Summers are for grilling out under the golden sun. For chasing fireflies. For lingering on the porch with a cold beer. They’re for homemade blueberry pancakes on Saturday mornings and for stretching out in front of a movie with a bowl of popcorn on Saturday nights.
These 80s summer hits—in all their adventurous, witty, and nostalgic glory—have us pining away for a time machine of our own to take us back to simpler days.
E.T: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
The movie’s effects were top notch for the day, but the story itself was a simple, intimate tale about friendship between an unlikely pair. A lonely kid named Elliot and his oddly adorable pal accomplished the seemingly impossible—melting hearts everywhere and surpassing Star Wars as the highest-grossing movie ever released to date. And if your heart doesn’t glow red when E.T. comes back to life, then I can’t help you.
Ghostbusters nails the oft’ attempted genre of the underestimated geek turned unlikely hero. The moment one such lead feels personally betrayed by the “harmless” Stay Puft Man lives on as possibly the penultimate example of a perfect marriage between humor and horror. These ghostbusters came. They saw. They kicked ass. Good luck getting that jingle out of your mind.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The Indiana Jones franchise kicked off with an Oscar-winning blockbuster. Harrison Ford brings his signature nonchalance to the role, including during frequent brushes with death. One such moment seemingly sets Indiana up for an epic fight scene, only to end abruptly…and with great comedic effect. The usually ultra-cool lead shares an ultra-common fear with the rest of us. “Snakes…Why does it always have to be snakes?”
Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future is everything we love about the ’80s in one hour-and-a-half-long adventure. Our likable hero (dressed in his Levi’s jeans, jean jacket, puffy vest, and Nike shoes) along with his jumpy, wild-eyed mentor take us on one trippy, time-bending ride. Just when it seems like messing with timelines is going to catch up with him, Marty succeeds in the seemingly impossible and gets a second lease at life. Watch this one for the closest thing you’ll get to time travel. It’s your density.
May your summer be as epic as these classic flicks!
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