Film Essentials: 1988

In 1988, Crack first appeared in U.S. cities, later prompting Whitney Houston to declare its “wack”ness.  Stephen Hawking published “A Brief History of Time.”  Prozac was introduced.  The Hubble Space Telescope was put into operation.  Guns N’ Roses had a “Sweet Child ‘O Mine”, Tracy Chapman drove a “Fast Car” and Billy Ocean asked ladies to get out of his dreams, and into his car.  On TV, Roseanne and The Wonder Years premiered, while The Facts of Life, Sledge Hammer, and Punky Brewster all ended their runs.  Rihanna was born, and so was Haley Joel Osment.

The movies of 1988 were a stellar group – chock full of intelligent, well-made, mainstream movies.  Your Essentials list for this year has it all: box office hits, Oscar winners, a handful of timeless comedies, and the Greatest Action Movie Ever Made.  But before we get to those, let’s hear it for these other gems: The Accused, Beaches, Child’s Play, Cocktail, Dangerous Liasons, Eight Men Out, The Great Outdoors, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Land Before Time, Married to the Mob, Midnight Run, Mississippi Burning, Punchline, Red Heat, Tucker: the Man and His Dream, Working Girl, Twins, and Young Guns.

I’d like to give an extra special shout out as well to Scrooged (my personal favorite Christmas movie), Willow (a childhood fave), and They Live (B-movie glory).  And now, here are your Essentials:


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  • You forgot to mention the REAL reason Die Hard works: Reginald velJohnson.

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