Top 20 of 1986

Blue Velvet

1986 was a good year. It gave us one of David Lynch’s finest, the best of the Alien franchise, and a lot of good smaller films. Some that flew under the radar back when they were released, like Manhunter and River’s Edge, have achieved cult status. The same happened with Demme’s Something Wild, and while I appreciate some things about it (especially Liotta!), it did not make my list.

I don’t consider the 1980s as one of the best decades for French films, but there are some good ones this year. I included Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring together on the list because I think of them as one long movie, although the first is the best.

There are three Dennis Hopper movies on this list. I doubt that’ll happen again, ever.

1. Blue Velvet
2. Aliens
3. Stand By Me
4. Castle in the Sky
5. Jimi Plays Monterey
6. When the Wind Blows
7. Hannah and Her Sisters
8. Le Rayon Vert / Summer
9. Down by Law
10. Platoon
11. Jean de Florette
12. Manon of the Spring
13. The Sacrifice
14. Manhunter
15. River’s Edge
16. The Name of the Rose
17. The Fly
18. Hoosiers
19. Mona Lisa
20. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Some near misses were: The Mission, The Color of Money, Sid & Nancy, and Something Wild.


Posted on February 28, 2015, in Film, Lists. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I like your list. Nice to see Andrei Tarkovsky and Jim Jarmusch. Have you ever seen any of Aki Kaurismaki’s films? Shadows in Paradise would probably be in my top 10.

    • Thank you. I’m very familiar with Kaurismaki. The Man Without a Past is probably my favorite of his. I’ve seen probably about 7-8 of his, including Shadows in Paradise. In fairness, I saw it long time ago and was mixed on it. I remember it being very blue-collar. Perhaps on a re-watch I’ll like it more.

      If going by the ending and beginning shots of The Sacrifice, it would be near the top of my list. It was everything else that didn’t work as well for me.

  2. You brought back some great memories, Aaron. Stand By Me, Platoon, Hoosiers… doesn’t get any better than that. Here’s one for you–I’ve spent the past four days on the movie set of Creed (the next in the series of Rocky movies) as an extra, a fan in the stands. I’ll be back for three more days. The movies will be released in November.

    • Hey Jim, funny that you mention that because Rocky will definitely be on my next list for 1976. The question is where.

      I enjoyed the last Rocky (although I thought it would be the last one). You’ll have to share more about your Creed experience when the movie comes out. That sounds like a tremendous experience. I don’t expect this one to be on par with the original, but I will definitely see it. Haven’t missed a Rocky yet!

      (Now Rambo is another story. Think I’m done with him.)

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