The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

Top 10 Movies of the 1980’s

Many people would consider the 1980’s to be the best decade for movies, television, and just about everything else. It was the era of the car phone, Alf, and Friday night VHS rentals at your local Blockbuster. People actually talked to each other, because the internet and social media had not yet been invented. The 1980’s was a wonderful time to be alive, and it is responsible for producing many excellent movies. Here are a few picks for some of my favorite films of the 1980’s.

Everyone has seen iconic films such as Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Empire Strikes Back, so they will not be included on this list. 

  1. Meantime (1983) (Drama)

Acclaimed director Mike Leigh began his varied career with this deep, outstanding drama about a poor family and their often futile attempts to make money. Meantime is a perfectly acted, directed, written, and shot film that deserves more recognition than it receives. 

2. Vagabond (1985) (Drama)

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Through its clever use of flashbacks and outstanding lead performance by Sandrine Bonnaire, Vagabond paints a symbolic, haunting, and even beautiful picture recounting the last days of a rebellious hitchhiker named Mona. The music and camera work blend together seamlessly to create an atmospheric and vibrant landscape in which the characters inhabit.

3. The Shining (1980) (Horror/Mystery)

The Shining is probably Stanley Kubrick’s most well-known film, and for good reason. It is a smart, illustrative, and terrifying spectacle of suspense and creepiness. In a time when most horror movies are dimly lit, poorly edited junk, films like The Shining remind us of what horror movies can truly be. 

4. Blade Runner (1982) (Sci-fi/Drama)

Visually striking and captivating in its story, Blade Runner is a mesmerizing, poignant sci-fi film that is definitely worth a watch. There have been many edits of the film (4 total), but the “final cut” is without a doubt the best. 

5. Akira (1988) (Sci-fi/Action)

Exciting, thrilling, and at times frightening, Akira is a masterfully animated sci-fi film with vibrant characters and magnificent world-building. There are scenes of tense action and thought-provoking drama, making for a well-rounded, iconic film.

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (Adventure/Action)

Widely considered to be the greatest adventure film ever made, Raiders of the Lost Ark is not only a fantastic movie on its own, but it is the perfect start to a trilogy of excellent adventure films.

7. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) (War/Drama) 

 Studio Ghibli is known for their light, happy films such as My Neighbor Totoro and Ponyo. However, Grave of the Fireflies is known by many as one of the saddest films ever made. It’s a beautiful, heartfelt story that will leave many viewers in tears. 

8. The Elephant Man (1980) (Drama)

David Lynch followed up his 1977 surrealist masterpiece Eraserhead with The Elephant Man, a bold, moving drama with fantastic cinematography and a wildly talented cast. John Hurt is unrecognizable in the role of the titular elephant man, and Anthony Hopkins is superb as always.

9. Blow Out (1981)

Brian De Palma is known for his many fascinating directorial works, and in my opinion, his finest film to date is Blow Out. John Travolta gives his best performance in this gripping, tightly woven mystery, which ends with one of the most touching conclusions of all time. 

10. The Evil Dead (1981)

Low budget horror of the 1980’s was usually nothing more than cheap shlock, with a few exceptions. One of these is Sam Raimi’s first film, The Evil Dead. Despite the amount of money, or lack thereof, The Evil Dead is a genuinely frightening movie with practical effects on par with John Carpenter’s The Thing. Clocking in at 85 minutes, The Evil Dead is a great horror movie to watch if you ever find yourself in the mood to be scared.  

 

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About the Contributor
Henry Bowman, Staff Writer/Editor
Henry Bowman is a staff writer and editor for the Paw Print Press. He primarily writes articles about films, often compiling them into ranked lists. He has many favorite movies, but his top picks are Meantime (1983), Eraserhead (1977), and Saltburn (2023).
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