Top 20 Movies Of 1983 (Nos. 11-15)

For this week's Ranked!, we decided to rank our favorite movies from 1983. Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments!

Here are Nos. 11-15:

15. Octopussy

There are few who would argue that Roger Moore's later James Bond films were among the best. But a Bond film is a Bond film, and you can always depend on the world's greatest secret agent to provide gorgeous women, killer chase scenes, and over-the-top villains. Octopussy slips into the Bond canon with the comfort of a perfectly tailored tux, saving the world from nuclear terrorists and circus knife-throwers (of course!), and throwing himself safely off airplanes just before they crash. I'm James Bond, bitch! The Cold War intrigue may be a little dated and the lead actor a little creaky, but you can't deny that Octopussy gives its all for the spy movie fan.--CroutonBoy

14. The Outsiders

Directed by heavyweight Francis Ford Coppola, The Outsiders starred a bevvy of young actors who went on to become '80s superstars: Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, C. Thomas Howell, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, and Patrick Swayze. The Outsiders is a gritty coming-of-age story about a group of ruffians from the wrong side of the tracks and their battles with a gang of wealthy rivals. This movie, like Ponyboy, is gold.--Chris

13. Valley Girl

This was my favorite of 1983 and the start of a long string of films (Peggy Sue Got Married, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, and Vampire's Kiss) that cemented Nicolas Cage one of the '80s most talented actors. Valley Girl was basically Romeo & Juliet with a few tripendiculars and totallys and bitchins taking place of the light breaking through that yonder window. Nicolas Cage is Randy, a "punk" who falls for Valley Girl Julie. None of their friends approve of the relationship, but love conquers all and like 99% of '80s high school movies, the film is tied up in a neat little bow at a prom at the end of the movie. This film might not have ended up at #1 on our list, but it definitely has the best soundtrack of any of these films. So there!--Chris

12. Strange Brew

There is nothing I enjoy more than introducing a friend to Strange Brew. It might be my favorite comedy of all time. It's easily (and unfairly) dismissed as a goofy drunk-fest or an overlong comedy sketch (see also: every Saturday Night Live movie except Wayne's World). But it is without question one of the most clever, warm-hearted, and drop-dead hilarious movies I've ever seen. Ever. Bob & Doug McKenzie, Canadian cultural ambassadors, spend the better part of two hours foiling an insidious plot hatched by a nefarious brewmeister (Max Von Sydow, never better) to take over the world with mind-controlling beer. Their methods may be unconventional (a mouse in a bottle, stormtrooper hockey, world-record urination), but it's brilliantly inspired and is rivaled only by Caddyshack in its quotability. Come over tonight, grab a cold one, and we'll watch it together, eh?--CroutonBoy

11. Never Say Never Again

From the time I started watching James Bond films, I was told by every Bond fan that Sean Connery was the best of the Bonds. (There had only been three by 1983: Connery, George Lazenby, and Roger Moore.) I was never a huge Connery fan, though. I read all of the novels, and Ian Fleming's Bond was definitely not much like Connery's Bond--at least not from Goldfinger on. Moore wasn't much better (although he did come closer to the literary version of the spy in 1981's For Your Eyes Only). I like George Lazenby a lot--but that's probably because On Her Majesty's Secret Service was almost exactly like the novel--something most of the other films are most decidedly not.

Anyway, I was a big Bond fan by 1983, and it was a summer of two Bond films--the "official" film, Octopussy, and the "unofficial" Warner Bros. film, Never Say Never Again. One of my favorite Connery Bond films of the '60s is Thunderball, and Never Say Never Again is basically a remake of that movie. (Due to a copyright lawsuit that had been going on for about 20 years, Kevin McClory, who co-wrote the original story upon which the book and film versions of Thunderball were based, was allowed to do a one-off Bond film based on his story.)

The result was clearly the winner of the battle of the Bonds in 1983. Whereas the official Bond series had reached its peak of silliness--Octopussy featured a mini-submarine shaped like a crocodile and a battle in which the aging Q battles bad guys from a hot air balloon emblazoned with the British Union Jack--Never Say Never Again was a kind of back to basics Bond that, while still full of gadgets, seemed a lot more down-to-Earth. Connery, 12 years older than he was when he last played Bond in Diamonds Are Forever, was in great physical shape and played the part more seriously than he did in the post-Goldfinger era--and a whole lot less campy than just about all of Roger Moore's outings. This film (finally) showed me why it was that everyone thought he was a great James Bond. Never Say Never Again, although unofficial, more than earned its place as one of the better films in the ongoing Bond franchise.--Dave

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