My film picks from 1987

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I came across a blog post on the Chicago Now site by John Hammerle who listed what he thought were the 10 essential films of 1987. I thought it was an interesting idea even if my list doesn’t agree with his 100%. So here is what I think are the essential films of 1987.

The list isn’t in order of favorites or what was popular. Just like Hammerle noted it was hard to limit the list to just 10 so since this is my list I made a few of special exceptions.

Special mentionAdventures in Babysitting

This is one of my all time favorite movies but if I had to choose 10 essential films this wouldn’t be one of them. It wouldn’t be on the list because there are far better films as I note below but this one I would sneak into a vault just for kicks. My favorite scene is the opening title scene when Chris Parker is getting ready for her date. Bradley Whitford plays the boyfriend who breaks the date.

My Film picks from 1987

Full Metal Jacket

“Full Metal Jacket” and “The Shining” are the only Stanley Kubrick films I like. Probably because I can follow the stories and they both are based in realism. The violence in Jacket is disturbing as is the political subplot.

The Princess Bride

I didn’t want to like this movie, I really didn’t. Not more kissing!!! But it got to me and now I’ll watch it anytime its on TV.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

This was just a great funny John Hughes romp and a great role for Steve Martin and John Candy.

Lethal Weapon

This is the base line for all buddy comedies since 1987. When writers make film pitches for a buddy cop film they say “Think Lethal Weapon…” Had a nice balance of comedy and drama.

Fatal Attraction

Scary. Don’t cheat on your wife – period.

The Untouchables

Loved this telling of the Elliot Ness story. The cinematography blows me away and Sean Connery steals the picture from Kevin Costner.

Wall Street

This Oliver Stone film was on the nose about the excesses of the 1980’s stock market and it is ironic that it seems no one learned a lesson from it.

Dirty Dancing

I could watch this movie all the time. Great cast and great story. It was basically an independent movie shot on a low budget and it struck a chord with the public. It helped that it was a good movie.

The Lost Boys

Before “Twilight” and “True Blood” was this movie. Sam meets up with the Frog brothers and try to rid Santa Carla of vampires. The soundtrack was great and Kiefer Sutherland was extra creepy as one of the lead vampires. There was no glitter on them.

Good Morning, Vietnam

My favorite Robin Williams movies where he could both be a clown and show his dramatic side that helped lead to more drama roles. It also helped that Barry Levinson directed it.

Honorable mentions


This John Sayles movie is great in every way. Based on the union struggles in the West Virginia coal mines in the 1920’s, Matewan was based on an actual event called The Battle of Matewan. I have never seen a bad John Sayles film.

Empire of the Sun

I couldn’t leave this film off my list. Steven Spielberg directed this story of a British boy living in Shanghai at the start of World War II. He is Separated from his parents and interned by the Japanese when they invade.

It was also the first major film for Christian Bale who played the boy Jim. The movie was a the second more mature movie for Spielberg and showed he could do more than popcorn movies.

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One thought on “My film picks from 1987

  1. sbj1964

    Steven S. is no popcorn director . His movies just are not given there due credit by snobby members of the Academy .

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