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Favorite Movies From My Childhood

Updated on May 29, 2011


Starring: John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsen

Based on the popular play, Grease has recently been called the most successful musicals of all-time. Greaser Danny Zuko and goody-two-shoes Sandy Olsen meet at a beach on a summer day and fall in love. Sandy is on vacation from Australia. Sandy's family had a change of plans. They decided to stay and Sandy enrolls at Rydell High, the same school Danny attends. Due to different cliques, Sandy and Danny find it difficult to make their relationship work. Grease is filled with loveable characters, memorable scenes and hit songs. Also starring Stockard Channing as Pink Ladies leader Rizzo and Jeff Conway as T Birds leader Kenickie.

Dirty Dancing

Starring: Jennifer Grey as Baby Houseman and Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle

Hollywood movies usually feature a shy or awkward guy who gets the hot girl. Dirty Dancing is the other way around. Baby Houseman is is a shy, innocent daddy's girl in this coming to age movie which takes place in the early 1960s. She is at a popular resort with her family. Patrick Swayze plays sexy dance instructor Johnny Castle. Baby fills in for Johnny's partner. She can't dance so Johnny teaches her. They begin to fall in love with each other. Johnny Castle is popular with the women due to his good looks but also has a bad boy reputation. Baby quickly realizes that Johnny is not the guy everyone thinks he is. The problem is Baby's father. Would he ever accept Johnny Castle? It's exciting to watch Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze dance together and the soundtrack is filled with fun sixties songs.

Sixteen Candles

Starring Molly Ringwald as Samantha Bakker, Michael Schoeffling as Jake Ryan and Michael Anthony Hall as The Geek

It's Samantha (Sam) Bakker's 16th birthday. Her sister is getting married in a few days and her family has completely forgotten about her birthday. She's in love with hot senior, Jake Ryan who doesn't even know Sam exists. It only gets worse. Unwanted advances from a school nerd and a weird foreign exchange student is staying with them. With grandparents in town, poor Samantha has to sleep on the couch. Sixteen Candles is very funny, slightly raunchy and has a very happy ending. Joan and John Cusak both got their start in this movie, their roles are small so be sure to look for them.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Starring Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, Jennifer Grey as Jeanie Bueller, Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye and Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson

Ferris Bueller is a popular kid who hates school. He's been really good at outsmarting his parents and almost everyone else around him with his myserious ailments. Two people are on to him, his sister Jeanie and Principal Ed Rooney. Both are determined to prove Ferris isn't really sick and catch him playing hookey. The movie takes place in Chicago. It's a beautiful day and Ferris is ready for a fun filled day in the city. With his truly sick best friend Cameron and girlfriend Sloane, they cruise the city in Cameron's dad's hot car. They go to the Chicago Art Institute, dine in a fancy restaraunt, see a parade, go to a Cubs game and travel to the top of the Sears Tower. They nearly get caught a few times. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is hilarious. Ben Stein became famous for his role as the boring as sin history teacher. Look for Charlie Sheen's cameo towards the end of the movie as (what else?) a stoner.

Some Kind of Wonderful

Starring Eric Stoltz as Keith Nelson, Mary Stuart Masterson as Watts and Lea Thompson as Amanda Jones

Poor Keith. He lives on the wrong side of the tracks, his best friend is a tomboy, he likes art and he's obsessed with a beautiful girl who won't give him the time of day. Watts, his best friend, is more butch than beauty queen. She plays the drums and hints that her famly life is not exactly The Bradys. Underneath the tough exterior, she's actually very pretty, vulnerable and completely in love with Keith. Amanda Jones is the most popular girl in school, she too, lives on the wrong side of the tracks but runs with the rich kids. Her boyfriend is a bully and treats Amanda more like property that a girlfriend. Keith finally musters up the courage to ask her out. She accepts and he treats her to a date neither of them will ever forget. Another movie with a very happy ending for everyone.


Starring: Corey Haim as Lucas, Carrie Green as Maggie, Charlie Sheen as Cappie and Winona Ryder as Rina

Core Haim is adorable as 13-year-old outcast Lucas. He's advanced for his age and skipped a few grades. He is bullied by the football team. He meets his best friend Maggie during the summer. Lucas falls hard for Maggie. When school starts, Maggie becomes a cheerleader to get closer to jock Cappie, who likes Maggie too. He is also dating Alise (Courtney Thorne-Smith). Meanwhile, shy Rina is hopelessly in love with Lucas. As the movie progresses, we learn Cappie is really a kind and senitive guy. He protects Lucas and acts as a big brother to him. Lucas makes a decision to join the football team in order to impress Maggie. He's small and frail. His friends are concerned and it doesn't turn out the way we hope it will. Lucas is a heart-warming coming to age movie that is worth checking out if you missed in in the 80s.

Pee Wee's Big Adventure

Starring Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman

Child-like and lovable Pee-Wee Herman's bike is stolen in broad daylight. It's the best bike ever and Pee-Wee is determined to find it. He sets off on an adventure sparked by a fake psychic that claims his bike was stolen and taken to the Alamo. Along the way, he meets bikers, a crazy ex-con and even a ghost! Pee-Wee makes some friends who are all rooting for him to find his beloved bicycle. Directed by Tim Burton, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is a true classic.


Starring: Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse , Alec Baldwin as Adam Maitland, Geena Davis as Barbara Maitland and Winona Ryder as Lydia Deets

Adam and Barbara Maitland are a happily married small town couple living in a charming New England home. They decide to spend their vacation re-decorating it. While driving, they have an accident and their car falls off a bridge into a river and they drown. Unbeknownst to them, they go home. Realizing they can't remember how they got home and not being able to see themselves in the mirror it occurs to them that they are dead. They can't leave the house and all they have to help guide them is a book titled, The Book For the Recently Deceased. They can't make any sense out of the book. Things become more complicated when a yuppie family move into the home. They can't stand the new homeowners and decide to try and scare them out. Problem is that they aren't very good at being ghosts. In comes Betelgeuse, a freelancer bio-exorcist, and claims he can get rid of the living. Ignoring warnings from their caseworker, Juno, they decide to let Betelgeuse help them, resulting in pure chaos. Beetlejuice was another big hit for Tim Burton and the movie was so popular it spawned a popular cartoon.


Starring Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stantz, Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett and Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spendgler

Ghostbusters is the story of three New York City scientists who start their own business as "Ghostbusters". They set up shop in an old firehouse, hire a quirky receptionist (played brilliantly by Annie Potts) and start airing commercials. They become instant celebrities due to their ghost catching abilities. Eventually they discover a gateway to another dimension, which just happens to be in the same building where Peter's girlfriend lives. The Ghostbusters run across some obstacles while trying to save New York City but in the end, they pull through. The theme song, Ghostbusters by Ray Parker was a smash hit in the mid 1980s.

The Karate Kid

Starring: Ralph Macchio as Daniel Larusso, Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi and Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills

Daniel Larusso is the new kid in town. He doesn't fit in and is bullied by some kids who are black belts in karate. Mr. Miyagi saves Daniel one day from being beat by the boys and they become friends. Mr. Miyagi begins to teach karate to Daniel. It's not exactly what Daniel expects. Mr. Miyagi has him doing chores like waxing cars and painting his fence. Frustrated, he tells Mr. Miyagi off. What he soon realizes is that the tasks he has been doing actually are teaching him karate. He goes on to fight the bully and in the end gets the cute girl.

Rocky IV

Starring: Sylvester Stallone as Rocky and Talia Shire as Adrianne

Let's face it: All the Rocky movies were pretty darn good. As a kid, Rocky IV was the best. Maybe it's because Rocky got to fight the Russian bad guy (the cold war was still going on when I was a kid). It also could be that awesome robot that Rocky got Paulie for his birthday. For all the cool moments, the most tragic happens early on, when Apollo Creed gets killed in the ring. Now Rocky must go to the Soviet Union and fight Drago, the boxer that killed Apollo.

Back To The Future

Starring: Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, Lea Thompson as Lorraine McFly, Crispin Glover as George McFly and Chrstopher Lloyd as Doc Brown

The year is 1985 and Marty McFly is a normal teenager...except that he hangs out with a mad scientist named Doc Brown and has a very dysfunctional home life. Mom is old-fashioned and uptight. Older brother and sister are a couple of losers and dad is just plain weird. The principal of the school harrasses Marty by telling him, "No McFly has ever amounted to anything in the history of this school." Marty tells him that's about to change and boy is he ever right. Doc builds a time machine out of (what else?) a DeLorean. He admits to stealing petroleum from the Libyans and then was gunned down the same night that he was showing Marty how the car works. He sets the date in the car to November 5th 1955. The day he came up wit the flux-capacitor, which enabled him to make the time machine. Marty escapes from the Libyans with the DeLorean. The car is still set to the date in 1955. Once Marty hits 88 mph, he finds himself in the past. He has to find a way back to the future. He finds Doc Brown who has to help him. He runs into trouble when he runs into his dad, who hasn't changed much since high school, and to his surprise, his mom, who is a sex-crazed teen. Back to the Future was directed by Steven Spielberg and is the first installment of the very successful Back to the Future trilogy.


Starring: Aileen Quinn as Annie, Carol Burnette as Miss Hannigan, Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks and Tim Curry as Rooster Hannigan

Based on the popular broadway musical, Annie is a little orphan from the 1940s who gets a chance of a lifetime. She gets to stay at the home of billionaire Oliver Warbucks for a whole week! Oliver Warbucks is a hardened businessman who doesn't care much for children but then grows to love Annie. He decides to adopt her. Annie turns him down. She believes her parents are still alive. Oliver Warbucks starts a nationwide search for her parents that includes a reward. Miss Hannigan knows the truth about Annie's parents and once word gets back to the orphanage, she and her thuggish brother begin plotting. In the end, Annie outsmarts the bad guys and lives happily ever after.

Stand By Me

Starring: Wil Wheaton as Gordie Lachance, River Phoenix as Chris Chambers, Corey Feldman as Teddy Duchamp, Jerry O'Connell as Vern Tessio and Keifer Sutherland as Ace Merrill

Stand By Me is based on the short story by Steven King called The Body. Gordie Lachance as an adult, tells the story of his pre-teen years back in 1959, with best friends Chris, Teddy and Vern. They find out a missing teen was struck by a train and know where his body is. They set off for an adventure one summer day before school starts, in search of the kid's body. Gordie is still greiving from the untimely death of his older brother. He feels unloved and inadequate in the eyes of his father. Chris, the greaser kid from the wrong side of the tracks, is Gordie's closest friend and wise well past his years. He gives Gordie encouragement and comforts him during their trip. Meanwhile, a tough gang of older kids, lead by Ace (a very young Keifer Sutherland), also head out to find the body to collect the award. The pre-teens and the older kids have a confrontation in the woods and Gordie comes out looking like the hero. Stand By Me was directed by Rob Reiner and is still one of the top coming to age movies made.

The Lost Boys

Starring Jason Patrick as Michael, Corey Haim as Sam, Keifer Sutherland as David, Jamie Gertz as Star, Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander as the Frogg brothers and Diane Weist as Lucy

My list could not possibly be complete without mentioning The Lost Boys. It's a cult classic starring some of the hottest actors of the mid to late 80s. Lucy is a divorced mom with two teenage sons, Michael and Sam. She moves in with her elderly father in a small California town which just happens to be the murder capital of the world. The town has a secret, it's swarming with vampires. Michael meets Star, David and his gang. They trick him into drinking blood, thus turning Michael into a vampire. Sam befriends The Frogg brothers, who let him in on the small town's secret. They soon discover that Michael is a vampire. There is hope for Michael. He's only half vampire. If they can kill the head vampire, all half vampires will become human again. The Lost Boys is part horror, part comedy. It's one of a handful of movies Corey Haim and Corey Feldman made together in the 1980s and by far one of the better ones.

What are some of your favorite movies from your childhood? Please share them!


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    • profile image


      7 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      Beetle juice, Back to the Future, Rocky iv, among my favorites. Never saw Dirty Dancing, Feuller buller Day off or some kind of Wonderfull.

      Pew Wee was dumb, Karate Kid overated.

    • suejanet profile image


      7 years ago

      These were all good movies. Dirty Dancing is one of my favorites.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image


      7 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub like a good ole trip down memory lane.I still remember being a kid and telling my mom I wanted a cat suit like sandy,and running around the house trying to dirty dance like baby.Wasn't a real good idea to think I could jump off a table and my little sister could catch me like baby did at the end of Dirty Dancing.I nearly flatten the poor thing like a pancake.

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 

      7 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      I love Dirty Dancing!! Still one of the greatest:)

    • amymarie_5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Chicago IL

      Hi Alaster, thank you for reading. Yes, I did love Saturday Night Fever, I also wanted to add Heathers from the late 1980s but decided to keep it a bit more kid-friendly. I didn't add Star Wars and ET either just because they are obvious movies I think most everyone has seen. All the movies you listed are great!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      You've really done a wonderful hub here. You like Grease better than Saturday Night Fever? Grease is a happier film. I worked from the mid-seventies to the early eighties in a cinema so saw a lot. As a little kid in the sixties ones like"The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" or paradigm shifters like "Bonnie and Clyde" are a few. Oh! So many kids would go see the latest Godzilla pic we'd have to sit in the aisles. I could name many in the time frame you cover but that would be from a teen and up perspective. Wonderful Hub amymarie_5.


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