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  • BryanJ

    Good idea for a list. Interesting choices, but I’m pretty shocked that John Hughes isn’t included. He directed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Uncle Buck. He also wrote National Lampoon’s Vacation, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Pretty in Pink.

    • Orrin

      I feel like John Hughes is memorable and captured the imaginations of teenagers and children in the 1980’s but they certainly weren’t very mature films. Giving John Hughes a place on this list would be like giving Saved by the Bell an emmy.

      -The author of this article

      • Bruce


        How could you leave out John Carpenter then?

        The Thing, Halloween, the Escape series…

  • 5minutes

    1. Stanley Kubrick? Full Metal Jacket and The Shining both came out in the 80’s.

    2. John Hughes, as has already been mentioned.

    3. Roland Joffe. Fat Man and Little Boy is underrated, The Killing Fields was brutal awesomeness, and The Mission is easily in my top 100.

    4. James Cameron is overrated, and to call him one of the best of the 80’s is a joke. He made 1 film you could call “great” (Aliens), one agenda-driven mediocre flick (The Abyss), one entertaining Arnold vehicle (The Terminator), and one utterly terrible B-flick (Pirana II: The Spawning).

    • Orrin

      Yeah, but was Kubrick defined by the 80’s? His four most famous films were in the 60-71. Also, I tried to pick people who made more than 2 films.

      I did see Fat Man and Little Boy. I do like a good historical docudrama and I don’t think that film was necessarily bad.

  • ParusMajor

    I don’t agree with this list. The only one I agree with is David Lynch. Where’s Stuart Gordon, Frank Henenlotter, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Brian Yuzna, Michele Soavi?

  • bfuiodsa7f9a

    I donâ??t agree with this list. The only one I agree with is David Lynch. Whereâ??s Stuart Gordon, Frank Henenlotter, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Brian Yuzna, Michele Soavi?

    • Scott Herdliska

      Argento and fulci could definitely crack this list

  • Not A Squirrel

    …. MARTIN SCORSESE?!?!?!!??!!? RAGING BULL??!?!?!?!? PERHAPS THE GREATEST SPORTS MOVIE OF ALL TIME??!!?!??! Opinions are opinions though.

    • Scott Herdliska

      Spot on. not to mention Last Temptation, After Hours, King of Comedy and lastly Goodfellas (1990I could also be considered as the last great film of the decade or the first great film of the next.

  • Colin

    Opinions are opinions, sure, but to not even include John Hughes in this list seems a little ignorant and/or standoffish. To say that The Breakfast Club, Uncle Buck, Planes Trains and Automobiles and Ferris Bueller only appealed to one kind of audience is nonsensical.

    Not to mention those movies have transcended pop culture and have made lasting impressions on viewers 30 years later. I wasn’t even a product of the 80’s and three of John Hughes’ movies are probably in my top 25 favorite movies of all time.

  • fuzzle

    I like Tim Burton’s work..

  • Scott Herdliska

    This list is ludicrous. I read your comment about Scorsese (to which I disagree wholeheartedly) and Stanley Kubrick, both of whom deserve to be at or near the very top of the list.

    I also might put Richard Donner and John Carpenter on here in favor of Peter Weir and James Cameron.

    Walter Hill, Tim Burton and John Hughes also deserve mention, but a list lie this without Scorsese and Kubrick is just worthless.

    • Scott Herdliska

      I also wanted to add that you are talking about the best film directors of the 80s, not the most prolific, I’d put Full Metal Jacket and the Shining up against five movies from 80 % of the rest of the list.

  • Topias

    It’s annoying that allmost all of the directors are american…really…you don’t know they make often way better movies somewhere other than america.

  • @Scott OK, I’ll rewrite the intro to mention that director has to be more prolific than producing 2 films. Happy now?
    (oh, and I probably won’t rewrite the intro, I don’t believe I have admin authority and don’t feel like bothering them, sorry)

    @Colin Did you see all the people protesting John Hughes getting so much attention at the Oscars. His films are considered popular but by no means good. Both of the two film critics who replaced Roger Ebert on @ the Movies (Christy LeMire & the Russian guy) both said they never liked Hughes films.

    @Not a Squerrill You know, I should have included Scorsese. I didn’t put much thought to After Hours (I’ve seen it, but honestly, I didn’t know he directed it), and all the non-Raging Bulls films from the 80s, but why would I count Goodfellas if that’s released in 1990

    @Topias I disagree. Here’s my defense. I choose limits over my field of expertise. I didn’t study world film history/criticism in college. I studied American/English language film history/criticism with certain forays and a limited exposure into the people and films that influenced American films whether the Bicycle Thief, Battleship Potempkin, etc.

    It’s just like anything else in life. Someone’s not gonna choose to be a biologist but they’re gonna get into a certain field of biology.

    In short, they might make better movies somewhere else, but there are enough great English language films to immerse myself in the meanwhile. I don’t agree that I have an obligation to consume every film ever made to speak with authority about films.

    Without scope or limits, none of us have any authority to say what the best films of the 1980s are: Not even you. For all you know, the best films in the 1980’s might have been made by someone on a home video in Madagascar who only showed them to 8 people