Movies – 1980s

Accidental Tourist, The (1988)

The Accidental Tourist is a quirky movie which manages to be intelligent, funny and deeply moving. Lawrence Kasdan’s faithful rendering of the Anne Tyler novel is for viewers who demand a bit more from a movie than special effects and noise. The offbeat hero is a glum travel writer who wanders the globe without feeling any(…)

Accused, The (1988)

Jodie Foster won her first Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for her performance as rape victim Sarah Tobias in The Accused. It’s easy to see why. Considered brutal and shocking in its day, it was a triumph for ex-Fox president turned independent producer Sherry Lansing, who had been told repeatedly that no-one would(…)

Action Jackson (1988)

Carl Weathers, a former football player who sparred with Sylvester Stallone in three Rocky movies, lives up to the title role. The venerable Detroit cop engages in plenty of shootings, explosions and car chases in the pursuit of a power-hungry auto executive who orders the murders of union leaders. Spectacular stunts dominate the picture while plotting, dialogue(…)

Adventures In Babysitting (1987)

Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) takes a baby-sitting job in the Chicago suburbs to look after two kids; the 15-year-old Brad (Keith Coogan) who has a crush on her, and Sara (Maia Brewton), a little brat who idolises comic book hero, Thor. The trouble starts when Chris gets a call from her best friend Brenda (Penelope(…)

Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, The (1984)

Most cult classics didn’t start out trying to be that way. We’re fairly confident the people behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Death Race 2000 (1975) and maybe even Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) thought they had some pretty good movies on their hands. But every once in a while, some brave soul actually tries to make a campy, loopy, outrageously(…)

Adventures Of Milo & Otis, The (1986)

Ever-curious ginger kitten Milo and his new farmyard friend, faithful puppy Otis, stray far and wide when a raging river sweeps them away from their farm home, encountering all sorts of dangers and sharing a series of comic adventures. Owing a huge debt to Disney’s 1963 film The Incredible Journey, this Japanese live-action animal tale(…)

After Hours (1985)

Do you have days when nothing goes right? when you feel disoriented, when everything around you is strange and you seem to be living in a nightmare from which you can’t wake up? If you live in New York, these feelings come with the territory, and that’s the subject of After Hours, a black comedy by(…)

Against All Odds (1984)

A thick, incoherent plot trips up this steamy melodrama about a fading football player (Jeff Bridges) sent to track down the runaway mistress (Rachel Ward) of a small-time bookie and nightclub owner (James Woods). The story ranges from a torrid love affair in Mexico to corruption, murder and double crosses in Los Angeles. An exciting(…)

Agnes of God (1985)

Based on a true incident, Agnes of God tells of the tragic events surrounding the birth of a baby in a Catholic convent of cloistered nuns. The mother is Sister Agnes, a young novice who has murdered the infant at birth by strangling it with the umbilical cord, then concealed her crime by stuffing the baby’s corpse(…)

Airplane (Flying High) (1980)

The tail of a plane slices through dark clouds like a shark fin breaking through the moonlit surf in Jaws . . . and so begins the hilarious Airplane! (known as Flying High in some non-US releases), a spoof of Zero Hour (1957). Trans-American Flight 209 takes off from Los Angeles to Chicago with multiple nutcases on board, while in the terminal(…)

Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)

Ken Finkleman – writer of Grease 2 (1982) –  wrote and directed this sequel to the hilarious 1980 film, Airplane!, retaining most of the characters from the original movie. After the events of the original film, Ted Striker (Hays) became a moon pilot, but was incarcerated in a lunatic asylum (named after Ronald Reagan) following a major screw-up, while the(…)

Akira (1988)

Akira begins as it means to go on – with a nuclear explosion that devastates Tokyo. It ends with pretty much the same, augmented by the sort of bio-organic body transmutation that would have David Cronenberg reaching for the anaesthetic and self-piercing kit. In between these mind-blowing bookends is a sprawling, cyber-punk epic haunted by the(…)

Alamo Bay (1985)

A young Vietnamese refugee arrives in the small Texan shrimp-fishing community of Port Alamo to find work. But resentment from the locals is high, especially from the embittered Vietnam vet Shang Pierce whose life is falling apart. The tension escalates into violent conflict when Shang’s lover Glory befriends the immigrant. Native fishermen, encouraged by the(…)

Alice (1988)

Having previously visited Lewis Carroll in Jabberwocky (1977), Czech surrealist animator and director Jan Svankmajer made his feature bow with this distinctive adaptation, which combines live action, puppetry and stop-motion animation. This menacing and grotesquely original modern-day version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland explores the darker side of the original tale and uses(…)

Alien Nation (1989)

Long before Mandy Patinkin became an endearingly obnoxious doctor in Chicago Hope, he was a mottle-headed space creature in Alien Nation. He sensibly chose not to take his creation to the small screen when it became a TV series. In Los Angeles, three years after thousands of aliens known as “newcomers” are uncomfortably integrated into Californian society,(…)

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