Greatest Films of the 1980s
Greatest Films of the 1980s

Greatest Films of the 1980s
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989


Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description

Back to the Future (1985), 116 minutes, D: Robert Zemeckis
See series: Back to the Future (1985-1990).

Brazil (1985, UK), 131 minutes, D: Terry Gilliam
An offbeat, satirical ultra-dark comedy of an oppressive, alternative future, with visually-imaginative references to Kafka's The Trial, Orwell's 1984 and A Clockwork Orange. Mild-mannered and meek bureaucratic statistician Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), a civil servant Everyman works in the regulatory Ministry of Information (MOI), jammed with paperwork and filled with endless pneumatic tubes. When a literal beetle is squashed in an office teletype printer and causes a typographical error that alters an arrest record, it unjustly identifies an innocent citizen Mr. Buttle as suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). When Lowry investigates the case of mistaken identity and attempts to unravel it, he escapes to become a silver-winged hero in the clouds who rescues a dreamlike fantasy girl Jill Layton (Kim Greist). A similar-looking female truck driver inspires him to win her love, but meanwhile, he has become the subject of study by the totalitarian regime.

The Breakfast Club (1985), 92 minutes, D: John Hughes

Cocoon (1985), 117 minutes, D: Ron Howard

The Color Purple (1985), 152 minutes, D: Steven Spielberg

The Emerald Forest (1985, UK/US), 113 minutes, D: John Boorman

The Goonies (1985), 114 minutes, D: Richard Donner

Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985, Braz./US/Arg.), 119 minutes, D: Hector Babenco

Lost in America (1985), 91 minutes, D: Albert Brooks

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985, UK), 97 minutes, D: Stephen Frears

My Life as a Dog (1985, Swe.) (aka Mitt Liv Som Hund), 101 minutes, D: Lasse Hallstrom

The Official Story (1985, Argentina) (aka La Historia Oficial), 112 minutes, D: Luis Puenzo

Out of Africa (1985), 162 minutes, D: Sydney Pollack

Pale Rider (1985), 120 minutes, D: Clint Eastwood

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985), 90 minutes, D: Tim Burton

Prizzi's Honor (1985), 130 minutes, D: John Huston
In the black comedy 'sleeper' hit about questionable loyalties, Jack Nicholson took the convincing role of Charley Partanna, a dedicated, proud and unquestioning hit-man for the powerful Prizzi boss 'family.' The dim-witted Charley was fatally-hooked and love-struck by sultry, Los Angeles-bred blonde Irene Walker (Kathleen Turner), a rival paid 'contractor' or hired assassin. After he asked, "Do I ice her? Do I marry her?" a bi-coastal, opposites-attract romantic courtship led to marriage. Unfortunately, their Mafia-associated love and work didn't mix well together, and they were both tasked with taking each other out. In the film's double-crossing confrontational bedroom scene, the two lovers armed themselves with a gun and knife to eliminate each other.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), 84 minutes, D: Woody Allen

Ran (1985, Jp./Fr.), 160 minutes, D: Akira Kurosawa

A Room With a View (1985, UK), 117 minutes, D: James Ivory
A delightful comedy of errors tale of repressed Victorian romance and British conceit, adapted from E.M. Forster's novel. A proper Edwardian young girl (Helena Bonham Carter) with her elderly, guilt-ridden spinster chaperone/cousin (Maggie Smith) take a tourist holiday in Italy. There, she meets a free-spirited suitor (Julian Sands), but is whisked back to Surrey, England when romance develops. Back home, she is engaged to a prissy, dispassionate, self-possessed, intellectual gentleman (Daniel Day-Lewis). When she is reunited with the charming young man from Florence, she must make a defiant decision regarding her marital plans.

Sherman's March (1985), 157 minutes, D: Ross McElwee

The Trip to Bountiful (1985), 105 minutes, D: Peter Masterson

Witness (1985), 112 minutes, D: Peter Weir

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