Movies From My Childhood

As a kid of the '80s and early '90s, I grew up watching some amazing movies. We were one of the first people I knew to have a VCR and VHS rewinder machine thing. Did those have an official name? They were a modern marvel, that's all I know. We lived two blocks away from video rental store and visited it a few times a week and almost daily in the summer months. We also loved to record movies from TV onto VHS to watch whenever we wanted. These are the movies that defined my childhood.

My little bother's favorites were anything involving an adventure, so we rented them a lot. Space Camp was the best and put the idea in my head that I could be an astronaut. Thanks a lot, stupid movie. We also loved Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, The Goonies, Flight of the Navigator, Labyrinth, and Back to the Future. 

We also really loved monster movies. Beetlejuice is still so amazing! That's what started my love affair with Tim Burton. Little Monsters was probably too young for me, but I still liked watching it with my little siblings. The Monster Squad was pretty good. I remember having a big crush on badass Rudy, played by Ryan Lambert, who was also on Kids, Incorporated

We watched a ton of Christmas movies throughout the year. Home Alone is the best, hands down. We still quote it constantly with some of the most obscure lines. A Christmas Story was one of my dad's favorites. I liked it as a kid, but I think it's obnoxious now. I know that's not a popular opinion, don't hate me. Most people have never heard of Babes in Toyland. Annette Funicello and Tom Sands star in this musical about an emending wedding, stolen sheep, a murder plot, and a broke-down toy maker. It's a very, very strange movie based on a 1903 operetta. We recorded it from TV, memorized the songs, and watched it all the time. 

For some reason, we liked a lot of movies about babysitters. Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's DeadUncle Buck, and Adventures in Babysitting are all great movies! I wanted to be Sue Ellen Crandell (Christina Applegate) and also wanted Uncle Buck to come live with us. I miss John Candy.

As the oldest child with a little sister who did whatever I said, I unfairly got to choose the majority of the movies. Our favorite tween movies were She's Out of Control (ugly-duckling-transforms-to-swan story), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (no need to explain this plot, right? I couldn't wait for high school after I watched it), Cry-Baby (Johnny Depp plays a teen rebel and starts dating a square which causes an uproar in 1950s Baltimore), Like Father Like Son (classic trading places film. I loved it because Kirk Cameron was my number one childhood crush), Mannequin (which was probably too mature for us, but we loved it, and inspired us to make up a Mannequin game to play in the front yard), and Girls Just Want To Have Fun (the first dance movie we ever saw. It's on Netflix. You should check it out for the sweet '80s moves alone).

We watched a ton coming-of-age movies with our neighborhood friends. My Girl made me cry every single time. (By the way, Anna Chlumsky as Amy on Veep is awesome!) The Sandlot was one of my brother's favorites. We loved that misfit group of kids playing baseball all summer. The girls in the neighborhood really loved Now and Then and we always wished our adventures (but not our home lives) were as cool as theirs. We listened to the soundtrack all the time, which got us hooked on oldies. It also started my girl crush on Christina Ricci.

We watched a few teen movies too. Wayne's World was THE BEST. I saw it in the movie theater with my brother about a week after I discovered Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and thought that scene was the best thing ever. We were pretty big Pauly Shore fans back then. I know, but I was like thirteen, give me a break. We loved Encino Man and Son In Law. I still watch the latter every Thanksgiving.

We even liked some movies meant for older audiences. Steel Magnolias was my dad's absolute favorite. He grew up in the south and I think it reminded him of home. We had the soundtrack, which is mostly instrumental, and he forced us to listen to in silence in the car. We moaned and groaned every time my dad re-rented Some Kind of Wonderful, but watched it every time and it's still one of my favorite John Hughes movies. Pure Country was a movie we watched in the early '90s just as we were starting to listen to country music. It was my introduction to George Strait.

My dad was really into horror movies. I'm sure we were too young for some of them, but we'd rent them in the middle of a sunny day and watch with him in the room. Poltergeist, The People Under The Stairs and When A Stranger Calls Back were our favorites. Not When A Stranger Calls, I'm talking about the made-for-TV sequel with the super scary ending that haunted us for years! I still think about that one when I'm home alone at night.

I would still watch any of those movies, but these next five movies were the ones I loved the most and are still my favorites to this day. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was perfection. I still talk about it like it came out a year ago. Footloose will always be my favorite '80s movie. Nothing beats Kevin Bacon dancing out all his aggression in that old warehouse. We all know how awesome Jurassic Park is. I explained the plot to Nolan the other day and he was definitely interested. I can't wait until he's a little older so we can watch it together. A League of Their Own was a movie we watched on repeat. It held a special place in our hearts because my grandma was a Rockford Peach. Not until a few years later when the league died down, but still pretty cool! My sister and I knew every single word to Speed. I'm pretty sure she could still recite it from beginning to end. 

Have you seen all these movies?
What were your favorites as a kid?


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...


Goonies, Monster Squad, Uncle Buck, Adventures in Babysitting, 16 Candles, Ferris, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, The Lost Boys.

We also watched Police Academy and Revenge of the Nerds when my parents weren't around! hahaha

To this day, Dirty Dancing, 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Footloose are some of my favorites.

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

This list is so great! I watched so many of these again and again.

I have to add Drop Dead Fred and The Great Outdoors. Oh, can't forget The Money Pit!

Kimberlee VDW said...

Oh man this is bringing back SO many memories lol after Robin Williams passed away and I didn't realize how many movies he was in of my childhood: Jumanji, Hook, Mrs Doubtfire, Patch Adams, Aladdin... sigh

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

SO many greats. I'm obsessed with Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Goonies, Labyrinth, Back to the Future, Beetlejuice, I always thought LIttle Monsters was adorable!

Home Alone is still one of my fave Christmas movies but it's hard to top Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation (personal fave).

Don't Tell mom and Adventures in Babysitting made me want to be a baby sitter, that didnt last long, there were never big adventures doing that!! Damn you Hollywood!

LOVE Ferris, Cry Baby and adored Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - man I wanted SJP's hair in that movie!! The perfect bump from her headband!!!

Loved Sandlot too. "You're killin' me Smalls!"

I saw Wayne's World in the theater too, and it was my vehicle to discover Queen for sure as well!!! Ugh loved that movie. And THANK YOU, I adore Encino Man - I was JUST talking about it this morning trying to heat up a microwave breakfast... "One minute... ONE AND A HALF MINUTE!!" I adore Pauly Shore. Son in Law is a 2nd fave.

Steel Magnolias... ugh... I have to plan a day for that and Fried Green Tomatoes, we're talking ugly crying... I usually turn off Steel Magnolias when it hits Halloween. I can't handle it. I sort of liked Pure Country but liked 8 Seconds more, another ugly cry movie for me.

I can't believe my parents let me watch Poltergeist. Dude I had nightmares for 3 months - the scene where the pool being dug over flows and all the bones rise up... freaked me out! I also didn't sleep for 3 months after watching Nightmare on Elm Street. Oddly Friday the 13th never phased me, or Halloween.

Buffy, totally a favorite!!! I still watch it to this day.. "Pike isn't a name, it's a fish!"

So many good movies, makes me wish for rain this weekend so I could watch them.

All listed above were big favorites... I would also toss in Never Ending Story, Billy Madison (watched so many times), Weekend at Bernie's, GHOSTBUSTERS!, ET, Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Empire Strikes Back, and I am sure there are more... but those sick out, oh and my forever classic Wizard of Oz.

Karen M. Peterson said...

I've seen almost all of these movies and they were definitely favorites as a kid!

Some others I would have to add, though, are Splash, The Money Pit, Superman 2 (WAY better than the first one), Star Wars, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off!

Allison said...

YESSSS. This post made me so happy! The Goonies is my #1 favorite movie of ALL time. I don't think it can be beaten. And I think Labyrinth was when I realized I should have been born a gay man ;) I was obsessed with how campy it is! Every year, my family watches Home Alone (1 or 2) together on Christmas. At this point, we know all the words to it, but it's just the perfect movie for the holidays.
My other favorites from childhood are Mrs. Doubtfire (which my parents let us watch, but I don't think my brother and I got it until we were way older), E.T., and Honey I Shrunk the (Kids, etc). So good! I loved this post - you made me so nostalgic.

Micah said...

This post was an awesome flashback. I loved seeing "Little Monsters" on here. Fred Savage was my first celebrity crush. I still think he's pretty nice to look at.

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

ohmy, did we both grow up together?! The only thing I don't agree on is Buffy. Could not stand that movie. Any other ones I still watch today (sans Jurassic Park, I believe I watched it too many times). There are so many movies I watched. Anything with Tom Hanks and Robert Downey Jr in it was mine. Yes, I was totally going for young RDJ since the 80s. Dirty Dancing was one I watched a lot too. Back to the Future still fascinates me today. Speed!! Fried Green Tomatoes, Working Girl, Chances are, Edward Scissorhands, etc etc... I could go on forever. Ahhhh, this just brought back so many memories. Thank you!

Angie said...

I can relate to SO many of these, I love this list!!! Goonies and Labryinth were a couple of my faves. Classic! I remember a couple of years ago, I had a friend of mine watch Labrynth and they thought it was the dumbest movie ever. I said, you really had to see it when you are a kid, you just don't get it! lol

I'll also always love Ferris Buehlers Day off, Dont tell mom the babysitter's dead, and Mannequin. Oh and Now and Then, Sandlot and My Girl!?!? Love love love. Those are the movies if they are ever on TV, I have to stop and watch it all. My girl still makes me bawl every time I watch it. I can't believe I don't have any of those on DVD...I need to work on that.

I could watch League of their own over and over. My cousin and I had the whole movie memorized and would play out the parts.

Poltergeist is what made me terrified of clowns but I loved it! I can't believe now looking back that my parents actually let me watch it lol Poltergeist 2 made me freaked out to get braces, and #3 made me do double takes whenever I looked in the mirror. They were all creepy!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane ;)

Kristine said...

I could go on and on with all my faves here!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

When I was a child I loved to watch the Trouble with Angels movies but they are not around any more and that sucks I really should get my daughter or husband to download them for me

Pretty Pink Cupcake said...

I love your list!! But I also loved Drop Dead Fred,Garbage Pail Kid movie,Hairspray,Clueless,Can't Hardly Wait and Teen Witch I can definitely name a few more but I'll keep my list short ha!! I was also a big fan of Cry Baby,Now and Then and lastly Empire Records!! =)