From 'Stand by Me' to 'The Shining': '80s films that have aged surprisingly well

We take a look at movies that have stood the test of time

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by 20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5883489l)
Robin Wright, Cary Elwes
The Princess Bride - 1987
Director: Rob Reiner
20th Century Fox
Scene Still
Princess Bride
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Not every film can stand the test of time.

Over the decades, tastes change, plots become dated and, as technologies develop, special effects might not seem very believable any more. Yet, there are still some films that are as good today as they were when they first came out.

Here, we take a look at eight films from the eighties that are as still enjoyable to watch now, more than three decades on.

‘Amadeus’ (1984)

This fictionalised biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is frequently cited as one of the best movies of all time.

The film stars Tom Hulce, who portrays the influential classical composer, and F Murray Abraham, who won an Academy Award for his role as Italian composer Antonio Salieri.

Though the film runs for a good three hours, it doesn't feel too long, as the impeccable acting and the snappy dialogue keeps you hooked.

‘Stand By Me’ (1986)

Stand By Me is a coming-of-age film that tells the story of four friends who discover the body of a missing boy while out on a hike.

Based on Stephen King's 1982 novella The Body, the film stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell.

While tragic and heart-rending at times, Stand By Me is one of the best movies to come out of the eighties, with its timeless story of boyhood friendship bringing in new fans every generation.

‘The Princess Bride’ (1987)

The overarching plot of this film is based around an elderly man reading the book The Princess Bride to his sick grandson.

The story itself – which centres on Buttercup, a former farm girl who has been chosen as the bride to Prince Humperdinck of Florian – has all the sugar, spice and suspense of an adventure fantasy, as Buttercup's true love must overcome a number of obstacles to try and stop the wedding.

It's classic children's fare that's a little less saccharine than some of its counterparts.

‘Brazil’ (1985)

Brazil is a dark, dystopian science fiction film, directed by Terry Gilliam, which satirises a bureaucratic totalitarian government, kind of like the one in George Orwell's 1984.

The film – which stars Jonathan Pryce and Robert De Niro – was not exactly a box office success when it first came out, but has since become a cult favourite with its Kafka-esque take on the genre.

It was voted the 24th best British film ever in a Time Out poll of 150 film experts and professionals.

‘The Shining’ (1980)

Based on Stephen King's 1977 novel of the same name, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is arguably one of the best horror movies ever made, and has become a staple of pop culture since its release.

The mere mention of the film’s title brings to mind Jack Nicholson’s maniacal grin peering through a cracked door in the famous "here's Johnny" scene.

‘Beverly Hills Cop’ (1984)

The first film in the Beverly Hills Cop series made Eddie Murphy a household name. The film won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture and was in the running for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award in 1985.

The New York Times reviewed the movie upon its release, saying: "Beverly Hills Cop finds Eddie Murphy doing what he does best: playing the shrewdest, hippest, fastest-talking underdog in a rich man's world. Eddie Murphy knows exactly what he's doing, and he wins at every turn."

That’s as true today as it was 36 years ago.

‘Pink Floyd: The Wall’ (1982)

The space-rock opera tells the story of Pink – played by Bob Geldof – a depressed rock star who suffers from a gradual mental breakdown.

The film is not an easy watch, but the stunning animations and the music of Pink Floyd make it one of most interest films to come out of the 1980s.

'E T  the Extra-Terrestrial' (1982)

Most alien films don’t age well. That’s less to do with how they’re written and more to do with the depiction of aliens themselves. Most seem awkward as technologies develop and make way for more sophisticated depictions.

This is true for ET as well. The large glassy eyes of the extra-terrestrial, as well as his stiff unbending skin, don't make him seem very life-like.

Yet, the movie has still aged well. That's mostly due to the charming story that drives it, and it is still easy to watch Elliot and his siblings form a bond with the alien as they try to keep him safe from government forces.


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