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Feeling Nostalgic For The '80s? Here's A List Of Must-See Films

Nicholas Rumas

People who came of age in the 1980s often think back fondly on those days of skinny knit ties, shoulder pads, and Brat Pack movies.  It’s a period that people coming of age today might think of as, well, thirty years ago. 

But beyond the iconic films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Beverly Hills Cop, Pretty in Pink, and even Ghostbusters, there are many 1980s movies that are under the radar today.  So if you are looking for a nostalgic glance back at the decade, or if you’re just curious for a view of the ‘80s you haven't seen before, Lake Effect's Dan Harmon and film contributor Dave Luhrssen each brought five suggestions to the table –

1. River's Edge


2. The Night Before - A classic 80s "comedy of errors"


3. Just One of the Guys


4. Blue Velvet - "It is certainly I think the definition of cult movie in the sense that it had a small, avid following at the time. It was generally attacked by the mainstream press and mainstream audiences stayed away...It is an extremely strange look at the dark underside of small town American life where when you get below the surfaces, there are things you'd rather not see."


5. My Beautiful Laundrette - "A British movie dealing with all kinds of issues - ethnicity, sexual preference, all sorts of things that we maybe take a little more for granted as topics nowadays that were less common at that time."


6. The Lost Boys - "It was a very good metaphor for the problems of teenage life and rights of passage that most of us are stuck with going through."


7. No Small Affair


8. Blade Runner - "It's a movie that has become much admired in retrospect as being one of the great films of the twentieth century, and very few people at the time it came out went out to see it."


9. The Rachel Papers


10. Slam Dance- "It's kind of a neo-noir movie with a man running from the criminals, running from the cops set in part in the whole punk rock club scene to a degree of that era. I loved it so much, I think I saw it twice in one day when it came out. I talk about this movie and nobody knows what I'm talking about - it really didn't make any impression on very many people."

Dave Luhrssen is arts and entertainment for the Shepherd Express newspaper, author of its I Hate Hollywood blog, and our regular film contributor. 

Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Dan Harmon was one of the original members of Lake Effect (formerly At Ten). He started at WUWM in November of 1998 and left December of 2015 after 17 years of production.