Film Essentials: 1987

In 1987, the Fox Network made its prime-time TV debut.  Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the third time, later prompting Wayne Campbell to picture her “naked on a cold day.”  Disposable contact lenses became available.  The Simpsons were seen on TV for the first time.  Michael Jackson broke “Bad” and U2 hit the musical sweet spot with “With or Without You”.  Oh, and stage and screen legend Hillary Duff was born.
The movies of 1987 were a diverse bunch, some pushed the envelope while others played it safe.  Great directors like Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi, Oliver Stone, Kathryn Bigelow, the Coen Brothers, James L. Brooks, and Brian DePalma all added new flicks to their resume.  The cuts were brutal this time around – just look at the quality of the movies I had to leave off the list: Good Morning Vietnam, Moonstruck, Three Men and a Baby, Stakeout, Wall Street, Adventures in Babysitting, Empire of the Sun, Evil Dead 2, Full Metal Jacket, The Monster Squad, Near Dark, Spaceballs, Summer School, The Lost BoysThrow Momma from the Train, The Running Man, and plenty more.  And now, here are your Essentials:


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  • This list is very "boy movie" heavy, but I can't really argue with the inclusion of Robocop or Predator or Lethal Weapon. Of the movies that missed the cut, my heart lies with Three Men and a Baby, Adventures in Babysitting, The Monster Squad, and the first half of Full Metal Jacket, but I'm not sure any of them are more essential than the Top 10 you have listed here.. The only one on the remnants list that sticks out as a big omission for me is Wall Street.

  • How on earth did 'House of Games' miss the cut?! Best movie of 1987.

  • In reply to timshields:

    Tim - good call, but House of Games strikes me as one of those unsung hero movies that people generally like, but don't love. Plus, nobody seems to talk about it any more. Interesting to see you think it was the best of '87? Better than The Princess Bride? I can't quite swallow that one. But thanks for giving it some love!

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