Crocodile Dundee (1986)
The Moment: A hapless Noo Yawk mugger gets a lesson in relativity. “That’s not a knife. This is a knife.”
Only In The '80s: Would Paul Hogan be considered a box-office star. See (or better still don’t) 2001’s Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles for proof.
If It Was Made Today: Mick Dundee wouldn’t get past customs.
Ferris Buellers Day Off (1986)
The Moment: Matthew Broderick does what any self-respecting truant would do on his day off, and gatecrashes a parade with a rendition of The Beatles’ ‘Twist and Shout.’
Only In The '80s: ...would anybody get away with that waistcoat.
If It Was Made Today: Hollywood inflation being what it is, we’d be looking at Ferris Bueller’s Week Off .
The Moment: The Gremlins sing-a-long to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , before being burnt to death in a fire.
Only In The '80s: ...could this be marketed as a kids’ film.
If It Was Made Today: The 2011 Gremlins would be watching Gremlins (1984) – how meta.
Die Hard (1988)
The Moment: Cornered atop the Nakatomi Plaza by German terrorists/thieves, Brucey's John McClane has little option but to dive off the roof with nothing but a fire hose.
Only In The '80s: ...could an action movie pretend its hero was an Everyman and have him pull a stunt like this.
If It Was Made Today: Something daft like McClane surfing on the wing of an aeroplane.
The Moment: Left for dead in enemy territory, Willem Dafoe throws his best Christ-on-the-cross pose as he gets strafed by the gooks.
Only In The '80s: ...would this lead to the actor involved actually getting cast as Jesus.
If It Was Made Today: You’d see every last piece of flesh being shredded by the bullet.
Risky Business (1983)
The Moment: Home alone Tom Cruise strips to his undies and rocks out. We’ve all done it, right?
Only In The '80s: ...would Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock and Roll be seen as a cool tune.
If It Was Made Today: The Cruiser would be Zac Efron, and he’d sing the song himself.
The Moment: Pacino's Tony Montana makes his last stand, going down in a blaze of glory with his “leedle friend.”
Only In The '80s: ...would the screen erupt into such a blizzard of blow ‘n’ blood.
If It Was Made Today: Tony Montana would be played by Fiddy Cent.
The Moment: "I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never, ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft."
Only In The '80s: ...could a movie invent a brand from scratch and convince a generation that Stay-Puft Marshmallows were real.
If It Was Made Today: They’d use Tony The Tiger, but it wouldn't be gr-gr-gr-great at all.
The Moment: ‘Big’ kid Tom Hanks shares the FAO Schwartz foot keyboard with Robert Loggia. The tune? Chopsticks, of course.
Only In The '80s: ...would they get away with overt product placement without anybody moaning.
If It Was Made Today: They’d play Rebecca Black’s Friday .
The Untouchables (1987)
The Moment: Kevin Costner’s attempts to capture Al Capone’s accountant are interrupted by a pram careering down a flight of stairs.
Only In The '80s: ...could a mainstream movie ‘homage’ / rip-off Battleship Potemkin with a straight face.
If It Was Made Today: They’d be more likely to base the scene on Battleships, the board game.