Art Vs Commerce: This Time It’s Personal (1980s)

My Personal Ranking

Another ten on the pile, how do the Art Movies of the 80s manage against what we’ve already covered? Will Cimarron finally get knocked out of the top 20? Place your bets!

(Do not place bets, someone probably already read this and they are taking your bet to con you.)

  1. Casablanca (1943)
  2. The Godfather (1972)
  3. It Happened One Night (1934)
  4. The Godfather Part II (1974)
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
  6. Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
  7. On The Waterfront (1954)
  8. All About Eve (1950)
  9. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  10. The Apartment (1960)
  11. In The Heat of the Night (1967)
  12. The Sting (1973)
  13. Rocky (1976)
  14. Platoon (1986)
  15. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  16. British Beatle-mania Ordinary People (1980)
  17. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  18. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  19. Cimarron (1931)
  20. The French Connection (1971)
  21. Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)
  22. Rain Man (1988)
  23. Annie Hall (1977)
  24. Gone With the Wind (1939)
  25. Going My Way (1945)
  26. Rebecca (1940)
  27. Wings (1928)
  28. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
  29. West Side Story (1961)
  30. The Sound of Music (1965)
  31. Hamlet (1948)
  32. My Fair Lady (1964)
  33. Patton (1970)
  34. Marty (1955)
  35. You Can’t Take It With You (1938)
  36. The Grand Hotel (1932)
  37. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
  38. The Last Emperor (1987)
  39. An American in Paris (1951)
  40. Terms of Endearment (1983)
  41. Gigi (1958)
  42. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  43. Gandhi (1982)
  44. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
  45. Around The World in 80 Days (1956)
  46. Out of Africa (1985)
  47. The Deer Hunter (1978)
  48. Oliver! (1968)
  49. Amadeus (1984)
  50. Chariots of Fire (1981)
  51. A Man For All Seasons (1966)
  52. Tom Jones (1963)
  53. Ben-Hur (1959)
  54. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
  55. Mrs. Miniver (1942)
  56. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  57. All the King’s Men (1949)
  58. From Here To Eternity (1953)
  59. The Lost Weekend (1945)
  60. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
  61. The Broadway Melody (1929)
  62. Cavalcade (1933)

And as a bonus…

Top Ten 80s Orchestral Themes

  1. The Imperial March, The Empire Strikes Back, John Williams
  2. Main theme, Back to the Future, Alan Silvestri
  3. Main theme, Batman, Danny Elfman
  4. Main theme, The Goonies, Dave Grusin
  5. Main theme, Raiders of the Lost Ark, John Williams
  6. Opening titles, Beetlejuice, Danny Elfman
  7. Axel F, Beverly Hills Cop, Harold Faltermeyer
  8. Holy Grail theme, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, John Williams
  9. Main theme, Chariots of Fire, Vangelis
  10. Main theme, E.T., John Williams

When we talk about the classic, iconic, influential movies of the 80s, we’re talking about the blockbusters. We’re talking Raiders, Empire, Wrath of Khan, Back the the Future, Bill and Ted. When we talk about the Oscars missing the mark by wide amounts, we talk Chariots of Fire and Driving Miss Daisy. The Oscars’ attempt to be Meaningful missed the movies that actually had meaning to audiences. Their attempt to be Artistic meant they missed out on what cinema would actually care about 10, 20, 40 years later, ignoring both blockbusters and Martin Scorsese. They missed the fact that Hollywood’s greatest director was making quiet, meaningful movies in between being the biggest name in blockbuster entertainment, between directing them himself or just shepherding them through Amblin.

That last part would get fixed in a hurry, though. They might not have lauded Spielberg’s slavery movie enough but he had a bigger one coming.

And it’s weird that we saw a boom and bust and boom again of superheroes in just ten years. From the well-regarded Superman II to the infamous flops of Supergirl, Superman IV, and The Punisher, and then BOOM, here’s Batman. Next time we’ll start looking at how hilariously off the mark Hollywood’s attempts to cash in on the new boom were.

And what happens when to Art when Commerce is getting all the money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *