Movies Of The 80's - 1980



As an 80's music aficionado, I've found myself interested as of late in the world of 80's soundtracks. Be it scores, or various artist albums, I'm always on the lookout for a CD to add to my collection.

Of course, there are the staples. Top Gun, Footloose, Flashdance, Ghostbusters, and the list goes on and on. These albums have been a mainstay in my collection since relatively the start of it. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and I wanted to dive deeper.

The problem I quickly found was that while searching based on films that popped into my head randomly, I wasn't necessarily delving very far. After mulling it around for a while, I finally broke down and decided that to truly find just what was out there, I first had to educate myself on what films were out there.

It took months of cataloging, which was based on limited time between work and other obligations, but finally I was able to reach the finish line. Utilizing links to Wikipedia by year denoting the List of American Films of (insert year here), I created a series of posts with each movie poster, ad, or some form of representation for made for television movies, to have a reference guide. Now I could truly begin my search into just what soundtracks were out there.

Not wanting all this work to go to waste, I decided I would take the next several weeks to present to you the Movies of the 80's! It all kicks off here with 1980. As I compiled all these for the freshman year of the decade, one thing became very clear. I was not as familiar with as many movies from 1980, and soon to find out the decade as a whole, as I thought I would be.

It turns out that my knowledge revolved around what we'll call the crème de la crème of the era. Even then, I'd be lying if I told you I had seen all of those. I was, after all, only turning three in August of 1980. Movies weren't exactly a past time for me at that age.

The list at least starts with a movie I have seen multiple times, Airplane! If I collected movies, which believe it or not, I don't own any movies that aren't based on a 1980's cartoon series, this would be a must have.

I couldn't tell you what American Gigalo is about, despite it's potential obvious title. I've never seen it. It is, however, a film which I already own the soundtrack for.

Finally, the familiar movie titles crop up with The Blue Lagoon, and The Blue's Brothers, neither of which I saw until my young teen years, and certainly not with my parent's permission. The last one, Bon Voyage Charlie Brown is probably something I did see in my youth, but I don't honestly remember. I'm not a big Peanuts fan.

My brother introduced me to Cheech and Chong as a pre-teen kid, and I'm honestly surprised my parents let us rent their various films from the local grocery store in Bend, Oregon. I've been giggling to them ever since.

I want to say that I remember my sister watching The Elephant Man one day, but it wasn't something I stuck around the room for. Still, it seems familiar.

Flash Gordon was the first film I saw on Laserdisc, and also one of the earliest films I remember listening to the soundtrack of. My dad owned it on vinyl, and we kids enjoyed playing the main theme and Football Fight frequently. Though I didn't know who they were at the time, Queen would ultimately become my favorite band.

It wasn't until after high school that I saw Friday the 13th for the first time. This was back when I was an avid VHS collector, and the local Blockbuster actually ordered all of the films for me, which I picked up in pieces over the course of several paychecks while working at the local Giant Food.

I wouldn't doubt if I saw Herbie Goes Bananas as a kid, but not being a fan of the series of films, I couldn't honestly say a definitive yes, let alone tell you anything the film was about beyond a VW Bug.

Honeysuckle Rose is a film I've never seen, but stumbled upon a year or so ago when bolstering up my soundtracks. It hit my radar for Willie Nelson's On The Road Again.

Yet another film I've never seen, but have the soundtrack for, is Jazz Singer. My sister would frequently play Neil Diamond, and while I didn't know it at the time, this was where I first heard his hit, America.

9 To 5, which should actually be the first film on this list for starting with a number, is a film I didn't see until 2020 when I came across it on streaming. While I wanted to love it, I couldn't. The premise, or rather, the lack of consequences for the premise didn't work for me. I'm all for suspending disbelief. It's another thing completely for Hollywood to insult me by thinking I'm stupid.

As a kid, Popeye on film made me ill in my stomach to watch. Something about the visuals just always turned things sour inside of me. As an adult, I gave it another shot, and I can say that it actually does a really good job of capturing the essence of an animated film in live action. The cast is spot on.

Private Benjamin I've heard of in my older years, but it's not a film I personally have bothered with trying to see. I'm not a big fan of Goldie Hawn, who was almost referred to as, "What's Her Face," until her name popped into my head.

I've heard of Raging Bull. I've never seen it. It is, however, a film I would take the time to watch if I saw it on a streaming service.

I see the soundtrack for Somewhere In Time every time I go to one specific used CD shop, and every time I pick it up, only to put it back down. I really just need to buy it. It's always priced under a dollar.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a film I've seen hundreds of times, and have the soundtrack in a few iterations. While I used to own dozens a variations of the film at one point in time, I actually passed my Star Wars home video collection on to someone else in 2020.

I only know about Urban Cowboy because of it being parodied by Alvin and the Chipmunks for their Urban Chipmunk album.

I don't think I've ever seen the film Xanadu in its entirety, but I certainly hear a lot of the soundtrack thanks to my sister when we were growing up. The film and album were one of her favorites. I too now own my own copy of the soundtrack, and have to admit, it's really good.

But, that about wraps up the films of 1980 that I'm aware of. As you can see, there are more than a fair amount of flicks for me to look into to see if there are any soundtracks out there for them, so that's what I'm off to do.

Next week, we'll look at 1981!

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  1. I just watched Final Countdown a few months ago. Hadn't seen it since the 80s.It was actually better than I remembered. Lots of good movies on here, and many I wanted to see but never did. I also just watched the Rankin Bass Hobbit. I knew there was a Lord of the Rings animated version, which I didn't really like, but didn't know there was a Return of the King until recently. Will have to check that out.

    1. I did not like the Rankin Bass adaptations at all. They physically make me I'll to watch. Something about the animation style.

  2. Have seen and awesome!
    Big Red One
    Blues Brothers
    Final Countdown
    Flash Gordon
    Prom Night - not a horror fan but great ending
    The Shining
    Empire Strikes Back
    Super Fuzz - only because it's the first movie we saw when we got cable

    Heard of and want to see:
    Altered States
    Blue Lagoon
    Hangar 18
    Last Flight of Noah's Ark
    Private Benjamin
    Raise the Titanic

    Never heard of and want to see:
    Battle Beyond the Stars
    Change of Seasons - Bo Derek in a hot tub - 'nuff said.
    Dogs of War
    How to Beat the High Cost of Living
    Saturn 3

    Cool Poster Art
    Hollywood Knights

    WTF is this category?
    Below the Belt