Don’t You Forget About the 80’s

With great movies comes even greater lessons.


Natalie Walsh

The iconic photo of The Breakfast Club is recreated by staff members.

In a world of ever-growing problems with absolutely no possible resolutions whatsoever, the only logical solution is to watch and learn from the decade that provided the most amazing movies to ever grace the big screens; the 80’s. 

The 80’s undoubtedly produced the most amazing movies with lessons that can be reflected upon for the rest of eternity. Seriously, a lot of the movies that came out of this beautiful span of 10 years are still widely loved and respected today, as they should be. The characters and plots of these films hit home for a lot of people, and hold a very special place in the hearts of many, like myself. 

My obsession with the 80’s, especially the movies, started in seventh grade when my English class read “The Outsiders.” I fell in love with the unique story and characters S. E. Hinton brought to life in the movie adaption that hit the big screens in 1983. The story is a perfect example of the importance of friendship, family, and watching sunsets. The relationship between the Greasers is extremely inspirational and heart-warming. No matter how tough things would become, the Greasers were always there for each other, and they quite literally risked their lives for one another. “The Outsiders” is one of the best stories about friendship and loyalty out there, teaching us that if they’re a true friend, they would do anything for you, and that we all deserve a friendship like Johnny and Ponyboy’s. 

After obsessing over the characters and actors from “The Outsiders,” I started to watch other 80’s movies that starred actors from the movie, like Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, and Emilio Estevez. One of those being no other than “The Breakfast Club.” 

“The Breakfast Club” was released in 1985 and probably has some of the most memorable lines and scenes of the 80’s. When a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel, and a recluse come together, an immaculate story is born. The story of Brian, Claire, John, Andrew, and Allison is quite literally perfect, and it should never be redone. This film has a wonderful narrative with an equally wonderful soundtrack. The tale of these totally different people connecting on different levels and bonding is a perfect example of what happens when we learn to accept others for their differences and respect people’s views– a lesson we could all be retaught in this day and age. 

Another classic 80’s film with an amazing set of endless morals is “Dead Poets Society.” Based on a book written in 1988 and made into a movie the following year, this masterpiece of a film is shown in many English classes for obvious reasons. Apart from it being about an English teacher and his students, it’s also a wonderful story about loyalty, dreams, and living life to its fullest. The bonds formed between the group of boys (and their teacher) is truly inspirational. Although most of the boys at Welton are pressured by their parents to participate in a certain profession, they still feel free when they’re together. 

How could I possibly write about 80’s films with significant lessons without mentioning the legendary “Pretty in Pink?” This iconic story paved the road for movies in the future with similar plots, even though this version of the overused cliché is still, undoubtedly, the best of the best. Andie Walsh is a perfect example of why we shouldn’t change ourselves for anyone, even our super popular crush who we think is the embodiment of perfection. What Andie realized throughout the film is that no one is worth changing your whole personality for, and that being yourself is the key to happiness. Oh, and your best friend, Duckie Dale. 

Last but relatively far from least, there is one major lesson that can be learned from the timeless classic that is none other than “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” If I had to skip school with anyone, it would be Ferris Bueller, no questions asked. He made an average school day into a wonderful adventure with his best friend, Cameron, and his girlfriend, Sloane. Ferris Bueller is without a doubt a genius who knows how to get away with things, but he’s also someone who just wants to have fun and live life, as we all should. We can all learn a thing or two from this marvelous masterpiece of a film; like that life is too short for shenanigans and regrets, or that if you skip school, your name could end up on the water tower.

In short, these films are much more than a good laugh. These films single-handedly raised a generation and shaped so many people’s lives. These films are the soundtracks of stranger’s beings. There are countless lessons hidden in these classics that we can use in the real world more than we know. As Ferris Bueller once said, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”