Your Top 5 Teen Angst 80’s Films


Erin here- I was watching “Pretty In Pink” for the zillionth time yesterday and made my five year old watch some of the awesome music sequences with me, like where Andie’s trying to make her prom dress. She watched it for a moment, said “that dress is stupid,” and returned to her Spongebob Squarepants. Okay, five is too you to understand the nuance, the angst of a John Hugh’s movie, but we all have one that perfectly encapsulated our teen angst. Here’s the top five, according to four solid hours of phone calls on the Todd & Erin Show- you people are passionate about your angst!



5. The Outsiders: Along with launching the careers of everyone from Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze and Emilio Estevez, the film showed the turf war between the Greasers and the Socs and the division of class and opportunity.



4. Less Than Zero: From the bitter 80’s novel of the same name, rich, bored teens in Beverly Hills meander through indifferent parents, too much money, too many illegal substances. Robert Downey Jr’s character eventually becomes addicted to drugs and dies- it almost became prophetic when RDJ was arrested repeatedly for drug abuse in the 90’s, including on Thanksgiving. Fortunately, our Iron Man is alive and well today.



3. Footloose: Well, YEAH. Kids not allowed to DANCE? We all feel ownership for the Kevin Bacon movie, since it was filmed in Lehi and you know at least one of the backup dancers. But thr whole clash of adults trying to keep their kids in bubble wrap to keep them from harm (or growing up) resonated with everyone.



2. The Breakfast Club: What happens when five kids from different cliques end up in detention together? We’d like to believe they’d all end up understanding each other and forming a bond. Maybe not, but John Hughes made it seem so possible here! My favorite scene: when basket case Allison (Ally Sheedy) gets a little makeup and jock Andrew (Emilio Estevez) falls madly in love. They kiss as they leave school, and she promptly tears off one of the patches on his cool letterman jacket as a momento and strolls away into the sunset. Yeah, gurrrl!



And number one…

Pretty in Pink: Obviously. Who doesn’t empathize with the poor girl Andie (Molly Ringwald) at a school for mainly hateful rich kids? I love the scene where she drives through their expensive neighborhood and dreams of living in one of the houses. She falls in love with weak-chinned Blane (Andrew McCarthy) who chickens out at the thought of taking the poor kid to the prom. But of course it all turns out perfectly with a passionate kiss in the parking lot.

What film should have been in the top five? What did we miss? “Heathers?” “Better Off Dead?” What’s your go-to teen angst film?


To Top