1987, it turns out, was a REALLY good year for movies. Plenty of legitimate classics, cult favorites, and “so awful they’re amazing” movies graced theaters in this year, and plenty of them hold up even 30 years later! Let’s take a look at some of the big ones.
1) The Princess Bride
A masterpiece of fairy-tale film-making even to this day, Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride remains a favorite worldwide. The story of young farm boy Westley’s attempts to rescue Princess Buttercup from the evil Prince Humperdink stay current thanks to a mix of sharp writing, perfect casting, and some of the most quotable moments in film history.
2) Dirty Dancing
That’s right, Patrick Swayze’s had some very firm thoughts on the notion of putting Baby in a corner for 30 years now. This cheesy, ridiculous, amazing bit of 80s dance craze even went on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song! So of course, there’s a terrible remake in the works.
A parody just as memorable as what it lampoons, Mel Brooks’ takeoff of Star Wars showcases plenty of the razor-sharp writing the director’s known for. While not quite a classic on the level of Blazing Saddles or The Producers, the film remains a beloved comedy to many, especially fans of Rick Moranis.
4) Full Metal Jacket
Stanley Kubrick’s equal parts hilarious and horrifying look at the Vietnam War is considered one of the most influential war movies of all time, and age hasn’t stopped that one bit.
Between the black humor of the film’s boot camp segment and the grim realities of the actual war scenes, it remains a staple of war movies, and of cinema in general.
A movie so awesome we did a full article on it! Easily one of the highlights of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career, Predator remains a landmark of both sci-fi and action cinema. The muscles are huge, the alien is scary, and the one-liners are memorable. Still awesome.
Click to the next page for even more awesome movies that are turning 30!
6) The Untouchables
The film that ultimately won Sean Connery an Oscar, The Untouchables remains one of the great classics of gangster movies. The (highly fictionalized) story of Elliot Ness’ efforts to take down Al Capone during Prohibition holds up well thanks to sharp writing and memorable performances.
While Connery was the one who won the Oscar, Robert De Niro absolutely steals every scene he’s in as Capone, a role he was practically born to play. Listening to him taunt Ness is a moment of pure acting beauty.
7) The Running Man
While Predator is one of the Governator’s best movies, The Running Man falls a lot more into “so cheesy it’s amazing” territory. EXTREMELY loosely based on the Stephen King story of the same name, Ahhhnold plays a military officer framed for a crime he didn’t commit.
Forced to participate in the titular game show where criminals are chased by murderous psychopaths (which is somehow hosted by Family Feud host Richard Dawson), the movie is an over-the-top slice of pure 80s ridiculousness. Like Predator, it even features former pro-wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
A movie so classic that two mediocre sequels and a lame reboot have done nothing to diminish its greatness, Robocop is dated in many ways that ultimately don’t matter. Sure the stop-motion animations are janky and the film’s view of the future is pretty un-modern, but the film makes up for it with biting social commentary and tons of action.
9) Lethal Weapon
The perfect pairing of Mel Gibson at his craziest and Danny “I’m too old for this” Glover, Lethal Weapon went on to inspire not only three sequels, but an entire new wave of buddy cop movies. It also features a lovably insane performance by Gary Busey as the villain, which culminates in the most over-the-top, awesome fistfight in cinema history.
10) Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn
The followup to Sam Raimi’s original cult classic, Evil Dead II starts off spooky and slowly gives way to one of the best action comedies of all time. Bruce Campbell is as lovably over the top as Ash, and the scene where he straps a chainsaw to his arm and pumps a shotgun is the stuff of cinematic legend.
Which is your fave?