The 1980s was a cutting-edge time for film and television. This was the decade when many stars made their mark on Hollywood. During the 80s, there were many Black movies that made headlines, ranging from true African American tales to comedies, and drama to political statements. If you want to relive the glory of the 80s and all that Hollywood had to offer, check out these great Black movies we think everyone should watch, and everyone will enjoy.
Top 7 Black Movies From The 80s That You Should Watch Today
1. The Color Purple
The Color Purple is, perhaps, one of the most recognized Black movies of all time. Starring Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple follows the life of Celie, an African American woman in the South who suffers horrible abuse and bigotry. Celie finds herself married to a horrible man, leaving her to look anywhere possible for companionship. Her dream is to one day travel to Africa to be reunited with her sister.
2. Coming to America
Starring Eddie Murphy, Coming to America tells the story of a wealthy African prince who comes to America to escape an arranged marriage. With his persnickety sidekick in tow (Arsenio Hall), the prince disguises himself as a foreign exchange student who takes a job in fast food. The prince finds romance, but can he reveal his true identity? And what will he tell his father, the king (played by James Earl Jones)? Coming to America is an enjoyable movie with comedy, romance, and adventure.
3. Beverly Hills Cop
Beverly Hills Cop is another notable Black movie with a reputation of being loved by almost everyone who sees it. Starring Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold, the movie follows Axel Foley, a rebellious police officer who begins investigating the murder of his childhood friend. From Detroit to Beverly Hills, Foley finds himself in a lot of trouble as he attempts to locate his friend’s killer while the Beverly Hills Police Department attempts to thwart his efforts.
4. Trading Places
Once again, Eddie Murphy is the star of this 80’s film, which is a favorite for many households. Also starring Dan Aykroyd, the story follows an executive (Aykroyd) and a hustler (Murphy) who are the subjects of a bet by two broker brothers. Aykroyd’s character, Louis Winthrope, is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, which puts Murphy’s character, Billy Ray Valentine, in his executive position. But once the scheme is unraveled, Winthrope and Valentine turn the tables. Trading Places has been named one of the funniest movies of the 80s, and of all time.
5. Brewster’s Millions
For fans of sports and comedy, Brewster’s Millions is a must-see Black movie. Starring Richard Pryor, Rick Moranis, and John Candy, this all-star cast is one that you don’t want to miss. Based on the novel by George Barr McCutcheon, Brewster’s Millions focuses on a Minor League baseball pitcher, Monty Brewster, who, along with his best friend, is arrested after a bar fight. A strange man approaches them and offers to post bail if they go with him to New York City. When they arrive, they are told that Brewster’s great-uncle recently passed away leaving him a $300 million fortune. But, there are stipulations. What unfolds is a hilarious adventure.
6. Cry Freedom
Cry Freedom is a dramatic movie set in Apartheid South Africa. The film was produced by Richard Attenborough and stars Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline. In the movie, Kline plays a liberal journalist who meets with a Black activist (Washington). A friendship ensues that shows Kline just how impoverished the people really are. A series of events unfold that challenge the friendship and show the real horrors of the Apartheid era.
7. Purple Rain
Purple Rain is easily recognizable as both a song and a film. The film debuted in 1984 and was scored by, and starred, Prince himself. The story follows The Kid, a talented musician looking to escape his abusive home life. The story follows the drama and heartache of the musical scene in the 1980s, complete with original music from Prince.
Whether you are a fan of comedy, drama, romance, or real-life narratives – these seven Black movies offer something for everyone. But don’t take our word for it, check out these movies for yourself. Which one do you like most?