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80 Greatest '80s Movie Moments

A Nightmare on Elm St (1984)

The Moment: Don't fall asleep! Or you'll get devoured by your bed like poor Johnny Depp.

Only In The '80s: ...were horror movie bogeymen as charismatic and twisted as Freddy Krueger.

If It Was Made Today: It'd be worth falling asleep to forget about the experience.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

The Moment: John Candy bites back after taking Steve Martin's abuse for days: "You think what you want about me; I'm not changing. I like... I like me."

Only In The '80s: ...did you really want to be buddies with the characters in buddy movies.

If It Was Made Today: Robert Downey Jr and Zacharius Galifianakis would star.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

The Moment: Young Noodles' gang is riding high, until the joker in the pack, little Dominic, is killed in an ambush.

Only In The '80s: ...did lovers of American gangster films have to travel to Europe to see the director's cut.

If It Was Made Today: It'd be chopped into at least two films, probably a trilogy.

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

The Moment: Two girls, waiting in the rain for a bus, are gobsmacked when cuddly forest sprite Totoro catches the Catbus.

Only In The '80s: ...did films have such sumptuous synthesiser scores.

If It Was Made Today: Totoro would talk.

Raging Bull (1980)

The Moment: Any of the fight scenes, really, but the 13th round vs Sugar Ray Robinson is hard to beat – much like Bobby De Niro's glutton-for-punishment Jake La Motta.

Only In The '80s: ...did fight scenes look so ugly/beautiful.

If It Was Made Today: They’d struggle to find a replacement for De Niro, especially as contemporary chameleon Christian Bale has already won his boxing Oscar.

Robocop (1987)

The Moment: Omni Consumer Products unveils its latest law-making machine, ED 209. 15 seconds of non-compliance later, they discover teething troubles with the prototype.

Only In The '80s: Stop-motion!

If It Was Made Today: OCP would be in the anti-terrorism business rather than law-enforcement.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

The Moment: Mel Gibson underlines just how crazy Martin Riggs is by talking down a suicide via the unorthodox route. Namely: he jumps with him.

Only In The '80s: ...would this scene, or indeed Riggs' entire character, get past mental health lobbyists.

If It Was Made Today: The cops would send in a trained psychologist to talk to the depressed man, and Riggs gets to go home early.

Rambo: First Blood Part 2 (1985)

The Moment: Rambo kills a Vietnamese Commie – with an exploding arrow.

Only In The '80s: Didn’t you hear us? With an motherfucking exploding arrow.

If It Was Made Today: It’d be considered too tame a kill for Stallone.

The Last Emperor (1987)

The Moment: Three-year-old Chinese emperor Puyi (Richard Vuu) runs through primary-coloured curtains to see hundreds of his loyal followers in the Forbidden City.

Only In The '80s: ...would it make headlines that a Hollywood movies had been given permission to film in the Forbidden City.

If It Was Made Today: It would be shot in Prague.

The Killing Fields (1984)

The Moment: Haing S. Ngor (an actor who’d survived the real Khymer Rouge) relives the horror as he wakes up in the titular hell.

Only In The '80s: ...would a non-actor win an Oscar for recreating their own experiences.

If It Was Made Today: Whoever was cast would struggle to replicate the authenticity of Ngor's anguished performance.