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The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s 

Ranker Film
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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.
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1
Indiana Jones and the Ra... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen

Released: 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Nominated in 1981. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by ...more

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12 Stories That Prove The Making Of 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' Was An Adventure Behind The Scenes Too #17 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft

Released: 1980

Directed by: David Lynch

Nominated in 1980. The Elephant Man is a 1980 American-British biographical film about Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London. The film was directed by David Lynch and stars John Hurt, ...more

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#274 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #231 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #104 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

3
Raging Bull is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese

Released: 1980

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Nominated in 1980. Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik ...more

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Behind The Scenes Of 'Raging Bull,' The Masterpiece Scorsese Never Wanted To Make #190 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Terms of Endearment is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, John Lithgow

Released: 1983

Directed by: James L. Brooks

Won Best Picture in 1983. Terms of Endearment is a 1983 comedy-drama film adapted from the novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry, directed, written, and produced by James L. Brooks and starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra ...more

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#213 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #166 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
E.T. the Extra-Terrestri... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Nominated in 1982. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

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The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' #50 of 120 Movies That Need Sequelslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

Released: 1986

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Won Best Picture in 1986. Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more

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The Most Memorable Quotes From 'Platoon' #5 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino

Released: 1988

Directed by: Barry Levinson

Won Best Picture in 1988. Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more

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#57 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #258 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole

Released: 1984

Directed by: Miloš Forman

Won Best Picture in 1984. Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.

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#179 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #970 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Ordinary People is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Adam Baldwin

Released: 1980

Directed by: Robert Redford

Won Best Picture in 1980. Ordinary People is a 1980 American drama film that marked the directorial debut of actor Robert Redford. It stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton. The story ...more

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#357 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #154 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
The Right Stuff is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Jeff Goldblum, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid

Released: 1983

Directed by: Philip Kaufman

Nominated in 1983. The Right Stuff is a 1983 American drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling 1979 book of the same name about the Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots who were involved in ...more

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#178 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #51 of 69 The Best Movies That Are Super Longlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Broadcast News is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Jack Nicholson, John Cusack, Holly Hunter

Released: 1987

Directed by: James L. Brooks

Nominated in 1987. Broadcast News is a 1987 romantic comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. The film concerns a virtuoso television news producer, who has daily emotional breakdowns, ...more

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#292 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #445 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #477 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

12
Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

Released: 1988

Directed by: Alan Parker

Nominated in 1988. Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more

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#187 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #289 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1985

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Nominated in 1985. The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as ...more

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#4 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #160 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #50 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books

14
Moonstruck is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Nicolas Cage, Cher, Danny Aiello

Released: 1987

Directed by: Norman Jewison

Nominated in 1987. Moonstruck is a 1987 American romantic comedy film directed by Norman Jewison and written by John Patrick Shanley. It stars Cher, Nicolas Cage, Danny Aiello, Vincent Gardenia, and Olympia ...more

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#218 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,322 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Fatal Attraction is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Jane Krakowski

Released: 1987

Directed by: Adrian Lyne

Nominated in 1987. This film is a 1987 American psychological thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer. The film centers on a married Manhattan man who has a ...more

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#31 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #173 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #147 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

16
Coal Miner's Daughter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek, Beverly DAngelo

Released: 1980

Directed by: Michael Apted

Nominated in 1980. Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 biographical film which tells the story of country music legendary singer Loretta Lynn. It stars Sissy Spacek as Loretta, a role that earned her the Academy Award ...more

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#197 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #786 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

17
Working Girl is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey

Released: 1988

Directed by: Mike Nichols

Nominated in 1988. Working Girl is a 1988 romantic comedy-drama film written by Kevin Wade and directed by Mike Nichols. It tells the story of a Staten Island-raised secretary, Tess McGill, working in the mergers ...more

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#211 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,027 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
Witness is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Harrison Ford, Viggo Mortensen, Danny Glover

Released: 1985

Directed by: Peter Weir

Nominated in 1985. Witness is a 1985 American thriller film directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. The screenplay by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W. Wallace focuses on a ...more

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#123 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #129 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remadelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
Chariots of Fire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

Released: 1981

Directed by: Hugh Hudson

Won Best Picture in 1981. Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of ...more

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#358 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #126 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remadelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
Field of Dreams is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Kevin Costner

Released: 1989

Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson

Nominated in 1989. Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who also wrote the screenplay, adapting W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy ...more

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The Most Memorable 'Field of Dreams' Quotes #59 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #304 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

21
Tootsie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis

Released: 1982

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

Nominated in 1982. Tootsie is a 1982 American comedy-drama film that tells the story of a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult forces him to adopt a new identity as a woman to land a ...more

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#217 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #551 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Born on the Fourth of Ju... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger

Released: 1989

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Nominated in 1989. Born on the Fourth of July is a 1989 American drama film adaptation of the best-selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic. Tom Cruise plays Ron Kovic, in a performance ...more

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#150 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #250 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
My Left Foot is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Daniel Day-Lewis, Fiona Shaw, Brenda Fricker

Released: 1989

Directed by: Jim Sheridan

Nominated in 1989. My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 Irish drama film directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It tells the story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral ...more

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#291 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #250 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
Atlantic City is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Susan Sarandon, Burt Lancaster, Wallace Shawn

Released: 1980

Directed by: Louis Malle

Nominated in 1981. Atlantic City is a 1980 French-Canadian romantic film directed by Louis Malle. Filmed in late 1979, it was released in France and Germany in 1980 and in the United States in 1981. The script was ...more

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#28 of 31 Great Movies Set Along the Coast #18 of 78 The Best Burt Lancaster Movies #11 of 104 The Best Susan Sarandon Movies

25
Kiss of the Spider Woman... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
William Hurt, Sônia Braga, Raúl Juliá

Released: 1985

Directed by: Héctor Babenco

Nominated in 1985. Kiss of the Spider Woman is a 1985 Brazilian-American drama film directed by Argentine-born Brazilian director Héctor Babenco, and adapted by Leonard Schrader from the Manuel Puig novel ...more

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#239 of 313 The Best Political Films Ever Made #10 of 15 VHS Covers That Sold A Totally Different Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever