Eighties Nostalgia in Movies of the 90s

This is a list of movies that have dealt with 80s nostalgia. For now, I'm limiting it to movies with significant nostalgia content, not just one or two references. I welcome any suggestions you may have.

This page currently edited by: Rubixgirl. Past editor: Banasy

13 going on 30
In the beginning of the movie, when young Jenna makes a wish to be thirty, the year is 1987.
200 Cigarettes
This movie takes place circa late 70's/early 80's--& has name stars in it.
24 Hour Party People
The story of Factory Records, the label of a.o. Joy Division and New Order. A very good movie on the alternative scene of the 80's.
Along Came Polly
The movie poster for Sandy Lyle's (Ben Stiller's bestfriend) only film is a direct copy of the poster for The Breakfast Club.
American Pie
At the prom, the band plays eighties songs. Some of them are from eighties movies, like "Won't You Forget About me."
American Psycho
The time line of this movie runs from 1987 to 1989 and takes place inside the world of Wall St, New York City. I call it a period piece since replication of the era is done in extreme detail.
Anger Management
The classic CHIPS and Dukes of Hazard shirts in the opening of the movie.
Takes place in Reagan era Spain when anti-American sentiment was strong. 90's Drama-comedy on sex/politics/religion. Very funny for moviegoers with some knowledge about US-Spain relations and who enjoy dialogue. Movie pokes fun at anti-American thought.
A bio-pic about the greatest Art star of the 1980's - Jean-Michele Basquiat. It is entirely set in the 80's and essentially tells the story of Basquiat's rise to fame though contact with Andy Warhol and his conceptual Graffitti-Art and his ultimate demise after Warhol's death when Basquiat became addicted to heroin and eventually overdosed. The entire film is an 80's period piece. It's even directed by fellow 80's artist Julian Schnabel and features cameo apperances by various actors playing people Basquiat actually interacted with (Courtney Love as pre-fame Madonna). The film was made in 1997.
Beautiful Girls
People coming to grip with life not being as wonderful as they thought when the hope of the 80's was still fresh. Set at their class of 87 10 year reunion.
Billy Madison
when Billy Madison (Adam Sandler) is redoing high school hes dressed 80s style, and also arrives in a pontiac firebird from early 80s (might have possibly been 1979 which is practically the 80s anyway
Boogie Nights
Came out in 1997, set in California in the late 70's early 80's.
Boyz 'N The Hood
About three teenagers trying to survive the madness of "the hood" in South-Central L.A. The first half of the movie takes place in 1984 where they were introduced as young kids and the other half takes place in the fall of 1991 (which was still the 80's) where they are now high school seniors. 1984 scenes have early 80's refrences such as the Michael Jackson t-shirt that one the boys wear, one of the boys mentions Freddy Krueger and the Increduble Hulk, and early 80's rap music groups like Run DMC can be heard blasting away. The 1991 scenes have many late 80's/early 90's refreneces like the high top hair styles, all the clothes, the duck hunt Nintendo video game and the music of that time.
Brokeback Mountain
Even though most of the movie is set in the 60s-70s, Jack's death was in 83.
Charlie's Angels
Sure, the entire movie is based off of the show from the '70s, but some of the clothes come directly out of early-to-mid-80s culture (aka the frickin' A-Team), and probably the best song on the soundtrack is "Turning Japanese". (Released 1980)
It stars Robin Tuney (The Craft, Empire Records) as a girl who is under house arrest. It takes place in the present, but her character is totally obsessed with 80's songs. She's constantly playing them or calling in requests to the radio station for them. Great soundtrack..cool movie!!!
The Cutting Edge (1992)
Although this movie was made in 92, most of the action takes place in the late 80's, and it has a very 80's feel to it. Great hockey/skating movie.
Donnie Darko
See it! It's ALL there. "Echo And The Bunnymen" with "Killing Moon", 80's "atmosphere"... Enjoy!
Donnie Darko
The movie takes place in 1988, but it was filmed in around 2001..great sense of the eighties, from private schools to imaginary 6 foot tall rabbits.
Do Over (tv series)
Its about a 34year old guy who gets involved in a freak accident & gets transported 20years back in time to the 80's.He gets to relive & redo his teen years(his life as an adult in the 21st century sucked).A must see for all 80's fanatics.It was on WB in 2002.I hope they bring it out on dvd soon!
Dream Catcher
I saw this movie when it first came out, so it's been a while, but the four main characters have flash backs to them in the 80's in junior high. One kid has a 80's-ish Scooby Doo lunch box and the clothing is very 80's-ish. I think they play something from the 80's, but I can't remember.
Empire records
a movie aobut teenagers working in a record store ... while a frnchise was opening up across the street .... i dont understand y its not on hte list!!!
Flat liners is a classic! Definitely an 80's feel here. This movie really takes you back.
Forrest Gump
this is like the most 80s movie made in the 90s ever. the last of the flashbacks are set in the 80s and also all the bench scenes (in the VERY beginning there is an add for a "new" 80s car on the bus)
Fried Green Tomatoes
parts of it take place in 1980s Birmingham Alabama.
Galaxy Quest
In the movie "Galaxy Quest", the galaxy quest show came on in the late seventies, early eighties. It looked to me like it was more of an early eighties show. I'm a big fan of eighties movies and I bought this one because of it's eighties references.
The Girl Next Door
it has some 80's feel to it with the prom scene and i think maybe there might be some 80's music, but the characters have some of the traits of other 80's movies
Gross Point Blank
John Cusack plays a hitman that attends his 10 year high school reunion. He graduated in 1986. Reunites with his old girlfriend and later takes her to the reunion. Lots of great eighties music throughout the movie. Stars John Cusak, Dan Akroyd, and Minnie Driver.
half life
North Dakota wannabe kid gets to the big city to live his dream joining punk life filmed in and opened in mpls ktca channel 2 paid the tab.mzr
half life
North Dakota wannabe kid gets to the big city to live his dream joining punk life filmed in and opened in mpls ktca channel 2 paid the tab.mzr
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
Harold's favorite movie of all time is Sixteen Candles. He said " It's a very touching movie about a girl who doesn't seem to be noticed." And when they're going to White Castle they see Harold's dream girl, Maria, going to see Sixteen Candles in the theater.
Home Alone
Not really nostalgic, but it is a John Hughes movie, and looks kinda eighties (it did come out in 1990, after all)
Home Alone
Not really nostalgic, but it is a John Hughes movie, and looks kinda eighties (it did come out in 1990, after all)
Hot Tub Time Machine
The movie is practically made of it. The movie is about three guys revisiting a weekend they spent as teenagers in 1986. It features 80s fashion statements, references, and an all 80s soundtrack.
Hysterical Blindness
Preview for the movie tells it all: "In the 80's the said love was a battle field...they were right." @ women in search of love in the 80's. Has fantastic 80's music!!
In America
In America is set in the 80's and E. T. plays a key part in the plot.
Last Days of Disco
The caption in the beginning of the movie even says "sometime in the early 80's".
Love & Basketball
The movie follows the two central characters from when they were younger to when they are older. Along the way they pass through the eighties, most evident in the scene of their high school prom with "I wanna be your man" (a song made popular by Rockies in the 80's) and the hair styles, dance moves and clothes.
Lucky Numbers
The movie is set in 1988. John Travolta plays a weatherman for the CBS Affiliate in Harrisburg, PA. You can tell because there are posters for Designing Women, Newhart, Falcon Crest, Dallas, There is also a clip of $25,000 Pyramid, and Hour Magazine, as well as Circus of the Stars. There is also a TV Guide with Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the cover, with the old TV Guide logo. There is also a clip of an old Jeopardy episode as well. The soundtrack is full of 80s music.
Me Without You
ME WITHOUT YOU stars Michelle Williams (Dawson's Creek) and Anna Friel as two best friends for life who discover the pleasures and perils of sex, love, rock 'n roll -- and friendship -- in London during the 70's, 80's and 90's. A vibrant evocation of the fashion and punk musical styles of the period, the poignant and mischievous ME WITHOUT YOU will strike a chord in anyone who has ever lived through friendship and survived to tell the tale.
Murder In Mind
This is an obscure British TV movie that came on recently, in which a former gangster who escaped from prison and spent 15 years trying to rebuild his life, then his old boss returns to offer him a job, which spirals into various murders. There are a few flashbacks to his '80s London gangster days, piling guns into the back of Jaguar XJ40s and doing hit-and-runs in a Ford Granada Scorpio - all new. For most of the scenes, the gangsters are all wearing white or pastel suits and have slicked-back hair - much classier that the thugs you see in today's films!
Napoleon Dynamite
Totally 80s the clothes the Music " The Promise" When In Rome and " Forever Young" Alphaville. The Boots he wears are so 80s snowboots.
Never Been Kissed
Some of the songs are from the eighties...(like "Dying in Your Arms Tonight" or She Bop") and theres flashbacks of Josies traumatic years of high school which obviously took place in the eighties..(hello prom dress!)
Not Another Teen Movie
Ok, so this is obviously a spoof of every sappy teen movie ever made both in the 80's and beyond but I think it is brilliant none the less. If you can get passed the extremely sexual beginning that makes just about everybody blush- you can see that just about all of your favorite movies are spoofed. The end- well, I won't tell. All I can say is inspirational. And while we are on the subject of 80's films- might I just say that anything of the Cusack genre is saturated in that decade. p.s. Better off dead is the best 80's movie ever.
Not Another Teen Movie
Satire of Pretty in Pink along with the Sound Track.
Not Another Teen Movie
There is a HUGE spoof of Breakfast Club (even the same location, and Paul Gleason as the teacher) in the opening of the movie, as well as several references to John Hughes and actors (Anthony Michael 'Dining' Hall). The list of John Hughes Parodies is probably long as hell, but I couldn't torment myself long enough to see the whole movie.
Not Another Teen Movie
They go to JHHS, which is John Hughes High School...
Old School
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" is performed (by males) at the wedding party in the first few minutes of the movie. The guys who sing it ad-lib some pretty hilarious words to the lyrics. Also, when the wifes hire an oral sex instructor, they play the greatest song of all--"Hungry like the Wolf" by Duran Duran. Very funny movie but these is the only real 80's nostalgia.
Psych (TV series)
Every episode begins with a flashback to the eighties when Shawn and Gus were kids. Also the grown-up versions of Shawn and Gus make frequent eighties references.
Rainman's characters,the plot,the era, and the setting of the movie.
Rock Star
It's about 80s hairy groups.Clothes,music is just like 80s.The difficulties of a rock star's life,being famous, drug and sex parties..
The movie follows the traditional 80s movie structure, not to mention the whole play on the 80s rock band...
Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion
Its about 2 girls who remenese bak on school and end up going to the reunion defienently made for the 80's
Rounding First
Where were you in the summer of 1980? Check out the trailer http://www.roundingfirstmovie.com/
The Rules Of Attraction
Based on a book that took place in the 80's and feels a lot like it does take place in the 80's, even though there are 90's computers, tv's, etc. Has many 80's songs on the soundtrack.
School Of Rock
the whole movie was based off of late 70s through 80s music and the dude dressed like the guy from ac~dc in the performance.
Serial Mom
Rikki Lake recieves a mint, in box talking Pee-Wee Herman doll.
SLC Punk
SLC Punk! is a 1999 comedy. The film is about the young punk rock fan Steven "Stevo" Levy, a college graduate living in Salt Lake City. The character is portrayed as an exaggerated stereotype of an anarchist punk in the mid 1980s.
This movie was set in 1984. A sequel to the last picture show, from 30 years later. Has, The Juice Newton Song "Queen of Hearts," Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in The Dark, and Culture Club's Karma Chameleon.
In the scenes in the clubs, the women are all wearing clothing from the 80's. The movie takes after the whole 80's from the drugs, to the clothes, to the words used....
Trojan War
Teen sex comedy, about as eighties as film made in 1997 could be.
The Wedding Singer
Set in 1985 this is perhaps the archetypal 80s movie made in the nineties..
The Wedding Singer
This one is it, the best nostalgia film to date to focus on the 80s, with a killer soundtrack and tons of references. Even if you don't like Adam Sandler, this is still worth watching from an 80s fanatic point of view. That in addition to it not being a normal Adam Sandler role (this character you don't despise!
Wet Hot American Summer
Set it 1981, this is a half spoof, half homage to early 80s teen sex comedies like MEATBALLS, SPRING BREAK or POISON IVY. Features a good deal of music from the era (Rick Springfield, Loverboy) and a lot of references to the films and fashions of the time.
Without A Paddle
At the beginning of the Movie, in the flashback scene of the Boys jumping on their bikes, it is in 1984. While the Guys are camping, Seth Green's character is playing a song by Boy George.
In The Movies They Used A Lot Of 80's Songs Such As Wake Me Up Before You Go Go By Wham,relax By Frankie Goes To Hollywood Rock It By Herbie Hancock And Beat Ti By Michael Jackson.
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