80s-90s Must See Movies for a Non-Nerd

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Kestra, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    I have a friend (same age, born in '83) who hasn't seen a lot of movies that other people take for granted. She's like a sweeter, more naive version of myself. Growing up with Indian parents we don't have a lot of the same pop-culture references as other people, and she recently asked me for a list of movies that I think she needs to see.

    She's not a nerd so I'm not looking for anything super-geeky unless it was also mainstream. Also girly movies get extra points. And they don't strictly have to be from the 80s and 90s, I just think that's probably the best place to start. I know there are a ton of lists out there but I thought people could throw out some names here.

    So far I'm thinking things like:

    Back to the Future
    Die Hard
    Princess Bride
    When Harry Met Sally
    Breakfast Club

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  2. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 3, 2009
    If you're going to watch When Harry Met Sally, you should see its 90s counterpart Sleepless In Seattle. Toss in You've Got Mail and you've got a nice Billy Crystal - Meg Ryan movie marathon night.
  3. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Oh, one of my all-time favorites! I think she's probably seen it but yeah, I should include that on my list just to make sure.
  4. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 15, 2004
    Sixteen candles, You bet your life, City Slickers 1 & 2, What's eating Gilbert Grape
  5. Thestral

    Thestral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 9, 2009
    Thestral - Carmichael Industries
    Unpossible! ;)

    Anyway, those sound good - especially The Princess Bride! - (though I've not seen 4 of them myself) Along those lines, maybe

    16 Candles
    St. Elmos Fire
    Rocky (though, 70s)
    Groundhog Day
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
    The Silence of the Lambs
    Jurassic Park
    Blade Runner

    Just a few that come to mind.
  6. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 3, 2009
    Not super-geeky ... but it is an entertaining, obscure, dark(ish) comedy, featuring some rather well-known actors: Clue.

    And, though it's pre-80s (I think), Watership Down is a fantastic (though sometimes graphic) animated film.

    For more pop-culture references, there are: Beverly Hills Cop, Rain Man, ET, Dead Poets Society, and Top Gun.
  7. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Mar 23, 2004
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    'My Favorite Year' Peter O'Toole as an aging alcoholic film star of the Errol Flynn vein who's appearing on a 50's comedy show. The junior writer gets the job of being his keeper.

    'Better Off Dead' Quirky John Cusack film about a a schmoe trying to get an ex-girlfriend back.

    All That Jazz , OK it's 1979, but... it's a great theater film for those that like to watch folks behind the scenes make theater happen. And it stars Roy Scheider.

    Blue Thunder, one of my favorite action films, very cool helicopter action and Roy Scheider again.

    Silverado, one of the best Westerns ever.
  8. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 3, 2009
    Speaking of Westerns ... there's always Young Guns. And for a similar ensemble, don't forget The Outsiders ... which (by way of stream-of-consciousness) leads to Karate Kid.
  9. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Mar 23, 2004
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    'Splash' is a fun little romance with a mermaid, Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks are fun to watch and John Candy is a riot all on his own in this.

    'Into the Night' folks like or hate this Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Pfeiffer film about a lonely engineer and a lady on the run from dangerous, though inept, killers.

    'Being There' also 1979, but it's Peter Sellers in a great social and political commentary on our culture of empty celebrity and longing for meaning to be fed in easy TV sized bites.

    'My Dinner with Andre' Two guys talking about their lives and views of life over dinner. Shawn Wallace and Andre Gregory make this a fun film. Loving films with dialogue, this is a gem.
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Sep 4, 2008
    Just around the bend.
    Everything by John Hughes and Spielberg from that time frame.

    Lethal Weapon

    Pretty much what everyone else has mentioned.

    Singles - This Cameron Crowe movie really captures the whole Seattle scene of the 90's. Great soundtrack. Sort of a John Hughes movie with more adult characters.

    Grifters - a very dark movie with some wonderful acting in it by John Cuzak and Annette Benning.

    The Crow - The death of Brandon Lee during the making of this film made the story all the more powerful and tragic. You'll tear up from realizing what might have been.

    Tombstone - Best western movie of the 90's.

    Dances with Wolves - most over hyped western of the 90's, but still a very good movie.
  11. Roshi

    Roshi Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2004
    The Goonies
    This Is Spinal Tap
    Weird Science
    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
    Raiders Of The Lost Ark
    The Last Crusade
    The Terminator
    Chasing Amy

    Would you include animés? If so:
    Graveyard Of Fireflies
    Anything by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli
  12. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Mar 23, 2004
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    Ironweed, Jack Nicholson (not overdoing the Jackness, too) and Meryl Streep as homeless folks during the Great Depression. Sad, but beautiful meditation on folks who are unwanted by society.
  13. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Lot of great ones that I had forgotten, plus many that I haven't seen. I might need to make a list for myself as well! I'm not replying to each and every post but feel free to keep the suggestions coming. Thank you to everyone who has posted so far!
  14. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Mar 23, 2004
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    'Arthur' Dudley Moore and John Gielgud, don't let thought of that remake cross your mind.

    'Tootsie' Dustin Hoffman is fantastic in this.

    'Midnight Run' DeNiro is one funny bounty hunter.
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 15, 2000
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    You're just going to cur up your netflix, or cue up your torrents.

    Now that I have upteen thousands of movies in my room at my fingertips but what I realize now is that it was the ritual of going to the video/dvd store with friends, arguing about what to watch and what we could afford which was the fun part.

    Are you sure that she really wants to watch old movies, or maybe that she wants to spend some quality time with you?

    Stop laughing.

  16. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lost in the EU expanse with a nice cup of tea
    One of the saddest films ever. Was sobbing.

    Gorgeous eye candy.

    Lots of great suggestions...and some never heard of. But these three:

    Buckaroo Banzai
    They Live
    Do The Right Thing/School Daze

    all have really interesting satirical takes on race/politics/economics.
  17. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Spot's Meow Premium Member

    Jul 1, 2004
    Hotel California
    I've broken my list into categories, because your friend may be more interested in certain genres over others, but I do recommend seeing all of these movies listed. I'm sure I've left out some categories as well (for example I rarely watch mafia or war movies). As for the children's movies, even if they were directed at kids I feel that they are just as interesting to me as an adult. The vast majority of these films are from the 90s, since that was when I grew up as well.

    I know this is a very long list, but I strongly believe that these are all must sees!!

    Mrs. Doubtfire
    There's Something About Mary
    Dumb and Dumber (a goofy one, but one of my all time favorites)
    Groundhog Day
    So I Married an Axe Murderer
    Major Payne
    Liar Liar
    Austin Powers
    The Cable Guy

    Scream movies (four of them now)
    The Blair Witch Project
    I Know What You Did Last Summer
    The Sixth Sense
    The Shining
    The Silence of the Lambs

    American Beauty
    Forrest Gump
    The Truman Show
    A League of Their Own
    The Shawshank Redemption
    Edward Scissorhands
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    Quiz Show
    The Green Mile
    Schindler's List
    Apollo 13
    Patch Adams

    Air Force One
    Independence Day
    Jurassic Park
    The Mummy
    Men In Black

    Children’s Movies
    Home Alone
    The Land Before Time (makes me cry every time!)
    Homeward Bound (another "kid" movie that makes me cry as an adult still)
    The Lion King
    Beauty and the Beast
    Toy Story
    The Santa Clause

    Romantic Comedies/Dramas
    As Good As It Gets
    Jerry Maguire (I don't like it much but it contains many popular quotes)
    When Harry Met Sally
    Sleepless in Seattle
    You’ve Got Mail
    Pretty Woman
  18. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 27, 2006
    the real world
    Is there really such a thing as a must see movie from the past for anybody but nerds? Pretty much all that's must-see is what's the coolest hit right now. The only exception I can think of might be porn.
  19. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 7, 2004
    Mannheim, Germany
    Except that the last two were Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies ;)

    But Harry & Sally is the quintessential relationship comedy that everyone should have seen because it really hits the truth at times.

    So far most movies mentioned here would have been on my list too, small addition though:

    The Siege (a bit relevant movie for the post 9/11 era)

    Mr. Holland's Opus (awesome movie about an at first unwilling music teacher and how he influenced his students and in return was influenced by them)

    Stakeout (awesome cop/comedy/romantic movie)
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 15, 2000
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    You all remember that ordinary people, "civilians" find it difficult to watch more than one movie a day?