Top Five Favorite Films From 1980

I’m a big list guy. If you’ve read my stuff here you know I love putting them together and debating them. I’m starting a new, hopefully regular, series here on the site where I’ll be looking at my favorite films through the years. I got the idea for this when one of my favorite podcasts StarJoes did the same thing. I’m what they call a “child of the 80’s” as I was born in 1976 so those are my “formative years” so to speak. I’m going to start with 1980 just as a jumping on point.

Top Five Favorite Films From 1980 - Airplane (1980)

Chewie’s Top 5 Films From 1980

All of these films received their theatrical release within calendar year 1980.

Flash GordonHonorable Mentions:

  • Friday The 13th – As a horror fan this is the start of one of my favorite franchises. Made it onto my Top 5 Horror Films over on ScareTissue.
  • Mad Max – Not a great entry into the Max franchise in my opinion but did some pretty amazing things on a tight budget.
  • Oh, God! Book II – One that I’d not seen until its sequel Oh, God! You Devil came out in 1984 but this is a hilarious George Burns flick.
  • Private Benjamin – this one put Goldie Hawn on the map for me.
  • Flash Gordon – Not a great film unless you’re a geek like me.

The Top Five

#5 – The Shining

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. This is my #1 horror flick from 1980 and an all around awesome movie. It also gives us Jack Nicholson in what I consider to be his definitive role.

Airplane!#4 – Airplane!

An airplane crew takes ill. Surely the only person capable of landing the plane is an ex-pilot afraid to fly. But don’t call him Shirley. As you’ll see as we move forward in this list, 1980 was all about comedy for me. This is supremely quotable and is so full of innuendo and puns that to this day I can watch it and find something that I’ve never noticed before.

#3 – Nine To Five

Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him. This is probably a movie that couldn’t be made today, but I’m SO glad that it was back in 1980. This is probably the one that will be the most obscure on my list but I absolutely love it. It’s been years since I’ve seen it but I’ve got to revisit it because I’ve got such fond memories. The interplay between Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton & Dabney Coleman is priceless.

#2 – Caddyshack

An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher. There are certain movies that are so ingrained into your brain that regardless of how long it’s been since your last viewing it’s like you just hit pause when you come back to it. Caddyshack brings us iconic performances from Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight and Michael O’Keefe. Its quotable to the max and holds up. It would be the clear #1 in just about any other year if not for…

The Empire Strikes Back#1 – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke. Talk about a no brainer. Please, please, PLEASE tell me you’ve seen this one. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan this is one of the best films of all time. Yes… in any genre. Many Star Wars fans will point to Empire as their favorite entry of the franchise. I’ve always been a New Hope guy but I’ll never against this one. It’s got infinite replay-ability, shows the best villain of all time in his prime and holds up maybe better than any other from the 80’s. It absolutely deserves its spot as one of the best of all time.

Did I leave off your favorite film from 1980? Leave me a comment with your thoughts!

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