Crash! Landen’s Top 10 Films of 1984
1984 was a tremendous year in movies (especially American movies). It was pretty easy to pick the top film of the year, though. Some great films that didn’t make the cut: The Killing Fields…Top Secret! the kids’ film the Neverending Story…This Is Spinal Tap… Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes… Red Dawn! (Wolverines!)…. Splash!…. The Muppets Take Manhattan… I could gon, but I’m a little short on time so I’ll get right to the list.
Update: I added A Passage To India and so must drop 1984, a dang fine film…)
9 A Nightmare on Elm Street (The first of 2 movies featuring people that can enter your dreams. I originally watched this as a kid peeking around a wall and over a recliner…. it was that creepy. Maybe Wes Craven’s best film).
5 Gremlins (You may question why I have this one so high,but for me it works in every category. It’s a picturesque film centered around a holiday:Christmas. Despite the B-Movie subject matter, this is an intelligently written ORIGINAL story. It’s very funny at times, surprisingly suspenseful and has the Spielberg-ian magic touch (producer). The entire cast is perfect (Galligan, Axton and Pheobe Cates especially…). The FX are fantastic incorporating everything from puppets to animatronics to very well done stop animation. You gotta’ love Gizmo and Stripe.)
4 The Terminator (Cameron’s breakout film. Would Arnie have been the star that he was without this? Probably, but this is still probably my favorite Schwarzenegger flick where he plays his only role as a villain. With Cameron’s script and direction, Arnie made one of the best villains in movie history.)
3 A Passage To India (I saw this only recently. It’s an epic film by David Lean, director of films like Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge On The River Kwai… Probably should be my #2, but the Natural is a great film, too.)
2 The Natural (The book was completely different. Redford’s turned a tragic novel into a heroic epic of good vs. evil/ a film about fathers and sons. it really has the feel of the era that it’s set in and is filled with symbolic imagery. Besides the principle actors, Farnsworth and Brimley are also great in this. One of the best shot films of the 80s.)
1 Amadeus (This was not even close for me. Takes some artistic license, but so what? Taken for the story presented, Milos Foreman’s film about the rebellious composer has no flaws. None. As good as Arnie was in Terminator, he is easily topped by F. Murray Abraham’s performance as the jealous, scheming Salieri. I think I mis-spoke there, too as the film is more about his character than Tom Hulce’s Amadeus. One of the few times where the focus of a story is the villain and the film is still worth watching. In any case, Amadeus is Foreman’s best film in my humble opinion and that’s saying a lot. This will be a strong contender for my ‘Best Film Ever’.)