80s Movies I Love

By Michelle Miles

This past weekend, I visited my local library. I realized for the first time, they had movies and music available for check-out. I was in heaven! Who KNEW? And why didn’t *I* know? And what’s really awesome is – it’s FREE! So my son and I perused their selection and I found a movie I’d like. He found a movie he wanted.

It was Ghostbusters (1984). He asked if he could get it and I, of course, said SURE! I forgot how silly that movie is. It still makes me giggle. And there are tons of quotable lines throughout. Such as:

I looked into the trap, Ray.
Dogs and cats living together! Mass Hysteria!
Mother pussbucket.
Okay. So. She’s a dog.

(Later my BFF reminded that, back in the 80s, the Button Craze was going on and people had buttons that said, “Okay. So. She’s a dog.” That comment resurrected those brain cells that were long gone and it reminded me of the denim acid-wash jacket I had COVERED in them. No lie.)

We watched it twice. The kid thinks it’s so great he wants to own a copy. Guess I’ll be scouring the $5 bin at WalMart.

Anyway. I got to thinking about all the great 80s movies I loved when I was growing up. In 1984 when Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom came out, I wanted to see it so bad but I was forbidden. It has too violent. This was the pre-PG13 era, mind you. How could I NOT see it? It had my heartthrob, Harrison Ford, in it! It was Indy for goodness-sake. I needed to see it. I had to!

My BFF at the time and I hatched a plan. Karate Kid was out that same time and we told my mom we were going to see it. It would all work, you see, because she had already seen it and could already quote the lines. SWEET! Mom dropped us off at the movies and we thought we were so badass when we bought tickets to see Indy. YES! I got to see it! (Sorry, Mom. We lied. But look – I turned out okay!)

When Mom picked us up at the theater later she asked how the movie was. My BFF and I had already agreed on what line she was going to quote and what scene we’d talk about. You know the part where Daniel is trying to catch the fly with the chopsticks? And he does it? And Mr. Miyagi is disgusted and tells him it was “beginners luck”? Yeah. That’s the part we said was our favorite. How lame is that?

What about Wax On/Wax Off? What about Paint The Fence?

I did later see Karate Kid but I think that was in the video-tape rental phase of my life.

I wasn’t the normal teenager in the 1980s. Meaning, I didn’t get all gushy and excited over the same movies that others did. Like The Breakfast Club (1985). And Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). And St. Elmo’s Fire (1985). Nope. Not me. I wasn’t into that sort of movie. There wasn’t enough adventure and heart-pounding action for me.

Oh, sure. I saw the normal blockbusters. But the movies I really loved were things like Raiders of the Lost Art (1981) and Empire Strikes Back (1980) which is my all-time favorite Star Wars. Die Hard (1988) is still one of my favorites. And of course, The Princess Bride (1987).

And you want to know WHY I love these movies so much? Sure, you do! That’s why you’re here! They all have quotable quotes. Things I can say in everyday life and feel smug *I* know what movie that came from even if the other person I’m talking to doesn’t. Yeah. That’s a great feeling.

So what are your favorite 80s movies? Inquiring minds want to know!

Michelle Miles is an avid movie watcher, writes romance, drinks coffee and collects shoes. You can learn more about her books at http://www.michellemiles.net.


  1. Your 80's movie tastes are identical to mine. I was definitely not a Breakfast Club person. But most definitely a Star Wars/Temple of Doom person.

    My mom is an avid user of our library DVD and music rentals. Our library here has an extensive collection of British miniseries and older classic films that regular rental stores just don't have. So she prefers the library to anything else.

    For my husband and me - well, he works at Blockbuster and gets to bring home ten free rentals a week. Which he does. I've got movies coming out of my pores.

  2. Gods, the 80s had some, like, totally awesome flicks! Eddie Murphy was a comedic superstar [Beverly Hills Cop & Coming to America]. Dolly Parton made us laugh and cry in 9to5 & The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Tom Hanks was breaking through in romantic comedies like Splash & Big. And who can forget the genius of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

    I totally agree with you, Michelle, that what makes the 80s movies so freakin' memorable are their "quote-abilities."

    Hands down though, the Princess Bride is the best movie ever.

    "When I was your age, television was called 'books.'"
    "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."
    "Wuv, twuu, Wuv."
    "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

    [Okay, I'll stop there.]

  3. I didn't even see Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles until I was in my twenties (and only then because a couple of friends made me). I lived in the Star Wars/Star Trek/Indiana Jones universes as much as I lived in this one. :)


  4. Okay, I admit it, I loved Sixteen Candles, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (I'll watch both of them every time they come on).

    Just to list a few favorites...Die Hard, Wildcats, Airplane! (sorry...it was hilarious), War Games, Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom, Back to the Future (which I watched last night actually), Ghostbusters, and the list goes on and on.

    But lets not forget golden nuggets like The Blues Brothers, Dirty Dancing, Red Dawn, Predator, or any of the classic B-movies like They Live, Fletch, and so many others!

  5. Wow, so many memories here: War Games, Die Hard - but my all time favorite was Ladyhawke. I still watch it every time it comes on. I own the dvd and play it at least once a month.

    A few quotes I remember: "Say hello to my little friend" and who could ever forget "They're heeere..."

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane, loved it.

  6. Great blog, Michelle. You like many of my favorite movies. Princess Bride is a favorite of mine and my daughter's. We can't help saying, "In-con-theev-able" and other lines from the movie. In fact, we have copies of many of the movies mentioned by you and other commenters. The one I hated was Ferris Buehler's Day Off. Nice trip down memory lane.


  7. I'm enjoying Princess Bride now with my own daughter, but back in the 80s I was very much entranced by that whole Brat Pack and their flicks. They were so totally different from my existence that I might as well have been watching fantasy.

    Wasn't Cher big as an actress in the 80s, too? I'm thinking of movies like Moonstruck and Fatal Attraction as well. Those were the days...

  8. We've taken to make the boys watch the movies as they weren't getting our references ... pretty much between Weird Science and Breakfast Club---the dh and I are set for one-liners :-)

    They still roll their eyes but at least they know WHERE the lines is from :-)

  9. You've just about named them all - Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Die Hard, The Karate Kid. I'd add Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future, Lethal Weapon, White Knights (that "dance-off" scene is breath-taking) and Batman!!! I could go on, but I think this will do. LOL

  10. I love all the Indy movies and Die Hard and Princess Bride. Loved them. Some 1980 movies that are still on my rainy watch list: ET, Weekend at Bernies, Baby Boom, Working Girl and Dirty Dancing. "NOBOBY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER".

    Thanks, Michelle. Now I want ot watch and edits need to get done. Great post.

    2009 Golden Heart Finalist

  11. Dang I KNEW I was forgetting some! Ladyhawke was wonderful. I still swoon when I hear her say his name after she transforms back. *big ole gushy sigh*

    WORKING GIRL! YES! LOVED that move. Own it. "Six thousand dollars? It's not even leatha!"

    Thanks for stopping by, all! :)

  12. GHOSTBUSTERS! Hands down favourite. Considering what I write, that shouldn't be a surprise. ;) Great post my dear!

  13. Total Brat Pack fanatic here - I own Breakfast Club and still watch it. I loved Young Guns and I can still remember the night I saw the first Terminator with a group of friends...it blew me away. Also loved some of the horror stuff, like Nightmare on Elm Street, and Stephen King films, The Shining and Pet Cemetary.

    I had a thing for Robert Redford too. I think Out of Africa came out in the '80's. One of my all time favorite movies.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Michelle!

  14. Love the trip to the 80's! In fact, we just watched Die Hard the other night. Either I never saw it or it's been that long. *laughs* Either way, GREAT Movie!

    In a lovely coincidence, 'Pencil Neck' from GB was in Die Hard. I said to hubby, "Isn't that Pencil Neck?"


    More lines from GB:

    "Tell him about the Twinkie, Ray."

    "Important Safety Tip." (Don't cross the streams)

    How about The Big Chill? I still rememember when someone comes in while William Hurt's character is watching a late-night movie.

    "What's going on?"

    William, staring intently at the television says, "I think the guy with the hat did something."

    Flash to the TV screen and the forties movie where every guy is wearing a hat!


    And the Big Hair is just an added bonus. Hmmmm... Did we remember Beverly Hills Cop? *grin*

    --Chiron O'Keefe
    The Write Soul:

  15. darling michelle - love your post! BTW Princes Bride is too a gushy movie! so there! Love those movies too - and all the John Hughes flicks as well. I've been feeling nostalgia for the '80s lately - I think because of John Hughes' passing and Michael Jackson's death - thanks for the treat! ;D


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