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ReFocus, Art of the 1980s

Refocus on the '80s With Your Library | Essential Readings of the 1980s | Essential Eighties Listening
Essential Eighties Viewing | Essential TV of the 1980s


Beyond the Art

Take your exhibit experience beyond the art and explore the many resources available at your library and online. From books by Douglas Adams to music by Michael Jackson, plus films and other materials, the art, artists and culture from each decade come to life at your library.

Refocus on the '80s with your Library

Experience first-hand the popular arts and crafts, movies and more of the 1980s through free programs at several library locations.

Main Library

8-Bit Art
Wednesday, October 17 @ 5:00 p.m.
Learn how to make some of your favorite characters from Super Mario Brothers, Pac-Man, and others using Perler Beads. If you have your own 8-bit design feel free to bring it. For those aged 12-18. Supplies are provided.
Graffiti Art
Thursday, October 18 @ 4:00 p.m.
Children ages 8 to 12 will be inspired by ‘80s graffiti artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat to create their own graffiti-style art. Call 630-2417 to register.
Moonwalk
November 28 @ 5:00 p.m.
Join us to talk about the One Glove Wonder's music and influences while you bedazzle your own glove. Feel free to bring a glove that you would like to bedazzle. For those aged 12-18. Supplies are provided.
Great '80s Party
December 12 @ 5:00 p.m.
Explore what made the '80s great in the form of music, movies, pop culture, and more! Also, if you dare, arrive in your favorite style of "big hair"! We'll also have a make-and-take craft project using lace and other quintessential materials to achieve an unmistakable '80s look. For those aged 12-18. Supplies are provided.

South Mandarin Library

Back to the Future – '80s Style
Early Release Wednesday, October 3 @ 3:00 p.m.
Children ages 5-12.
Dress '80s style and enjoy games, craft, music, dancing all from the 1980s.

Pablo Creek Regional Library

Beading Class
Wednesday, September 19 @ 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Participants will create an ‘80s vintage-style beaded bracelet. All materials will be provided. Sign up online or at the adult Ask Here desk. Class is limited to 10.
Pablo Creek Book Club
Wednesday, October 17 @ 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Read and discuss John Irving’s 1989 novel A Prayer for Owen Meany. Free refreshments will be provided.


Essential Readings of the 1980s

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish by Douglas Adams

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish by Douglas Adams

Call Number: FIC SCIFI ADAMS, D.

New York: Ballantine, 1984

Further adventures of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and the all new voidoid gang upon returning to Earth after eight years of crazed wanderings around the galaxy.

  The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Call Number: FIC ALLENDE, I.

New York: Bantam Books, 1986

The Trueba family embodies strong feelings from the beginning of the 20th century through the assassination of Allende in 1973.

 
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Call Number: FIC ATWOOD, M.

New York: Anchor Books, 1986

In a future world where the birth rate has declined, fertile women are rounded up, indoctrinated as "handmaids," and forced to bear children to prominent men.

  The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

Call Number: FIC AUEL, J.

New York: Crown, 1980

After a natural disaster kills Ayla's tribe, members of the Clan of the Cave Bear find her and mistrust her because her blonde hair and blue eyes are different, but she eventually helps them survive.

 
The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom

Call Number: 973.92 B

New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987

  The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Call Number: FIC BRADLEY, M.

New York: Ballantine Books, 1982

When Morgan Le Fay (Morgaine) has to sacrifice her virginity during fertility rites, the man who impregnates her is her younger brother Arthur, whom she turns against when she thinks he has betrayed the old religion of Avalon.

 
Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns

Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns

Call Number: BIO 791.0922 ALLEN

New York: Putnam, 1988

  Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Call Number: FIC CARD

New York: Tom Doherty, 1985

After Ender Wiggins leaves for Battle School, his enigmatic siblings Valentine and Peter try to solve injustice at their school, while in Battle School, Zeck Morgan's beliefs are challenged as he's groomed to fight the Formics.

 
Patriot Games by Tom Clancy

Patriot Games by Tom Clancy

Call Number: FIC CLANCY, T.

New York: Putnam, 1987

While vacationing in London, CIA analyst Jack Ryan saves the Prince and Princess of Wales from a terrorist attack and gains the gratitude of a nation and the enmity of its most dangerous men.

  Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins

Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins

Call Number: FIC COLLINS, J.

New York: Pocket Books, 1983

A glittering glimpse at the alluring luxury and temptation-filled lives of the wives of Hollywood's "royalty"-the wheelers and dealers and stars whose lives are patterned after the fantasies of their films.

 
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

Call Number: FIC CONROY, P.

New York: Bantam, 1986

Interweaves the events of Tom Wingo's summer in New York and his relationship to Susan Lowenstein, his sister Savannah's beautiful psychiatrist and the complex history of the South Carolinian Wingo family, from World War II, through Vietnam.

  Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

Call Number: 306.8743 COSBY

Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1986

 
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Call Number: FIC ECO, U.

San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983

In the early 14th century, the English monk William, visiting at a Cluniac abbey in Italy, solves a murder.

  Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg

Call Number: FIC FLAGG, F.

New York: Ballantine Books, 1987

Mrs. Threadgoode's tale of two high-spirited women of the 1930s, Idgie and Ruth, helps Evelyn, a 1980s woman in a sad slump of middle age, to begin to rejuvenate her own life.

 
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet

Call Number: FIC FOLLET, K.

New York: New American Library, 1989

Set in twelfth-century England, this epic of kings and peasants juxtaposes the building of a magnificent church with the violence and treachery that often characterized the Middle Ages.

  The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Call Number: FIC MYSTERY HARRIS, T.

New York: St. Martin's, 1989

FBI Academy trainee Clarice Starling hopes that Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a criminally insane psychiatrist imprisoned in a Boston hospital, can lead her to the serial killer known only as Buffalo Bill.

 
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Call Number: 523.1 HAWKING

New York: Bantam, 1988

  The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy by E. D. Hirsch, Jr.

The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy by E. D. Hirsch, Jr.

Call Number: 973.0321 HIRSCH

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988

 
Iacocca by Lee Iacocca

Iacocca by Lee Iacocca

Call Number: 629.2092 IACOCCA

New York: Bantam, 1984

  The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

Call Number: FIC IRVING, J.

New York: Ballantine Books, 1981

John, the middle son in an eccentric family with five children, one bear, and a dog named Sorrow, describes growing up in a hotel.

 
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Call Number: FIC ISHIGURO, K.

New York: Vintage, 1988

Stevens, an elderly butler, hopes to rise to the top of his profession, and he remains stoic and unemotional at his father's death and neglects the opportunity to pursue a relationship with a former housekeeper.

  Moonwalk by Michael Jackson

Moonwalk by Michael Jackson

Call Number: BIO 780.92 JACKSON

New York: Doubleday, 1988

Michael Jackson's only autobiography, illustrated with rare photographs from Jackson family albums and Michael's personal photographic archives, as well as a drawing done by Michael exclusively for this book.

 
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Call Number: FIC JONES, D.

New York: Greenwillow Books, 1986

Eldest of three sisters, in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared Wizard Howl.

  Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor

Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor

Call Number: FIC KEILLOR, G.

New York: Viking, 1985

A young narrator chronicles his coming-of-age in Minnesota's Lake Wobegon, a fictitious small town where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.

 
Ironweed by William Kennedy

Ironweed by William Kennedy

Call Number: FIC KENNEDY, W.

New York: Penguin Books, 1984

In the sequel to Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, Francis Phelan, an old hobo, comes home to Albany, New York, during the Depression.

  Firestarter by Stephen King

Firestarter by Stephen King

Call Number: FIC KING, S.

New York: Signet, 1980

Andy and Vicky McGee's eight-year-old daughter, Charlie, has the ability to set things on fire and a secret government agency is determined to make use of Charlie's horrifyingly destructive gift.

 
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Call Number: FIC KUNDERA, M.

New York: HarperCollins, 1994

After the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, a married surgeon, Tomas, becomes a window washer while trying to reconcile himself to decisions that he and his wife must make about their relationship.

  When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner

Call Number: 296.311 KUSHNER

New York: Avon, 1983

 
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Call Number: FIC LUDLUM, R.

New York: Bantam Books, 1980

A shooting victim, suffering from amnesia, finds himself with a Swiss bank account in the name of Jason Bourne, a professional assassin being manipulated by a top-secret American government organization to kill his arch rival, the dreaded Carlos.

  Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Call Number: FIC GARCIA MARQUEZ, G.

New York: Knopf, 1988

Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza consummate their passion at the beginning of the 20th century after having waited over 50 years.

 
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Call Number: FIC WESTERN MCMURTRY, L.

New York: Pocket Books, 1985

Former Texas Rangers leave their unsuccessful cattle business when they hear of good opportunities in newly opened territory.

  Watchmen by Alan Moore

Watchmen by Alan Moore

Call Number: FIC MOORE, A.

New York: DC Comics, 1986-7

Exceptional graphic artwork brings to life the story of the Watchmen as they race against time to find a killer, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

 
Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Call Number: FIC MORRISON, T.

New York: Knopf, 1987

Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is persistently haunted by the ghost of her dead baby girl.

  In Search of Excellence by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr.

In Search of Excellence by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr.

Call Number: 658.00973 PETERS

New York: Harper & Row, 1982

 
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

Call Number: FIC RICE, A.

New York: Ballantine Books, 1985

Lestat is a vampire, but not one of the conventional undead. He is vivid, ecstatic, stagestruck, and in this extravagant story he plunges from the Rome of Augustus to the demonic Egypt of prehistory, and from fin-de-siecle New Orleans to the frenetic world of 20th-century rock stardom.

  The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

Call Number: FIC RUSHDIE, S.

New York: Viking, 1989

Gibreel Farishta, India's legendary movie star, and Saladin Chamcha, the man of a thousand voices, fall earthward from a bombed jet toward the sea, singing rival verses in an eternal wrestling match between good and evil.

 
Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Call Number: 520 SAGAN

New York: Random House, 1980

  The Cycles of American History by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

The Cycles of American History by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Call Number: 973 SCHLESINGER

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986

 
Maus I: A Survivor's Tale:  My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Call Number: 940.5318092 SPIEGELMAN 1986

New York: Pantheon Books, 1986

The author-illustrator traces his father's imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp through a series of disarming and unusual cartoons arranged to tell the story as a novel.

  Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon

Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon

Call Number: FIC SHELDON, S.

New York: Warner Books, 1981

Beautiful Jennifer Parker, having risen from disaster to become a glamorously successful defense attorney, becomes the victim of two powerful men who, inspired by Jennifer, determine to destroy one another.

 
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

Call Number: FIC SÜSKIND, P.

New York: Vintage, 1985

An odorless baby orphaned in a Paris gutter in 1738 grows to become a monster obsessed with his perfect sense of smell, and a desire to capture, by any means, the ultimate scent which will make him human.

  The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Call Number: FIC TAN, A.

New York: Putnam, 1989

After being drawn together by the shadows of their past, four women start meeting every week in San Francisco to engage in hobbies they all enjoy. After one of the four members dies, her daughter takes her place to fulfill her mother's dying wish. After the revelation of a secret, the women are forced to think back to their pasts and remember the sometimes painful events of their lives.

 
A Confederacy of Dunces  by John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Call Number: FIC TOOLE, J.

New York: Grove Press, 1980

A Confederacy of Dunces presents the misadventures of Ignatius J. Reilly, a modern Don Quixote. Ignatius is a behemoth of fat and flatulence, with a gargantuan frame, bushy black moustache, green hunting cap, and blue and yellow eyes that look down on the modern era--and particularly on anything commerical. He views materialistic comforts as "offenses against taste and decency," things that demonstrate a lack of "theology and geometry."

  Trump: The Art of the Deal  by Donald Trump

Trump: The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump

Call Number: BIO 333.33092 TRUMP

New York: Random House, 1987

 
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

Call Number: FIC TUROW, S.

New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1987

Rusty Sabich, a prosecuting attorney investigating the murder of Carolyn Polhemus, his former lover and a prominent member of his boss's staff, finds himself accused of the crime.

  Lincoln: A Novel by Gore Vidal

Lincoln: A Novel by Gore Vidal

Call Number: FIC VIDAL, G.

New York: Vintage International, 1984

 
The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Call Number: FIC WALKER, A.

New York: Pocket Books, 1985

Two African American sisters, one a missionary in Africa and the other a child-wife living in the South, support each other through their correspondence, beginning in the 1920s.

  The Bonfire of the Vanities by Thomas Wolfe

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Thomas Wolfe

Call Number: FIC WOLFE, T.

New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1989

Sherman McCoy, a young investment banker in Manhattan, finds himself arrested following a freak accident and becomes involved with prosecutors, politicians, the press, and assorted hustlers.

 


Essential Eighties Listening


Essential Eighties Viewing

Ordinary People

Ordinary People (1980)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA ORDINARY

The "ordinary" existence of an upper middle class family is shattered with the death of the older son and the struggle of the younger son against guilt and suicide.

  Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA CHARIOTS

The true story of Harold Abrahams, Eric Liddell, and the team of athletic competitors who brought victory to Britain in the 1924 Olympics.

 
Gandhi

Gandhi (1982)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA GANDHI

Follows the life of Mahatma Gandhi from his days as a lawyer in South Africa to his role as India's spiritual leader by using his philosophy of non-violent but direct-action protest that helped end British rule. Centers on the extraordinary man who fought for a nonviolent, peaceful existence and set an entire nation free.

  Out of Africa Out of Africa (1985)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA OUT

The true story of Karen Blixen, a strong-willed woman who runs a coffee plantation in Kenya in 1914.

 
Terms of Endearment Terms of Endearment (1983)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA TERMS

A comedy-drama about the evolving 30+ year relationship between a mother and daughter.

  Amadeus

Amadeus (1984)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA AMADEUS

Adapted from Shaffer's play, the film presents the life of Antonio Salieri, a mediocre 18th century Viennese composer obsessed with and jealous of the musical genius of the age: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

 
Platoon

Platoon (1986)

Call Number: DVD FIC WAR PLATOON

Follows young Chris Taylor who arrives in Vietman and quickly discovers that his worst enemies are not just the Viet Cong, but gnawing fear, physical exhaustion, and the anger growing within himself.

  The Last Emperor

The Last Emperor (1987)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA LAST

The true story of Pu Yi, who, at the age of 3, toddled to the Imperial Dragon Throne to become "Lord of 10,000 Years," China's last emperor.

 
Rain Man

Rain Man (1988)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA RAIN

A callous young hustler living in California finds his father has died and left him only rose bushes and a '49 Buick convertible. Feeling cheated out of what he thinks should be his 3 million dollar inheritance, he kidnaps the autistic brother he never knew he had, and takes him on the ride of his life.

  Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA DRIVING

A joyous comedy about a head-strong southern lady and her ever-patient chauffeur.

 
Raging Bull

Raging Bull (1980)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA RAGING

A biographical film about psychologically destructive, violent middleweight champion Jake La Motta.

  E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Call Number: DVD FIC SCIFI E.T.

A ten-year-old boy befriends a creature from another planet that has been stranded on earth.

 
Back to the Future

Back to the Future (1985)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY BACK

It's the mid-80's, and Marty McFly is your average 17-year-old slacker who happens to be friends with an inventor, Doc Brown. Doc's latest invention is a time machine, that ends up transporting Marty back to 1955 where he must bring his parents together so that he will exist when he gets back to his own time.

  Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY FERRIS

A high school student is determined to get a day off, but the principal has other ideas.

 
The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY BREAKFAST

They are five high school students with nothing in common, faced with spending a Saturday morning detention together in their school library. At 7 a.m. they had nothing to say to each other, but by 4 p.m., they had bared their souls and become good friends.

  Tootsie

Tootsie (1982)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY TOOTSIE

Michael Dorsey is an out-of-work actor who makes himself up as a woman to get a job. When his girlfriend, Sandy, fails an audition for a soap opera, Michael dresses up as "Dorothy Michaels" and lands the part. All goes well until "Dorothy" falls in love with beautiful co-star, Julie, and Julie's father, Les, falls for "Dorothy."

 
Victor Victoria

Victor Victoria (1982)

Call Number: DVD FIC MUSICAL VICTOR

A poverty-stricken singer in Depression-era Paris becomes convinced that the only way she can earn a living on the nightclub circuit is to masquerade as a man who impersonates women. Then she meets the man of her dreams.

  Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Call Number: DVD FIC AC/ADV ADVENTURES

Indiana Jones, an archaeologist and adventurer, battles Nazis and travels the globe searching for rare and mystical artifacts.

 
The Big Chill

The Big Chill (1983)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA BIG

Seven college housemates from the 1960s who have drifted apart reunite at the funeral of a friend. Having entered adulthood as non-conformists, most now belong to the establishment. Stunned by the death of their peer, sensing their own mortality and the loss of their innocence, each takes the opportunity to reevaluate his or her life and re-establish their bonds.

  Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA DIRTY

Packed with special features including an exclusive sneak-peek at the upcoming Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, an interview with Jennifer Grey and her screen test, and more.

 
Top Gun

Top Gun (1986)

Call Number: DVD FIC AC/ADV TOP

Maverick Mitchell is a daring young flyer in the U.S. Navy who is out to become the best of the best at the Navy's prestigious fighter weapons school.

  Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Call Number: DVD FIC SCIFI STAR

Fleeing the evil Galactic Empire, the rebels abandon their new base on Hoth. Princess Leia, Han Solo, R2-D2 and C-3P0 escape in the damaged Millenium Falcon. Later, on Bespin, they are captured by Lord Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker, meanwhile, follows Ben Kenobi's posthumous command and receives Jedi training by Yoda on Dagobah.

 
Wall Street

Wall Street (1987)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA WALL

In this riveting, behind-the-scenes look at big business in the 1980s, an ambitious young broker is lured into the illegal, lucrative world of corporate espionage when he is seduced by the power, status, and financial wizardry of Wall Street legend Gordon Gekko. But he soon discovers that the pursuit of overnight riches comes at a price that's too high to pay.

  Fatal Attraction

Fatal Attraction (1987)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA FATAL

A New York attorney has a romantic fling while his wife is out of town, and then shrugs it off. But the woman involved with him won't be ignored, even if it means destroying his family to keep him.

 
Airplane

Airplane (1980)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY AIRPLANE

In this spoof of disaster movies, Ted Striker, an ex-Navy pilot, just got dumped by his long-time girlfriend Elaine Dickinson, who works as a stewardess. In his wish to get her back, he follows her aboard a plane, although he has had a deep aversion against anything winged since he lost several men in the war. During flight, he tries to make up with her again and again, but a crisis looms as the crew and many passengers get seriously ill due to a bad fish meal. Now, it is up to him to land the airplane safely, before the poisoning starts causing casualties. But Ted Striker's aversion to piloting is a serious psychosis, which breaks open and needs to be cured--right now.

  The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers (1980)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY BLUES

After Jake Blues is released from prison, he and brother Elwood go to visit the old home where they were raised by nuns. They learn the church is no longer supporting the institution and will sell the place to the education authority. The only way to keep the place open is if the $5000 tax on the property is paid within the next 11 days. The brothers want to help and decide to put their blues band back together and raise the money by staging a big show. As they set off on their "mission from god" they seem to make more enemies than friends along the way.

 
Flashdance

Flashdance (1983)

Call Number: DVD FIC MUSICAL FLASHDANCE

Alex Owens is a fiercely determined and beautiful 18 year old woman who works as a welder by day and as a dancer at a local bar at night. Alex struggles to gain independence, finds love, and realize her dream--to dance at the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance.

  Footloose

Footloose (1984)

Call Number: DVD FIC MUSICAL FOOTLOOSE

The timeless struggle is portrayed between innocent pleasure and rigid morality, when city-boy Ren McCormick finds himself in an uptight Midwestern town where dancing, and therefore all youthful joy, has been banned. Ren revolts with best friend Willard and the minister's daughter.

 
Risky Business

Risky Business (1983)

Call Number: VC FIC RISKY COMEDY

Joel's parents are going on vacation and leaving him in charge of the house. They trust their college-bound 17-year-old son but they shouldn't. Every kid's dream is every parent's nightmare. No sooner do Joel's parents step on the plane when he raids the liquor cabinet, has a joyride in Dad's Porsche, and has a night of passion with a young call girl named Lana.

  Big

Big (1988)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY BIG

Josh is a 12-year-old who makes a wish from an old machine to be big. Not really believing it will work, Josh is very surprised to find himself BIG the next morning. Now he looks like a 30 year old guy, but he still behaves like a boy. He decides to go with his best friend to New York and try to find the machine that can fix his wish. In New York he gets a job in a toy company and develops a romantic crush on a beautiful woman. Now Josh must learn to get used to the adult world he always wanted to be part of.

 
Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (1984)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY GHOSTBUSTERS

When ghosts go on a rampage, only three men can save the world. Soon every spook in the city is loose and our heroes face the supreme challenge. If you want your spirits raised, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

  Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Call Number: DVD FIC AC/ADV BEVERLY

Axel Foley is a brash, street smart Detroit detective who follows the trail of a friend's murderer to the posh surroundings of Beverly Hills. And before Axel gets his man, he gets up to his neck in an international network of smugglers and drug peddlers.

 
The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid (1984)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA KARATE

Daniel, a fatherless teenager, arrives in Los Angeles from the East and faces the difficult task of making friends. He becomes the object of bullying by a gang of karate students when he strikes up a relationship with Ali, the gang leader's ex-girlfriend. Daniel asks Miyagi, a master of martial arts, to help him learn karate. Daniel then prepares himself both mentally and physically for the fight of his life.

  Crocodile Cundee

Crocodile Dundee (1986)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY CROCODILE

A free spirited Australian who hunts crocodiles with his bare hands, stares down giant water buffaloes, and drinks mere mortals under the table, faces the ultimate torture test--a trip to New York City.

 
Aliens

Aliens (1986)

Call Number: DVD FIC SCIFI ALIENS

In a sequel to Alien, Weaver returns with a group of space marines to the world where she first encountered the alien on a rescue mission for the colonists there.

  Good Morning, Vietnam

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY GOOD

Imported by the Army for an early morning radio show in Vietnam, disc jockey Adrian Cronauer blasts the formerly staid, sanitized airwaves with a constant barrage of rapid-fire humor and the hottest hits from back home. The G.I.'s love him, but the brass is up in arms.

 
Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Call Number: DVD FIC DRAMA DEAD

Robin Williams portrays English professor John Keating, who, in an age of crew cuts, sport coats and cheerless conformity, inspires his students to live life to the fullest, exclaiming "Carpe Diem, lads! Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary!" The charismatic teacher's emotionally charged challenge is met by his students with irrepressible enthusiasm--changing their lives forever.

  Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon (1987)

Call Number: DVD FIC AC/ADV LETHAL

The story of two Vietnam-vets-turned-cops who have just one thing in common: both hate to work with partners. But their partnership becomes the key to survival when a murder investigation leads to war with a heroin ring.

 
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Call Number: DVD FIC COMEDY WHO

The hapless Roger Rabbit is framed for the murder of Marvin Acme, who was photographed "playing patticake" with Roger's wife Jessica. The mixed live and animated action takes place in Hollywood and next-door "Toontown," where humans and "Toons" co-exist.

  Batman

Batman (1989)

Call Number: DVD FIC SCIFI BATMAN

A young boy who witnesses his parents' murder grows up to become Batman, a masked and emotionally disturbed vigilante who battles against an arch-criminal known as The Joker.

 


Essential TV of the 1980s

The Cosby Show The Simpsons St. Elsewhere Magnum P.I.
Family Ties Married…With Children 21 Jump Street The A-Team
Night Court Cheers Miami Vice Max Headroom
Dynasty Knots Landing Moonlighting The Facts of Life
Dallas Falcon Crest Hill Street Blues Diff'rent Strokes