Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Movies in the 1980s

Movies in the 1980s

The first half of the 1980s saw many “feel good” movies and everyone felt very secure. The second half of the decade spawned many films about despair and difficulty. . . Bogus!

Things changed up to the crash of 1987, eventually leading the way to the nihilism of grunge in the 1990s . . . But if the 80s are remembered for any particular movie genre, it would have to be ‘Teen Movies’.


The ones which inevitably start with the hero/heroine waking up in their bedroom and scanning the mess contained therein.

There is invariably an annoying younger sibling, uncomprehending parents and a High School. Our hero or heroine will arrive at said school via a decrepit and/or embarrassing mode of transport and meet up with some equally low-status buddies.

They will then walk the halls on the way to class, and see the unattainable object of their desire, who is probably hanging out with cool friends and who usually has an improbably expensive car. Our hero/heroine will attempt to interact but be humiliated. There will follow some classroom hilarity (with sexual innuendo) and a cafeteria scene.

After school, our hero/heroine will go to an embarrassing part time job, and once again be humiliated.

wallstreet_ggUsually, there will be a chance to date the object of their desire but this will go horribly wrong and remain unresolved until the prom/big game/big dance/big competition offers our hero/heroine the opportunity to prove themselves – to the object of their affection, and everyone else who ever looked down on them.

Eighties teens drew instruction and inspiration from these films. And if this was the genre of the 80s, then John Hughes was THE writer/director/producer of the 80s, for nobody penned, directed and produced so many fine examples of ‘Teen Movies’.

prettyinpink5Hughes was responsible for Sixteen CandlesWeird ScienceThe Breakfast ClubPretty In PinkFerris Bueller’s Day OffSome Kind Of WonderfulMr Mom and National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Movies in the eighties had some of the best soundtracks, and the most memorable and popular songs at the time seem to have sometimes outshone the movies themselves.

This is by no means an attempt at an exhaustive listing of movies from the 80s. It is a recollection of some of the movies which are either personal favourites, or which are particularly representative of the era (without necessarily being critically acclaimed).