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Movies from 1987 celebrate dirty 30

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The year 1987 produced an amazing lineup of films we know and love today. Familiar titles such as “Lethal Weapon,” “Fatal Attraction” and “Three Men and a Baby” are among some of the classic hits that were released 30 years ago. 

“Lethal Weapon” 

Starring Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh and Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs, this movie is a buddy cop film that portrays a mismatched partnership between an older, more experienced cop and a younger cop turned suicidal following his wife’s untimely death. 

Filled with plenty of action and humor, this film was, and remains, a massive hit that is worth watching, whether it’s your first or hundredth time. 

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These two polar opposites work to solve a case that also allows the men to bond as Murtaugh becomes a friend to Riggs, who simultaneously begins to heal and turns away from his suicidal tendencies. Who can forget the scene with Riggs leaping off a building with a mortified jumper reluctantly in tow?

These two form a friendship that transpires over the course of the film, which also produced three sequels. A spinoff show of the series recently premiered in 2016. “Lethal Weapon” is available to watch on Hulu, along with its three sequels and the rebooted show. No one is too old to watch this “stuff.”


“Stakeout”

Continuing with the buddy cop genre, “Stakeout” was also released in 1987. This film starred Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez as detectives Chris Lecce and Bill Reimers. Set in Seattle, these two detectives are unwillingly assigned to the night shift as they watch over the ex-girlfriend of an escaped convict. 

Through a series of circumstances, Dreyfuss’s character falls for the ex-girlfriend, Maria McGuire. Hilarity ensues as Dreyfuss’s character suffers the misfortune of juggling two identities to keep his cover while simultaneously avoiding the consequences of breaking police ethics. This film produced a sequel, “Another Stakeout.” This film is available to rent on Amazon. 

“Three Men and a Baby” 

This is a comedy starring Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg as three roommates in New York that are suddenly faced with unexpected parenthood in the form of a baby girl. 

Danson portrays the baby’s father, who happens to be away filming in another country the morning the baby is left on their doorstep. Selleck and Guttenberg’s characters are left to deal with the baby’s needs initially as Selleck struggles to find the right kind of baby food and Guttenberg tries to calm the crying infant. 

In a whirlwind of events, these three men inadvertently become involved with drug dealers, attempt to evade the police who watch them for suspicious activity and realize that they cannot live without the baby in their lives when her mother suddenly returns to take her to London. 

This comedy will warm your heart and offer an inside look into unexpected parenthood and its results. A sequel is also available. This movie can be rented via DVD on Netflix or rented on Amazon.

 “The Pick-Up Artist"

Before he was the famous, Tony Stark, aka Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. was Jack Jericho, “The Pick-Up Artist.” A womanizer that carries a slip of paper filled with women’s names and phone numbers, this ‘pick-up artist’ falls hard for Molly Ringwald, a young woman struggling to repay her father’s gambling debt to mobsters. Downey helps Ringwald without her consent, eventually earning her trust, while simultaneously changing his womanizing habits for a more monogamous association. Without giving too much away, you’ll surely enjoy Downey as this suave, fast and smooth talking character trying to get Ringwald’s attention. You can view this film with Netflix DVD or even buy the DVD for cheap. 

"Can't Buy Me Love"

“Can’t Buy Me Love,” stars a young Patrick Dempsey before his “Grey’s Anatomy” days and the late Amanda Peterson. This is a comedy about a nerd that pays a cheerleader a thousand dollars to be his girlfriend for a month. You’ll recognize the scenery, as this movie was filmed right here in Tucson. What starts as a business deal turns into an unlikely love story in this teen romantic comedy. This movie is available to stream on Netflix.

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"The Princess Bride"

Feeling up to binge watching romance this weekend? As you wish. “The Princess Bride” also turns 30 this year. The film stars Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Princess Buttercup. One of the most beloved love stories of all time, this film is a classic that must make your movie list. As if the love story that transpires between the Princess and Westley isn’t enough, the added characters of Inigo Montoya -“You killed my father…prepare to die - and Prince Humperdinck will surely make this film worth your while. This film is available to stream on Netflix. 

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"Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

Thinking about Thanksgiving dinner? You’re in for a wild ride across many modes of transportation when you watch “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” From director John Hughes, famous for 80s teen films such as “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club,” provides an entertaining story of the worst way to travel in this 1987 film. Starring Steve Martin and the late John Candy, a friendship blossoms between these two perfect strangers as Martin struggles to make it home in time for his Thanksgiving dinner with Candy in tow. Haven’t seen the iconic car rental scene in which Martin growls profanities at the agent? It’s a must-see, relatable for anyone who’s ever been at the end of their rope. Watch this on Netflix DVD or rent on Amazon per your viewing preference. 

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"Fatal Attraction"

Valentine’s Day was recently celebrated. Turning 30 this year is “Fatal Attraction,” everyone’s worst dating nightmare. Following an affair, a woman, Glenn Close, becomes obsessed with her fling, Michael Douglas. She goes to astronomical methods to keep him, despite his repeated insistence that it was merely a fling and he intends to stay with his wife and daughter. Dare to enter the dark side of the dating world, preferably refraining from boiling a rabbit on your stove if you find yourself watching this psychological thriller, which is available on Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix DVD.

Of course, this only brushes upon the films released in 1987, but they’re just enough to get you started. Take a break from the everyday routine and opt for watching or re-watching these films. While you’re at it, take the opportunity to look up other 1987 films such as “Mannequin,” “Baby Boom,” “Adventures in Babysitting,” “Full Metal Jacket,” “Wall Street,” “Less Than Zero,” “Overboard,” and “Over the Top,” just to name a few. You won’t be disappointed.


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