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Top Ten Films Of 1984

Top Ten Films Of 1984

In my recent interview with Catherine Mary Stewart, I said that 1984 was the single greatest year in movie history. I stand by my statement. The crazy thing is, after I went through every movie that came out in 1984, I realized there is no way I can list all the good movies in one article. So instead of naming them all, here are ten of my personal favorites. Not everyone may agree with my choices, but that’s okay, lists are about opinion. Here we go…

Honorable Mentions:

Neverending Story
Nightmare on Elm ST.
Spinal Tap
Flamingo Kid
Night of the Comet
Red Dawn


10. Sixteen Candles : The 80’s was the time of John Hughes, so I had to make sure I got his film from 1984 on the list. This is a classic, you get Molly Ringwald, Long Duck Dong and a great soundtrack.


9. Bachelor Party:  There are a few movies that, once you see them, you quote them all the time. This is one of those movies. Tom Hanks is at the top of his comedic game. Splash also came out in 1984, but I chose this as it has held up better and has stayed quotable.


8. The Last Starfighter: As the poster says, Alex Rogan was a small town boy with big time dreams. The movie plays on the Excalibur test which to this day is still a great concept. The movie features what would become the future of cinema with computer effects.


7. Beverly Hills Cop : The Movie that would take an SNL cast member and turn him into an international star. Yes, Murphy had been in other hits, but this was the biggest R rated movie of all-time, and it still clocks in at 3# adjusted for inflation. It would spawn two sequels, but that’s not really the point. It’s just really funny.


6. Purple Rain: This is probably where a few people will shake their head at me. But man, in 1984 you could not go anywhere without this soundtrack. Price was, and still is, cool. The music and visuals of this movie still work today. It is a biography/music video, but it just works.

Natural Poster


5. The natural: The best baseball movie that doesn’t star Kevin Costner. Barry Levinson made a most beautiful looking movies. It transports you back to the time when baseball was king. Redford was a huge star, and that played well with him being the mystic Roy Hobbs. With great quotes like, “And then when I walked down the street people would’ve looked and they would’ve said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game”


4. The Karate Kid: I probably saw this six or seven times at the theater. Cruel summer played on the radio and in this movie (thought the movie aged more gracefully than the music video). Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi would become a pop culture icon (even though he was robbed of an Academy Award). The country fell in love with Elisabeth Shue, and Ralph Macchio brought karate back to american cinema.

streets of fire

3. Streets of Fire:  One of my favorite films of all-time (and still only #3!). For me Walter Hill’s best film (ed. note: Lies), and one of the best casts ever. The casting director and Hill should always pat themselves on the back finding all the great actors that are in this movie. Michael Pare as Tom Cody, Willem Dafoe as Raven Shaddock and Diane Lane as Ellen Aim. Just amazing. The movie looks like a film before it’s time, and the soundtrack is perfect.


2. The Terminator: Two mega stars at the beginning of their careers, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. They made The Terminator and never looked back. It would start careers for a handful of actors, Spawn numerous sequels, a tv show, comic books, etc. with another reboot coming this summer. It was an R rated sci-fi movie that delivered. Also featuring the greatest pick-up line of all-time: “I came across time for you Sarah. I love you; I always have.”


1. Ghostbusters: “Who ya gonna call? ” echoed throughout the summer of 1984, Ray Parker Jr’s theme song was everywhere. Arguably one of the greatest movies of all-time, and a prototype for a summer blockbuster. It made stars of everyone involved. Still to this day the ending is the best surprise laugh. At the time it was the highest grossing comedy ever, until Home Alone showed up in 1990. Ghostbusters was one of those movies you had to see at the theater, it had that big feel to it. So many films have tried to replicate what this film did, and none have.

The Robot

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