Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - the best film of 1988 and the best animated film of the 80's

1980  –  1989

Total Films I’ve Seen:  942

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  43

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  Platoon

Film of the Decade:  Raiders of the Lost Ark

Worst Film of the Decade:  Human Highway

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  Fatal Attraction

Worst Film of the Decade Made by a Top 100 Director:  Phobia

The Non-Nighthawk Awards:

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Top 1000):

  1. Raging Bull  –  #19
  2. Blade Runner  –  #38
  3. Fanny and Alexander  –  #77
  4. Blue Velvet  –  #105
  5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial  –  #114
  6. The Shining  –  #117
  7. Dekalog  –  #140
  8. Once Upon a Time in America  –  #143
  9. Brazil  –  #158
  10. Shoah  –  #166

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Award Points)

  1. Terms of Endearment  –  2112
  2. Gandhi  –  1881
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters  –  1819
  4. Tootsie  –  1748
  5. Reds  –  1707
  6. The Killing Fields  –  1685
  7. Prizzi’s Honor  –  1667
  8. Amadeus  –  1665
  9. A Passage to India  –  1661
  10. The Last Emperor  –  1554

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Academy Awards Points)

  1. Gandhi  –  565
  2. Terms of Endearment  –  555
  3. Amadeus  –  555
  4. Out of Africa  –  555
  5. The Last Emperor  –  530
  6. Reds  –  445
  7. On Golden Pond  –  440
  8. Rain Man  –  435
  9. Platoon  –  405
  10. Ordinary People  /  Driving Miss Daisy  –  395

note:  For ties, when it comes to points, I go chronologically, unless there is a tie for 10th, when I stick them all together in one line.

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Golden Globes Points)

  1. Ordinary People  –  425
  2. Amadeus  –  405
  3. Prizzi’s Honor  –  400
  4. Terms of Endearment  –  390
  5. Born on the Fourth of July  –  365
  6. On Golden Pond  –  360
  7. The Last Emperor  –  355
  8. Working Girl  –  335
  9. Out of Africa  –  330
  10. Tootsie  –  315

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Critics Points):

  1. Terms of Endearment  –  1057
  2. Prizzi’s Honor  –  824
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters  –  790
  4. Raging Bull  –  782
  5. Atlantic City  –  769
  6. Tootsie  –  706
  7. A Passage to India  –  701
  8. Blue Velvet  –  690
  9. Melvin and Howard  –  686
  10. Broadcast News  –  664

Born on the Fourth of July - the film most honored by the guilds in the decade

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Guild Points):

  1. Born on the Fourth of July  –  270
  2. The Last Emperor  –  205
  3. Rain Man  –  205
  4. Reds  –  195
  5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial  –  190
  6. Platoon  –  180
  7. Driving Miss Daisy  –  180
  8. Raiders of the Lost Ark  –  175
  9. Witness  –  175
  10. Ordinary People  /  Terms of Endearment  –  170

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (BAFTA points):

  1. Gandhi  –  590
  2. A Room with a View  –  570
  3. The Killing Fields  –  565
  4. Jean de Florette  –  455
  5. Chariots of Fire  –  420
  6. The French Lieutenant’s Woman  –  415
  7. Hope and Glory  –  400
  8. The Mission  –  395
  9. A Fish Called Wanda  –  390
  10. Hannah and Her Sisters  –  380

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Box Office Gross):

  1. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial  –  $399.80 mil
  2. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi  –  $263.83 mil
  3. Batman  –  $251.18 mil
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark  –  $242.37 mil
  5. Ghostbusters  –  $238.63 mil
  6. Beverly Hills Cop  –  $234.76 mil
  7. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back  –  $222.66 mil
  8. Back to the Future  –  $210.60 mil
  9. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade  –  $197.17 mil
  10. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom  –  $179.87 mil

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Top 1000 – through 1989)

  1. Citizen Kane
  2. Vertigo
  3. Rules of the Game
  4. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  5. 8 1/2
  6. The Godfather
  7. The Searchers
  8. The Seven Samurai
  9. Singin in the Rain
  10. The Battleship Potemkin

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Award Points – through 1989)

  1. Terms of Endearment  –  2112
  2. Kramer vs. Kramer  –  2053
  3. A Man for All Seasons  –  1923
  4. Gandhi  –  1881
  5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  –  1858
  6. Annie Hall  –  1838
  7. Hannah and Her Sisters  –  1819
  8. Cabaret  –  1762
  9. Tootsie  –  1748
  10. Reds  –  1707

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Academy Award Points – through 1989)

  1. From Here to Eternity  –  675
  2. Gone with the Wind  –  670
  3. Ben-Hur  –  660
  4. On the Waterfront  –  655
  5. All About Eve  –  625
  6. Mrs. Miniver  –  610
  7. West Side Story  –  610
  8. Going My Way  –  585
  9. My Fair Lady  –  565
  10. Gandhi  –  565

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Golden Globes Points – through 1989)

  1. Love Story  –  455
  2. The Godfather  –  455
  3. Anne of the Thousand Days  –  430
  4. Chinatown  –  430
  5. Ordinary People  –  425
  6. Kramer vs. Kramer  –  415
  7. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest  –  410
  8. Amadeus  –  405
  9. Prizzi’s Honor  –  400
  10. The Exorcist  –  395

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Critics points – through 1989)

  1. Terms of Endearment  –  1057
  2. Kramer vs. Kramer  –  828
  3. Prizzi’s Honor  –  824
  4. Nashville  –  809
  5. Hannah and Her Sisters  –  790
  6. Raging Bull  –  782
  7. Atlantic City  –  769
  8. Tootsie  –  706
  9. A Passage to India  –  701
  10. Annie Hall  –  693

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Guild points – through 1989)

  1. Bonnie and Clyde  –  270
  2. Born on the Fourth of July  –  270
  3. Patton  –  260
  4. All the King’s Men  –  250
  5. The French Connection  –  235
  6. The Sound of Music  –  220
  7. The Turning Point  –  215
  8. All About Eve  –  210
  9. A Place in the Sun  –  210
  10. The Quiet Man  /  From Here to Eternity  /  On the Waterfront  –  210

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (BAFTA points – through 1989)

  1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid  –  600
  2. Gandhi  –  590
  3. A Room with a View  –  570
  4. The Killing Fields  –  565
  5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  –  550
  6. Cabaret  –  500
  7. A Man for All Seasons  –  470
  8. Sunday Bloody Sunday  –  465
  9. Chinatown  –  465
  10. Julia  –  460

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Box Office Gross – through 1989):

  1. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial  –  $399.80 mil
  2. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope  –  $322.74 mil
  3. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi  –  $263.83 mil
  4. Jaws  –  $260.00 mil
  5. Batman  –  $251.18 mil
  6. Raiders of the Lost Ark  –  $242.37 mil
  7. Ghostbusters  –  $238.63 mil
  8. Beverly Hills Cop  –  $234.76 mil
  9. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back  –  $222.66 mil
  10. Back to the Future  –  $210.60 mil

Nighthawk Awards:

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Nighthawk Award Points):

  1. Ran  –  705
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark  –  685
  3. Glory  –  635
  4. Amadeus  –  610
  5. Raging Bull  –  590
  6. Fanny and Alexander  –  515
  7. Who Framed Roger Rabbit  –  495
  8. A Passage to India  –  485
  9. Hannah and Her Sisters  –  485
  10. Reds  /  Sophie’s Choice  –  470

Top 10 Films of the 1980’s  (Nighthawk Award Nominations):

  1. Ran  –  15
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark  –  14
  3. Kagemusha  –  13
  4. A Passage to India  –  13
  5. Glory  –  13
  6. The Elephant Man  –  12
  7. Reds  –  12
  8. Excalibur  –  12
  9. Amadeus  –  12
  10. Who Framed Roger Rabbit  –  12

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Nighthawk Award Points – through 1989):

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  815
  2. Bonnie and Clyde  –  795
  3. Sunset Boulevard  –  790
  4. The Godfather  –  785
  5. The Bridge on the River Kwai  –  745
  6. Doctor Zhivago  –  725
  7. Lawrence of Arabia  –  720
  8. Chinatown  –  720
  9. Children of Paradise  –  715
  10. Cries and Whispers  –  715

Top 10 Films of All-Time  (Nighthawk Award Nominations – through 1989)

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  21
  2. The Godfather  –  17
  3. Mary Poppins  –  16
  4. Bonnie and Clyde  –  16
  5. From Here to Eternity  –  15
  6. The Bridge on the River Kwai  –  15
  7. Doctor Zhivago  –  15
  8. The Godfather Part II  –  15
  9. Ran  –  15
  10. Children of Paradise  /  Sunset Boulevard  /  Lawrence of Arabia  /  Cries and Whispers  /  Star Wars  /  Raiders of the Lost Ark  –  14

The Best of the Decade:

Best Animated Film:

  1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  2. The Little Mermaid
  3. My Neighbor Totoro
  4. Grave of the Fireflies
  5. Castle in the Sky

Best Foreign Film:

  1. Ran
  2. Fanny and Alexander
  3. Au revoir les enfants
  4. My Neighbor Totoro
  5. Das Boot

Best Original Song:

  1. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from The Breakfast Club
  2. “If You Were Here” from 16 Candles
  3. “Late in the Evening” from One Trick Pony
  4. “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid
  5. “Storybook Love” from The Princess Bride

The Elephant Man - makeup so impressive that the Academy finally created an Oscar category for it (albiet, the next year)

Best Makeup:

  1. The Elephant Man
  2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  3. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  4. Beetlejuice
  5. Raiders of the Lost Ark

Best Costume Design:

  1. Amadeus
  2. Dangerous Liaisons
  3. Ran
  4. The Last Emperor
  5. Henry V

Best Sound Editing:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. The Right Stuff
  3. Das Boot
  4. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  5. Die Hard

Best Visual Effects:

  1. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  3. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  5. Aliens

Best Art Direction:

  1. Amadeus
  2. The Last Emperor
  3. Dangerous Liaisons
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  5. Ran

Best Sound:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Amadeus
  3. Raging Bull
  4. Glory
  5. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Best Original Score:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark  (John Williams)
  2. Glory  (James Horner)
  3. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back  (John Williams)
  4. Terms of Endearment  (Michael Gore)
  5. Chariots of Fire  (Vangelis)

Best Cinematography:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Ran
  3. A Passage to India
  4. Glory
  5. Raging Bull

Best Editing:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  3. Blood Simple
  4. Glory
  5. The Princess Bride

Best Supporting Actress  (Comedy  /  Musical):

  1. Dianne Wiest  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  2. Glenn Close  (The Big Chill)
  3. Anjelica Huston  (Prizzi’s Honor)
  4. Jessica Lange  (Tootsie)
  5. Anjelica Huston  (Enemies, A Love Story)
  6. Olympia Dukakis  (Moonstruck)

note:  There are six performances because of the two by Anjelica Huston.

Best Supporting Actress  (Drama):

  1. Maggie Smith  (A Room with a View)
  2. Peggy Ashcroft  (A Passage to India)
  3. Maureen Stapleton  (Reds)
  4. Mieko Harada  (Ran)
  5. Brenda Fricker  (My Left Foot)

the Oscar winning Dianne Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Best Supporting Actress:

  1. Dianne Wiest  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  2. Maggie Smith  (A Room with a View)
  3. Peggy Ashcroft  (A Passage to India)
  4. Maureen Stapleton  (Reds)
  5. Mieko Harada  (Ran)

Best Supporting Actor  (Comedy  /  Musical):

  1. Kevin Kline  (A Fish Called Wanda)
  2. Mandy Patinken  (The Princess Bride)
  3. Michael Caine  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  4. Albert Brooks  (Broadcast News)
  5. William Hurt  (The Big Chill)

Best Supporting Actor  (Drama):

  1. Denzel Washington  (Glory)
  2. Jack Nicholson  (Terms of Endearment)
  3. Harold Rollins, Jr.  (Ragtime)
  4. Dennis Hopper  (Blue Velvet)
  5. Haing S. Ngor  (The Killing Fields)

Best Supporting Actor:

  1. Denzel Washington  (Glory)
  2. Kevin Kline  (A Fish Called Wanda)
  3. Jack Nicholson  (Terms of Endearment)
  4. Mandy Patinken  (The Princess Bride)
  5. Michael Caine  (Hannah and Her Sisters)

Best Actress  (Comedy  /  Musical):

  1. Holly Hunter  (Broadcast News)
  2. Meg Ryan  (When Harry Met Sally)
  3. Cher  (Moonstruck)
  4. Jamie Lee Curtis  (A Fish Called Wanda)
  5. Julie Walters  (Educating Rita)

Best Actress  (Drama):

  1. Meryl Streep  (Sophie’s Choice)
  2. Shirley MacLaine  (Terms of Endearment)
  3. Diane Keaton  (Reds)
  4. Mary Tyler Moore  (Ordinary People)
  5. Meryl Streep  (The French Lieutenant’s Woman)
  6. Christine Lahti  (Running on Empty)

note:  There are six performances because of the two performances by Meryl Streep.

Meryl Streep's greatest performance: Sophie's Choice (1982)

Best Actress:

  1. Meryl Streep  (Sophie’s Choice)
  2. Shirley MacLaine  (Terms of Endearment)
  3. Holly Hunter  (Broadcast News)
  4. Diane Keaton  (Reds)
  5. Mary Tyler Moore  (Ordinary People)

Best Actor  (Comedy  /  Musical):

  1. Tom Hulce  (Amadeus)
  2. William Hurt  (Broadcast News)
  3. F. Murray Abraham  (Amadeus)
  4. Dustin Hoffman  (Tootsie)
  5. Harrison Ford  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

Best Actor  (Drama):

  1. Robert De Niro  (Raging Bull)
  2. Dustin Hoffman  (Rain Man)
  3. Daniel Day-Lewis  (My Left Foot)
  4. Warren Beatty  (Reds)
  5. William Hurt  (Kiss of the Spider Woman)

Best Actor:

  1. Robert De Niro  (Raging Bull)
  2. Dustin Hoffman  (Rain Man)
  3. Daniel Day-Lewis  (My Left Foot)
  4. Warren Beatty  (Reds)
  5. Tom Hulce  (Amadeus)

Best Original Screenplay  (Comedy  /  Musical):

  1. Hannah and Her Sisters
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. A Fish Called Wanda
  4. The Purple Rose of Cairo
  5. The Big Chill

Best Original Screenplay  (Drama):

  1. Fanny and Alexander
  2. Running on Empty
  3. Blood Simple
  4. Au revoir les enfants
  5. Crimes and Misdemeanors

Best Original Screenplay:

  1. Hannah and Her Sisters
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. Fanny and Alexander
  4. A Fish Called Wanda
  5. The Purple Rose of Cairo

Best Adapted Screenplay  (Comedy  /  Musical):

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Amadeus
  3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  4. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  5. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Best Adapted Screenplay  (Drama):

  1. A Room with a View
  2. Terms of Endearment
  3. Glory
  4. Field of Dreams
  5. A Passage to India

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. A Room with a View
  3. Terms of Endearment
  4. Glory
  5. Field of Dreams

Best Director  (Comedy  /  Musical):

  1. Steven Spielberg  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  2. Woody Allen  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  3. Milos Forman  (Amadeus)
  4. Robert Zemeckis  (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
  5. Terry Gilliam  (Brazil)

Best Director  (Drama):

  1. Akira Kurosawa  (Ran)
  2. Martin Scorsese  (Raging Bull)
  3. Ed Zwick  (Glory)
  4. Oliver Stone  (Platoon)
  5. Oliver Stone  (Born on the Fourth of July)
  6. David Lynch  (Blue Velvet)

note:  There are six directors because Oliver Stone makes the list twice.

Best Director:

  1. Steven Spielberg  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  2. Akira Kurosawa  (Ran)
  3. Martin Scorsese  (Raging Bull)
  4. Woody Allen  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  5. Ed Zwick  (Glory)

Best Picture  (Comedy  /  Musical):

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters
  4. Amadeus
  5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Best Picture  (Drama):

  1. Ran
  2. Glory
  3. A Passage to India
  4. Fanny and Alexander
  5. Henry V

Best Picture:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. Ran
  4. Hannah and Her Sisters
  5. Glory

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - the best film of the decade

Films That Earn Best of Decade Nominations:

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • The Princess Bride
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Original Song
  • Ran
    • Picture, Director, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design, Foreign Film
  • Hannah and Her Sisters
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Glory
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound
  • Raging Bull
    • Director, Actor, Cinematography, Sound
  • A Room with a View
    • Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • Terms of Endearment
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor, Original Score
  • Field of Dreams
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Fanny and Alexander
    • Original Screenplay, Foreign Film
  • A Fish Called Wanda
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo
    • Original Screenplay
  • Rain Man
    • Actor
  • My Left Foot
    • Actor
  • Reds
    • Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Amadeus
    • Actor, Sound, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Sophie’s Choice
    • Actress
  • Broadcast News
    • Actress
  • Ordinary People
    • Actress
  • A Passage to India
    • Supporting Actress, Cinematography
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    • Editing, Animated Film
  • Blood Simple
    • Editing
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    • Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Chariots of Fire
    • Original Score
  • The Last Emperor
    • Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Dangerous Liaisons
    • Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
    • Visual Effects
  • Aliens
    • Visual Effects
  • The Right Stuff
    • Sound Editing
  • Das Boot
    • Sound Editing, Foreign Film
  • Die Hard
    • Sound Editing
  • Henry V
    • Costume Design
  • The Elephant Man
    • Makeup
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
    • Makeup
  • Beetlejuice
    • Makeup
  • The Breakfast Club
    • Original Song
  • 16 Candles
    • Original Song
  • One Trick Pony
    • Original Song
  • The Little Mermaid
    • Original Song, Animated Film
  • My Neighbor Totoro
    • Animated Film, Foreign Film
  • Grave of the Fireflies
    • Animated Film
  • Castle in the Sky
    • Animated Film
  • Au revoir les enfants
    • Foreign Film

Best Years for Each Category of the Nighthawk Awards:

Best Animated Film:  1989

  • The Little Mermaid, My Neighbor Totoro

Best Foreign Film:  1988

  • My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Hanussen, Red Sorghum

Best Original Song:  1986

  • “What Does It Take”, “Wild Wild Life”, “Take My Breath Away”, “City of Dreams”, “It’s in the Way That You Use It”  –  hon men.  –  “People Like Us”

Best Makeup:  1980

  • The Elephant Man, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Kagemusha, The Shining, Raging Bull

Best Costume Design:  1989

  • Henry V, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Glory, Valmont, Field of Dreams

Best Sound Editing:  1989

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Glory, Batman, Born on the Fourth of July, Back to the Future Part II

Best Visual Effects:  1982

  • E.T., Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Blade Runner, Poltergeist, Tron

Best Art Direction:  1989

  • Glory, Batman, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Henry V, Valmont

Best Sound:  1980

  • Raging Bull, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Kagemusha, The Shining, The Elephant Man

Best Original Score:  1989

  • Glory, Dead Poets Society, Born on the Fourth of July, The Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade  –  hon. men.  –  My Neighbor Totoro, Henry V
  • note:  Best year ever for Original Score

Best Cinematography:  1980

  • Raging Bull, The Elephant Man, Kagemusha, The Shining, Tess  –  hon. men. –  Breaker Morant
  • note:  Best year ever for Cinematography

Best Editing:  1989

  • Glory, Born on the Fourth of July, Henry V, Field of Dreams, Crimes and Misdemeanors  –  hon. men.  –  When Harry Met Sally

Best Supporting Actress:  1988

  • Michelle Pfeiffer  (Dangerous Liaisons)
  • Frances McDormand  (Mississippi Burning)
  • Geena Davis  (The Accidental Tourist)
  • Diane Venora  (Bird)
  • Lena Olin  (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
  • – hon. men. –  Genevieve Bujold  (Dead Ringers)

Best Supporting Actor:  1986

  • Michael Caine  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Dennis Hopper  (Blue Velvet)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis  (My Beautiful Laundrette)
  • Denholm Elliot  (A Room with a View)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis  (A Room with a View)
  • Michael Caine  (Mona Lisa)
  • Willem DaFoe  (Platoon)
  • note:  There are seven nominees because of the multiple nominations for Daniel Day-Lewis and Michael Caine
  • note:  Best year ever for Supporting Actor

Best Actress:  1983

  • Shirley MacLaine  (Terms of Endearment)
  • Debra Winger  (Terms of Endearment)
  • Meryl Streep  (Silkwood)
  • Julie Walters  (Educating Rita)
  • Patricia Hodge  (Betrayal)

Best Actor:  1989

  • Daniel Day-Lewis  (My Left Foot)
  • Kenneth Branagh  (Henry V)
  • Tom Cruise  (Born on the Fourth of July)
  • John Cusack  (Say Anything)
  • Kevin Costner  (Field of Dreams)
  • –  hon. men.  –  Matt Dillon  (Drugstore Cowboy)

Best Original Screenplay:  1988

  • A Fish Called Wanda, Running on Empty, Bull Durham, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Wings of Desire

Best Adapted Screenplay:  1989

  • Glory, Field of Dreams, Born on the Fourth of July, Henry V, My Left Foot

Best Director:  1986

  • Hannah and Her Sisters, Platoon, Blue Velvet, A Room with a View, Mona Lisa

Best Picture:  1989

  • Glory, Henry V, Field of Dreams, Born on the Fourth of July, Crimes and Misdemeanors  –  hon. men.  –  Say Anything, When Harry Met Sally

Cinematographer of the Decade:

Sven Nykvist

After over 30 years of collaboration, Ingmar Bergman retired from directing, so Sven Nykvist had to find other directors to work with.  But their parting film, Fanny and Alexander, was one of the most beautifully filmed movies of the decade, winning an Oscar (and Nighthawk) for Nykvist.  Five years later, Nykvist would earn an Oscar nomination (and another Nighthawk Award – his fifth all-time, the best among any Cinematographer ever) for The Unbearable Lightness of Being.  He would also do solid work in the decade on Star 80, The Sacrifice and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Composer of the Decade:

John Williams

In this decade he composed what I (and many others) consider the finest score ever recorded – the Raiders March.  He also composed the music I walked into my wedding to – The Imperial March.  And he didn’t even win his Oscar in the decade for either of those – that was for E.T..  He earned 11 nominations during the decade – three times he was nominated twice (84, 87, 89), and only missed out on nominations in 85 and 86 – in fact that was the only times he failed to get nominated in consecutive years between 1966 and 2007.

Writer of the Decade:

Woody Allen

I had it all set to write about Lawrence Kasdan here.  But that was before I actually did the lists and realized that as great as Kasdan was (Empire, Raiders, Big Chill, Accidental Tourist), Woody Allen appears in the top 5 twice, as well as appearing in the top 5 for Original Screenplay in both Comedy and Drama, which includes Hannah and Her Sisters – the #1 original script of the decade.  And that’s not including Stardust Memories, Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, September or Radio Days.

Supporting Actress of the Decade:

Dianne Wiest

She gives the best performance of the decade as the mess of a younger sister in Hannah and Her Sisters and won the Oscar to boot.  She also earned an Oscar nomination for Parenthood.  Aside from that, she also gave two very under-rated performances in a pair of 1987 Woody Allen films: September and Radio Days.

"Yes, that's just what the Hebrews thought." Denholm Elliot gets off the best line in the best film of the decade, but he did more than just that.

Supporting Actor of the Decade:

Denholm Elliott

The Oscars only nominated him once during the decade – for his magnificent performance as Mr. Emerson in A Room with a View.  The BAFTA Awards had a better appreciation for him – he won three straight Supporting Actor awards for Trading Places, A Private Function and Defence of the Realm.  He was also masterful in a small performance in Raiders, very funny in a larger performance in Last Crusade and, like everyone else in the cast, very good but over-looked in September.

Actress of the Decade:

Meryl Streep

Do I really need to write anything here?  She could be here just for giving one of the greatest performances of all-time in Sophie’s Choice.  But here is the total tally for a decade that included The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Silkwood, Plenty, Out of Africa, Ironweed and A Cry in the Dark: 1 Oscar (out of 6 nominations) 1 BAFTA (out of 4 nominations), Boston Society of Film Critics Award, 2 Golden Globes (out of 6 nominations), 3 LA Film Critics Awards (no other actress has ever won more than 2), National Board of Review Award, a National Society of Film Critics Awards and 2 New York Film Critics Awards.  In this decade, she earned more critics points (560) than all but four actresses have earned in their entire careers.

Actor of the Decade:

William Hurt

William Hurt earned three straight Oscar nominations in the middle of the decade, winning for Kiss of the Spider Woman and then earning nominations for Children of a Lesser God and Broadcast News.  He also wins Nighthawk Awards for the first and last of those, as well as nominations for Children and The Big Chill and deserves mention also for Body Heat and The Accidental Tourist.  His acting is a major reason that five of his films in a space of six years were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars

Steven Spielberg maps out his strategy for filming Raiders of the Lost Ark

Director of the Decade:

Steven Spielberg

Woody Allen appears more times in the Top 100, but Spielberg owns the decade.  He makes the best film of the decade, directs four of the top 10 grossing films, wins two Nighthawk Awards, earns two Oscar nominations, four DGA nominations and becomes the first person to ever win the DGA and fail to get an Oscar nomination.

The Top 100 Movies of the 1980’s:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark  (1981, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  2. The Princess Bride  (1987, dir. Rob Reiner)
  3. Ran  (1985, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
  4. Hannah and Her Sisters  (1986, dir. Woody Allen)
  5. Glory  (1989, dir. Ed Zwick)
  6. Amadeus  (1984, dir. Milos Forman)
  7. A Passage to India  (1984, dir. David Lean)
  8. Fanny and Alexander  (1983, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
  9. Henry V  (1989, dir. Kenneth Branagh)
  10. Field of Dreams  (1989, dir. Phil Alden Robinson)
  11. Platoon  (1986, dir. Oliver Stone)
  12. Raging Bull  (1980, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  13. Terms of Endearment  (1983, dir. James L. Brooks)
  14. Who Framed Roger Rabbit  (1988, dir. Robert Zemeckis)
  15. A Room with a View  (1986, dir. James Ivory)
  16. The Killing Fields  (1984, dir. Roland Joffe)
  17. Gallipoli  (1981, dir. Peter Weir)
  18. The Elephant Man  (1980, dir. David Lynch)
  19. Born on the Fourth of July  (1989, dir. Oliver Stone)
  20. The Big Chill  (1983, dir. Lawrence Kasdan)
  21. Au revoirs les enfants  (1987, dir. Louis Malle)
  22. Sophie’s Choice  (1982, dir. Alan J. Pakula)
  23. Blood Simple  (1985, dir. Joel and Ethan Coen)
  24. Crimes and Misdemeanors  (1989, dir. Woody Allen)
  25. Say Anything  (1989, dir. Cameron Crowe)
  26. When Harry Met Sally  (1989, dir. Rob Reiner)

    the first film I saw in the theaters in the 80's: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

  27. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back  (1980, dir. Irvin Kershner)
  28. Ordinary People  (1980, dir. Robert Redford)
  29. Kiss of the Spider Woman  (1985, dir. Hector Babenco)
  30. Stand by Me  (1986, dir. Rob Reiner)
  31. Blue Velvet  (1986, dir. David Lynch)
  32. Hope and Glory  (1987, dir. John Boorman)
  33. Broadcast News  (1987, dir. James L. Brooks)
  34. Dangerous Liaisons  (1988, dir. Stephen Frears)
  35. Running on Empty  (1988, dir. Sidney Lumet)
  36. A Fish Called Wanda  (1988, dir. Charles Crichton)
  37. Reds  (1981, dir. Warren Beatty)
  38. The Purple Rose of Cairo  (1985, dir. Woody Allen)
  39. Brazil  (1985, dir. Terry Gilliam)
  40. The Little Mermaid  (1989,  Ron Clements  /  John Musker)
  41. This is Spinal Tap  (1984, dir. Rob Reiner)
  42. Empire of the Sun  (1987, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  43. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan  (1982, dir. Nicholas Meyer)
  44. My Neighbor Totoro  (1988, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)
  45. Zelig  (1983, dir. Woody Allen)
  46. The Unbearable Lightness of Being  (1988, dir. Philip Kaufman)
  47. Mona Lisa  (1986, dir. Neil Jordan)
  48. Witness  (1985, dir. Peter Weir)
  49. The Verdict  (1982, dir. Sidney Lumet)
  50. Das Boot  (1981, dir. Wolfgang Peterson)
  51. Atlantic City  (1980, dir. Louis Malle)
  52. The Right Stuff  (1983, dir. Philip Kaufman)
  53. Manon of the Spring  (1987, dir. Claude Berri)
  54. The Shining  (1980, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  55. The Dead  (1987, dir. John Huston)
  56. Bull Durham  (1988, dir. Ron Shelton)
  57. Wings of Desire  (1987, dir. Wim Wenders)
  58. Kagemusha  (1980, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
  59. Tootsie  (1982, dir. Sydney Pollack)
  60. The Last Emperor  (1987, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)
  61. Mississippi Burning  (1988, dir. Alan Parker)
  62. Back to the Future  (1985, dir. Robert Zemeckis)
  63. Stardust Memories  (1980, dir. Woody Allen)
  64. Grave of the Fireflies  (1989, dir Isao Takahata)
  65. Excalibur  (1981, dir. John Boorman)
  66. Missing  (1982, dir. Costa-Gavras)
  67. Do the Right Thing  (1989, dir. Spike Lee)
  68. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown  (1988, dir. Pedro Almodovar)
  69. E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial  (1982, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  70. Matewan  (1987, dir. John Sayles)
  71. Ghostbusters  (1984, dir. Ivan Reitman)
  72. Betrayal  (1983, dir. David Hugh Jones)
  73. Rain Man  (1988, dir. Barry Levinson)
  74. My Left Foot  (1989, dir. Jim Sheridan)
  75. Full Metal Jacket  (1987, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  76. The Long Good Friday  (1980, dir. John MacKenzie)
  77. Diner  (1982, dir. Barry Levinson)
  78. Jean de Florette  (1986, dir. Claude Berri)
  79. Cinema Paradiso  (1989, dir. Giuseppe Tornatore)
  80. My Beautiful Laundrette  (1985, dir. Stephen Frears)
  81. Dead Poets Society  (1989, dir. Peter Weir)
  82. The Color Purple  (1985, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  83. The Killer  (1989, dir. John Woo)
  84. Heathers  (1989, dir. Michael Lehmann)
  85. Airplane!  (1980, dir. Jerry Zucker / David Zucker / Jim Abrahams)
  86. The Accidental Tourist  (1988, dir. Lawrence Kasdan)
  87. House of Games  (1987, dir. David Mamet)
  88. sex, lies and videotape  (1989, dir. Steven Soderbergh)
  89. Die Hard  (1988, dir. John McTiernan)
  90. Aliens  (1986, dir. James Cameron)
  91. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi  (1983, dir. Richard Marquand)
  92. Castle in the Sky  (1986, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)
  93. Ragtime  (1981, dir. Milos Forman)
  94. Broadway Danny Rose  (1984, dir. Woody Allen)
  95. The French Lieutenant’s Woman  (1981, dir. Karel Reisz)
  96. Fitzcarraldo  (1982, dir. Werner Herzog)
  97. Local Hero  (1983, dir. Bill Forsyth)
  98. Body Heat  (1981, dir. Lawrence Kasdan)
  99. Radio Days  (1987, dir. Woody Allen)
  100. Batman  (1989, dir. Tim Burton)

If things were perfect, we would have 10 films from each year.  Instead, this is how they break down (top 20 in parenthesis):

  • 1980  –  10  (2)
  • 1981  –  8  (2)
  • 1982  –  8  (0)
  • 1983  –  8  (3)
  • 1984  –  7  (3)
  • 1985  –  8  (1)
  • 1986  –  10  (3)
  • 1987  –  12  (1)
  • 1988  –  13  (1)
  • 1989  –  16  (4)

However, as always, the Oscar (and Nighthawk) eligibility isn’t quite the same.  That breaks down like this:

  • 1980  –  8  (2)
  • 1981  –  8  (2)
  • 1982  –  10  (0)
  • 1983  –  8  (3)
  • 1984  –  6  (3)
  • 1985  –  8  (1)
  • 1986  –  8  (3)
  • 1987  –  13  (1)
  • 1988  –  13  (1)
  • 1989  –  15  (4)
  • post-1980  –  3  (0)

Either way, 1989 is far and away the best year.  In fact, I was going to do a breakdown by the numbers (what is the best #1 film of the decade, which film that finished #2 in its year is highest on the top 100, etc), but for every number except the top two, it is 1989 by a long shot (it’s A Passage to India for the #2 slot).  In fact, When Harry Met Sally, which is the #7 film of 1989, would be at least the #4 film in any other year of the decade and would be the #2 film in 1982 and 1988.  1989 not only had the most films, it had two of the films that just barely didn’t make the cut – Black Rain and Drugstore Cowboy.

Unlike in the 70’s, where the #1 film won Best Picture at the Oscars and the top 9 were all nominated, 3 of the top 5 weren’t nominated and you have to get to #6 before you get a winner.  But, like in the 70’s, we have six black-and-white films, though half of them are Woody Allen films and one of them is only partially black-and-white (Wings of Desire).

Ingmar Bergman and David Lean both get films in the top 20 for the fourth decade (fourth in a row for Bergman).  For the first time, no Westerns make the Top 100, but there are more Sci-Fi films (7) than in all the previous decades combined.  There are also twice as many War films in the Top 20 (6) than any previous decade had in the Top 100 – and not just Vietnam (though 3 of them are), but also the Civil War (Glory), World War I (Gallipoli) and the 100 Years War (Henry V).  There are the fewest Foreign films from any decade (15), though Kurosawa makes his first appearance in the Top 20 since the 50’s.

Again, 34 Best Picture nominees make my Top 100 for the decade, although one of those was actually from the previous decade (Tess).  No year bottoms out by getting fewer than 3 nominees into the Top 100.  1980 does the best, making it into the top 10 all-time (at #9), while 1984, 1986 and 1989 also make the Top 20 for Best Picture years.  The average rank is 26.4, which is even better than the 70’s.  Only 1985 (#43) and 1987 (#52) finish outside the top 35.

  • 1980  –  4
  • 1981  –  3
  • 1982  –  4
  • 1983  –  3
  • 1984  –  3
  • 1985  –  3
  • 1986  –  3
  • 1987  –  3
  • 1988  –  4
  • 1989  –  4

Directors with 3 or more films in the Top 100:

  • 7:
    • Woody Allen  (4, 24, 38, 45, 63, 94, 99)
  • 4:
    • Steven Spielberg  (1, 42, 69, 82)
    • Rob Reiner  (2, 26, 30, 41)
  • 3:
    • Peter Weir  (17, 48, 81)
    • Lawrence Kasdan  (20, 86, 98)

note:  Again Kubrick only makes two films in the decade – this time they both make the Top 75.  Kurosawa does him one better – only making two films, but ending up at #3 with one of them at #58 with the other.  James L. Brooks makes his first two films and both make the Top 35.  David Lynch makes three films – two of them make the Top 35 and the other comes nowhere near the list at all.  Oliver Stone gets two films in the Top 20 and just barely misses the Top 100 with a third film (Salvador).

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