin, Curtis and Kline be starring together in a film rather than being a firm of solicitors.

If It Was Made Today: It’d be called The King’s Speech , and wouldn’t be half as much fun.

Chariots of Fire (1981)

The Moment: The opening race along the beach – apparently set in the 1920s, but it sounds totally modern and synth-tastic.

Only In The ’80s: …would Vangelis’ score soundtrack every single instance of somebody going faster than walking pace.

If It Was Made Today: Soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers.

Street Trash (1988)

The Moment: A hobo drinks toxic booze while sitting on the loo…and melts down the bog.

Only In The ’80s: …could a director get away with using blue paint as ‘melted’ make-up.

If It Was Made Today: We like to think Rutger Hauer’s forthcoming Hobo With A Shotgun is a spiritual sequel.

Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear (1985)

The Moment: Alan Rowe’s young not-yet-a-Doctor Watson hallucinates being attacked by malevolent cakes.

Only In The ’80s: …would a guy go from directing this mentalness to winning an Oscar within three years.

If It Was Made Today: They’d try and make an entire film about a killer eclair.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

The Moment: Jennifer Grey gets put in a corner. Patrick Swayze isn’t a happy fella.

Only In The ’80s: …could girl power propel a movie into the record books as the first to sell one million copies on home video.

If It Was Made Today: It’d better be good. You think fanboys get the hump when their faves are remade, wait until Hollywood faces the wrath of the fangirls.

The Vanishing (1988)

The Moment: Gene Bervoets agrees to be knocked out by self-confessed psycho Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu so he can discover exactly what happened to his missing girlfriend. Big mistake.

Only In The ’80s: …did the decade’s most effective chiller come out of Holland.

If It Was Made Today: No need to wait. They remade it in the 1990s, with the same director, and ruined things with a happy ending. Avoid.

The Goonies (1985)

The Moment: A generation’s favourite gang is completed as Chunk does the Truffle Shuffle.

Only In The ’80s: …did kids in kids’ movies have such personality.

If It Was Made Today: Disney-trained automatons, the lot of ’em.

Midnight Run (1988)

The Moment: The ultimate mis-matched buddies start as they mean to go on, as Robert De Niro threatens to add “fistophobia” to Charles Grodin’s list of ailments.

Only In The ’80s: …could movie cussing be this poetic.

If It Was Made Today: It’d lack the poetry.

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