Best Movies of 1983

1.

Return of the Jedi

6.9

As Rebel leaders map their strategy for an all-out attack on the Emperor's newer, bigger Death Star. Han Solo remains frozen in the cavernous desert fortress of Jabba the Hutt, the most loathsome outlaw in the universe, who is also keeping Princess Leia as a slave girl. Now a master of the Force, Luke Skywalker rescues his friends, but he cannot become a true Jedi Knight until he wages his own crucial battle against Darth Vader, who has sworn to win Luke over to the dark side of the Force.

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels
Directed by: Richard Marquand
Release date: 1983-05-23
2.

Scarface

6.7

After getting a green card in exchange for assassinating a Cuban government official, Tony Montana stakes a claim on the drug trade in Miami. Viciously murdering anyone who stands in his way, Tony eventually becomes the biggest drug lord in the state, controlling nearly all the cocaine that comes through Miami. But increased pressure from the police, wars with Colombian drug cartels and his own drug-fueled paranoia serve to fuel the flames of his eventual downfall.

Starring: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Release date: 1983-12-08
3.

Trading Places

6.0

A snobbish investor and a wily street con-artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche
Directed by: John Landis
Release date: 1983-06-07
4.

Eddie Murphy: Delirious

5.7

Taped live and in concert at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. in August, 1983, Eddie Murphy: Delirious captures Eddie Murphy's wild and outrageous stand-up comedy act, which he performed in New York and eighteen other cities across the U.S. to standing-room-only audiences. Eddie's comedy was groundbreaking, completely new, razor sharp and definitely funny.Eddie Murphy pontificates in his own vulgarly hilarious fashion on everything from bizarre sexual fantasies to reliving the family barbecue, and is peppered with Eddie's one-of-a-kind wit. Laugh along as Eddie reminiscences of hot childhood days and the ice cream man intermixed with classic vocal parodies of top American entertainers.Experience Eddie Murphy at his best, live and red hot! Delirious! Uncensored and Uncut!

Starring: Eddie Murphy, James Argiro
Directed by: Bruce Gowers
Release date: 1983-08-17
5.

The Right Stuff

5.6

A chronicle of the original Mercury astronauts in the formation of America's space program: Alan Shepherd, the first American in space; Gus Grissom, the benighted astronaut for whom nothing works out as planned; John Glenn, the straight-arrow 'boy scout' of the bunch who was the first American to orbit the earth; and the remaining pilots: Deke Slayton, Scott Carpenter and Wally Schirra.

Starring: Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard
Directed by: Philip Kaufman
Release date: 1983-10-20
6.

A Christmas Story

5.6

The comic mishaps and adventures of a young boy named Ralph, trying to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift for the 1940s.

Starring: Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley, Jean Shepherd, Ian Petrella
Directed by: Bob Clark
Release date: 1983-11-18
7.

The Meaning of Life

5.4

Life's questions are 'answered' in a series of outrageous vignettes, beginning with a staid London insurance company which transforms before our eyes into a pirate ship. Then there's the National Health doctors who try to claim a healthy liver from a still-living donor. The world's most voracious glutton brings the art of vomiting to new heights before his spectacular demise.

Starring: Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones
Directed by: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Release date: 1983-03-31
8.

Videodrome

5.3

As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn is desperate for new programming to attract viewers. When he happens upon "Videodrome," a TV show dedicated to gratuitous torture and punishment, Max sees a potential hit and broadcasts the show on his channel. However, after his girlfriend auditions for the show and never returns, Max investigates the truth behind Videodrome and discovers that the graphic violence may not be as fake as he thought.

Starring: James Woods, Sonja Smits, Debbie Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Jack Creley
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Release date: 1983-02-04
9.

National Lampoon's Vacation

5.3

Clark Griswold is on a quest to take his family on a quest to Walley World theme park for a vacation, but things don't go exactly as planned.

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Release date: 1983-07-28
10.

Rumble Fish

5.2

Rusty James, an absent-minded street thug struggles to live up to his legendary older brother's reputation, and longs for the days when gang warfare was going on.

Starring: Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Diana Scarwid
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Release date: 1983-10-20
11.

The Outsiders

5.2

When two poor greasers, Johnny, and Ponyboy are assaulted by a vicious gang, the socs, and Johnny kills one of the attackers, tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events.

Starring: Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Release date: 1983-03-25
12.

Terms of Endearment

5.2

Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora's interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking.

Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels
Directed by: James L. Brooks
Release date: 1983-11-20
13.

The Dead Zone

5.2

Johnny Smith is a schoolteacher with his whole life ahead of him but, after leaving his fiancee's home one night, is involved in a car crash which leaves him in a coma for 5 years. When he wakes, he discovers he has an ability to see into the past, present and future life of anyone with whom he comes into physical contact.

Starring: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Martin Sheen, Herbert Lom
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Release date: 1983-10-21
14.

Local Hero

5.2

An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don't go as expected.

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson, Norman Chancer
Directed by: Bill Forsyth
Release date: 1983-02-17
15.

WarGames

5.2

High School student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) has a talent for hacking. But while trying to hack into a computer system to play unreleased video games, he unwittingly taps into the Defense Department's war computer and initiates a confrontation of global proportions! Together with his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy) and a wizardly computer genius (John Wood), David must race against time to outwit his opponent...and prevent a nuclear Armageddon.

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Barry Corbin
Directed by: John Badham
Release date: 1983-06-03
16.

The Big Chill

5.1

A couple's marital troubles are put on hold while they host an unhappy reunion of former college pals gathered for the funeral of one of their own, a suicide victim named Alex. As the weekend unfolds, the friends catch up with each other, play the music of their youth, reminisce, smoke marijuana, and pair off with each other.

Starring: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline
Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan
Release date: 1983-09-09
17.

Silkwood

5.1

The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.

Starring: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, Craig T. Nelson, Fred Ward
Directed by: Mike Nichols
Release date: 1983-12-14
18.

The Day After

5.0

In the mid-1980s, the U.S. is poised on the brink of nuclear war. This shadow looms over the residents of a small town in Kansas as they continue their daily lives. Dr. Russell Oakes maintains his busy schedule at the hospital, Denise Dahlberg prepares for her upcoming wedding, and Stephen Klein is deep in his graduate studies. When the unthinkable happens and the bombs come down, the town's residents are thrust into the horrors of nuclear winter.

Starring: Jason Robards, John Cullum, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Lithgow
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer
Release date: 1983-11-20
19.

Mickey's Christmas Carol

5.0

It is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, featuring Scrooge McDuck as his namesake and inspiration Ebenezer Scrooge and Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit. This film was based on a 1972 audio musical entitled Disney's A Christmas Carol. It is a twenty-four minute animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions as an accompaniment to a re-release of The Rescuers.

Starring: Alan Young, Wayne Allwine, Clarence Nash, Hal Smith, Will Ryan
Directed by: Burny Mattinson
Release date: 1983-10-19
20.

Risky Business

4.9

Meet Joel Goodson, an industrious, college-bound 17-year-old and a responsible, trustworthy son. However, when his parents go away and leave him home alone in the wealthy Chicago suburbs with the Porsche at his disposal he quickly decides he has been good for too long and it is time to enjoy himself. After an unfortunate incident with the Porsche Joel must raise some cash, in a risky way.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Sean Penn, Curtis Armstrong, Bronson Pinchot
Directed by: Paul Brickman
Release date: 1983-08-05

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