1983 Movies

This 1983 Plex database offers a great way to revisit some awesome 80s movies. Simple to navigate, our database allows users to explore the cinematic landscape of 1983 at their leisure and without hassle.
Start Streaming

Browse 2,178 titles in our 1983 Movies Database

The Best Movies of 1983

1983 was an exciting year for cinema, with many memorable films released. Various films left an impression due to their storytelling, thematic diversity, and compelling characters. Let's revisit and appreciate some of the memorable films of 1983.


This crime drama boasts of a unique blend of style, audacity, and tension. Brian de Palma's craftsmanship is evident in this film, which tells the story of a Cuban immigrant's quick ascendancy in Miami's drug trade. A portrayal of the era's penchant for excessiveness, it holds audiences captive with its high-energy narrative and Al Pacino's mesmerizing performance.

Terms of Endearment

A riveting mix of comedy and drama, this film successfully embarks viewers on a powerful emotional journey. It focuses on a resilient widow whose pursuit of love gets disrupted due to her daughter's life upheavals. The heartrending story, coupled with the stellar performances, won the film numerous accolades, including the Best Picture Oscar.

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

The celebrated comedy troupe, in its prime, made this anthology film. It unfolds as multiple comedy sketches, covering various stages of human life. With its creative humor and enduring gags, the film has withstood the test of time.


David Cronenberg's body horror film is a fine example of ambitious storytelling. The plot revolves around the president of a struggling television channel who investigates a disturbingly real torture show. The film stands out with its striking social allegory and unforgettable visual horror elements.


A blend of an 80s tech-based thriller and teenage drama, this film captivated viewers. The story tracks a high school student who unintentionally triggers America's nuclear arsenal while playing a war strategy game. The film's engaging narrative and techno aesthetic made it an impactful piece of its time.


This film by Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky is a work of art. Centering on a Russian composer and his interpreter in Italy, the film engages viewers with philosophical explorations and stunning imagery. Its enigmatic and personal touch marks it as one of the finest art films.

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

This film represents the culmination of the original Star Wars trilogy. Despite competing with its illustrious predecessors, it managed to carve out its distinctive place in the hearts of viewers. The film focuses on the Rebel Alliance's efforts to eliminate an energy shield on the forest moon of Endor and launch an attack against the Empire's forces while Luke Skywalker finally confronts his father and the fearsome Emperor. Notable for its action sequences, narrative depth, and elements of fun, it remains a highly valued classic decades after its release.

The Dresser

A character-driven drama directed by Peter Yates, it earned four Oscar nominations. Set during WWII, it narrates the story of a lead actor leading a ragtag troupe and his devoted assistant. The film skillfully intertwines comedy with emotional depth to deliver a striking narrative.

The Right Stuff

This historical epic combines adventure, special effects, social commentary, and political satire. It covers the first 15 years of the American space program, celebrating America's astronauts with an unmatched scope and ambition.

The Day After

This low-budget television film seized attention with its powerful narrative. It follows the residents of a small town in Kansas whose lives are dramatically altered by nuclear war. The movie's ability to evoke emotions and convey a strong message gave it a prominent place in the industry.

1983 Movies & Industry Highlights

The film industry underwent significant changes and saw various noteworthy occurrences in 1983. The following sections aim to provide an overview of these events and shed light on the highest-grossing films, the award ceremonies, and the festivals. It will also provide a list of films released and notable deaths.

Highest-Grossing Films

When we discuss the top-performing films in terms of box office gross in North America, a particular set of movies stands out from the rest.

  • Return of the Jedi: The movie 'Return of the Jedi,' produced by Fox, took the first position, with a gross earning of $309.3M.
  • Terms of Endearment: 'Terms of Endearment,' brought to the screen by Paramount, was another box-office hit, securing second place with an earning of $108.4M.
  • Other Major Performers: Other films that attracted audiences and earned significant box-office revenue were 'Flashdance,' 'Trading Places,' 'WarGames,' 'Octopussy,' 'Sudden Impact,' 'Staying Alive,' 'Mr. Mom', and 'Risky Business.' Each of these films grossed between $60 million to $100 million.

Significant Events

The film industry in 1983 was not just about the financial aspects; it was also a time of notable occurrences and transformations.

  • Let's Spend the Night Together: On February 11th, the Rolling Stones concert film 'Let's Spend the Night Together' made its debut in New York City, marking an important day for music lovers.
  • Return of the Jedi: The final installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, 'Return of the Jedi,' was released on May 25th. Like the previous films, it dominated the box office and became the highest-grossing film of the year.
  • An R-Rated Phenomenon: Interestingly, 1983 was a landmark year for mature content in film. More films received an R-rating during this year than any other year so far, marking a significant shift in the industry.
  • Nicole Kidman's Debut: It was also the year when Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman first graced the silver screen, debuting in the Australian movie 'Bush Christmas.'
  • The Release of Brainstorm: The final film of screen star Natalie Wood, titled 'Brainstorm,' was released a full two years after her death, stirring emotions among her fans and the industry at large.