Great Movie Years: 1984

Great Movie Years: 1984

I agree with many critics that 1939 was the best movie year to date. It’s hard to argue against one year with such pop culture classics as

  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • Stagecoach
  • Charles Laughton as the Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Gunga Din
  • Of Mice and Men (“Tell me about the rabbits, George…”)
  • The debut of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes
and on and on. When I look at a great movie year, I also look at movies that weren’t so great, but were part of significant series. 1939 has a Marx Brothers movie, a Tarzan movie, a Frankenstein movie, and more. I consider cartoons and such, and other pop culture. I’m also more interested in pop cultural impact than quality…what we quote (sometimes without knowing it), what we reference, what we put on lunchboxes. I’m also interested in movies with a strong fandom…that didn’t do well at the time.
So, what argues for 1984?
The Terminator
“I’ll be back.”
3 sequels (so far) and a TV series.
The Karate Kid
“Wax on, wax off”
3 sequels, a remake, and an animated series.
Ghost Busters
“He slimed me.”
2 sequels (so far), two animated series.
“Kick off your Sunday shoes”
This is Spinal Tap
“These go to eleven.”
Live concerts, videos, albums…and a bunch of “mockumentaries”
A Nightmare on Elm Street
“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you”
7 sequels, plus two movies in a new series, two TV series, and a lot of Halloween gloves
“Never feed him after midnight”
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
“No matter where you go…there you are”
Serious fandom
Police Academy
7 sequels, live action TV series, animated series
Beverly Hills Cop
2 sequels (with another planned)
  • Splash
  • Streets of Fire
  • Romancing the Stone
  • The Natural
  • Starman
  • The Toxic Avenger
  • Purple Rain
  • Sixteen Candles
  • C.H.U.D.
Series represented: Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Friday the 13th, Conan, Cannonball Run, Godzilla…
I once threw a 1939 movies party, and everybody came as characters from a movie from that year (I gave them a list of movies, but they picked what they wanted). Could you do a 1984 movies party? Seems easy to me…
What do you think? Good year, bad year…too geeky? Other favorite 1984 movies? Other years you want to propose as better? Feel free to let me know.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

One Response to “Great Movie Years: 1984”

  1. Is 2012 the best movie year since 1939? « The Measured Circle Says:

    […] I’ve written before about 1984 as a contender, but I honestly think that you could do a 2012 films party thirty years from now, and really make it work. […]

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