Popcorn and Trivia – Top 10 Movies of 1984

Film stripMemorable lines from movies released way back when still bring a smile to our collective dials (“I’ll be back” and “Who ya gonna call?” for example). 1984 saw the release of some of the most iconic movies ever made. A whole bunch of these movies were the first of as many as eight sequels. We take a look at the top 10 movies from 1984, and share some trivia with you along the way.

The TerminatorArnold Schwarzenegger told us in the first Terminator that he’ll be back. He wasn’t lying – the Terminator lived on in a TV series, a web series and four sequels (Terminator: Genesis is scheduled for release on 1 July 2015, and Arnold is in it).

Hasta la vista, baby” – we think not. “I’ll be back” – most definitely. In fact, “I’ll be back” was voted the best movie catchphrase of all time.

Ghostbuster logoSo, “who ya gonna call?” Ghostbusters, of course! These guys were on speed dial with the release of two television series, Ghostbusters II – and even a Ghostbusters III – maybe.

The Karate Kid movie posterMister Miyagi instructed us in the finer art of detailing our cars in 1984. The catchphrase “wax on, wax off” improved both our martial arts and polishing skills. We were still polishing with the release of another four sequels, the last in which Jackie Chan showed us how it’s really done (martial arts, not polishing cars).

Freddy KruegerFreddy Krueger made sure we slept badly – or not at all. A Nightmare on Elm Street (“whatever you do… don’t fall asleep“) was followed by another eight nightmares in the form of sequels. What a recurring uhmm… nightmare.

Cute gremlin

We tried to remember not to feed our Gremlins after midnight. Or get them wet. A new batch of Gremlins returned in 1990, and rumour has it that yet another Gremlins might be on the way.

Beverly Hills Cop movie poster

Brilliantly cast Eddie Murphy (as Axel Foley) in Beverly Hills Cop ensured the franchise took off in a big way, making room for another two sequels in the years to come. The brilliant theme song by Harold Faltermeyer still lives on, and even the younger generation will forever remember it as “The Crazy Frog“.

Let’s share some trivia with you while we count down the top 10 movies of 1984, in no particular order.

Before we dive in to the Top 10, here’s some “age-related” trivia:

Avril Lavigne,  Katy Perry, Kelly Osbourne, Scarlett Johannson, Prince Harry and Mark Zuckerberg – were all born 30 years ago.

Unbelievable, but true…

1. Ghostbusters

“Who you gonna call?”

Ghostbuster logoBusting has officially been making people feel good for 30 years. That’s 30 years of not being afraid of no ghosts, 30 years of inappropriate “crossing the streams” jokes at men’s urinals and 30 years of knowing exactly who we’re gonna call.

Ghost Busters – official movie trailer

During the film’s original run in cinemas, the Ghostbusters advert from the movie was played on TV, with the number changed to a real number. Callers were treated to the sound of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd apologising for not answering the phone because they were “out catching ghosts”. The number received 1,000 calls every hour, 24 hours a day for 6 weeks.

Puft - Ghostbusters
Marshmallows – yeah!

When the Ghostbusters quiz Alice the librarian about the opening incident and ask if anyone in her family had had a history of mental illness, she replies she had an uncle who thought he was St. Jerome. It’s probably no coincidence that Jerome is the patron saint of librarians.

The “marshmallow” goo was actually shaving cream. More than 190 litres (50 gallons) was dumped on Walter Peck (William Atherton), almost knocking him to the ground.

Ghostbuster ghost trap
Ghostbuster ghost traps

Eddie Murphy was to have originally played Winston but did Beverly Hills Cop instead.

2. The Terminator

“I’ll be back”

The Terminator
The original Terminator

What it’s all about:

A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

The Terminator – official movie trailer


Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous line in The Terminator “I’ll be back” was originally in the script as “I’ll come back”.

“I’ll be back” – again and again

Near the beginning of the movie, when Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) receives a message on her answering machine from a man cancelling a date, the voice on the machine is director James Cameron’s. Hamilton and Cameron got married years later but have since divorced.

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Terminator
Photo: Orion Pictures

Arnold Schwarzenegger worked with guns everyday for a month to prepare for the role; the first two weeks of filming he practiced weapons stripping and reassembly blindfolded until the motions were automatic, like a machine. He spent hours at the shooting range, practicing with different weapons without blinking or looking at them when reloading or cocking; he also had to be ambidextrous. He practiced different moves up to 50 times.

Mel Gibson turned down the role of the Terminator. O.J. Simpson was also considered for the role but the producers thought he was “too nice” to be taken seriously as a cold-blooded killer.

3. The Neverending Story

“The nothing is destroying our world”

Neverending story movie poster
Neverending story movie poster

What it’s all about:

A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.

The Neverending Story – official movie trailer


You can “ride” on Falcor the Luck Dragon‘s back on location at the Bavarian Film Studio in Munich, Germany.

Neverending Story Auryn
The Auryn

The original Auryn for this film now hangs in an enclosed glass display in Steven Spielberg‘s office – next to Indy’s hat.

Author Michael Ende was unhappy with the film and didn’t want his name on the opening credits. A small credit is given to him at the end.

Neverending Story - Falcor the Luck Dragon
Bastian and Falcor the Luck Dragon

Most of the film was shot in Germany in the summer of 1983. It was Germany’s hottest summer in 25 years.

4. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom movie poster
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom movie poster

What it’s all about:

After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – official movie trailer


The rope bridge used during the final fight scene was actually suspended up a couple of hundred feet across a gorge on location in Sri Lanka. Acrophobic Steven Spielberg would never walk over it, and had to drive a mile and a half to reach the other side. Harrison Ford on the other hand had no such fear, and would run across it at full speed.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom rope bridge
Indy against the ropes

Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg met each other on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. They are now married and have seven children together.

For the bug chamber sequence, Kate Capshaw was covered with over 2,000 bugs.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Mola Ram
Mola Ram – Huge Blue Bull Supporter

Amrish Puri shaved his head for the role of Mola Ram, creating such an impression that he kept it shaved and became one of India’s most popular film villains.

Just like Indiana was named after George Lucas‘ dog, Willie was named after Steven Spielberg‘s dog and Short Round was named after screenwriters Bill Hyuck and Gloria Hatz’s dog.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom dinner
Chilled monkey brains – a rare delicacy

The ‘chilled monkey brains’ served during the dinner scene at the Palace were made from custard and raspberry sauce.

Star Wars reference 1: The movie opens with a scene in a night club. After the fight is over, and Indie and Willie make their escape, the name of the club is seen as they drive away – Club Obi Wan.

Star Wars reference 2: When the lava pit is opening to sacrifice Willie, listen for the same sound as Darth Vader igniting his lightsaber.

Ghostbusters cameo: when Indy, Shortround and Willy get to the airfield just after being chased by Lau, the officer that leads them out of the car and takes them to the plane is none other than Dan Aykroyd. You can’t make out his face but pay careful attention to the voice.

5. A Nightmare on Elm Street

Whatever you do… don’t fall asleep.

A Nightmare on Elm Street movie poster
A Nightmare on Elm Street movie poster

What it’s all about:

In the dreams of his victims, a spectral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him.

A Nightmare on Elm Street – official movie trailer


Freddy lived on in another eight subsequent sequels.

Johnny Depp's nightmare
Johnny Depp’s worst nightmare

This was Johnny Depp‘s feature film debut. Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for the film. Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in the film (Glen Lantz), Haley didn’t, but Haley would go on to play Freddy in the remake 26 years later (A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)).

The film was shot in 30 days.

It would take about 3 hours to get Robert Englund into his Freddy make-up.

The words “Elm Street” are not spoken at all during the movie.

Freddy Krueger has less than 7 minutes of screen time.

Freddy Krueger

The sparking glove effect seen throughout the movie was achieved by attaching the glove to a car battery. The famous scraping noise was created by scratching a steak knife on the underside of a metal chair.

Wes Craven’s film was rejected by all the major studios – and ultimately became one of the earliest films of neophyte New Line Cinema, which went on to major studio status later in the ’80s. New Line Cinema became known as “The House That Freddy Built.”

Freddy Krueger

Your last chance to see Freddy – in real life

On 8 August 2014, the original (and still best) man of your dreams, Robert Englund, is going to don the burnt make-up, red and green sweater, and razor-fingered glove of Freddy Krueger one last time, and if you’re in the Chicago (USA) area, you can be one of the lucky fans who gets to meet and have your photo taken with the man himself. Book online here.

6. Gremlins

Remember – never feed them after midnight”

Gremlins movie poster
Gremlins movie poster

What it’s all about:

A boy inadvertently breaks 3 important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

The Gremlins – official movie trailer


Gremlins and Indiana Jones (both Spielberg films) were responsible for the creation of the PG-13 rating system. Both films, while rated PG, contained lots of violence, but not enough to warrant an R rating.

The set for Kingston Falls is the same one used for Back to the Future (1985). Both movies were filmed in the Universal Studios backlot.

Cute gremlin
Cute – for a while…

The time machine prop from The Time Machine (1960) can be seen behind Rand Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) when he’s on the phone with his wife, while attending the convention. A moment later, the machine has disappeared (into the future or the past) to the astonishment of several onlookers.

The Scottish alternative rock band Mogwai take their name from this film.

Gremlins caroling
The Mogwai – also a real-life Scottish Band

Zach Galligan revealed in an interview that when the movie was made there was no CGI so all the gremlins were animatronics, each costing $30 – 40,000. When everyone left the lot for the day security would have everyone pop the trunks on their cars to make sure they weren’t stolen.

Mrs. Deagle, the richest lady in town, has named her cats after different kinds of currency (including Kopeck, Drachma and Dollar Bill).

7. The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid movie poster
The Karate Kid movie poster

What it’s all about:

A handyman/martial arts master agrees to teach a bullied boy karate and shows him that there is more to the martial art than fighting.

The Karate Kid – official movie trailer


Pat Morita in Happy Days
Oh Happy Days

In the early 1980’s, Pat Morita was best known for his comedic work as Matsuo “Arnold” Takahashi, owner of the diner Arnold’s on Happy Days. He wasn’t the first choice for Sensei Miyagi’s role in The Karate Kid though, due to his background in comedy. Only after Morita grew a beard and added a Japanese accent to his screen test was he given the part.

The famous “crane kick” was never performed by Sensei Miyagi, but by Darryl Vidal – a stunt double.

How to properly polish a car: wax on, wax off.

The car that Mr Miyagi gave Daniel for his birthday, is a 1948 Ford Super DeLuxe Club convertible. This car was given to Ralph Macchio by the producer, and he still owns it.

Karate Kid

Charlie Sheen turned down the role of Daniel LaRusso.

You’re the Best” was originally written for Rocky III (1982) which explains the lyric “history repeats itself“. The song had been rejected in favour of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger“. Ironically, Survivor also performed the theme song (“The Moment Of Truth“) for The Karate Kid. Cobra Kai - The Karate Kid

Johnny (William Zabka) had no martial arts experience prior to being cast in the film. However, he was an accomplished wrestler.

The film subsequently had four sequels – the most recent one (The Karate Kid, 2010) starred Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith.

8. Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop movie poster
Beverly Hills Cop movie poster

What it’s all about:

A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills Cop – official movie trailer


Beverly Hills Cop was followed by two sequels, with a third one on the cards for release in 2016.

Beverly Hills Cop

During his tirade at the Beverly Palms Hotel, Axel pretends to be writing an article called “Michael Jackson: Sitting on Top of the World” for Rolling Stone magazine. In real life, Playboy ran an article called “Eddie Murphy: Sitting on Top of the World.”

Beverly Hills Cop bought Judge Reinhold public recognition at a level he had never experienced before. “Two days before the movie opened,” he recalled, “I went to the same bank I’d been going to for five years and the teller asked me for two pieces of I.D. A week after the film was released, I had a whole family waving to me from a station wagon on the freeway, yelling out their windows for my autograph!”

Judge Reinhold Beverly Hills Cop
Do you feel lucky, punk? Or… umm… wait…

Directing the film came down to the flip of a quarter. When the project finally landed on director Martin Brest’s desk, he was unsure about the project and flipped a quarter to decide if he should do it. Brest later framed the quarter after the film’s success.

Beverly Hills Cop

The films’ electronic instrumental is one of the most recognizable movie soundtracks of the 1980s. The instrumental, “Axel F” was recorded by Harold Faltermeyer and reached the number 3 position on the US Billboard 200 in 1985 as well as the top 10 in much of Europe.

Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer. You’re the MAN, Dude!

Crazy Frog. Enough said.

Crazy Frog
This is just crazy

Harold Faltermeyer recorded the song using only five instruments: a Roland Jupiter-8 provided the distinctive “supersaw” lead sound, a Moog modular synthesizer 15 provided the bass, a Roland JX-3P provided chord stabs, a Yamaha DX7 was used for bell and marimba sounds and a LinnDrum was used for drum programming.

9. Footloose

“Hey, hey! What’s this I see? I thought this was a party. LET’S DANCE!”

Footloose movie poster
Footloose movie poster

What it’s all about:

A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.

Footloose – official movie trailer


Kevin Bacon based his hairstyle on rocker Sting‘s spiky hairdo as he was a big fan of The Police at the time.


John Travolta was offered the role of Ren McCormack, but turned it down.

Kevin Bacon was offered the leading role for the Stephen King movie Christine (1983), at the same time that he was asked to do a screen test for Footloose (1984). The producers had to convince Bacon that turning down a sure role in “Christine” for a part he might not even get in “Footloose” was the wiser choice. The producers told him that if he got the part for “Footloose”, the role would make him a star. 30 seconds into the screen test, Bacon was offered the part.


The dancing feet in the opening credit sequence contained many of the cast and crew. Over 150 different pairs of feet were shot. The dancer with the gold shoes was actually Kenny Loggins.

In a 2013 interview with Howard Stern, Kevin Bacon admitted that he has actually tipped DJs at weddings NOT to play Footloose. He stated that people expect him to dance the song as he did in the movie. In truth, while he did do some of the dancing there was also a dancing double for him as well.

This film was iconic enough to warrant a modern remake in 2011.

Kevin Bacon still has it, 30 years later

10. Police Academy

Police Academy movie poster
Police Academy movie poster

What it’s all about:

A group of good-hearted but incompetent misfits enter the police academy, but the instructors there are not going to put up with their pranks.

Police Academy – official movie trailer


Six subsequent Police Academy sequels were made.

In addition to playing Jones, Michael Winslow also doubles as the voice for all public address announcements heard at the academy.

Police Academy
International Caps Lock Day at the Police Academy

Harris’s trademark stick was not originally in the script. The prop was brought onto the set by an extra, who gave it to G.W. Bailey to keep.

Bruce Willis auditioned for the role of Mahoney.

Police Academy

The term “tackleberry” has become a standard in the private security industry to denote an officer who is inordinately fond of firearms and other high-tech equipment.

The film was shot in 40 days.

Best of Zed, Police Academy

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