From Oscar-winners to dance epics, '80s Black movies cover an incredible range of film genres and styles. This list of the best 1980s Black movies ranks films about the African American experience from the decade, so your votes will decide whether the greatest '80s Black movie is an artful drama, a searing political statement, or even a blockbuster comedy.
Several of the top '80s Black movies have one thing in common: Eddie Murphy. Coming to America, Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop, all of which star Murphy, appear on this great 1980s Black movies list. While Murphy was the heaviest comedic hitter of the 1980s, Richard Pryor comedies like Brewster's Millions, Stir Crazy, and The Toy also made big impressions.
On the more serious side, the '80s saw the release of great Black dramas like The Color Purple and Glory. The 1980s also introduced audiences to Spike Lee. His 1989 classic Do the Right Thing appears on this great 1980s Black films list, as does his 1986 film,She's Gotta Have It. Prince's Purple Rain is another good African American film from the '80s.
Which is your favorite '80s Black film? Vote up the best and vote down the worst. Your votes will decide the top Black movie of the 1980s. If any great '80's African American film is missing, add it, and if you're an expert, then rerank the whole list!
- Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is the prince of a wealthy African country and wants for nothing, except a wife who will love him in spite of his title. To escape an arranged marriage, Akeem flees to ...more
- An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. After Celie's abusive father marries ...more
- In this fact-based film, a New Jersey superintendent, Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume), watches helplessly as East Side High becomes the lowest-ranked school in the state. With nowhere else to ...more
- After his childhood buddy is murdered while visiting Detroit, rebellious cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) follows the leads to Beverly Hills, Calif., under the auspices of a vacation. He checks in with ...more
- A victim of his own anger, the Kid (Prince) is a Minneapolis musician on the rise with his band, the Revolution, escaping a tumultuous home life through music. While trying to avoid making the same ...more
- In the waning days of Prohibition, Sugar Ray (Richard Pryor) and his adopted son, Quick (Eddie Murphy), run a speakeasy called Club Sugar Ray. When gangster Bugsy Calhoune (Michael Lerner) learns ...more
- Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free TrialFollowing the Battle of Antietam, Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is offered command of the United States' first all-African-American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. ...more
- Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) are the subjects of a bet by successful brokers Mortimer (Don Ameche) and Randolph ...more
- Salvatore "Sal" Fragione (Danny Aiello) is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A neighborhood local, Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito), becomes upset when he sees that the pizzeria's Wall of ...more
- Leroy Green (Taimak), a young martial artist living in New York City, trains tirelessly to attain the same level of mastery as the great Bruce Lee. One night, his life changes forever when he rescues ...more
- The hard-nosed Detroit cop from the original film returns to Los Angeles to help solve another case. This time he must direct his efforts towards unraveling the Alphabet Crimes, a series of robberies ...more
- At historically black Mission College, the activist-minded Dap (Larry Fishburne) immerses himself in a world of political rhetoric and social movements -- one day he hopes to rally the students as a ...more
- A Raisin In The Sun is a TV program.
- Brewster's Millions is a 1985 comedy film starring Richard Pryor and John Candy based on the 1902 novel of the same name by George Barr McCutcheon. It is the seventh film based on the story, with a ...more
- A black Army investigator (Howard E. Rollins Jr.) travels to a remote military base in the heart of the Louisiana backwoods to look into the mysterious murder of a black sergeant toward the tail end ...more
- Renegade cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) pulls bank robber Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) from a federal prison on a 48-hour leave to help him capture Hammond's old partner, Albert Ganz (James Remar). ...more
- Although Jo Jo Dancer (Richard Pryor) has achieved success as a stand-up comedian, he hasn't found happiness. After receiving severe burns in a narcotics-related incident, Jo Jo remains in a coma, ...more
- Kelly (Lucinda Dickey) is a classically trained jazz dancer who's tired of warding off her amorous teacher and hungry for a new outlet. When she befriends street dancers Ozone (Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" ...more
- With a jailbreak offering them their only way out, a despondent duo rack their brains to figure out a foolproof plan. Fortuitously, one of them discovers an unexpected talent as a rodeo rider, and an ...more
- Russell Walker (Blair Underwood) has started a new hip-hop and rap label called Krush Groove, which features a stellar list of acts that includes Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C. However, Walker doesn't ...more
- At the forefront of early hip-hop culture, DJ Kenny Kirkland (Guy Davis), his B-boy brother, Lee (Robert Taylor), and graffiti artist Ramon (John Chardiet) all have hopes of showcasing their talents ...more
- Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling is a 1986 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Richard Pryor. After severely burning himself in a drug incident, a comedian has a near death ...more
- Terry Doolittle (Whoopi Goldberg) works with computers in a bank office. She routinely talks with others via her computer, but one day she connects with a mysterious user by the name of Jumpin' Jack ...more
- An ex-con just released from jail, Max Washington (Gregory Hines), is a veteran burglar, but he's also a talented tap dancer. Reuniting with his girlfriend, Amy (Suzzanne Douglas), Max is approached ...more
- Jack Spade (Keenen Ivory Wayans) comes home to the ghetto and finds his brother dead from a gold chain overdose. With the help of his hero, John Slade (Bernie Casey), and a team of washed-up crime ...more