10 Great 1984 Movies That Don't Get Enough Credit

By Gabe Toro and Sean O'Connell 2014-06-26 10:54:39discussion comments
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Film buffs everywhere are taking time to recognize the 30th anniversary of the summer of 1984. It was then when audiences enjoyed the likes of Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, Beverly Hills Cop, The Karate Kid and many more. It was the beginning of the modern age of the blockbuster, the early days of PG-13 and the time when summer became high tide for big ticket attractions.

But lost in the nostalgia for that time is the fact that several other movies opened that year that are not as fondly remembered. Under the radar films, classics, would-be blockbusters and movies we couldn't quite figure out. Movies that survive and thrive today in the 21st century, just as or even more vital than they were upon first release. Here are ten great and unsung movies from 1984.

nickrivers
Top Secret!
Back Then... The reunion of the ZAZ team (David Zucker, Jerry Abrahams, Jerry Zucker), this was meant to be the highly-sought-after follow-up to Airplane!, considered by many to be the funniest film of all time. The ZAZ guys later admitted that this gumbo of WWII and Elvis pictures never really had a solid central plot, relying instead on an untested rookie actor in the lead. Top Secret! opened with a whimper against The Karate Kid, and was summarily whipped by three-week old hits Ghostbusters and Gremlins.

Now... Though it's something of a dark horse pick, Top Secret! easily belongs in a discussion of funniest films ever made. The movie earned half-hearted remembrances from the ZAZ team simply because it was such an impossible gamble: parodying both war films as well as musical romances that attempted to peddle crooner heartthrobs as leading men. Fortunately, they had a corker in a very green Val Kilmer. As Nick Rivers, the dashing super-heroic American musician, it's hard to say any man has ever been as good-looking as Kilmer is during his first lead role, and he deadpans his way through jokes so silly they make the gags in Airplane! look like Sophie's Choice. If we're comparing it to Airplane!, you have to dock the film for one or two jokes that just don't work. So yeah, bummer: the ZAZ Team didn't make the funniest movie of all-time, only one of the top fifteen or so.
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