From Amadeus to Aliens, Blue Velvet to Blade Runner, epic blockbusters to dark sci-fi: the great movies of the 1980s were experimental and excessive. This compendium has the 100 most influential and successful films from the decade of mullets and shoulder pads—complete with glossy images, detailed plot synopses and trivia.
Movies from the decade of excess, enormity, and experimentalism
From Aliens to Amadeus, get your fill of 1980s nostalgia with this movie bible of all things bold, bizarre, and boisterous. We've diligently compiled a list of the most influential films of the 1980s that's sure to please popcorn gobblers and highbrow chin-strokers alike. Adventurous, excessive, and experimental, ’80s cinema saw moviegoers get their kicks from pictures as wide-ranging as Blade Runner, Gandhi, and Blue Velvet.
Science fiction, horror, and action emerged as the defining genres of the decade, with non-human characters like E.T. winning the hearts of millions, and movies such as Ghostbusters and Back to the Future fused comedy and sci-fi to the delight of audiences everywhere. Inside this ’80s encyclopedia each movie masterpiece is profiled with stills, a synopsis, and cast, crew, and technical listings.
With high-concept Hollywood blockbusters, early CGI, and brilliant special effects, the 1980s saw the invention of a new reality, a movie-world so convincingly real—no matter how far-fetched—that spectators could not help but immerse themselves in it.
Jürgen Müller holds the chair of Early Modern and Modern Art History at the Technical University of Dresden. He studied Art History at the universities of Bochum, Münster, Pisa, Paris, and Amsterdam, and has worked as an art critic and curator of numerous exhibitions. He is also the editor of TASCHEN’s movies by decade series.
100 Movies of the 1980sHardcover, 19.6 x 25.5 cm, 2.60 kg, 820 pages