A year of influential hits- the best movies of 1987
1987 was a year when nobody put baby in the corner, when Robert DeNiro cemented his ‘untouchable’ status and when the movie world gave us the term ‘bunny boiler’.
Welcome to the best movies of 1987, a year full of seminal films.
You only need to look at the roll call of stars to know that The Untouchables was a seminal moment in cinema, as well as one of the top-grossing movies of 1987.
The Brian de Palma production is loosely based on the famous crime fighter Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), and his plight to bring down the original scarface – Al Capone (Robert de Niro).
With a gripping storyline and first-class performances from Andy Garcia and Sean Connery, it’s essential viewing for anyone with a fleeting interest in mobster stories.
Cast: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro and more
How to stream The Untouchables
Empire of the Sun
Christian Bale was always destined for greatness. Even as a young boy his star-quality shines through as Jim – a privileged English child growing up in Shanghai.
This captivating drama is set during the Japanese invasion, where foreigners are forced into POW camps. Separated from his family Jim finds solace in Basie (John Malkovich), and a touching friendship forms. At heart, this is a story of the human spirit and triumph.
Cast: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson and more
How to stream Empire Of the Sun
If the decade could be summed up in one motion picture, the 1987 film Wall Street would certainly be it. In the words of protagonist Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) ‘greed is good’ in this Oscar-winning classic by Oliver Stone.
It’s fascinating to watch a young fresh Charlie Sheen take the role of Bud Fox – a ruthless stockbroker on a trajectory to the top, under the wing of Gekko. But can you ever trust people whose morals are questionable? Fire up your VHS and see for yourself, it’s a must-watch movie that holds up four decades later.
Cast: Michael Douglas, Oliver Stone, Charlie Sheen and more
How to stream Wall Street
Good Morning, Vietnam
The genius of Robin Williams was his improvising prowess and ability to bring light even in the darkest times, so his casting as DJ Adrian Cronauer in this biopic was inspired.
The film tells the story of the exuberant DJ and sidekick Edward Garlick (Forest Whitaker) when he takes over the US Armed Services radio station. Set to a backdrop of the Vietnam war, it’s both warming and moving.
If you’re under 25, it probably explains all those TikTok videos of people shouting ‘goooooddd morning’ out of their homes too!
Cast: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby and more
How to stream Good Morning Vietnam
Some 1987 films don’t translate into the modern-day, and regrettably Moonstruck is one of these.
It centers around an American-Italian family, who blame the moon, yes the moon, for their indiscretions and unaccountable behaviour. For example, having an affair with the brother of the man you’re about to marry. If anything, it’s intriguing to watch the unlikely pairing of Cher (Loretta) and Nicholas Cage (Ronny).
Cast: Olympia Dukakis, Cher, Nicolas Cage and more
How to stream Moonstruck
Not a film to put in the corner, Dirty Dancing grossed a lowly $62 million in the box office when it was released in ’87.
Little did we know then, the classic it would go on to become. The film that defined a generation and firmly placed Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey into Hollywood royalty, was a slow-burner in the film world.
This coming-of-age musical drama follows ‘Baby’ (Grey) as she falls in love with the mature and oh-so-sexy dance instructor Johnny Castle (Swayze) at a holiday resort with her family. Full of awkward growing-up moments, you see her character graduate from baby to fully-fledged woman.
Cast: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Cynthia Rhodes and more
How to stream Dirty Dancing
Ever wondered where the term ‘bunny boiler’ comes from? Look no further than this top box office movie of 1987 (the second highest-grossing).
This unnerving psychological thriller presents the chilling repercussions of a one-night stand that refuses to go away. You’re loathed to side with Dan (Michael Douglas), since he’s cheated on his wife in a loving happy marriage, but when he writes it off as a mistake, scorned lover Alex (Glenn Close) won’t accept it and things take a turn…
Cast: Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Anne Archer and more
How to stream Fatal Attraction
Beverly Hills Cop II
Axel’s back! High in the Hollywood hilltops, Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) the Detroit cop is called upon to investigate a series of ‘alphabet crimes’ and shootings in the neighbourhood.
Bringing his trademark laugh and a touch of comedy to the role, Murphy’s swagger was made for it. The critics may not have loved it, but the film-goers did, making it one of the top-grossing movies of 1987.
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton and more
How to stream Beverly Hills Cop II
The Secret of My Success
Fake it till you make it, is the premise of this 1987 film classic, starring Michael J Fox (Brant Foster) as a sweet country kid who heads to New York City to pursue a career in finance.
When it all goes wrong and he ends up working for his big-cheese uncle, he schemes his way from the mailroom to a faux position in the company. And then along comes gorgeous Christy (Helen Slater), and his lie starts to unravel.
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Margaret Whitton and more
How to stream The Secret of My Success
Three Men and a Baby
The number 1 box office movie 1987 certainly had the ‘ahhh factor’ in this cute story about three single guys who become joint-Dads to an abandoned girl, Mary.
The film might not have worked, had it not been for Tom Selleck (Peter), Ted Danson (Jack) and Steve Guttenberg (Michael) in the role – three of the housewives favourite of that time!
Cast: Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and more