The Best Lifetime Movies of the '80s

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Vote up Lifetime's best '80s content.

The 80s were a great time for movies in general, but they really kicked it up a notch on the Lifetime Network. These are the best 1980s Lifetime movies, ranked from best to worst by fan votes. Lifetime Movies are notoriously dramatic, and these films certainly deliver on that promise. Some top 1980s Lifetime movies revolve around an unsolved murder, some are about relationship drama and domestic abuse, but the best movies on this list are obviously about all three. 

What Lifetime Network movies are on this list? The 1986 Lifetime movie, Sin of Innocence, examined what happens when step-siblings fall in love. Dermot Mulroney and Megan Follows starred as the young love birds. The Burning Bed is another one of the best movies that premiered on the channel in the 1980s. Farrah Fawcett starred as a woman who gets revenge on her would-be rapist in the 1986 Lifetime movie, Extremities. Which, what else do you really need to know? These are some movies you should watch right away.

What would you say is the best Lifetime Network movie of the 80s? Make sure to give your favorites a vote up! Then, check out which '80s Lifetime movies got remade in 2018 and 2019.

  • 1
    925 VOTES

    Francine Hughes has had enough of her abusive husband, but what's a woman to do in the '80s? Well, folks, this nail-biting flick follows Francine's harrowing journey as she withstands years of torment, ultimately taking matters into her own hands. In a fiery climax that'll leave you on the edge of your seat, Francine serves up cold revenge with a side of kerosene. This powerful film not only addresses domestic abuse head-on, but also sparked major discussions about women's rights.

    • Actors: Farrah Fawcett, Richard Masur, Jon Avnet, Paul Le Mat
    • Released: 1984
    • Directed by: Robert Greenwald
    925 votes
  • Heavens above! Diane Downs isn't your typical cookie-baking, PTA-attending mom. This chilling movie unfolds the gruesome tale of a mother whose sinister actions leave her three children fighting for their lives. As investigators dig deeper into Diane's twisted world, they uncover shocking secrets and wrestle with moral dilemmas that'll have viewers questioning everything they thought they knew about parenthood.

    • Actors: Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O'Neal, Emily Perkins, Garry Chalk, John Shea
    • Released: 1989
    • Directed by: David Greene
    389 votes
  • 3
    530 VOTES

    A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story

    Tracey Thurman wanted nothing more than a safe life for herself and her son. But when the authorities turn a blind eye to her desperate pleas for help against her abusive husband, Tracey takes matters into her own hands. Based on true events, this heart-wrenching film shines a light on the tragic consequences of domestic violence and the courage it takes to break free from its chains.

    • Actors: Nancy McKeon, Graham Jarvis, Dale Midkiff
    • Released: 1989
    • Directed by: Robert Markowitz
    530 votes
  • Extremities
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    390 VOTES

    Marjorie found herself in every woman's worst nightmare: fighting off a would-be rapist in her own home. And darn it if she didn't turn the tables on him by any means necessary, Marjorie renders her attacker powerless and faces an even tougher decision – what now? This intense thriller explores themes of revenge, justice, and morality as Marjorie deals with the aftermath of her traumatic encounter.

    • Actors: Farrah Fawcett, James Russo, Alfre Woodard, Diana Scarwid, Sandy Martin
    • Released: 1986
    • Directed by: Robert M. Young
    390 votes

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  • 5
    155 VOTES

    Fatal Vision

    Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald seems to have it all, but when his wife and children are brutally murdered, the esteemed military doctor finds himself under suspicion. As investigators dig deeper into the case, a twisted web of lies and deceit unfolds in this gripping true-crime drama. Based on Joe McGinniss' explosive bestseller, this mesmerizing tale raises questions about guilt, innocence, and everything in between.

    • Actors: Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Gary Cole, Judith Barsi, Brandy Gold
    • Released: 1984
    • Directed by: David Greene
    155 votes
  • Little Girl Lost
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    It's every parent's worst nightmare – a missing child. When six-year-old Sarah vanishes without a trace, her heartbroken parents are left to pick up the pieces in this deeply emotional drama. As they struggle to find their precious daughter and make sense of their newfound reality, they learn that hope is the only thing stronger than fear.

    • Actors: Christopher McDonald, Frederic Forrest, Tess Harper, Lawrence Pressman, Patricia Kalember
    • Released: 1988
    • Directed by: Sharron Miller
    235 votes