Get ready for a blast of nostalgia as we look back at some of the great films of the 1980s! We have the good, the bad and the cheesiest trailers from a decade known for its big concepts and even bigger hair!
“What a feeling!”
Wow. It’s been a while since we’ve seen this film so we’ve forgotten how good the cinematography and production design is. From what we recall, the movie’s about a young steelworker with legwarmers who dreams of becoming a dancer. We might have to re-watch it this weekend…
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Of all the films John Hughes made about anxious teens in the 80s, none had as much heart and soul as this film set over one uneventful Saturday in a high school library.
As the trailer tells us, the characters each represent a teenage stereotype: the athlete, the brain, the bully, the princess and the ‘basket case’. But unfortunately, the trailer also goes on to reveal all of their character transformations — which I imagine might detract from the experience slightly. It’s so strange and heartwarming to remember a time when people used to make great films for teenagers that was essentially just a load of people talking. No fighting robots or anything!
Back to the Future (1985)
“He was never in time for his classes… then one day he wasn’t in his time at all!”
Perhaps the greatest science fiction comedy of all time, people forget exactly how funny this movie is… but not the trailer! It quick cuts between loads of sight gags, ruining most of the jokes but doing a decent job of letting people know that this is supposed to be a funny flick. Another case of a classic movie with a bad trailer.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner…”
If there’s one thing that makes this trailer work, it’s the killer soundtrack. Between The Ronettes, The Hollies and the now-classic track “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, there’s absolutely no way you wouldn’t want to watch this touching story of a young girl finding her passion in the arms of an older man.
Who’s That Girl? (1987)
She’s a free-spirited girl who’s fresh out of the slammer. He’s a buttoned-up lawyer who has to make sure she gets to the bus station. What are the odds that they fall in love?
Coming a few years after Madonna’s big screen hit Desperately Seeking Susan, Who’s That Girl? came and went without setting the box-office alight. But on the upside, the film’s soundtrack ended up selling quite well at Tower Records outlets. Remember when those used to exist?
The Princess Bride (1987)
“As you wish…”
What more could you want from a film: it has pirates, giants, fighting, witches and even a little kissing! But oh my word: what’s going on with the sax muzak on the trailer? Thankfully, however, that Kenny G stuff didn’t make it into the final cut.
It’s like Top Gun, but with more grenadine.
There’s one thing this trailer does much better than the film: it makes Tom Cruise‘s fancy bottle throwing and flair bartending look a lot better by cutting quickly between shots. In the film, the big performance scene is not nearly as impressive.
Having spent the 70s creating successful sitcoms like Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork and Mindy, the 80s saw Garry Marshall turning his talents to directing films — and his biggest hit of the decade was this sentimental comedy starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey:
The trailer gives a real taste of Midler’s larger than life performance while selling the chemistry between the leads. And the best part about it: it contains no spoilers!
Within a few years, Marshall would score an even bigger hit with a little film called Pretty Woman.