Lots of great things happened in the year 1988. Not only was it the year I was born, it’s also the year classic movies were made. Even after 29 years, these films have still made a cultural impact today.
1. Rain Man
Rain Man stars Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbitt, the older brother of Dustin Hoffman’s character Raymond Babbitt. Charlie wasn’t aware of Raymond’s existence until their father passed. Raymond has savant syndrome, which is hard for Charlie to deal with at first, but through out the movie, the two grow closer. This film is important to me because it made me and many others aware of autism and the difficulties autistic people may face. Some also argue it gives it a bad image. There are different forms of autism and not all autistic people have Raymond’s high-level mathematical skills.
Beetlejuice is one of my favorites because it was one of the first movies I saw where humans could interact with ghosts. Let’s not forget the epic “scare” scene and who could forget the iconic scene of Lydia dancing to Harry Belafonte’s “Jump In The Line.” The thought of Beetlejuice came when Tim Burton felt scripts he was being sent lacked imagination and originality. Michael McDowell sent in the script for Beetlejuice and Burton agreed to direct it. It’s grossed over $73 million in North America and was the 10th highest grossing film of 1988. Beetlejuice has become a household name and had an animated series, video games, and theme park attraction. In 2016, a stage musical was reportedly in the works. Since 1990, a sequel has been talked about.
In January 2015, writer Seth Grahame-Smith told Entertainment Weekly the script was finished and that he and Burton intended to start filming Beetlejuice 2 by the end of the year, and that both Keaton and Ryder would return in their respective roles. Tim Burton’s rep later told ET that none of that was true, and a sequel is not in the works.
3. Coming To America
Because of the film the phrase “Just Let Your Soul Glooo” became popular in black households. Coming To America stars Eddie Murphy as Akeem Joffer, an African Prince who’s tired of living the royal life and wants to do more on his own. He and his personal aide Semmi head to NYC to find a wife who hasn’t been trained to serve him. The film was nominated for two Oscars. A television series was also pitched with Tommy Davidson as Prince Tariq, and Paul Bates reprising his role as Oha. The pilot didn’t get picked up so it aired in 1989 as part of CBS’ Summer Playhouse pilot anthology series. In 2017 rumors of a sequel began swirling. No word on if it’s in the works.
4. Die Hard
The Die Hard film franchise is responsible for making Bruce Willis a household name and showed he was more than just a comedic television actor. The role of John McLane was originally offered to Frank Sinatra and Arnold Schwarzenegger I’m glad Willis took the role because I couldn’t imagine anyone else being McClane. It’s listed as one of the best action movies of all time and ranked #29 on Empires 2008 list of 500 greatest movies of all time. Four spin offs have been produced and all were a financial success. Video games and comics based on the films have been released over the years.
5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Jessica Rabbit made her appearance in the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, then graced our television screens in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I didn’t see the film until I was a teenager, and that’s when my obsession with her started. I wanted her dangerous red hair, curvaceous body, and a sexy voice to get me out of any situation. Though the film focuses on Roger Rabbit who’s framed for murder, Jessica was the break out character. She’s known as one of the most popular sex symbols in animations. Her costumes are very popular during Halloween and at anime and comic conventions.
Her line “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way” was nominated as one of the greatest quotes by AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes. In December 2016, the film was preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
What is your favorite film from 1988 and how do you feel about the possible spin-offs? Comment below with your answer!