1984....Best Year In Movies Ever?

Beverly Hills Cop
The Terminator
Star Trek III–The Search For Spock
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
The Karate Kid
Police Academy
Sixteen Candles
Revenge of the Nerds
Purple Rain
Red Dawn
A Nightmare on Elm Street

WOW!! Most of those are classics!!


Funny you raise this thought. I posed it to my friend Tuesday Morning once we finished The Karate Kid (1984). Many years materialize in my head. This is one of them.


I only saw a few of these in the theater at the time. I was 16 and that year was occupied with a lot of basketball and off-season training for me. Saw many of these in later years. But I didnt realize until today, how many REALLY great movies came out that year!


I toil and sweat on a Best Ever List of Film I began 14 months ago. 12 or so considerations determine the placement. Execution, Agelessness, Accessibility, Replay, Influence, Depth. Whether I love or respect it is one. Yet it is far from the only consideration. And checked by the others. I nicknamed it as The Most Objective List given it was one of my goals. People mistake liking for quality. It can be both. In my eyes, my affection derives from how good it is. Many of these you listed are actually on there and high up.

Excerpt of Best Ever List –

#42 - Ghostbusters (1984) [Possibly the greatest comedy of my lifetime]
#47 - The Terminator (1984) [A template of action construction and sci-fi msytique]
#84 - Beverly Hills Cop (1984) [THE Action Comedy and so many things in one]
#103 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) [A rollercoaster of dread and insanity]
#114 - The Karate Kid (1984) [The other Rocky of a younger age]
#299 - Amadeus (1984) [Genius and Mediocrity perfectly paired]


Starman (1984) is one more I’d add and likely for my list. The NeverEnding Story (1984) another.


That is a very good list (although a few have aged very poorly, and Temple of Doom is, let’s say, not the high point of the franchise).

I think there’s a strong argument for 1999 as the best film year of my lifetime – classics from that year in order of box office receipts:

  • The Sixth Sense
  • Toy Story 2
  • The Matrix
  • The Mummy
  • The Blair Witch Project
  • American Pie
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Fight Club
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Iron Giant
  • Galaxy Quest
  • Being John Malkovich
  • Rushmore
  • Office Space
  • Rush Hour
  • Idle Hands (okay more a personal fave than a classic)

Yup! Some good ones in there.


You watching Cinema Snob’s videos on Patreon, too? He just finished December this week.

“F Sol!” (IYKYK)

Havent seen that.

It really depends on who you are. Nothing will be as loved as Raiders (1981) or as popular as Last Crusade (1989). I’d pose it blows the doors off Skull (2008) or Destiny (2023). Doom (1984) is a medley of early 80s escapism. Much of its time while its elements and execution effects people. Even today. Too Much, Too Fast, Too Broad. It is edgier than Raiders and its heroine is the anti-Marion Ravenwood. The movie is like a sprint. Can you survive it? Those who saw Raiders first including myself love it so much this alternate approach takes some getting used to and some thought.

About 15 years ago, I caught it on TCM and the shots, the photography, the complexity of the set design, the editing, and the acting began to click and I started seeing it as a master class in popcorn filmmaking. Once you see it as Temple of Doom and not Raiders of the Lost Ark, something is freeing and you enjoy this so much more. The opening song “Anything Goes” truly does explain the movie. It’s meant to be a grab bag of pleasures and as Roger Ebert called it a “Bruised Forearm Movie” and in that vein I find little wrong with it. The fusion of appalling and awe is finer here than in most of cinema. There is a purity to the ride. Something I still feel today. My thoughts anyway.


Ebert’s 4 Star Review of Temple of Doom (1984). “One of the most relentlessly nonstop action pictures ever made.” “It works in a different way, and borrows from different traditions.” “Exhilarating, manic, wildly imaginative escapism.” I agree.


Sounds like I should check it out again! I have not seen that one in decades, I was mostly just going off other opinions I’ve seen; time to go form my own :smiley:


It along with Gremlins (1984) is why we have PG-13 today. Doom (1984) is the better of the two but together they indicated another rating was needed between PG and R.


When film buffs ask and answer this question, it often comes down to the quantity of above average pictures, so 1954 might not win that prize, but what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality at the top - these are some of my favorites…

  1. On The Waterfront - my all-time favorite film
  2. Seven Samurai - My #1 Kurosawa
  3. Sansho the Bailiff - My #1 Mizoguchi
  4. Sound of the Mountain - My #1 Naruse
  5. Godzilla - the debut of Gojira, Japan was rocking the film year
  6. Rear Window - My #2 Hitchcock
  7. La Strada - My #3 Fellini
  8. Wuthering Heights - One of my favorites from Bunuel
  9. Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto - another from Japan, the first in a trilogy
  10. Vera Cruz - great Aldrich western starring Gary Cooper & Burt Lancaster

Other highlights include
Johnny Guitar
Dial M For Murder
The Last Bridge
Boot Polish
The Far Country
Hobsons Choice
Creature from the Black Lagoon
The Caine Mutiny
A Star Is Born


I would. Be prepared for a faster more aggressive picture and in many ways a story that shows the genesis of Indiana Jones by the end. His theme song doesn’t even appear till the last scene. Doom (1984) is how Indiana Jones becomes Indiana Jones as we find him in Raiders (1984). His morality and worldview. It has that Empire (1980) to Star Wars (1977) darkness in it too. BIG TIME. And such push to every moment. It’s best to sit back and enjoy the ride.


P.S. Kate Capshaw’s character is for some the clincher. She screams and shouts and is a contrast to Karen Allen. Her character grows through the movie and I’ve grown to love her. There is amusement in Willie Scott once get past that first shock. Much like the movie.

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I know we have often clashed. Here we are in complete agreement. 1954 is where the 50s boil over into my favorite era in film. 1952-1963 especially. Rear Window (1954) muchly made me who I am today. It perfectly encapsulates what appeals to me in style and sophistication. Subtlety, refined characterization, atmosphere. What mood. It too is my #2 Hitch behind only Vertigo (1958). Seven Samurai (1954) and La Strada (1954) are my favorite foreign language films. On the Waterfront (1954) pairs Kazan and Brando beautifully. A Star Is Born (1954) amazes whenever I see it. The Caine Mutiny (1954) and those marbles and strawberries. A banner year for the medium.

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I would definitely go with that rather than any era in the 80s and 90s. It was at the very beginning of filmmakers refusing to do what überproducers like Jack Warner and Samuel Goldwyn demanded and went about doing filmmaking. And the world is better for it.


The 50s as a decade is the single greatest decade in the medium. The color, the brooding darkness in genre, the formalism, the acting. It is where my heart is. 1952-1963 is the sweet spot. Post-War Cinema evolving into an elixir of insinuation and internal combustion. Hitchcock, Wilder, and Lean make their best work. It is an oasis of evolution and enlightenment in one. Next? 1967-1981. New Hollywood. Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola. Bonnie and Clyde (1967), The Wild Bunch (1969), Chinatown (1974). What an era! Then? 1982-1993. Emotional Escapism, The Rise of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, The Refinement of Violence and Film Pace. Conventional filmmaking somewhat suffered but unconventional cinema rose to the forefront.


I’m gonna throw 1989 into the ring.

Back to the Future 2
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The Little Mermaid
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Ghostbusters II
Uncle Buck
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Driving Miss Daisy
When Harry Met Sally
Dead Poet’s Society
Lethal Weapon 2
Born on the Fourth of July

Your milage may vary on a few of these, but there’s something for everyone.