Pop Culture Movies: Top 5 Films of 1980 People Still Talk About Today

Do you still dress like a punk rocker? Are you hoping Elyse, Steven, Alex, and Mallory will get together for another to film a few more episodes of Family Ties? Did you ask for a Cabbage Patch Kid in your Christmas stocking last year?

Congratulations, you’re an 80’s aficionado! Now, can you name the top five 80’s pop culture movies in ascending order? Read on to discover if you’re right.

1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Produced and directed by the world-famous Steven Spielberg, E.T. was filmed on a shoestring budget of only $10.5 million in 1981. The story focuses on a young boy, Elliott, who discovers an injured alien, dubbed E.T.

It was an immediate blockbuster, flying past Star Wars to hit the number 1 highest-grossing film of all time. It held that place spot until Jurassic park took its place almost 11 years later.

The film is also responsible for making one of the best toys in the 1980s even more popular. This particular toy is the Speak & Spell, which appeared in numerous scenes throughout the movies. If you want to learn more about it, you can read The Nostalgic Origins of the Speak & Spell Toy.

2. The Shining

If you want creepy films of 1980, look no further than The Shinning. Produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, the film stars such icons as Jack Nicholson, Scatman Crothers, Shelley, Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. It’s based on the eponymous book written by Steven King.

It features such elements as a secluded hotel in the snow-drenched hills of rural Colorado, a ghostly cast of violent characters, and one psychotic father ready to kill his wife and son. Oh, and don’t forget those two creepy twins. Check out where they are today.

3. National Lampoons Vacation

If you’re ready to laugh and get your Chevy Chase on, turn on National Lampoon’s Vacation. No, not the tragic 2015 remake. We’re talking about the 1983 American classic!

It was one of the top movies of 1980 and boasted such names as Christie Brinkley, Randy Quaid, Beverly D’Angelo, and (you guessed it!) Chevy Chase. The story is about a cross-country family car trip gone wrong. The story is simple and the laughs are timeless, so watch it if you haven’t done so already.

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark

If you love Harrison Ford, then Raiders of the Lost Ark is probably already at the forefront of your pop culture films list. It was another of the top films of 1980, and the franchise went on to create 3 more iconic films.

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Though all the movies are worth seeing, Raiders is still the best of the lot.

5. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Harrison Ford hooks back up with George Lucas to film the second movie in the original Star Wars trilogy. Think lightsabers, galactic domination, and space cowboys. The Star Wars franchise has gone on to create a total of 9 movies and countless spinoffs, novels, cartoons.

It’s arguably the most iconic franchise of all time.

The movie and the entire franchise’s popularity also helped George Lucas and Lucasfilm to create deals and partnerships with toy companies to produce Star Wars toys. The first company that Lucasfilm partnered with for creating action figures is Kenner, a toy company that was founded in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio. To learn more about the action figures that Kenner produced for the Star Wars franchise, check out the Things to Know About the Kenner Star Wars Action Figures.

Pop Culture Movies from Other Decades

If you’re looking for pop culture movies from other decades, look no further. Hop over to our vast electronic library filled with trivia from the 1950s through 2010s, now. So long and good luck!