erik lundegaard

AFI's Top 10 Movies of the 1980s, Give or Take

After posting my list of the top 10 films of the 1980s, as well as IMDb's, I wondered how the '80s looked to the American Film Institute, that august body of ... whoever.

It released its top 100 movies in 1998, then again 10 years later. The first list, which was put together when the '80s weren't yet 10 years past, included only six movies from that decade, and most of these were from the earlier, '70s-influenced part of the decade:

  • 24. Raging Bull (1980)
  • 25. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  • 53. Amadeus (1984)
  • 60. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • 62. Tootsie (1982)
  • 83. Platoon (1986)

By 2008 and the second list, “Raging Bull” had roared up from 24th to 4th place, while “E.T.” had roared up ... one place, to 24th. Everything else fell back: “Raiders” six places, “Tootsie” seven, “Platoon” three. Three other movies were added, but only one (“Do the Right Thing”) from the latter part of the decade. One movie, “Amadeus,” inexplicable fell off the list entirely:

  • 4. Raging Bull (1980)
  • 24. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  • 66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • 69. Tootsie (1982)
  • 86. Platoon (1986)
  • 91. Sophie's Choice (1982)
  • 96. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  • 97. Blade Runner (1982)

So how do the '80s look to AFI? Here's a graph of the films on their second list, separated by decade:

AFI's top 100 movies by decade

A bit of a dropoff there. Except for the first decades of the 20th century (the silent era), and the first decade of the 21st century (the yahoo era), the 1980s are considered the worst decade for Hollywood movies by Hollywood people.

Will this change as the '80s recede from view and we begin to see what made the decade unique? Doubtful. What made the decade unique wasn't very artistic and it's art that lasts.

Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull, the most honored movie of the 1980s

“Raging Bull,” the most honored movie of the 1980s, has at least one foot in the 1970s.


Posted at 07:58 AM on Thu. Jul 11, 2013 in category Movies - Lists  
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