16. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
> Director: Sergio Leone
> Starring: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams
> Domestic box office gross: $5.3 million — #340 out of 359 movies released in the 1980’s
Based on the 1952 novel “The Hoods,” this movie sees Robert De Niro playing a mobster — broke, and haunted by the memories of his past — returning to the Lower East Side after 35 years in hiding.
15. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
> Director: Rob Reiner
> Starring: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Kimberly Stringer
> Domestic box office gross: $190 thousand — #359 out of 359 movies released in the 1980’s
Rob Reiner’s definitive “mockumentary” follows English heavy metal band Spinal Tap as they mount an ill-fated comeback tour across the U.S. Viewers get a behind the scenes look into the men that made the music, for better or worse.
14. The Elephant Man (1980)
> Director: David Lynch
> Starring: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud
> Domestic box office gross: $26.0 million — #236 out of 359 movies released in the 1980’s
David Lynch’s biographical drama tells the story of a severely disfigured young man who lived in Victorian England. Forced into a life of meager subsistence as a side-show freak, Merrick sees his life changed by a doctor from the London Hospital.
13. Stand by Me (1986)
> Director: Rob Reiner
> Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell
> Domestic box office gross: $52.3 million — #120 out of 359 movies released in the 1980’s
This star-studded coming-of-age story is based on the Stephen King novella “The Body” (1982), in which a group of friends travel into the woods to see the dead body of a young boy who had recently gone missing.
12. Brazil (1985)
> Director: Terry Gilliam
> Starring: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond
> Domestic box office gross: $9.9 million — #321 out of 359 movies released in the 1980’s
Sam Lowry is a disconnected bureaucrat in a future burdened by inefficiencies, whose only relief is regular escape into his subconscious. Mistakenly identified as the perpetrator of a rash of terrorist attacks, Sam must set the record straight before it’s too late.
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