RED DAWN Patrick Swayze Lea Thompson Jennifer Grey Charlie Sheen C. Thomas Howell Darren Dalton Brad Savage

“Wolverines!” The call creates a Pavlovian swell of patriotic pride in ’80s teens. John Milius’ Red Dawn is one of the few teen action films of the ’80s — and definitely the most influential. It showed that teens were responsible, skilled, and capable enough to save their town and, possibly, the United States. It’s a blow ’em up, shoot ’em up,…

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Risky Business Riley Roberts

When you’re looking to explain the 1980s, look to Risky Business. Teens were attracted to the Paul Brickman comedy by the music video featuring Tom Cruise dancing in his underpants. Running constantly on MTV, teens watched and rewatched the “Old Time Rock n’ Roll” music video and its resonant clips of a line of beautiful prostitutes walking into Joel’s house,…

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9 to 5 Parton Fonda Tomlin

Pour yourself a cup of ambition, it’s the 40th Anniversary of 9 to 5! Wonderfully executed as a broad office buddy comedy, 9 to 5 made a definitive impact in creating empathy and understanding for women in the workplace. Film authorities Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, look back at the 1980…

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Top Gun Riley Roberts

Listen and subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher. Top Gun is an iconic ’80s action classic, a blockbuster that’s beloved, and a Tony Scott treasure that has been selected for preservation by the the National Film Registry becomes of its significance. And while it’s a great film, the hypermasculinity sent some suffocating messages to ’80s boys.…

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