Summer Movies of the ’80s

Yesterday was the list of top 5 songs about summer. Now, here is the top 5 summer movies of the ’80s.

5. Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing was released in 1987, and starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. It takes place in 1963, and Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) is vacationing with her family at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. Baby develops a crush on the resort’s dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), who is from the wrong side of the tracks. This is a coming of age story for Baby, who learns to loosen up and be true to herself. And Johnny learns that he really is worth something. And Baby’s father (Law & Order’s Jerry Orbach) learns that nobody puts Baby in a corner.

4. Summer School
This movie was released in 1987, and starred Mark Harmon. The movie begins with the last day of school before summer vacation. The gym teacher, Mr. Freddy Shoop, is a slacker, and is ready to go on vacation to Hawaii with his young girlfriend. However, Shoop is forced to teach summer school remedial English when the original teacher wins the lottery and immediately quits teaching. The students included easily distracted Pam (Courtney Thorne-Smith), ‘nocturnal’ Larry, who happens to be a male stripper, football jock Kevin, pregnant Rhonda , geeky Alan, dyslexic Denise (and two horror-film-obsessed underachievers, Dave and Francis, a.k.a. ‘Chainsaw’.
Shoop’s girlfriend goes to Hawaii without him. He then meets, and falls for Robin Bishop (Kirstie Alley), who is teaching next door to his class.
Shoop is forced to learn responsibility when he finds out that he will be fired unless his students pass the end of the term test.
Not all of the students passed, but the parents came to Shoop’s defense because of the great improvement the students made. Happy ending all around.

3. The Great Outdoors

This was a 1988 movie starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. Chester “Chet” Ripley (John Candy), his wife Connie, and their two sons go on vacation at a lake resort in Wisconsin.
They are all ready to enjoy themselves when Connie’s sister Kate, Kate’s snobby know-it-all investment broker husband Roman Craig, and their creepy twin daughters crash the family vacation.
Roman constantly got on Chet’s nerves really bad. It turns out that the reason why Roman, Kate, and the twins crashed the vacation is because the Craigs are broke because of a bad investment, and Roman was planning to hit Chet up for $25,000.
This was a great family comedy. And who could forget John Candy’s crazy water skiing, and the bald headed grizzly?

2. Meatballs

This movie was released in 1979, but I’ll grandfather it in. This was Bill Murray’s first starring role. Murray plays head counsellor Tripper Harrison and also follows the counsellors-in-training (CITs) at Camp North Star. The main plot involves Rudy Gerner, a lonely kid who is sent to summer camp by his father. Noticing Rudy is unable to fit in, Tripper takes him under his wing and each morning they go jogging and bond as friends. Tripper helps Rudy gain confidence while Rudy encourages Tripper to start a romance with Roxanne (Kate Lynch), the female head counsellor.
Camp North Star has a rivalry with Camp Mohawk, a wealthier camp located across the lake. Every year they have an olympic type of competition, which Mohawk carries a 12-0 record against North Star. Camp Mowhawk cheats a lot to win their competitions, but Camp North Star starts winning some competitions of their own. Then it comes down to a 4 mile race,where Rudy’s jogs with Tripper pay off.
Here is Murray’s great “It just doesn’t matter” speech:

1. Vacation

This was Chevy Chase at his best. National Lampoon’s Vacation came out in 1983. Chase played Clark Griswold, and Beverly D’Angelo played his wife Ellen, and their two kids, Rusty and Audrey were played by Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron. Clark, wanting to spend more time with his family, decides to lead the family on a cross-country expedition from the suburbs of Chicago to “Wally World” — billed as “America’s Favorite Family Fun Park” — in Los Angeles. Hi-jinks ensue all the way through.
And here is the incredible end of the movie:

And I love Lyndsay Buckingham’s theme song – “Holiday Road

So what are some of your favorite summer movies?

2 thoughts on “Summer Movies of the ’80s”

  1. On TCM last night, there was an 80’s marathon: Better Off Dead, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and I think Sixteen Candles. I can’t believe our movies have turned into “classics”! I thought those were all black and white films!!

  2. HA! No kidding!! I don’t get that TCM, so I missed that marathon. And if you put on an oldies channel on the regular radio, there are ’80s songs there too. I’ve heard Journey and Huey Lewis and the News on an oldies channel recently! So I know what you mean.

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