Best Movies of 1980

1.

The Empire Strikes Back

7.1

The epic saga continues as Luke Skywalker, in hopes of defeating the evil Galactic Empire, learns the ways of the Jedi from aging master Yoda. But Darth Vader is more determined than ever to capture Luke. Meanwhile, rebel leader Princess Leia, cocky Han Solo, Chewbacca, and droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are thrown into various stages of capture, betrayal and despair.

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels
Directed by: Irvin Kershner
Release date: 1980-05-20
2.

The Shining

6.8

Jack Torrance accepts a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel, where he, along with his wife Wendy and their son Danny, must live isolated from the rest of the world for the winter. But they aren't prepared for the madness that lurks within.

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1980-05-22
3.

The Elephant Man

6.6

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man being mistreated by his "owner" as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of great intelligence and sensitivity. Based on the true story of Joseph Merrick (called John Merrick in the film), a severely deformed man in 19th century London.

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller
Directed by: David Lynch
Release date: 1980-10-02
4.

Raging Bull

6.6

When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Release date: 1980-11-14
5.

The Blues Brothers

6.4

Jake Blues is just out of jail, and teams up with his brother, Elwood on a 'mission from God' to raise funds for the orphanage in which they grew up. The only thing they can do is do what they do best: play music. So they get their old band together, and set out on their way—while getting in a bit of trouble here and there.

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles
Directed by: John Landis
Release date: 1980-06-17
6.

Airplane!

6.1

Alcoholic pilot, Ted Striker has developed a fear of flying due to wartime trauma, but nevertheless boards a passenger jet in an attempt to woo back his stewardess girlfriend. Food poisoning decimates the passengers and crew, leaving it up to Striker to land the plane with the help of a glue-sniffing air traffic controller and Striker's vengeful former Air Force captain, who must both talk him down.

Starring: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves
Directed by: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Release date: 1980-07-02
7.

Ordinary People

5.5

Beth, Calvin, and their son Conrad are living in the aftermath of the death of the other son. Conrad is overcome by grief and misplaced guilt to the extent of a suicide attempt. He is in therapy. Beth had always preferred his brother and is having difficulty being supportive to Conrad. Calvin is trapped between the two trying to hold the family together.

Starring: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton, M. Emmet Walsh
Directed by: Robert Redford
Release date: 1980-09-19
8.

The Long Good Friday

5.4

In the late 1970s, Cockney crime boss Harold Shand, a gangster trying to become a legitimate property mogul, has big plans to get the American Mafia to bankroll his transformation of a derelict area of London into the possible venue for a future Olympic Games. However, a series of bombings targets his empire on the very weekend the Americans are in town. Shand is convinced there is a traitor in his organization, and sets out to eliminate the rat in typically ruthless fashion.

Starring: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman, Dave King, Bryan Marshall
Directed by: John Mackenzie
Release date: 1980-11-01
9.

Stardust Memories

5.3

While attending a retrospect of his work, a filmmaker recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films.

Starring: Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, Marie-Christine Barrault, Tony Roberts
Directed by: Woody Allen
Release date: 1980-09-26
10.

The Gods Must Be Crazy

5.3

Misery is brought to a small group of Sho in the Kalahari desert in the form of a cola bottle. In his quest to throw the evil object over the edge of the earth, Xixo encounters Western "civilization," a haphazard doctor and a tyranical despot.

Starring: N!xau, Michael Thys, Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, Louw Verwey
Directed by: Jamie Uys
Release date: 1980-09-10
11.

Friday the 13th

5.3

Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning.

Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Jeannine Taylor
Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham
Release date: 1980-05-09
12.

The Changeling

5.2

A man staying at a secluded historical mansion, finds his life being haunted by the presence of a spectre.

Starring: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Jean Marsh, John Colicos
Directed by: Peter Medak
Release date: 1980-03-27
13.

Brubaker

5.2

The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

Starring: Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Alexander, Morgan Freeman, Murray Hamilton
Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg
Release date: 1980-06-20
14.

Somewhere in Time

5.2

Young writer, Richard Collier is met on the opening night of his first play by an old lady who begs him to, "Come back to me." Mystified, he tries to find out about her, and learns that she is a famous stage actress from the early 1900s. Becoming more and more obsessed with her, he manages – by self-hypnosis – to travel back in time where he meets her. They fall in love, a matching that is not appreciated by her manager. Can their love outlast the immense problems caused by their 'time" difference, and can Richard remain in a time that is not his?

Starring: Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, Teresa Wright, Bill Erwin
Directed by: Jeannot Szwarc
Release date: 1980-10-02
15.

The Big Red One

5.2
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A veteran sergeant of the World War I leads a squad in World War II, always in the company of the survivor Pvt. Griff, the writer Pvt. Zab, the Sicilian Pvt. Vinci and Pvt. Johnson in Vichy French Africa, Sicily, D-Day at Omaha Beach, Belgium and France, ending in a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia where they face the true horror of war.
Starring: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco, Kelly Ward
Directed by: Samuel Fuller
Release date: 1980-05-28
16.

Caddyshack

5.1

At an exclusive country club, an ambitious young caddy, Danny Noonan, eagerly pursues a caddy scholarship in hopes of attending college and, in turn, avoiding a job at the lumber yard. In order to succeed, he must first win the favour of the elitist Judge Smails, and then the caddy golf tournament which Smails sponsors.

Starring: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe, Bill Murray
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Release date: 1980-07-25
17.

Superman II

5.1

Three escaped criminals from the planet Krypton test the Man of Steel's mettle. Led by Gen. Zod, the Kryptonians take control of the White House and partner with Lex Luthor to destroy Superman and rule the world. But Superman, who attempts to make himself human in order to get closer to Lois, realizes he has a responsibility to save the planet.

Starring: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas
Directed by: Richard Lester
Release date: 1980-12-04
18.

Dressed to Kill

5.1

A mysterious, tall, blonde woman wearing sunglasses murders one of a psychiatrist's patients, and now she's after the prostitute who witnessed it.

Starring: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Release date: 1980-06-25
19.

Altered States

5.0

A research scientist explores the boundaries and frontiers of consciousness. Using sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic mixtures from native American shamans, he explores these altered states of consciousness and finds that memory, time, and perhaps reality itself are states of mind.

Starring: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid, Thaao Penghlis
Directed by: Ken Russell
Release date: 1980-12-25
20.

Heaven's Gate

4.9

Harvard graduate James Averill (Kris Kristofferson) is the sheriff of prosperous Jackson County, Wyo., when a battle erupts between the area's poverty-stricken immigrants and its wealthy cattle farmers. The politically connected ranch owners fight the immigrants with the help of Nathan Champion (Christopher Walken), a mercenary competing with Averill for the love of local madam Ella Watson (Isabelle Huppert). As the struggle escalates, Averill and Champion begin to question their decisions.

Starring: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Isabelle Huppert, Sam Waterston
Directed by: Michael Cimino
Release date: 1980-11-19

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