The 1980s were an exhilarating era for movie buffs. Hollywood was buzzing with groundbreaking films, captivating performances, and innovative ideas. Among the plethora of influential movies, some hidden masterpieces were overlooked and eventually forgotten. But fear not, because these hidden gems from the 80s are still remarkable and definitely worth a watch.
If you’re a true lover of cinema and want to enrich your film collection, these forgotten treasures from the 80s are an absolute must-see. Prepare for action-packed thrills with Big Trouble in Little China and Tango & Cash, or laugh your socks off with Real Genius and Night Shift. And don’t you dare miss the intense dramas of A Fish Called Wanda and After Hours, even though they slipped through the cracks of fame.
Get ready to dive into the eccentric and captivating storytelling of the 80s. These films may have been forgotten, but they are just waiting to be rediscovered. So, make a note to check out these hidden 80s wonders, and while you’re at it, explore The Best Action Movies of the 1980s, The Best Horror Movies of the 1980s, and The Funniest Movies of the 1980s for even more cinematic delights.
1. Adventures in Babysitting
The poster of Adventures in Babysitting is absolutely breathtaking. It’s a shame that this film hasn’t gained more recognition in pop culture. This is truly a travesty because it is one of the funniest movies from the 80s.
Adventures in Babysitting is an incredibly absurd film that becomes even more ludicrous as time passes. However, it is ridiculously fun and suitable for the whole family. The movie features strong female characters, hilarious comedic scenes, and a wholesome and heartfelt story.
The film takes viewers on an odyssey where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. This creates a sense of wonder and adventure, as we are simply invested in seeing these beloved characters make it back home safely.
2. Romancing the Stone
Swashbuckling adventures may seem like a cinema trope more closely associated with 90s filmmaking as opposed to 80s, but Romancing the Stone proved that the rockin’ 80s had what it took to create a fantastical adventure that would shock, uplift, and inspire audiences worldwide.
The film follows a young novelist on a mission to rescue her abducted sister, taking viewers on a fun and heartfelt journey. From start to finish, it keeps audiences thoroughly entertained and delivers that sense of wonder that only the best action adventure movies can provide.
3. Big Trouble in Little China
Big Trouble in Little China is an absolute gem of a fantasy action movie. Directed by the legendary John Carpenter, it’s a film that unfortunately remains hidden from the casual movie-goers. This uproarious adventure is filled with action, making it an indescribable experience that only improves with time. What’s impressive is how Carpenter manages to both poke fun at mystical and adventure clichés, while also paying homage to them. It may seem contradictory, but in the hands of a master like Carpenter, it all comes together harmoniously, resulting in an underrated masterpiece.
4. Real Genius
Real Genius, one of the best-forgotten comedy movies of all time, is a hyperactive and hilarious film. It revolves around a group of young geniuses who are determined to shake the world to its core and push the boundaries of innovation. Val Kilmer delivers an outstanding performance in this magnificent comedy, which exudes new-wave charm and ideology. It is a magical teen movie that is both brash and sweet, funny and smart, and incredibly memorable. For those seeking a brilliant flashback to the past and a desire to relive the glory days, Real Genius is a wonderful title to get lost in.
5. A Fish Called Wanda
A Fish Called Wanda, with its catchy title, may appear to be an unforgettable film, but sadly, it has been overlooked. This comedic crime drama features Jamie Lee Curtis and John Cleese, and centers around a diamond advocate trying to steal a valuable collection of jewels, only to discover they aren’t alone in their quest. Bursting with excitement, magnetism, and adventure, A Fish Called Wanda embodies the charm of the 80s and provides the perfect dose of nonstop thrills to captivate audiences.
6. Tango & Cash
In the ’80s, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell, two of the biggest action stars, joined forces in the adrenaline-pumping Tango & Cash. This film had it all – epic action scenes, over-the-top ’80s romance, and a hilarious rivalry between two bros trying to outdo each other. Surprisingly, Tango & Cash doesn’t get much attention, even though it’s a fantastic and action-packed masterpiece. It’s the perfect example of a cheesy action movie done right, providing mindless entertainment that audiences can sit back and enjoy.
7. The ‘Burbs
Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, and Carrie Fisher team up in The ‘Burbs, a dark comedy that is considered one of the best of its kind. The story revolves around a group of men who become suspicious of their new neighbors and suspect them of being wicked wrongdoers. They decide to take matters into their own hands and launch an investigation to uncover the truth about these mysterious newcomers. Unfortunately, The ‘Burbs is a cult classic that deserves more recognition than it has received. It showcases Tom Hanks at his comedic best, portraying a character who is completely unhinged and will leave audiences in stitches. Get ready for some serious laughter!
8. Some Kind of Wonderful
When it comes to 80s high school movies, most people immediately think of classics like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, or even Teen Wolf. However, there is one film that has been severely underrated and it’s almost criminal. Some Kind of Wonderful encompasses all the typical elements you would expect from a movie of this kind during that time period. But what sets it apart is how it manages to ground these elements so impressively. As you watch it, you’ll feel like a fly on the wall, witnessing a heartbreaking romance unfold in a way that feels genuine, rather than overly exaggerated for the screen. It’s a powerful, emotional, and truly brilliant film that deserves more recognition. If you’re a fan of 80s high school rom-coms, Some Kind of Wonderful is a must-watch.
9. Night Shift
Ron Howard is often considered one of the most underrated directors of the 1980s, and his film Night Shift from 1982 might just be his most underrated work. This terrific comedy follows the story of a morgue attendant who finds himself stuck with the night shift, leading to a hilarious and unpredictable adventure. For those seeking a good laugh or wanting to experience the magic of 80s comedy, Night Shift will surely hit the spot.
Acclaimed director John Carpenter is widely known for his exceptional contributions to the fantasy and horror genres. However, in 1984, he surprised audiences with a romantic science fiction film called Starman. This hidden gem remains one of his most underrated cinematic achievements to date. Despite its unusual premise, Starman is a captivating love story that is filled with heart, compassion, and genuine emotion. Carpenter’s signature directing style shines through, creating a film that is both genuinely sweet and romantic.
11. Night of the Comet
Night of the Comet is a true representation of the 80s era, with its massive hair, cheesy effects, and a delightful blend of science fiction, horror, and comedy. Despite being made on a low budget, this movie manages to create a grander feel. It presents the apocalypse in a unique and captivating way, showcasing a stripped-down and refined approach.
The film’s atmosphere is simply glorious, with its upbeat 80s songs, vibrant neon lights, and an overall retro vibe. It takes you back to a time when this forgotten classic was a must-watch for all 80s movie enthusiasts. So, if you’re a fan of this era, Night of the Comet is definitely a movie that you need to check out.