In 1977, the arrival of a little movie called Star Wars shook Hollywood – and, by extension, the entire world – to its core. Shattering box office records (which had themselves been shattered barely two years earlier by another little movie called Jaws), director George Lucas’s monster hit proved that the blockbusters were here to stay – and that science-fiction and fantasy were very big business indeed.

Previous decades had seen their share of sci-fi/fantasy hits: Stanley Kubrick had revolutionised the genre with 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the bulk of the films that followed its example – say, 1972’s Silent Running, and George Lucas’s own debut film THX 1138 – were cold, emotionally distant works which alienated the wider audience. Following the example of Star Wars, the 80s would see a slew of fantastical works that embraced the crowd-pleasing theatrics of the old serials and pulp novels, whilst utilising the decade’s breathtaking advances in special effects.

It wasn’t nothing but family-friendly feel-good fun, however. The 80s also saw its share of ambitious, less optimistic filmmakers explore darker territory within sci-fi/fantasy, delving into more challenging themes and concepts whilst still delivering all the incredible visual spectacle which audiences of the time had come to expect. Not all such films were huge hits on release, but plenty became cult classics in the years that followed.

It’s debatable that any decade in film history presented us with quite so many extraordinary otherworldly visions of possible futures, alternate realities and imaginary lands than the 80s did, and we’ve listed the best of them below. Scroll on down to vote up your favourite science fiction and fantasy films of the decade – and if you can think of any great ones we’ve missed, go ahead and add them at the bottom of the page.

1
0
0

Aliens

Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror Alien made a significant impact on the genre film climate, but when James Cameron was tasked with calling the shots on its 1986 follow-up, the result was one of the most distinctive, memorable sequels ever, which really stands apart as a great film in its own right. We rejoin Alien's sole survivor Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) as she awakens after drifting through space in suspended animation for 57 years. To her horror, LV-426 - the planet on which she and her crew encountered the deadly Xenomorph - has now been colonised. However, when contact with the colony is lost, Ripley is enlisted to serve as an adviser on a rescue mission, alongside a team of Marines. On reaching the planet, Ripley's worst fears prove correct: the colonists are all dead, and the aliens have taken over. Alongside the Marines, she must now battle to stay alive and wipe out the alien threat, which is even greater than she imagined. The real masterstroke of Aliens is that, rather than try to match Alien as a horror movie, it goes in a different direction, embracing gun-toting action - hence the tag line, 'this time it's war.' Cameron had already proven his skill as an action director with The Terminator, and Aliens further cements this, with explosive set-pieces aplenty. Central heroine Ripley really comes into her own here. Weaver commits hard to the role, and landed a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her efforts; a rare accolade for a sci-fi film. However, Aliens is a tremendous ensemble piece all around, with memorable supporting turns from Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein and Bill Paxton. Two more Alien sequels came in the 90s, followed by the two Alien vs Predator films and Ridley Scott’s prequels Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. However, most would agree the series has never again reached the heights it did with Aliens.

See more
2
0
0

Back To The Future

This 1985 science fiction comedy adventure is widely hailed for having one of the most perfectly crafted screenplays ever. Back to the Future provides every bit as much rollercoaster ride entertainment as any great 80s blockbuster, yet at heart it's actually a pretty small-scale, character-based story about home and family. Skateboarding wannabe guitar hero Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is your average 80s teen, but has an unusual best friend in the aged, eccentric inventor Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). Marty is stunned to find out that the Doc has built a fully functional time machine out of a Delorean automobile, but when the machine's first test goes awry Marty finds himself trapped in 1955. Crossing paths with his future parents Lorraine (Lea Thompson) and George (Crispin Glover), Marty inadvertently alters the past, threatening his very existence. Whilst the 1955 Doc Brown works to get him home, Marty must also play matchmaker to ensure his parents still get together. Director Robert Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale (both of whom also wrote the script) had been trying to get Back to the Future made for some time, but it wasn’t until Zemeckis had a hit with 1984’s Romancing the Stone that they finally got the green light. Michael J. Fox was initially unavailable to play Marty due to his commitment to TV sitcom Family Ties, so the film started production with Eric Stoltz playing Marty. However, after two weeks of shooting the filmmakers realised Stoltz didn’t suit the role, and fired him. A special deal was then worked out for Fox to shoot the film around his Family Ties commitments. Back to the Future became the biggest hit of 1985, with over $381 million in box office receipts and glowing reviews. Four years later, the team re-united to shoot 1989’s Back to the Future Part II and 1990’s Back to the Future Part III back-to-back. Rumours of a reboot come up occasionally, but Gale and Zemeckis have taken steps to ensure this can’t happen in their lifetimes.

See more
5
0
0

Beetlejuice

Tim Burton's sophomore feature film, Beetlejuice is a comedy horror-fantasy film starring Michael Keaton as a maniacal poltergeist. Released in 1988, the plot follows a recently deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) as they struggle to acclimatise to their new, ghostly status - but when another family moves into their Connecticut home, they reluctantly enlist the demon Betelgeuse to make short work of the house's latest residents. The original script submitted to Burton was much darker, featuring Beetlejuice as a squat, Middle Eastern man who mutilates and murders the new family's youngest child, but it would be subjected to numerous rewrites by Burton, Larry Wilson and Warren Skaaren, significantly lightening the tone. One important addition was the leitmotif of Harry Belafonte music while Betelgeuse's antics are taking place, the most memorable being a possessed dance to the Banana Boat Song. Featuring a variety of practical effects, stylised sets and rambunctious performances, Beetlejuice was both a critical and commercial success, taking $74.2 million on a tight budget of $15 million and ultimately winning the Academy Award for Best Makeup. Beetlejuice would come to define much of Burton's Gothic-inflected filmography, with the most obvious boon of his collaboration with Keaton being the pair's work on 1989's Batman and its sequel, Batman Returns. A sequel, under the name Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, was proposed in the early 90s; Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder even signed up for the project, providing Burton directed. However, the film was ultimately swallowed up by the resurgent interest in the Batman franchise. Beetlejuice was adapted into a critically acclaimed stage show, premiering in April 2019. The musical's run was cut short in March 2020, however, due to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.

See more
6
0
0
9
0
0

Blade Runner

Originally released in 1982 and directed by Ridley Scott, Blade Runner is an adaptation of Philip K Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The film sees 'blade runner' Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) enlisted to hunt down and destroy a group of synthetic humans - or 'replicants' - who have escaped from an off-world mining colony. Meanwhile, Deckard is forced to question his own humanity, especially as it relates to Rachael (Sean Young), a replicant with whom he begins a sexual relationship. Notoriously a flop during its initial theatrical run, Blade Runner made a meagre $32.9 million at the box office from a budget of $30 million. Controversially, and without Scott's knowledge, the version of the film released in theatres in 1982 featured a morose voiceover from Ford. "I thought that the film had worked without the narration," said Ford in 2007, "...and I was obliged to do the voiceovers for people that did not represent the director's interests." As a result of the friction between Scott, producers and the studio, a total of seven versions of Blade Runner have been released, culminating in 2007's Final Cut. Alterations include color grading, previously deleted scenes and the removal of the voiceover. After the release of a director's cut in 1992, the film became one of the first to be released on DVD. The film has become particularly famous for its valedictory speech by Rutger Hauer's Roy Batty, conceived by co-screenwriter David Peoples but significantly altered by the actor the night before filming. "If there's a great speech in science fiction cinema," notes Sidney Perkowitz in Hollywood Science, "it's Batty's final words." Blade Runner was followed in 2017 by a sequel: Blade Runner 2049. Starring Ryan Gosling as K, a new blade runner, the film has Ford reprise his role. While that film drew $260.5 million at the box office, its significant production and marketing budget also made it a commercial disappointment, though it was a critical darling.

See more
11
0
0
12
0
0

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

For eleven years the highest-grossing film of all time, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a family science-fiction film that has become one of the most enduring pop-culture touchstones of the 80s. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film depicts the unlikely friendship between a young boy, Elliott, and an alien stranded on Earth, who learns to speak English by watching Sesame Street and is able to heal wounds by touch alone. However, government agents soon take an interest in the strange, new lifeform. Produced on a budget of $10.5 million, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial returned a record-breaking $792.9 million at the box office; it would only be knocked off the global top spot by 1993's Jurassic Park, also directed by Spielberg. The film is notorious for its heavy product placement, making it something of an 80s time capsule. Not only does E.T. develop a fondness for Reese's Pieces, but the ad hoc communication device he uses to phone home includes a Speak & Spell, an educational 80s toy. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial launched the career of Drew Barrymore, who stars as Gertie at the age of just seven. Having initially auditioned for Poltergeist, on which Spielberg served as executive producer, Barrymore's lie that she was in a punk rock band convinced the director that she had the imagination required for a role in E.T. The scene in which Elliott and E.T. fly through the sky on bicycles has become a cornerstone image of pop culture, to the extent that it was repurposed for the logo of Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. The set-piece of plucky children interacting with the supernatural while riding bicycles has been heavily referenced in Stranger Things, It: Chapter One and further media that seek to capitalise on 80s nostalgia.

See more
13
0
0
14
0
0
16
0
0

Flash Gordon

Based on a comic strip, 1980's Flash Gordon is an English-Dutch-American space opera film about a football star drawn into an interplanetary conflict. Starring Sam J Jones as the titular New York Jets quarterback, the film has become a cult classic in the decades since its release. When Flash Gordon's plane is downed by a meteorite, a series of chance encounters brings him to Mongo, a planet ruled by Emperor Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow). Ming has grown bored and decides to toy with Earth, creating natural disasters and ultimately planning to destroy the planet entirely. It falls to the space-traveling sportsman to carefully negotiate the political rivalries of Mongo and its adjacent planets - often atop a 'rocket cycle' - as he attempts to thwart Ming's evil scheme. Described by Roger Ebert as another space opera in which "[filmmakers] of unlimited imagination [are] harnessed to definitely limited skills," the film nonetheless displays "energy and love and without the pseudo-meaningful apparatus of the Force and Trekkie Power..." Replete with bright colours and a soundtrack by flamboyant rock band Queen, the film has garnered a cult following for its wacky plot and larger-than-life performances. In particular, Brian Blessed's role as Prince Vultan, the ruler of winged aliens who reside in Sky City, has become one of his best-known and most-quoted. When Flash Gordon unexpectedly survives Ming's latest onslaught, he utters the immortal line: "Gordon's alive?!" "If I’m halfway up Kilimanjaro and meet a Maasai tribesman," Blessed noted in a 2015 interview with The Telegraph, "he’ll say, 'It’s you! Please shout, 'Gordon’s alive!’ "It’s a cry for freedom," the actor added.

See more
17
0
0

Flight Of The Navigator

After Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial broke box office records, long-time family film champions Disney were keen to make a similar sci-fi smash of their own. The result was 1986's Flight of the Navigator, and while it didn't make nearly as much money as E.T., it still had a significant impact on audiences. 12-year old David (Joey Cramer) mysteriously disappears for eight years, only to re-emerge without having aged at all, and with no memory of where he's been. After testing, scientists realise that David's disappearance is connected to the alien spacecraft which has been captured by NASA. Soon, a psychic signal draws David to the craft, which it turns out he has been aboard before, having been enlisted to a benevolent alien mission of which he has lost all memory. Flight of the Navigator was directed by Randall Kleiser (Grease) and was a Norwegian co-production. Critics weren’t necessarily blown away, but younger viewers were enthralled by the idea of a young kid taking the helm of an alien spaceship alongside various cute and funny aliens, plus the robotic Max (voiced by an uncredited Paul Reubens). It may have borrowed heavily from the Spielberg handbook, but Flight of the Navigator did make its own minor innovation with its early use of CGI for the spacecraft. It’s also notable for giving an early role to future star Sarah Jessica Parker. A Flight of the Navigator remake has been in development since 2009; Neill Blomkamp (District 9) is currently attached.

See more
18
0
0

Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters is a 1984 supernatural comedy film written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, directed by Ivan Reitman. The titular Ghostbusters are parapsychologists who become sought after in a world beset by phantoms and monsters. Starring Bill Murray alongside the screenwriting duo, as well as Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis in supporting roles, the film has become a cult classic for its ambitious special effects, bolstered by Ray Parker Jr's number-one theme song. Professors Peter Venkman (Murray), Ray Stantz (Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Ramis) set up an independent ghost-hunting business after being fired from their university jobs, and become entangled with Gozer, an ancient god of destruction. The project was initially planned as a collaboration between Aykroyd and John Belushi, who had previously worked together on Saturday Night Live and feature films such as The Blues Brothers. However, Belushi's sudden death in 1982 meant Aykroyd enlisted Murray for the part instead. Alongside the cast's witty repartée, the film's production design - including the 'proton packs', 'Ectomobile' vehicle, and the Stay Puft marshmallow man - has spawned several pop culture icons. Ghostbusters quickly became an astonishing box office success, drawing $282.2 million during its initial theatrical run on a budget of $25-30 million, becoming the highest-grossing comedy film of all time at that point. That total has since increased to $295.7 million after further theatrical runs, making the film the most successful comedy of the 80s. The film was followed in 1989 by Ghostbusters II, and then later by a 2016 reboot (marketed as Ghostbusters: Answer the Call). Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a direct sequel to the original films starring the surviving members of the original cast, is set to premiere in 2021.

See more
19
0
0

Gremlins

This 1984 horror comedy from director Joe Dante and executive producer Steven Spielberg proved to be a game-changer for the movie business in ways that the filmmakers might not have anticipated. Written by Chris Columbus (who went on to write The Goonies and direct Home Alone), Gremlins is set in the idyllic small town of Kingston Falls in December, Gremlins centres on Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), a young bank teller whose father Randall (Hoyt Axton) gives him an unexpected early Christmas present: a mysterious but extremely cute little animal called a mogwai. However, the mogwai - which they name Gizmo - comes with three important rules. First, he must be kept away from bright lights; second, he must never get wet; and third, he must never be fed after midnight. Of course, it wouldn't be much of a story if all three of those rules didn't get broken - and once they have been, Christmas in Kingston Falls turns into a disaster zone, as the quaint little town comes under attack from the malevolent Gremlins. Director Joe Dante came to Gremlins having made his name with horror movies Piranha and The Howling, so it's hardly surprising that his first move into more family-oriented movies would still be on the sinister side. The often intense scenes of threat and violence sparked an outcry from parents and critics, who considered the film far too dark for the PG rating it had been granted in the US. This controversy over Gremlins - as well as similar outrage over gruesome scenes in another 1984 PG-rated blockbuster, Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - prompted Spielberg to suggest the introduction of the PG-13 certificate. The MPAA agreed, and the PG-13 was introduced later that year. Still, despite the nasty bits, Gremlins is still largely good-natured fun. The creatures are very cartoonish in look and temperament, and this humour keeps things from getting too grim. The comedy came even more to the forefront in Dante's 1990 sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch, which saw the return of Zach Galligan plus supporting actors Phoebe Cates and Dick Miller.

See more
20
0
0
21
0
0
22
0
0
23
0
0

Labyrinth

While Jim Henson's name will always be synonymous with The Muppets, the late puppeteering legend is equally beloved by many for this 1986 musical comedy adventure, which pits David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly into a fantastical world of wonder. Connelly (aged just 14 when cast in the role) is Sarah, an imaginative but emotional teenager left babysitting her infant brother Toby. Frustrated, she flippantly wishes for her brother to be taken away by goblins - only to see her wish unexpectedly granted by the sinister but seductive Goblin King (Bowie). To save Toby before he becomes a goblin himself, Sarah must solve the mysterious labyrinth within 13 hours. A spiritual sequel of sorts to Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s 1982 film The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth was conceived to be a more light-hearted and family-friendly venture into a mystical world. To this end, Monty Python alumnus Terry Jones was hired to pen a screenplay that packs in plenty of humour amongst the often bizarre, reality-bending events that occur. Star Wars creator George Lucas was also on board as the film's executive producer. Once they hit on the idea of making the Goblin King a singer, David Bowie was at the top of their wish list immediately, although Michael Jackson and Sting were also considered. Bowie threw himself into the project (and some eye-poppingly tight trousers), composing and recording five original songs for the film, the most famous being Magic Dance. For the role of Sarah, a number of soon-to-be big name actresses were considered before Jennifer Connelly was cast, including Helena Bonham-Carter, Marisa Tomei and Laura Dern. Though met with low box office returns and middling reviews on release, Labyrinth soon found its audience on VHS and television, and has long since been elevated to the status of cult classic. A new Labyrinth movie is in the pipeline, said to be more spin-off than remake. In May 2020, Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange) signed on to direct the film.

See more
27
0
0
28
0
0

Predator

By 1987, Arnold Schwarzenegger was already established as the biggest action star on the planet - but he'd rarely been pitted against an adversary that seemed to pose him a genuine threat. This changed with Predator, the sci-fi action thriller that became one of the Austrian Oak's most enduring hits. Dutch (Schwarzenegger) is the Major in command of an elite commando team. Hired by old buddy Dillon (Carl Weathers), a solider-turned-CIA agent, the team fly out into the Central American jungle on a rescue mission. However, when events take a sinister turn in the jungle, the team realise there's something out there hunting them - and, as Sonny Landham's Billy puts it, "it ain't no man." Predator was the first major movie from director John McTiernan, who - thanks to both this and his follow-up film, 1988's Die Hard - would become one of the biggest Hollywood action filmmakers of the decade that followed. Sadly, his later collaboration with Schwarzenegger - 1993's Last Action Hero - didn't turn out quite so well. With Schwarzenegger heading up a cast of muscular he-men, Predator is one of the most testosterone-heavy films of the 80s. Infamously, it very nearly co-starred another action star, Jean-Claude Van Damme, who was initially cast as a very different-looking alien hunter. However, as Van Damme was far shorter than most of the cast (and was said to be difficult on set), it was decided the 7'4" Kevin Peter Hall would make a more imposing adversary. The Predator was also redesigned by Stan Winston, giving us the dreadlocked, crab-faced monster we know today. Reviews were lukewarm on release, but today Predator is held up as one of the best action movies ever. Sequel Predator 2 followed in 1990, before 2004's sci-fi action crossover Alien vs. Predator and its 2007 sequel Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Since then, the series has been rebooted twice with 2010's Predators and 2018's The Predator.

See more
31
0
0

RoboCop

One might think that a movie about a murdered cop brought back to life as a cyborg would be all kinds of stupid. However, as cartoonish as its core concept might be, 1987's RoboCop is probably the smartest action movie of the decade, and - like all the best sci-fi - it may be set in the future, but it's really a reflection on the times in which it was made. At an unspecified future date, the city of Detroit is largely controlled by corporation OCP, which owns the police. In the face of rising crime, OCP executive Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) pitches a bold new project: RoboCop, a cyborg police officer. However, to build him they first need a human cop, and they find their subject in Alex Murphy (Peter Weller), a principled officer gunned down in the line of duty. Saved at the point of death, Murphy is rebuilt as a heavily armoured super-cop, with his memory erased and new directives programmed into his mind. Once put out on the beat, RoboCop makes a sensation - but soon, flashes of the dead man's memory start returning, particularly once he comes face-to-face with the criminals who 'killed' him. RoboCop established Dutch director Paul Verhoeven as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. The level of violence and bloodshed on display is surprising even now, and Verhoeven's name would soon be synonymous with the extreme with his later films Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Showgirls and Starship Troopers. But despite all the bullet-ridden carnage, what really hits hardest in RoboCop is its satirical sense of humour. OCP and its sleazy executives are a bald-faced attack on the profit-fixated yuppie culture that was so predominant in the 80s; Ronny Cox and Miguel Ferrer both relish in playing such venomous characters, although Kurtwood Smith largely steals the show as the deranged criminal Clarence Boddicker. Though not a huge hit on release (earning $53.4 million in cinemas), RoboCop became a popular sensation, spawning two sequels, a live-action TV show and - controversially - a children's animated series. In 2014 a RoboCop remake hit cinemas, but this hasn't stopped plans for a direct sequel to the original, RoboCop Returns, which is currently in development.

See more
32
0
0

Short Circuit

What if a robot suddenly came to life and developed a mind of its own? This was the question asked by 1986 sci-fi comedy Short Circuit, which provided us with one of 80s cinema's cutest robots outside of the Star Wars saga: Number 5, aka Johnny 5. As his name suggests, Number 5 is on of a quintet of military robots built by weapons manufacturer NOVA, which malfunctions and disappears after being struck by lightning. Robot designer Newton Crosby (Steve Guttenberg) and his assistant Ben Jabituya (Fisher Stevens) head out in pursuit of Number 5, but not before the lost robot meets animal-loving Stephanie (Ally Sheedy), who teaches the robot about the beauty of the world, and comes to the astonishing realisation that Number 5 is alive. Sheedy and Guttenberg bring human star power to the movie, but the show is stolen by Number 5, a state of the art animatronic creation for the time, voiced by actor Tim Blaney. Though popularly remembered as Johnny 5, the robot only renames himself in the film's final moments; the character’s association with that name comes from the sequel, plus the fact that the Short Circuit theme song by El Debarge is entitled Who’s Johnny. Though Short Circuit was only a modest box office hit (takings of $40 million), Tim Blaney and Fisher Stevens would return for 1988 follow-up Short Circuit 2. Both films are controversial today due to Stevens’ performance, as the white actor portrayed an Indian character under heavy make-up.

See more
33
0
0
34
0
0
36
0
0
39
0
0

The Empire Strikes Back

This was the first true blockbuster of the 80s. The second instalment in the Star Wars saga first hit the big screen in May 1980, and ever since The Empire Strikes Back has been held up by many as the best film in the long-running series, and one of the few sequels to really improve on its predecessor in every respect. Picking up some time after the events of 1977's original Star Wars: A New Hope, we find our heroes in the Rebel Alliance struggling in their war with the Galactic Empire. Following some daring escapades on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) flies off alone to seek training from the Jedi master Yoda, whilst Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) are forced to flee, eventually finding sanctuary in the Cloud City controlled by Han's old frenemy Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). However, our heroes find that things aren't quite what they seem this time around - and events take a considerably darker turn than before, culminating in one of the most famous climactic revelations in film history regarding the villainous Darth Vader (once again played by David Prowese and voiced by James Earl Jones). While original Star Wars writer-director George Lucas is still executive producer and provided the story, this time the directing reins were handed to Irvin Kershner. Perhaps as a result of Kershner's more human touch, the performances feel more nuanced and three-dimensional than in the previous film, and there's a greater sense of emotional investment all around. The action is still every bit as awe-inspiring as in the original, highlights including the early Hoth battle, the Millennium Falcon's daring asteroid field escape, and the first lightsaber duel between Luke and Vader. Though its $33 million budget was one of the biggest in film history at the time, The Empire Strikes Back ultimately made almost $548 million in cinemas; adjusted for inflation, it's still the third highest earning Star Wars movie of them all (with the original in first, and 2015's The Force Awakens second).

See more
40
0
0
42
0
0

The NeverEnding Story

"Turn around, look at what you see..." It may be remembered primarily for the unforgettably cheesy theme song sung by Limahl (and more recently immortalised in season three of Stranger Things), but 1984's The NeverEnding Story is among the most striking, mind-bending family adventure movies ever made. Bastian (Barret Oliver, later seen in D.A.R.Y.L. and Cocoon) is a lonely social outcast, mourning the loss of his mother and targeted by school bullies. Fleeing from his bullies one morning, he takes refuge in an old bookstore, where the old bookseller tells him of a book entitled The NeverEnding Story. Fascinated, Bastian 'borrows' the book and sneaks off to read it, and is immediately swept away into the tale of magical world Fantasia. The story tells him of a brave young hero named Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) who is charged with finding a cure to a sickness which has befallen the Empress, whilst the world around them is slowly being consumed by a dark force known as The Nothing. However, the more Bastian reads, the more drawn into the story he becomes, until he realises it may not just be a story at all. Although it's in English with a largely American cast, viewers may not have realised that The NeverEnding Story is actually a German production; the most expensive ever made in the country up to that point ($27 million). Adapted from Michael Ende's novel (of which it uses only the first half of the story), it was the first English language film from director Wolfgang Petersen, who would go on to make such Hollywood hits as Outbreak, Air Force One and The Perfect Storm. While the film proved largely popular with audiences and critics, one person it didn't win over was author Michael Ende. Feeling the film did not adhere closely enough to his novel in tone or content, Ende sued the filmmakers, blasting their work as "gigantic melodrama of kitsch, commerce, plush and plastic." However, Ende lost his lawsuit, and was unable to prevent The NeverEnding Story from becoming a franchise: The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (based on the second half of the novel) was released in 1990; followed by The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia (an original story not based on Ende’s work) in 1993.

See more
44
0
0

The Terminator

Directed by James Cameron and starring former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger as the eponymous killing machine, 1984's The Terminator is a science fiction film that proved to be a breakthrough for both its director and its star. Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent back in time from a post-apocalyptic future where machines have overthrown humanity, his mission being to protect Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose son will grow up to lead the human resistance. However, the machines have also sent something back in time: a terminator, a machine encased in living tissue with the sole purpose of eliminating Connor. Made on a budget of only $6.4 million, The Terminator topped the North American box office for two weeks and accrued a worldwide haul of $78.3 million. Not only that, but the film spawned a wildly successful sequel in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day as well as a further four films. The Terminator continues to be a pop culture stalwart, most notably for Schwarzenegger's delivery of "I'll be back," a line repeated not only in further films in the franchise, but also in other Schwarzenegger projects and countless other films. The actor had previously struggled to find work in Hollywood due to his thick, Austrian accent, but a string of action and comedy roles soon arrived in droves. Schwarzenegger would later parlay his iconic performances into a run for the governorship of California; while running, and once elected, he frequently became known as 'the Governator' in reference to his 1984 role. The character was most recently revived in 2019's Terminator: Dark Fate, which saw Schwarzenegger reunite with Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor and James Cameron as producer.

See more
45
0
0
46
0
0
47
0
0
48
0
0
50
0
0
Not on the list? add item #51

Hey There! Please only add items that are relevant to this list topic.