Summer 2011 has been good for the cinema: The female-driven comedy “Bridesmaids” has raked in more than $107 million so far at the box office since its May release. “X-Men: First Class” gained more support than 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” the last film based on the comic book superheroes. And J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8” earned $37 million its opening weekend.
“Green Lantern,” “Captain America” and the final “Harry Potter” film are all waiting in the wings for release over the next month.
This sounds like one successful summer, to say the least. That is, until you rewind 25 years.
In 1986, classic movies like “Top Gun,” “Back to School” and “Stand by Me” were all released within three months of each other. And the list goes on.
Last weekend even marked the 25th anniversary of John Hughes’ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off."
More than just a high school comedy, the movie taught us life lessons, like how to properly play hooky (don’t pretend you've never tried his clammy hands routine - “It’s a good, non-specific symptom”) and showed us how to make the most of our sick days - catch a baseball game, perform in a parade, “borrow” your best friend’s dad’s 1961 Ferrari.
But not everyone is enamored with “Ferris.” In an article that ran in The Atlantic on June 9 – two days before “Bueller’s” 25th anniversary - the writer said the film is “portrayed as a universal story, when it's really not” and that “Ferris' way of life leaves me feeling empty.”
Still, we think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t laugh when Bueller impersonated Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago.
So in the immortal words of Ferris himself, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Here's are a look back at some of those classics from the summer of 1986.
Before Pixar’s “WALL-E," there was Number 5, the lovable robot who believes he is human. The endearing comedy stars Ally Sheedy, who befriends the robot, Steve Guttenberg who plays the devious scientist and Tim Blaney, who lends his voice as Number 5.
Tom Cruise plays aviator glasses-wearing Maverick in 1986’s “Top Gun.” The flick, with its memorable soundtrack - tunes like “Danger Zone,” “Take My Breath Away” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” - became an instant classic.
Who can forget the release of “SpaceCamp,” which happened only five months after the “Challenger” explosion. Despite the tragic timing, there is something exciting about the ultimate summer dream of heading to space camp with your best friends, featuring Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson and Kelly Preston.
"Back to School"
The comedy "Back to School," starring Rodney Dangerfield and Keith Gordon, shows the hilarity that happens when father and son head to college together. Kurt Vonnegut Jr., also had a great cameo in the 1986 flick.
The fantastical "Labyrinth" from Jim Henson and George Lucas became a family classic as it covered the age-old topic of growing up and leaving behind childhood. Besides featuring a young Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie makes an iconic appearance in a Halloween costume including eyeliner and leather.
Remember watching in equal horror and excitement when Sigourney Weaver's character headed into battle for the last hour of "Aliens"? James Cameron directed the futuristic thriller, which was a sequel to 1979's "Alien."
"Howard the Duck"
Lea Thompson and Jeffrey Jones were hot commodities in 1986, as they starred with Tim Robbins in "Howard the Duck," directed by George Lucas. Unfortunately, the box office hated Howard, which landed it atop plenty of worst-film lists.
"Stand by Me"
Rob Reiner’s “Stand by Me” stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell as four best friends who venture into the real world. Nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay in 1987, this drama will remain a classic about friendship, tragedy and experiencing life.
This movie was responsible for the quote so ubiquitous it’s almost become anonymous, when Geena Davis' character says, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” Jeff Goldblum acted opposite Davis in this sci-fi drama, which won an Oscar for best makeup.