What a time it was for Hollywood! With the birth of the blockbuster in the 1970s, the '80s was a decade when directors and screenwriters were eager to look outside the box for big ideas. Stars were born, the Brat Pack reigned supreme, and movie execs ran with it all the way to the bank (and to their own private islands).
The 1980s saw a sci-fi renaissance with offerings from George Lucas, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg. Horror auteurs like Wes Craven, John Carpenter and Sam Raimi killed it on the big screen. And nobody had a finger on the pulse of teen angst like writer-director John Hughes.
These are the classics you know by heart. The classics that make you drop everything when they're on TV (even though you've seen them a hundred times). After all, house cleaning can wait when there's a Holy Grail to be found or Fast Times to be had.
But for every timeless gem, there's a guilty pleasure (many of which star Patrick Swayze) that holds a special place in our hearts. Are you an expert on '80s cinema? Take this quiz and prove it!
Ivan Reitman directs a cast of notorious ad-libbers in this paranormal classic from 1984.
The "Back to the Future" screenplay was turned down somewhere around 40 times before it got picked up.
Disney bought the rights to "Star Wars" and Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion dollars in 2012.
The Blues Brothers act was first seen on "Saturday Night Live" in 1975. The film followed in 1980.
The Brat Pack stars in this John Hughes classic about five teens who learn about one another while stuck in weekend detention.
"Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi" won numerous awards and was nominated for four Oscars including Best Effects and Original Score.
Did you know? The first "Predator" (1987) starred two future state governors — Jesse Ventura (MN) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA).
"Stand by Me" is a classic coming-of-age movie we really hope you've seen. The 1986 movie is based on "The Body," a novella by Stephen King.
Written by Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus, Richard Donner directs this childhood must-see from 1985.
"The Princess Bride" is one of the top romantic comedies of all time. If you haven't seen it yet, put it on your list!
Director Tim Burton brought the Dark Knight to the big screen with the help of Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in 1989.
A boy journeys into a storybook in this 1984 tale from director Wolfgang Petersen.
Film legend Stanley Kubrick worked on the screenplay and directed this scare show based on the Stephen King novel.
Elizabeth Shue stars in this 1987 comedy from director Chris Columbus.
John Hughes directs Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall in this 1984 comedy.
Did you know? It is commonly held that musical group Blink 182 took their numerical name from a certain obscenity Al Pacino frequently uses in "Scarface."
Stanley Kubrick directs Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey and Vincent D'Onofrio in this 1987 war classic.
Ridley Scott's 1982 "Blade Runner" was based on the 1968 novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by science fiction author Philip K. Dick.
Tony Scott's 1986 high-flying flick features an all-star cast, memorable lines and turbo-charged tunes from Kenny Loggins.
John Hughes was at it again with 1986's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The poster tagline says it all: "One man's struggle to take it easy."
"Aliens" (1986) is James Cameron's action-packed follow-up to Ridley Scott's "Alien" (1979). Both star Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley.
Never let anyone tell you "Die Hard" is not a Christmas movie. Enjoy it this holiday season!
John Hughes wrote and Harold Ramis directed this 1983 introduction to the Griswold family.
Tim Burton's 1988 ghoulish comedy about the "ghost with the most" will get the Broadway treatment in 2019.
Randal Kleiser's oft-panned film about two shipwrecked kids falling in love was Oscar nominated for Best Cinematography in 1981.
Nominated for multiple Razzie Awards in 1990, "Road House" is a classic guilty pleasure starring Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliott.
Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 gang film features an all-star cast of leading men such as Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise.
The iconic bicycle/moon shot from "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" is a key part of the logo for Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment.
Directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, "Airplane!" is a colorful comedy starring serious actors like Peter Graves and Leslie Nielsen.
Robin Williams was nominated for an Oscar for his dramatic turn as teacher John Keating in "Dead Poet's Society" (1989).
"The Terminator" includes many familiar faces from James Cameron's "Aliens" — including actors Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton.
Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze cut a rug in this beloved dance film from 1987.
Joel Schumacher's 1987 vampire film stars '80s luminaries Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman.
Winona Ryder and Christian Slater star in this 1987 dark comedy that is darker than you remember.
Mel Gibson returns as Max in George Miller's "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." This one's got Tina Turner.
Indy owned the '80s with three globe-trotting adventures from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
While the first "Mad Max" landed in 1979, no one says "Mad Max II" these days. Everyone calls the second installment "The Road Warrior."
John Carpenter directs Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley in this 1982 horror thriller set in Antarctica.
David Lynch directed and penned the screenplay for this 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel.
The 1984 original with Pat Morita launched four other installments that also included actors such as Hilary Swank and Jackie Chan.
Actors Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall play many roles in this 1988 comedy about an African prince who comes to America looking for a bride.
In this dark romantic comedy, John Cusack plays a teenager in the dumps after his girlfriend leaves him for the ski team captain. If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, there is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to reach a skilled, trained counselor 24/7.
Wes Craven's iconic 1984 horror film led to more than half a dozen follow-up films and countless sleepless nights.
David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly headline this 1986 tale from the much-beloved creator of the Muppets.
Writer-director Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell kicked off the franchise in 1981. Most people generally agree "Evil Dead II" is the best of the series.
"Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982) features an all-star cast with the likes of Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Ray Walston, Nicolas Cage, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards and Forest Whitaker.
Sergio Leone directs Robert DeNiro and James Woods in this 1984 crime drama.
In 1987, director Richard Donner and screenwriter Shane Black made it look effortless with this classic buddy cop movie that led to three sequels and a TV show.
Legend has it John Hughes wrote this 1985 comedy in two days.
"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" also stars Sean Connery as the elder Dr. Jones.