My Favorite: Movies: 1980

I thought about tackling the 2000s after completing my run through the Nineties, but I realized how sharply my movie viewing has trailed off that decade.  Blame having kids and a job and the Internet I guess.  Anyhow I’m going to go backwards to the Eighties instead.

1980 is right in the middle of my childhood wheelhouse.  This is prime nostalgia territory folks, so beware! It is incredibly hard to separate how you experienced the movie from the movie itself.  Not everything from this year, I saw that year; anything R or even harder PG (this was the days before PG-13) I probably didn’t see until later on VCR (or much much later on DVD or online).

I went ahead and first made a list of the movies on IMDB I had seen and those I haven’t seen that I suspect I might like or at least should try to catch.  As much fun as I had writing the series of posts on my favorite movies of the nineties, it also turned into a heck of a list of movies to watch.

HAVE SEEN: The ShiningStar Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Flash Gordon, Airplane!, The Blues Brothers, Superman II, Caddyshack, Nine to Five, Coal Miner’s Daughter, The Gods Must Be Crazy, Popeye, Friday the 13th, Xanadu, Raise the Titanic, The Stunt Man, My Bodyguard, The Nude Bomb, Bronco BillyThe Big Red One, Any Which Way You Can, The Final Countdown, Somewhere In Time, The Idolmaker, Hero at Large.

HAVE NOT SEEN: Raging Bull, Elephant Man, Stir Crazy, Private Benjamin, Ordinary People, Dressed to Kill, Brubaker, The Jazz Singer, Altered States, Heaven’s Gate, Honeysuckle RoseOh Heavenly DogHome MoviesUp the AcademyMoscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Super Fuzz, Hopscotch, Foxes, Breaker MorantMotel HellThe Long Good FridayWhere the Buffalo RoamUsed CarsBon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!), Fame, Cruising, The Long Riders, Atlantic CityThe Last MetroLittle DarlingsSeems Like Old TimesMoscow Does Not Believe in TearsMelvin and HowardCarny.

I’m actually not entirely sure I haven’t seen all of the movies I listed in “have not seen” but anything I wasn’t positive about I put in that category.  Of the movies I saw that year in the theatre of course my strongest memories are of The Empire Strikes Back and Superman II.  I loved both movies a lot; I can’t say for sure which one of the two I liked better at the time.  Even now I’m hard pressed to name one over the other.  Empire is a good movie that is still a fun, swashbuckling story.  The first time I saw it, I remember being struck by how much of a middle-to-down note it ended on, but it had so many exciting moments in it.  And Superman II was a fantastic comic book movie.  I loved the first one when I saw it, but the sequel had cool bad guys and the big super-powered showdown between Superman and General Zod.  It was so much closer to what I thought a “comic book” movie should be; at least at that point in my life.

After those two it’s a bit tougher to judge.  I saw Blues Brothers and Caddyshack later — both classic movies with a ton of funny scenes in them.  I can’t remember exactly when I saw Somewhere In Time but I think it was at the theater — I think I got suckered into seeing it because it had Christopher “Superman” Reeves starring in it.  I really liked that movie though.  I’m also pretty sure I saw My Bodyguard and Airplane! in the theater.  My Bodyguard was also a bit of a comic book movie in that it was essentially a power fantasy for a powerless high school student.  Airplane! — that was a movie we quoted back to each other all year long.


  1.  The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Superman II
  3. Somewhere In Time
  4. Airplane!
  5. The Big Red One
  6. The Blues Brothers
  7. Caddyshack
  8. The Shining
  9.  My Bodyguard
  10. Popeye

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