Top 10 Lea Thompson Film Roles

For this week's Ranked!, we decided to rate our ten favorite Lea Thompson films. Did your favorite make the cut? Find out below!

10. Laura Jackson, The Beverly Hillbillies

9. Anita, The Wild Life

8. Kelly Ann Bukowski, Jaws 3-D

7. Kathryn Fairly, Space Camp

6. Stacy, Casual Sex?

5. Lisa, All The Right Moves 
All The Right Moves came out in 1983. I was 13. I don't remember a lot about the movie itself. Tom Cruise played a football player with a dream; that's... pretty much the gist. Smart, headstrong, heart of gold, cut from the team because of his attitude, only to rally and become the hero of his working-class Pennsylvania town. Like Top Gun, but with less jets. Like Cocktail, but with less booze.

Luckily for the movie, Lea Thompson played The Girlfriend.

It was an early role for her, sandwiched between that 3-D Jaws movie and Red Dawn. Lea's role wasn't unique: she was Lisa the love interest. Loyal, stalwart, cheering from the stands. But because Lea Thompson played her, she was also cute as hell. She walked a graceful line between sweet and sexy that not only propelled her into many of her more famous later roles but was enough to make my adolescent brain explode. (To be honest, the tender love scene is really the only part of the movie I remember well.) If I'd been a football player in high school instead of a music geek, I so would've given her my letter jacket.

The best part about her in the movie? She didn't play the hot cheerleader. No. She played the hot member of the marching band. Hell YEAH! --Didactic Pirate

4. Beverly Switzler, Howard The Duck
Where does one start with Howard The Duck?

Before we all collectively realized that George Lucas's ill-conceived diversion into Ewok adventures was a sign of things to come, attaching his name to Howard The Duck seemed like a blessed gift from heaven above. Here was a marvelously subversive comic book character, a strange hybrid of Deadpool and Harvey Pekar, being brought to the screen by the man responsible for Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, and Yoda. But what sealed the deal for me was Lea. Sweet, beautiful Lea.

It takes a considerable amount of commitment and artistic range to express the hopes, dreams and fears of Beverly, lead singer of the Cherry Bombs, while flirting with a crudely costumed master of Quack Fu. Before the movie devolves into a confusing and absurdly over-the-top inter-dimensional space battle, she shows off all the inner charm that made us fall for her in Back To The Future. She also showed us her panties.

I'm not going to pretend that Howard The Duck is a good movie. It's not. Not even remotely. But the one thing that keeps it from devolving into a cynical, tone-deaf pool of acid is Beverly's sweetness and heart. And that's no small feat.

Besides, she can totally rock the '80s rock star hair. With a bullet. --CroutonBoy

3. Amanda Jones, Some Kind Of Wonderful
"Any fool can get into college. Only a select few can say the same about Amanda Jones."

Oh Amanda Jones, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who managed to infiltrate the upper echelons of wealthy and popular high school society despite a home life that seemed far removed from the ones lived by her peers.

Having caught the eye of shy artistic loner Keith Nelson, she finds herself stuck in an odd predicament after saying yes to one of his harebrained advances, causing an avalanche of turmoil to sweep over the lives of everyone involved. Should she sacrifice her popularity to reveal how she truly feels or should she go quietly back to the life of lies and insincerity that sustained her for years before Keith entered the picture?

High school is so difficult sometimes.

Leah Thompson played the role with a gentle eagerness that never quite matched up to the intense ferocity of Mary Stuart Masterson's lovesick tomboy, Watts, but perhaps that was intentional and necessary to move the genuine story of love and friendship between Watts and Keith to where it needed to go.

Amanda Jones was the person in high school all the boys wanted and all the gals wanted to be, but upon further inspection you sometimes find the "it' girl has more skeletons hanging in her meager closet than previously thought.

I thought this John Hughes film was a departure from the ones that had come before and the character of Amanda Jones had a lot of gray areas that had you always guessing what exactly she might do. --Dufmanno

2. Erica, Red Dawn
This is not a review of Red Dawn. I like it. Still do. I enjoy seeing Commies outwitted by a rag-tag band of adolescent guerrilla warriors. Because... um... it could have happened.

In her third major movie role (the wonderfully awful Jaws 3-D and a Tom Cruise vehicle, All The Right Moves, being the first two), Lea Thompson plays the enigmatic, teen-aged freedom fighter Erica Mason. Not much is known about Erica and her sister, Toni (pre-rhinoplasty Jennifer Grey), before the cast of The Outsiders showed up at their grandparents' farm, but one can infer that their journey was less than pleasant. Erica maintains her tough, gritty exterior throughout the film, letting her guard down only after the Wolverines find and rescue Col. Tanner. Despite death all around them, it is only when Tanner is killed that Erica shows any emotion other than rage. I was happy that she survived--I was 17, she's pretty hot, she carried an AK-47 and she wore a sweet beret... duh--what was not to like about that? Plus, I can look back on this role fondly as it makes me forget the craptasticness that is Howard The Duck.

WOLVERINES! --Mr. Big Dubya

1. Lorraine Baines, Back To The Future
It was her interest in underwear: that's the thing that I remember most about Lorraine in Back To The Future. It was our first clue that Marty McFly's self-proclaimed innocent mother was in fact not so innocent. We would soon come to learn that Lorraine was a party girl. She smoked, she drank, and she spent time in parked cars with boys, all while pursuing her son romantically. Okay, to be fair Lorraine didn't know that the stranger in the vest was her time-traveling son from the future. So we should let that slide.

Lorraine would be nothing if not played by Lea Thompson. She made Lorraine charming and cute with a dash of sexy. She was the centerpiece in one of the most iconic movies of the '80s, and while Lea Thompson would go on to have a long career following the Back To The Future flicks, she would forever be Lorraine.

We weren't supposed to fall in love with Lorraine Baines. (She was Marty McFly's mom, for Pete's sake!) But like many of us coming of age in the '80s, after we saw her in Back To The Future, we couldn't help ourselves. --Daddy Geek Boy


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