Snob Top Ten: Films the Year I Was Born (1987)


1987. As the decade of decadence rolled on and Reagenism swept the nation. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were permeating out of our TV screens, and movies were in a weird place. You had a bevy of different films all with different themes opening this year. From Platoon winning Best Picture of 1986 at the Oscars to things like The Evil Dead II and Raising Arizona. All in all 1987 was an iconic year for film. One whose flicks would stand the test of time.With that said let’s get to my top ten films from the year I was born…1987!

10. La Bamba (July 24th, 1987): A biographical look at the short life of Chicano singer/songwriter Ritchie Valens. In it, we learn of Ritchie’s passion for music and his journey through the 1950’s music scene. Lou Diamond Philips absolutely shines in this. He seems to really have a grasp of Valens. What he feels for his loving mother, his naivete towards his brothers escalating issues stemming from his inexplicable jealousy. You’re swept up in Valens ascension from migrant worker to rock ‘n roll teen idol. You don’t have to know a lick of Espanol to enjoy the joyful tunes of this film, or to appreciate the solid acting brought to the tab;e by all involved. Particularly Esai Morales as Ritchies older brother. This film currently holds a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture: Drama.

9. Moonstruck (December 18th, 1987): That’s Amore! In this Oscar Nominated (six times with three wins) Cher and Nicholas Cage share the stage here in a Romantic Comedy. In it, Loretta Castorini (Cher, in her Oscar-winning role) falls in love with Johnny. The two end up engaged. When Loretta requests a traditional courtship for their engagement this includes having to invite his dysfunctional brother Ronny. This could prove to be the undoing, or maybe they’re just moonstruck!

8. The Lost Boys (July 31st, 1987): Sleeping all day, partying all night! That was the motto for the antagonists in this Joel Schumacher fantasy tale. When Michael (Jason Patric), his younger brother Sam (Corey Haim), and their mother (Dianne Wiest) move to the beach city of Santa Carla they discover that there is more than meets the eye. When the brothers meet David (Keifer Sutherland) they discover that the mystery of Santa Carla is a “there be Vampires here”. When these creatures of the night recruit Michael, Sam tries to find a way to save him. This is one of the best Vampire flicks ever made and the precursor to a lot of the modern version of the vampire movie.

7. Predator (June 12th, 1987): When a six-man Delta Force team goes into a Central American jungle in search of hostages in hostile territory. What they find instead is an unknown entity that is slowly hunting down this team. When the “Predator” as the creature becomes known makes himself known to Major Alan Schaefer (Schwarzenegger) he promises to take out this ugly mother effer. This film is as machismo as possible. I mean look no further than the iconic brobrace betwixt Arnie and Carl Weathers. This film of course spawned a sequel as well as some (awful) mash-ups with the Alien series. Much like the previous films, another iconic one that came out in 1987!

6. Dirty Dancing (August 21st, 1987): Nobody puts Baby in a corner! In this dance movie classic trainer Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) shows the ropes to young Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey), while her family is vacationing in the Catskill Mountains. As the teacher and student grow closer a love develops. Featuring one of the 80’s best soundtracks including the iconic song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes” and the above scene that accompanies it. 1987 yet again showing it has a lot to offer cinematic history. Swayze at his most smoldering, Jennifer Grey pre weird rhinoplasty. Another film with Oscar wins as it took home Best Original Song.

5. Spaceballs (June 24th, 1987): May the Schwartz be with you! Mel Brooks was at it again this time with his send up on the greatest story ever told. With absolutely perfect satires on all the major characters from George Lucas’ seminal sci-fi series he really makes this thing worth a watch. From Dark Helmet (played as you can see, perfectly by Rick Moranis) whose a great send-up of Darth Vader. Barfolomew (John Candy), Captain Lone Starr (Bill Pullman), and many others. It’s a laugh a minute and even the sight gags hold up after multiple viewings. As we go down this list the films keep getting better and all the more epic!

4. Wall Street (December 11, 1987): Greed, for lack of a better word is good! Whereas the number nine spot featured the Best Actress winner in Cher this one features the Best Actor winner with Michael Douglas’ turn as stockbroker Gordon Gekko. In this Gekko is being courted for a job by a tenacious young broker named Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen). When Fox offers a deal that ends up making Gekko rich he has no choice but to pay him back with everything he’s ever desired. A front office, an interior designer girlfriend (played by Darryl Hannah), and money to float him. This movie is a microcosm of the decade that preceded it. Money, drugs, and excess, that is the 80’s. Oliver Stone’s love letter to gluttony remains a great piece and one that sees to prove ’87 was one of the best years for movies.

3. Robocop (July 17th, 1987): Dead or alive, you’re coming with me! Paul Verhoeven’s cyberpunk dystopia is brought to glorious life here. Basil Poledouris’ score sets the tone for everything to come. Ultraviolence, coarse language and a flair for the dramatic all permeate in this story of a murdered police officer turned cybernetic enforcer of the law. Peter Weller shines under all that makeup and prosthesis to deliver a powerful enough performance. This film truly shows off the visceral nature of the 80’s action flick, while also having a message on consumerism and the corporate structure. 1987 continues to show it’s a diverse and excellent year!

2. The Untouchables (June 3rd, 1987): You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word. It is that belief with which Al Capone (played by Robert De Niro) submitted to in regard to his business. His “business” however was highly illegal bootlegging. When Bureau of Prohibition agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) decides it’s time to clean up Chicago and save it from Capone’s dirty deeds he compiles a crew of G-Men in hopes of getting his man one way or another. As seen above De Palma took his inspiration from Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925). Man, this is one of my favorite movies ever! If not for the film above this would have been #1. I love what De Palma did here. Unlike some of his previous films like Carrie, Scarface, and Carlito’s Way Ness is a good, and righteous man whom you want to win despite De Niro’s flamboyant performance as Capone. Other years should step their game up because this one is certainly bringing it!

1. The Princess Bride (September 25th, 1987): As you wish! Rob Reiner crafts the fantasy love story to which all others aspire to be. With a perfect cast of characters including Cary Elwes’ Westley, Robin Wright as Princess Buttercup, Andre the Giant as Fezzik, and of course Mandy Patinkin stealing the show as my favorite character in this Inigo Montoya. When the Dread Pirate Roberts (Westley in disguise) kidnaps the newly and reluctantly engaged Princess from the vile Prince Humperdinck. As seen above Westley only reveals himself to Buttercup after the kidnapping. As we go along we meet all the other players, in this wonderful film. This is the one that really makes this year magical, and different. Look at the films above, each is different and great in its own way. The Princess Bride defined a generation, and though it was not very successful initially its life was VHS and repeat watches in the comfort of your home.

What movies from 1987 stick out to you? What is your favorite? Anything we missed out on. There were a ton of films we forgot to let us know in the comment section below! What about your year? What’s your favorite film of the year YOU were born? 

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