They don’t make ‘em like this anymore: The best 80s movies you won’t see replicated in the 2020s

Today, Hollywood has a penchant for re-hashing classic films, or creating modern alternatives to beloved characters and movies. The results are varied, with films such as Ghostbusters Afterlife being praised, while other creations such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi have caused a divisive fan reaction. There are, however, some iconic movies that should be difficult to replicate. We have listed five of them from a glorious film decade – the 80s.

1. Labyrinth

When looking at movies from the 80s, there is perhaps no film as bizarre, memorable or iconic as Labyrinth. This is a dark and unusual tale that throws Sarah Williams into a fantasy world to try and save her baby brother from the clutches of David Bowie and his spandex tights… sorry we mean Jareth, the King of the Goblins!

It truly is an incredible story with some fantastic characters, musical numbers and a brilliant use of puppetry. Who can forget characters such as Hoggle, Ludo and Sir Didymus, and of course the various goblins and other fantasy creatures? Sure, a CGI remake could be made, but would it truly capture the magic of the original? Unlikely!

2. Scarface

For many, Scarface is the ultimate crime film next to the Godfather trilogy. Al Pacino is incredible as Tony Montana and has some memorable lines and scenes. Who can forget the mountain of *ahem* “sugar” scene, or when Tony goes all out with his machine gun and yells the iconic line “Say hello to my little friend!”

The movie is amazing, if not brutal and sobering, and it is now a certified cult classic. Something like this simply cannot be recreated. Indeed, most modern crime and mob films look tame in comparison, or simply lack the raw energy, brutality and excitement that Tony Montana brought to the big screen.

3. Atlantic City

Atlantic City is possibly one of the best romantic crime dramas of all time. This 80s film had a star-studded cast that included Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon and tells the tale of Sally and Lou as Sally tries to break into the gambling scene of Atlantic City. Their on-screen chemistry is superb and part of what makes the film such a masterpiece. Although the gambling genre has been used in various other films, this particular type of film is not as popular in today’s modern world, and thus a remake or replication is unlikely.

4. The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is one of the all-time Disney classics. It has stood the test of time and is still a beautiful, animated film for children to enjoy. This film tells the tale of Ariel and her quest to leave the ocean depths to become a land-dweller. Along the way, we meet many memorable characters, such as the lovable lobster Sebastian, and the evil sea witch Ursula.

While other classic Disney films, such as the Jungle Book and Dumbo, have been the recipient of recent live-action remakes, it is unlikely that the Little Mermaid will get the same treatment. The primarily underwater setting and characters would make it incredibly difficult for producers to create an engaging film due to the heavy use of CGI.

5. E.T.

If you grew up in the 80s, you would undoubtedly have a picture in your mind of the famous scene of E.T. and Elliot riding his bicycle through the sky, with the iconic soundtrack playing. This is one of the most memorable scenes from a movie that is packed with action, laughs and an endearing cast and storyline.

E.T. was one of the biggest commercial hits from the 80s and one of Steve Spielberg’s greatest accomplishments, and that’s saying something! Due to the immense popularity of the film, and the fact that it has a fairly complete storyline, there isn’t really any room for a sequel or spinoff. Indeed, we can’t see the appeal or need to touch something as precious as E.T. – it’s pretty much perfect as it is!

E.T. also made a particular toy quite popular because of its appearance in the film. This toy is the Speak & Spell, an electronic toy computer that was developed and launched by tech company Texas Instruments in 1978. What’s great about the Speak & Spell is that it was one of the most effective educational toys in the 1980s when it came to teaching kids how to spell words and pronounce them properly. For more information on it, you can check out The Nostalgic Origins of the Speak & Spell Toy.

It is unlikely that we will see true replications of these timeless films. While the same genres and storylines may have been explored, it is difficult to recreate the drama, passion, excitement and magic that these five movies provided. Hopefully, Hollywood works to continue developing new ideas and pushing the boundaries of cinema, instead of simply remaking what we have already seen.