Schuckman: Offering a ‘Daily Dirt’ rebuttal with lists of favorite movies from 1970s, ’80s and ’90s


Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman considers "Tombstone" as his favorite movie of the 1990s.

QUINCY — Over the past few days, Muddy River News writer Steve Eighinger has been conducting a countdown of what he considers the best movies from the modern golden age of film, which he categorizes as 1960-1999.

In his “Daily Dirt” column, Eighinger lists 10 movies from each decade that he considers top notch. He even goes as far as to suggest at least five movies from the 1980s could make a case to be No. 1 in any other decade.

Yet, his No. 1 movie of the 1980s doesn’t even make my top 10.

Click on the links below to read which movies Eighinger ranks as his top 10 from each decade.

1990s — ‘Clueless’ headlines Steve’s list of best 90s films, but …

1980s — Was ‘When Harry Met Sally’ best of the best decade? Or was it Spicoli?

1970s — Daily Dirt: Scoff if you will, but ‘Dawn of the Dead’ was a magnificent example of macabre

1960s — The name is Bond, James Bond. And watch out for ‘The Birds’

Now, the age difference between myself and Stevie Dirt plays a factor in how significantly different our lists look. I’m 20 years younger, which means I have seen only some of the movies he lists from the 1960s but not enough to create my own list.

As far as the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, I consider those the formative years of my silver screen appreciation.

So here is my rebuttal to Stevie Dirt and my deep dive into my favorite movies of three great decades. To clarify, I’m ranking my favorite movies of each decade, not necessarily the 10 most critically acclaimed movies. 

And I’m leaving sports movies out of the equation. They would dominate my list in every decade, so I took all sports movies off the table, even those not involving stick-and-ball sports such as “Breaking Away.”

Now onto my favorite movies …


1. “The Shootist” — John Wayne’s final movie is a fantastic story about aging gunfighter J.B. Books.

2. “The Godfather Part II” — The first two movies in the Godfather saga are exceptional. This is one of those rare instances where the sequel is better than the original.

3. “Star Wars” — This movie raised the bar for special effects and launched one of the greatest movie franchises of all-time.

4. “National Lampoon’s Animal House” — The best comedy of the decade. Period.

5. “Meatballs” — Bill Murray is a comic genius. Who wouldn’t want to go to summer camp is Murray was the camp counselor?

6. “Jaws” — How scared were you to go in the water after seeing this movie for the first time? I bet a lot of people were terrified.

7. “Escape From Alcatraz” — The movie is just as well-planned and methodical as the escape with every detail thought through completely.

8. “All the President’s Men” — A newspaper man loves great stories of journalism and history.

9. “Halloween” — A fantastic decade for scary movies. This one will have you looking over your shoulder as you go down the street.

10. “Smokey and The Bandit” — Burt Reynolds was the epitome of cool. If you’re a car guy, you wanted to drive a Pontiac Trans-Am after watching this movie.


1. “The Goonies” — Any movie that gives you the truffle shuffle is a classic, and always remember, Goonies never say die.

2. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — Arguably the greatest day off of anyone who has ever skipped school.

3. “Dead Poets Society” — O Captain! My Captain! Robin Williams is among my top five actors of all-time.

4. “Full Metal Jacket” — No one has ever cast a better drill sergeant than landing R. Lee Ermey for that role.

5. “Good Morning Vietnam” — Robin Williams’ comedic genius is on fall display.

6. “Roadhouse” — A great movie? Not in the mind of critics. A cult classic? Hell yes.

7. “Top Gun” — It’s given two iconic lines that are forever part of pop culture in “I have a need, a need for speed” and “Negative ghost rider, the pattern is full.”

8. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” — Pick your favorite character. Jeff Spicoli. Mr. Hand. Brad Hamilton. Mike Damone. And there is always Phoebe Cates.

9. “Stand By Me” — If you didn’t go on a crazy adventure growing up, this made you want to. It also made you appreciate the guys you grew up with.

10. “Diehard” — My oldest brother Steve tried to convince me he looked like Bruce Willis. Maybe in some respects, but he wasn’t anywhere as badass as John McClane.


1. “Tombstone” — I’m your huckleberry. The tale of the Earps has been told on the silver screen numerous times, but no one has played Doc Holliday better than Val Kilmer.

2. “A Few Good Men” — You can’t handle the truth, but can you handle this being one of the top movies of the decade?

3. “Leaving Las Vegas” — Sad, funny, heart-wrenching, intimate, sexy. This has it all. Nicolas Cage joins Robin Williams in my top five favorite actors of all-time.

4. “The Fugitive” — Gripping from start to finish and a tremendous performance by Harrison Ford. Tom Clancy is a premier author of spy fiction.

5. “Good Will Hunting” — Matt Damon won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for “The Martian,” but this was the best movie he ever appeared in.

6. “The Silence of the Lambs” — Chilling. Suspenseful. Incredible. Anthony Hopkins was the perfect choice for Hannibal Lector.

7. “Pulp Fiction” — Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta made an incredible, albeit odd pairing, and I find myself quoting the movie often.

8. “The Unforgiven” — If you’re a fan of westerns, you’re a fan of Clint Eastwood, especially as a hardcore killer with a compassionate side.

9. “Apollo 13” — I know I’m leaving off some fantastic movies, but this movie was captivating and so well executed, especially since it was based on a true story.

10. “American Pie” — This is a guilty pleasure as I laugh endlessly. When this movie comes on TV, I stop to watch.

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Related Articles