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From 'Caddyshack' to 'Heathers': Name the 80 must-see movies of the '80s



Fullmetaljacket Do the 1980s have 80 must-see movies? It's time to find out. Check out your DVD collection, peruse, dig out the boxes of dusty VHS movies. I need your help.

This could be tougher to build than our recently completed list of the 80 must-own albums of the '80s.

Some guidelines to follow: Obviously, it needs to have been released in the '80s. It doesn't matter what country it was released in. And what makes for an important movie obviously could change from person to person. Comedies, dramas, action/adventure, documentaries. If you want to make an argument for a short film, feel free. Some movies could time capsules of the '80s, whereas others might transcend the decade. 

Feel free to add as many as you like. Here are five possibly unusual candidates from my personal collection:

FULL METAL JACKET (1987): When it comes to movies about Vietnam in the '80s, most people are going to lean toward Oliver Stone's Platoon. I prefer Matthew Modine and the freakishly fantastic performance by R. Lee Ermey. It's two great movies: the boot camp start and the Vietnam finish.

AIRPLANE (1980): Surely, you must be joking if you're going to leave this masterpiece by Jim Abrahams and David Zucker off the list. (Insert mandatory comeback here.)

About-last-night ABOUT LAST NIGHT (1986): Sure, Demi Moore was already known from 1985's St. Elmo's Fire. But she can credit her mega-celeb status today -- acting is clearly not a priority -- to her topless (pre-plastic surgery) scenes in this movie.

HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1 (1981): Mel Brooks' best movies were probably before our decade (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles). But sorry, fans of Spaceballs, this is easily his '80s masterpiece and features the best tease to a non-existent sequel. ("See ... Hitler on Ice!")

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986): Like Brooks, Woody Allen's signature work came earlier. But by combining elements from his past films into Hannah and Her Sisters, Allen creates a whole new generation of fans with this important entry point into his career. Plus, it has the great Max von Sydow (and there's no way anyone is going to let me use his movie Victory on this list, is there?).

Okay, your turn. Offer up as many suggestions as you'd like. Help us name the 80 must-see movies of the 1980s.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:56pm]


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