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MOVIES IN THE 1980s Part 2

Fame Fame

An entertaining look at life in New York's High School for Performing Arts. The film centres on five of the most talented students - Coco the singer, Bruno Martelli the musician, Leeroy the dancer, and actors Montgomery and Raul (Ralph).

The film suggested that the High School students were inclined to spontaneous singing and dancing in the street and the canteen.

Many of the cast starred in the television series which started the following year.

Flash Gordon Flash Gordon

A camp space opera, in which heroic Flash Gordon had to save the world from the dastardly Emperor Ming. Along the way Flash and his partner Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) battled with Ming's minions. Flash also had to resist the temptations of a beautiful princess.

Sam J Jones who suited the part because of his comic strip figure... played Flash Gordon but his entire dialogue was over-dubbed by another actor!

Queen provided the suitably over-the-top rock score.

Chariots of Fire Chariots of Fire

Best remembered for its theme tune - to which a generation of boys raced each other home from school. This was the Oscar-wining tale of two men competing in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

The oft-imitated slow motion sprinting sequences helped Chariots of Fire become an international hit for the British film industry, and location filming on the streets of Cambridge did no harm at all for the town's tourist industry.

Porkys Porky's

Porky's was a coming-of-age comedy set in the frat house of an American college.

A kind of Eighties' American Pie, it was deemed a must-see by adolescent boys because it promised gratuitous nudity and would 'show you how to do it'.

The film failed to create any major stars, but did launch the career of actress Kim Cattrall, who - surely not typecast - went on to play man-eater Samantha in HBO's Sex and the City.

Educating Rita Educating Rita

Starring -Michael Caine & Julie Walters

The film that did for universities what Shirley Valentine would later do for holidays to Greece.

Drunken lecturer Michael Caine turns working class Julie Walters into an educated 'woman of the world' when she attends his English Literature classes. But is it really for the best?

The film was adapted from a play by Liverpudlian writer Willy Russell, and amateur stage productions have flourished ever since.

The Terminator The Terminator

Starring -Arnold Schwarzenegger & Linda Hamilton

Starring muscle man Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cyborg and directed by James Cameron who later found even more fame as director of Titanic. This futuristic thriller has been endlessly imitated.

Los Angeles has been reduced to rubble in 2029 and is run by machines. A cyborg is thrust back in time programmed to terminate Sarah Connor, the mother of a man who will lead the human resistance against the machines in 2029.

A member of the human resistance is also sent back to 1984 to rescue Sarah Connor (Hamilton) from being assassinated before she can give birth.

Ghostbusters Ghostbusters

Starring -Bill Murray & Sigourney Weaver

A quartet of Manhattan based paranormal investigators lead by deadpan Bill Murray are called into action when ancient spirits are let loose in New York. They are armed to the back teeth with wacky paraphernalia for busting ghosts.

Sigourney Weaver appears as a beautiful but possessed cellist and Rick Moranis as the nerd next door.

The Ghostbusters get rid of all the spooks in the end, but not before a silly finale with a giant marshmallow man.


Beverly Hills Cop Beverly Hills Cop

Starring -Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy in a blockbuster as a black Detroit detective sent to lily-white Beverly Hills on a reluctant vacation and insists on investigating his friend's death.

There are plenty of slapstick shoot-outs and a British villain (Steven Berkoff) who is responsible for the murder of Axel Foley's friend.

It spawned two sequels and plenty of parodies.

Back to the Future Back to the Future

Starring -Michael J Fox & Christopher Lloyd

The film that made bodywarmers (basically sleeveless Puffa jackets) and skateboarding fashionable again.

Michael J Fox played the teenage hero with the time-travelling DeLorien car, who returns to the 1950s to make sure his teenage mum and dad get together and so ensure his future survival.

The film spawned two sequels and a hit single - The Power of Love - from US rockers Huey Lewis and the News

The Breakfast Club The Breakfast Club

Starring -Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson & Ally Sheedy

The finest hour of the Hollywood 'Brat Pack'.

Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall starred as dysfunctional dropouts sharing their secrets during Saturday morning detention.

Across the world, god-fearing kids who'd never even thrown a paper plane embarked on a high-visibility campaign of serial bullying - just so they could get free therapy in School 'DT'.

Crocodile Dundee Crocodile Dundee

Starring -Paul Hogan & Sue Charlton

Legendary crocodile hunter Michael J 'Crocodile' Dundee (Paul Hogan) takes New York journalist Linda Kozlowski (Sue Charlton) on a tour of the outback to scoop a great story for her paper.

In return she brings him to New York City where he has to adjust to the urban jungle. He seems naive but proves his natural outback skills are equally useful in the city fending off muggers and charming members of high society.

During their adventure, the rugged hunter and city journalist fall for each other... what a surprise.

Top Gun Top Gun

Starring -Tom Cruise & Kelly McGillis

Macho navy pilot Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is sent to Miramar Naval Air Station for advanced training where he competes with 'Iceman' (Val Kilmer) for the coveted Top Gun award.

He seduces a civilian consultant played by Kelly McGillis but the real excitement in the movie comes from the stunning flying sequences which combined real footage with state of the art scale models.

Mitchell looses the Top Gun honour to his rival after being shaken up by the death of a friend. Worried that he may have lost his nerve he redeems himself on a real mission to rescue a damaged US vessel and the rivals become friends... aahhh!

Dirty Dancing Dirty Dancing

Starring -Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey

Good girl Jennifer Grey has her sexuality awoken at a holiday camp in the 1960s by the raunchy dance moves of Butlins-style Yellowcoat Patrick Swayze.

The film made girls swoon (at Swayze gyrating in his tight jeans), and boys groan (at the prospect of having to learn proper moves instead of just jiggling up and down) in equal numbers.

What was intended to be a low-budget 'filler' even made Swayze a pop star, with his single 'She's Like the Wind', taken from the soundtrack.

Fatal Attraction Fatal Attraction

Starring -Michael Douglas & Glenn Close

The film that put more people off casual sex than AIDS, and added a new word - bunnyboiler - to the English language.

Family man Michael Douglas has a brief affair with stylish 'other woman' Glenn Close - but then finds she's gone psycho when he refuses to leave his wife.

After turning the family pet into soup, Close goes even more mental and attacks the rest of the family.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Starring -Keanu Reeves & Alex Winter

Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are two puppet-like airheads who are on track for flunking their high school graduation. They are given one more chance by their teacher and have to pass an oral test on how a historical personality might react to modern times.

They get some unexpected help from Rufus who is from the future and whose society is based on Bill and Ted's painful rock music. Rufus whisks them off in a time machine to rescue his society and on the way they pick up historical characters and clich? that help them pass their finals.

Rain Man Rain Man

Starring -Tom Cruise & Dustin Hoffman

Used car hustler Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) is told that his estranged father has died. He expects to receive at least a portion of the $3 million estate but discovers he has inherited only his father's prize roses and a Buick Roadmaster.

The $3 million has been put into a trust for an undisclosed party so Charlie heads to his hometown of Cincinnati to find out who the lucky party is.

The secret beneficiary is Raymond Babbitt, the autistic-savant older brother Charlie never knew he had. Charlie must earn the trust of his brother in order to divert the inheritance.

Buster Buster

Starring -Phil Collins & Julie Walters

Based on The Great Train Robbery of 1963, Buster tells the story of Buster Edwards (Phil Collins), one of the junior robbers.

It covers the planning of the robbery but Buster's main concern is his wife and family! The Edwards try to make ends meet in a rented apartment but instead of having a job Buster is a thief who has the luck of hardly ever being caught.

After the robbery they get away to Mexico but the money doesn't stretch as far as they had hoped. The families end up coming back to England where Buster gives himself up to the police.

When Harry Met Sally When Harry Met Sally

Starring -Meg Ryan & Billy Crystal

Famous for its 'fake orgasm in a restaurant' scene, this romantic comedy established Billy Crystal as an actor and rocketed Meg Ryan to superstardom.

The whole film is based around the idea of whether men and women can be friends, or if sex always gets in the way.

The answer is 'No', by the way.


Starring -Sigourny Weaver, Michael Biehn & Bill Paxton

The sequel to Alien is a non-stop, high-tech, war movie, with Space Marines.The only survivor of the Nostromo, Ripley is discovered in deep sleep half a century later by a salvage ship. When she is taken back to Earth, she learns that a human colony was founded on the same planet where the aliens were first found. After contact with the colony is lost, she finds herself sent back to the planet along with a team of warriors bent on destroying the alien menace forever, and saving any survivors -- if any remain.


Starring -Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, John Mills & Martin Sheen

This film describes the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political leader who managed to free his country from the British rule using peaceful means and thus giving hope and inspiration for generations to come.


Starring -Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia & Alan Rickman

Tough New York cop John McClane finds himself in a tight situation when an office building in Los Angeles is taken over by terrorists. Apart from himself, everyone else in the building - including his wife - is held at gunpoint while their captors spell out their demands. The F.B.I. are called in to survey the situation, but John McClane has other plans for the terrorists...


Starring -Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, & Robert De Niro

Young Treasury Agent Elliot Ness arrives in Chicago and is deternimed to take down Al Capone but he learns that it's not going to be easy, because Capone has the police in his pocket. But Ness meets Jimmy Malone a veteran patrolman and probably the most honorable one in the force. He asks Malone to help him get Capone but Malone warns him that if he goes after Capone, he is going to war. They recruit academy cadet, George Stone and Treasury agent Oscar Wallace, who is also an accountant, who wants to prosecute Capone for tax evasion. When they make headway, Capone tries to get them but they are untouchable.


Starring -Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote & C Thomas Howell

While visiting the Earth at Night, a group of alien botanists is discovered and disturbed by an approaching human task force. Because of the more than hasty take-off, one of the visitors is left behind. The little alien finds himself all alone on a very strange planet. Fortunately, the extra-terrestrial soon finds a friend and emotional companion in 10-year-old Elliot, who discovered him looking for food in his family's garden shed. While E.T. slowly gets acquainted with Elliot's brother Michael, his sister Gertie as well as with Earth customs, members of the task force work day and night to track down the whereabouts of Earth's first visitor from Outer Space. The wish to go home again is strong in E.T., and after being able to communicate with Elliot and the others, E.T. starts building an improvised device to send a message home for his folks to come and pick him up. But before long, E.T. gets seriously sick, and because of his special connection to Elliot, the young boy suffers, too. The situation gets critical when the task force finally intervenes. By then, all help may already be too late, and there's no alien spaceship in sight.


Starring -Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jery O'Connell, Keifer Sutherland, & Richard Dreyfuss

Based on Stephen King's Short story "The Body", "Stand By Me" tells the tale of Gordie Lachance, a writer who looks back on his preteen days when he and three close friends went on their own adventure to find the body of a kid their age who had gone missing and presumed dead. The stakes are upped when the bad kids in town are closely tailing - and it becomes a race to see who'll be able to recover the body first.

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.



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