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The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s

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De Niro. Hepburn. Winfrey. The biggest movies of the 1980s captured audiences' imaginations thanks to outstanding performances by some of Hollywood's biggest stars. These are the 1980s movies nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. These prize-winning films took viewers around the globe, from the rivers of India to the rural Pennsylvania countryside. Whatever the setting, these Oscar nominees and winners continue to win over new fans to this day.

What films will you find on this list of 1980s Oscar winners? Tom Cruise made the transition from teen heartthrob to dramatic actor throughout the 1980s. The star appeared in Oscar-nominated films including Rain Man and Born on the Fourth of July. The nostalgia-fueled dramedy The Big Chill – and its even bigger soundtrack – was also a hit with fans and Oscar voters in the '80s.

In 1985, Out of Africa beat such other great films as The Color Purple and Witness for the Best Picture trophy. Other good films on this top 1980s Oscar nominated movies list include Hannah and Her Sisters, Moonstruck, and Field of Dreams.

What's the very best flick among these Oscar-nominated 1980s films? That's up to you to decide. Give your favorite movies a thumbs up to move them to the number one spot on the list.
  • 1
    Nominated in 1981.
    Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The...  more

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  • 2


    Nicolas Cage, Cher
    Nominated in 1987.
    Moonstruck is a 1987 American romantic comedy film directed by Norman Jewison and written by...  more

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  • 3

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak
    Nominated in 1982.
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and...  more

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  • 4


    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen
    Won Best Picture in 1986.
    Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom...  more

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  • 5

    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman
    Won Best Picture in 1988.
    Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow...  more

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  • 6

    Terms of Endearment

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito
    Won Best Picture in 1983.
    Terms of Endearment is a 1983 comedy-drama film adapted from the novel of the same name by...  more

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  • 7

    The Color Purple

    Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg
    Nominated in 1985.
    The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on...  more

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  • 8

    Mississippi Burning

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman
    Nominated in 1988.
    Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by...  more

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  • 9

    The Elephant Man

    Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt
    Nominated in 1980.
    The Elephant Man is a 1980 American-British biographical film about Joseph Merrick, a severely...  more

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  • 10


    Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon
    Won Best Picture in 1984.
    Amadeus is a 1984 American period biographical drama film directed by Miloš Forman and adapted...  more

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  • 11

    Field of Dreams

    Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
    Nominated in 1989.
    Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who...  more

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  • 12

    Raging Bull

    Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci
    Nominated in 1980.
    Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by...  more

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  • 13

    Ordinary People

    Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland
    Won Best Picture in 1980.
    Ordinary People is a 1980 American drama film that marked the directorial debut of actor...  more

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  • 14

    Fatal Attraction

    Glenn Close, Michael Douglas
    Nominated in 1987.
    This film is a 1987 American psychological thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne and starring...  more

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  • 15

    The Mission

    Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson
    Nominated in 1986.
    The Mission is a 1986 British drama film about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th...  more

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  • 16


    Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman
    Nominated in 1982.
    Tootsie is a 1982 American comedy-drama film that tells the story of a talented but volatile...  more

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  • 17

    Working Girl

    Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford
    Nominated in 1988.
    Working Girl is a 1988 romantic comedy-drama film written by Kevin Wade and directed by Mike...  more

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  • 18

    The Right Stuff

    Jeff Goldblum, Ed Harris
    Nominated in 1983.
    The Right Stuff is a 1983 American drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling...  more

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  • 19

    Coal Miner's Daughter

    Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek
    Nominated in 1980.
    Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 biographical film which tells the story of country music...  more

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  • 20

    Dead Poets Society

    Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke
    Nominated in 1989.
    Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter...  more

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  • 21

    Children of a Lesser God

    William Hurt, Marlee Matlin
    Nominated in 1986.
    Children of a Lesser God is a 1986 American romantic drama film directed by Randa Haines and...  more

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  • 22

    Born on the Fourth of July

    Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe
    Nominated in 1989.
    Born on the Fourth of July is a 1989 American drama film adaptation of the best-selling...  more

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  • 23

    On Golden Pond

    Jane Fonda, Katharine Hepburn
    Nominated in 1981.
    On Golden Pond is a 1981 American drama film directed by Mark Rydell. The screenplay by Ernest...  more

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  • 24

    Broadcast News

    Jack Nicholson, John Cusack
    Nominated in 1987.
    Broadcast News is a 1987 romantic comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by James L....  more

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  • 25

    Chariots of Fire

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh
    Won Best Picture in 1981.
    Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two...  more

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