Top Five Favorite Films From 1983

Back again with another top five list and this time I’m visiting 1983. This wasn’t nearly as difficult a list to come up with as my last list from 1982, but there were still some tough choices that needed to be made especially when it came to which five films to be included in the Honorable Mentions section. In addition to 1982, check out 1981 and 1980.

Chewie’s Top 5 Films From 1983

All of these films received their US theatrical release within calendar year 1983. If you want to see the full list of all films eligible for this list you can view it here. Keep in mind, these are my “favorite” movies not necessarily what I’d consider the “best” movies.

Honorable Mentions

  • WarGames (1983)WarGames –  Cold War science-fiction starring Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, and Ally Sheedy that proves that when it comes to nuclear war, the only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
  • Trading Places –  Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy are a broker and a street hustler whose lives cross paths when they unwillingly become part of a bet between  Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche. Throw in a smoking hot (and topless) Jamie Lee Curtis and you’ve got yourself a winner.
  • Risky Business – The film that gave us Tom Cruise sliding across the hardwood floor in his socks and underwear and Rebecca De Mornay as a whore. I’ll just stop there.
  • Strange Brew – Bob and Doug McKenzie, portrayed by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis, get jobs at the Elsinore Brewery, only to learn that something is not quite right. Take off you hoser!
  • Never Say Never Again – This Bond film starring Sean Connery playing Bond for the last time came out the same year as Roger Moore’s Octopussy. And while to most Bond fans Octopussy is the better film, Never Say Never Again with an aging Bond is my clear favorite.

The Top Five

A pretty definitive top five for me this year with a clear cut #1. Enjoy!

Scarface (1983)#5 – Scarface

Written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian De Palma it is actually a remake. It tells the story of Cuban Tony Montana (Al Pacino) who arrives in 1980s Miami with nothing becomes a powerful drug kingpin. It also stars Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michelle Pfeiffer. It may not be the most traditional Pacino gangster movie, but its clearly one of the most iconic and is topped off by a final scene that is unforgettable. “Say hello to my little friend!”

#4 – Superman III

Computer programmer Gus is hired by financial tycoon Ross Webster to seize control of a weather satellite and annihilate Colombia’s coffee crop. When Superman intervenes, Webster commands Gorman to locate kryptonite. But a missing unknown element in the kryptonite — replaced by Gorman with tar — causes an unintended side effect when presented to Superman. The fight between good and evil Superman alone puts this film on the list. When you throw a super scary scene where the supercomputer turns Webster’s sister into a robot it’s simply outstanding. 

A Christmas Story (1983)#3 – A Christmas Story

Ralphie has to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940s. Growing up in Cleveland (where the movie was filmed) you grow up with this movie. We see leg lamps in windows year round. We visit the Christmas Story house. If my Wife were making a list of her favorite movies, this would be #1. Hell, we named our dog after the main character Ralphie. This one also made my list of Top Holiday Movies for good reason. If you’ve never seen this cult classic you can catch it on either TBS or TNT during its yearly marathon where it’s played for 24 hours starting at 8:00 PM on Christmas Eve. “You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”

#2 – National Lampoon’s Vacation

Every summer Chevy Chase takes his family on a little trip. This year he went too far. The Griswold family’s cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated. This is the film that introduced us to one of the greatest Dads in cinema history: Clark W. Griswold. Believe it or not this isn’t even my favorite of the Vacation franchise (that honor goes to Christmas Vacation) but this film is hilarious and while its dated, its comedy really holds up. In addition to Chevy Chase, it also stars Beverly D’Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron and the outstanding Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie. A long awaited sequel is being released later this month and it looks amazing.

Return Of The Jedi (1983)#1 – Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi

After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader return from the dark side of the Force. Wow… just… WOW. If you know anything about me you know I’m a Star Wars fan so seeing Jedi at the top of this list should come as no surprise. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz. These names are synonymous with Star Wars as is the score once again penned by John Williams. Many fans list this is their least favorite of the original trilogy but I could make a case that it may be my favorite. Sure it’s got Ewoks but I can give those furry little buggers a pass because we get an epic standoff between Vader and Luke, Vader and The Emperor, the downfall of the Empire, the deaths of Yoda, Vader & Boba Fett, Luke finally becoming a Jedi and so many other moments. This one was made far worse when George Lucas tinkered with it during his Special Editions but the original theatrical cut is damn near perfect. It’s been 32 years, but in December we will finally get a true sequel to this movie. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

Did I leave off your favorite film from 1983? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

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