The Essentials: 1984

In 1984, Virgin Atlantic had its inaugural flight.  The Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles, California.  The AIDS virus was identified.  The first Apple computer was sold.  The MTV video music awards were started.  On the radio, Tina Turner rocked out "What's Love Got to Do with It" and Wham! came out with "Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go)".

Back then, the average movie ticket only cost $2.50.  Such bang for the buck.  Just look at the quality of movies that I had to leave off the list: The NeverEnding Story, Police Academy, Footloose, Splash, Purple Rain, Romancing the Stone, All of Me, Bachelor Party, Dune, Revenge of the Nerds, and 16 Candles.  And here are your Essentials:

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  • Oh my, so much to follow up with on 1984. First, a missed, but seriously excellent film is "Once Upon a Time in America." One of the best mob films ever made and worth watching for any lover of movies. Turning to the slightly less serious, how do you skip "Sixteen Candles" or "Top Secret." Two great light films that stand the test of time. I still quote Top Secret regularly. I have similar love for "Johnny Dangerously." Also, "Purple Rain" may have been the best music film ever and thumped "Give My Regards to Broadstreet" which also made its way to theaters in 1984. What about "Dune" -- which I still don't understand. And, I believe I spend my 11th birthday watching "Red Dawn" with a group of friends. Big year for the Big Lebowski who appeared in both "Starman" and "Against All Odds" both respectable films. 1984 was also the year Tom Hanks came out with his last two good movies "Splash" and "Bachelor Party" -- watch either of those and then tell me you'd reath watch "Philadelphia." May need to find a place in your list for "The Flamingo Kid." If you're going to get any rap-based film into a list ever, 1984 was the year with "Beat Street," "Breakin': and "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo" (has there ever been another time a sequel came out the same year as the original?) I'd also need to meantion Last Starfighter, Footloose, Revenge of the Nerds, Police Academy, Electric Dreams, Oxford Blues, Ice Pirates (just an awful film that I saw may times on Showtime), Night of the Comet (same, comet passes by earth turns everyone into orange dust or zombies), Canonball Run II, and last, but not least "The Last Starfighter" -- every Star Wars loving kids fantasy come true.

  • In reply to DSBecker:

    Dave - these are really fun movies. I had a hard time leaving off Sixteen Candles, Purple Rain, and Splash. It's difficult only picking 10 though, which is the limit I've set for myself. Here's my question to you - of the 10 "Essentials" that I chose (I guess 11 if you count Muppets Take Manhattan, but that one was for my son), what would you take out in favor of something else. And what would that something be?

  • In reply to DSBecker:

    Excellent question. I will ignore for a moment that I'm not a horror fan and would immediately remove Nightmare on Elmstreet. But, "Once Upon a Time in America" would be at the top of my list. Sixteen Candles easily knocks out Indiana Jones (other than "no time for love Dr. Jones" -- not a wonderful film). "Purple Rain" goes in and "Amadeus" out -- from a critical perspective I'll admit I'm wrong on this but I'd much rather watch Morris Day do the Bird than someone in knickers do about anything. "Top Secret" knocks out "Nightmare" and I could arguably go "Flamingo Kid" over "Karate Kid" (but for cultural value, I'm probably wrong on that). Comes down to it. I only feel strongly about "Once Upon a Time," "Sixteen Candles," and "Top Secret." Those three movies are clearly "essential."

  • In reply to DSBecker:

    Dave,
    No offense, but you are out of your freakin' mind. Purple Rain over Amadeus? FLAMINGO KID OVER KARATE KID?!??!!?! Top Secret is great, and I'm sorry that you're not a horror fan, but Nightmare is just too good. Sorry, you lose that one too. Only one I may give you is Sixteen Candles over Indie. Once Upon is a great film, but no dice.

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