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The 5 Best Burt Lancaster Films of the '80s

They might seem like yesterday, but the 1980s began over 40 years ago! It was a time when everything seemed simpler and more glamorous with materialism and consumerism at their peaks. No wonder this decade introduced us to some of the best flicks! Although not a particularly strong decade in terms of quality dramas, the 1980s didn’t disappoint in terms of blockbusters, action stars, and gut-busting comedies.

Burt Lancaster was a Hollywood superstar in the 1950s and 1960s, both an actor and producer. He was nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards three times during that era, winning one. And while he was still a top bill name in 1970s starring alongside A-List actors like Paul Newman and Peter O'Toole, the 1980s brought about a resurgence in his career which included another Academy Award nomination.

Roles in crime and action dramas were primarily what Burt Lancaster focused on in the '80s. His acting abilities were still sought after and shared the screen with the likes of Dennis Hopper, Kirk Douglas, Susan Sarandon, and Kevin Costner.

Here are the five best Burt Lancaster films from this era:

Atlantic City (1980)

Today, casino fans have more variety than ever. Simply play at AmazonSlots UK, and you’ll get to enjoy hundreds of slots and table games completely legally. Yet, back in the days, things weren’t so simple. Atlantic City is a classic Hollywood movie with memorable scenes including some of the most satisfying shooting locations ever captured on film.

David Swift, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
It follows the dreams and hopes of a young waitress Sally (Susan Sarandon) in "America’s Playground", perfectly capturing her despair that often surrounds these towns. Her neighbor is Lou (Burt Lancaster), an aging former gangster who gets mixed up in Sally's personal life. For their roles, Lancaster and Sarandon were both nominated for Academy Awards.

The Osterman Weekend (1983)

The Osterman Weekend is a 1983 thriller film directed by Sam Peckinpah and based on the novel by the same name by Robert Ludlum.

The film tells the story of a secret Soviet spy organization known as Omega and a television journalist who is asked by the CIA to persuade them to defect. Burt Lancaster plays a supporting role as CIA director Maxwell Danforth who is an integral part of the film's plot. 

Co-starring John Hurt, Rutger Hauer, Craig T. Nelseon, and Dennis Hopper, The Osterman Weekend is a must watch for suspense thriller fans.

Little Treasure (1985)

In this adventure drama, we see Margo (Margot Kidder) who is a former Broadway dancer that has fallen on hard times. She now works as a stripper at a dive bar who has little ambition in life. Margot decides to try and reconnect with her estranged bank robbing father (Burt Lancaster) which mean a cross-country trip to Mexico. She meets an American expat drifter (Ted Danson) along the way who helps her try to find her father and his lost fortune.

Tough Guys (1986)

In this action comedy film, two aging gangster buddies (Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas) are released from a 30-year prison sentence for high-jacking a plane. They try to go straight but find the 1980s lifestyle is not for them. The assemble what is left of their old gang and go back to a life of crime. 

They quickly find out that they are not cut out for pulling off traditional heists so they decide to hijack a train to Mexico and flee the country. Co-starring Eli Wallach, Dana Carvey, and a cameo performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this film is a must watch for any Burt Lancaster fan.

Rocket Gibraltar (1988)

In Rocket Gibraltar, Levi Rockwell (Burt Lancaster) is a retired screenwriter and patriarch of a family who is about to celebrate his birthday. He invites his children and grandchildren to reunite for his party, but gets more than he can handle with their personal and social issues.

Rockwell clings to his grandson Cy (Macaulay Culkin in his film debut) and tells the family a dying wish to have a Viking funeral at sea. The adult children, consumed with their personal issues, hesitate to honor the request while the grandchildren step up to honor the patriarch.

Lancaster is surrounding by a great supporting cast including Patricia Clarkson, Bill Pullman, Kevin Spacey, and David Hyde Pierce.

Field of Dreams (1988)

Field of Dreams is a classic baseball movie which features Burt Lancaster final film performance. Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is a farmer who hears a voice telling him to build a baseball field on his property. He does so and soon after, baseball players of years past are spotted playing on the field.

Upon his journey to decipher cryptic messages, he meets Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham (Burt Lancaster.) Graham was an aspiring baseball player who never got the chance to bat in the major league. Kinsella learns a terrible truth about the physician, but as he heads home to Iowa he figures out how he will be able to "ease his pain."

Also starring James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, and Ray Liotta, Field of Dreams was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1990 for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score.

Photos courtesy Depositphotos

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