Summer 1987 was a challenging time. I just moved half way across the country and was trying to figure out the new city. I didn’t even know where the movie theater was located. The worst part was, once I found the theater it was too far to ride my bike.
The movie theater was located in the Citadel Mall. My sister, her boyfriend and I would get a ride to the mall and hangout all day, browsing the stores and going to the movies. Thankfully her boyfriend liked action movies as much as I did.
June 1987 had more comedies than action movies but the action movies were some of the best.
Let’s take a look at the movies released in June 1987.
Movies from June 1987
Harry and the Hendersons
Harry and the Hendersons is a fun, family movie. I saw it one time in the theater. I enjoyed the movie but not enough to watch it again. It’s mostly recycled themes from other 80s movies, think E.T. with slapstick comedy.
Harry and the Hendersons stars John Lithgow as George Henderson, the head of the Henderson family. While the Hensersons are driving back from a camping trip in the mountains they hit a Bigfoot. Thinking the Bigfoot is dead, George straps it to the car convinced it will be his ticket to riches and fame.
Of course Bigfoot isn’t dead, it’s a family comedy, instead he was knocked out. Bigfoot wakes up and raids the Hendersons refrigerator before bonding with the family.
There’s an Anthropologist who’s study Bigfoot his entire career only to be jaded by the fact he’s never found Bigfoot, a hunter trying to kill Bigfoot and we discover there’s not just one Bigfoot but a family of Bigfoot’s (Bigfeet?).
Harry and the Hendersons was a hit at the box office making over $30 million. The movie won an Oscar for Best Makeup.
The actor inside the Bigfoot suit, Kevin Peter Hall, starred in two movies in June 1987. We’ll discuss the second movie in a bit.
You can watch Harry and the Henderson on Starz.
ROXANNE, you don’t have to put on the red light… Oh wait, I’m thinking of the wrong thing.
Roxanne is a comedy starring Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah. It’s an adaptation of the 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac. Steve Martin wrote the screenplay.
Martin plays Fire Chief Charlie “C.D.” Bales with a rather large nose. He falls for Roxanne (Hannah) an astronomy PhD candidate who is in town looking for a new comet. Roxanne however is attracted to another firefighter Chris, played by Rick Rossovich (Slider from Top Gun).
Chris is intimidated by women and can’t talk to them. He asks C.D. for help to say the right words. C.D. wins over Roxanne with his words and Chris benefits from it. Soon Roxanne starts to catch on that Chris isn’t the one writing her letters or reciting her poetry.
Roxanne is a funny movie, better than the Bigfoot movie. Martin’s screenplay is smart and whimsical. The scene where he comes up with twenty insults about his nose is great. Strangely every time I see it though, I think Robin Williams would crush the scene!
If you haven’t seen Roxanne it is worth watching. Steve Martin would star in another movie in 1987 that overshadows Roxanne. It’s a movie I re-watch every year. We’ll talk more about that movie in the fall.
You can watch Roxanne on Hulu.
This movie was crazy. It’s (loosely) based on the 1960s TV series of the same name. The TV series was a crime drama, the movie is a buddy cop comedy. Dragnet stars Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Dabney Coleman and Christopher Plummer. Aykroyd plays Sargent Joe Friday, the nephew of Joe Friday from the TV series.
Friday and Pep Streebek (Hanks) are investigating a series of thefts that lead them to a cult called P.A.G.A.N, People Against Goodness And Normalcy. The trail leads to pornographic magazine publisher, Jerry Caeser (think Hugh Hefner or maybe Larry Flint) played wonderfully by Dabney Coleman. Being the 80s there is also a televangelist, Reverand Whirley (Plummer mounting a crusade to shutdown Caeser’s operation.
Also like the 80s, the televangelist isn’t the squeaky clean, God fearing saint he pretends to be. In the end, Friday and Streebek take down the bad guys and get the girl.
Harry Morgan has a part in the movie as Captain Gannon. Morgan played Officer Gannon in the Dragnet TV Series.
I saw Dragnet once in the theater, rented it once and I’ve seen it on TV a few times. It’s a fun movie that doesn’t take itself to serious.
Another comedy, June 1987 was full of comedies.
Spaceballs is a movie by Mel Brooks, the king of parody movies. In Spaceballs, Brooks takes on the Space Opera/SCi-Fi genre. Most of the themes are spoofs on Star Wars but other popular Sci-Fi movies are included too, like Star Trek and Planet of the Apes.
Bull Pullman plays Lonestar, a spoof on Han Solo and John Candy plays Barf. Barf is a Mawg, Half-Man, half-dog. Daphne Zuniga plays Princess Vespa, a spoiled Princess with a C3PO type droid, Dot Matrix as her companion. Rick Moranis is Dark Helmet, a perfect parody of Darth Vader and Mel Brooks plays Yogurt, a wise old man who knows the power of the Schwartz. And maybe the best villain of all time, Pizza the Hutt.
Instead of flying around the galaxy in the Millennium Falcon, Lonestar and Barf travel in a 1986 Winnebego, called Eagle 5.
The plot is similar to Star Wars, the princess is kidnapped and Lonestar and Barf set out to find her. There is a desert planet, space battles and a lightsaber duel.
Spaceballs is a great movie poking fun at Star Wars. It would have been more timely (and maybe better received) if it was made when Star Wars was still ruling the box office.
I’m a big fan of the original Star Wars trilogy and enjoyed laughing at it with Spaceballs. The movie received mixed reviews and did OK at the box office but not great. I would recommend it to any Star Wars fan or Mel Brooks fan.
MAY THE SCHWARTZ BE WITH YOU
We break away from comedies and get to some great action. I love a good movie about organized crime and the mafia. The Untouchables fits the bill. The movie stars Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Andy García and Robert De Niro.
Set in Prohibition Era Chicago the movie follows Elliot Ness (Costner) as he tries to bring down the notorious gangster Al Capone (De Niro). Ness forms the ‘Untouchables’ a group of uncorrupted cops tasked with ending the illegal activities of Capone.
The Untouchables is a fantastic movie from beginning to end. Costner is believable as the straight laces Ness and De Niro is outstanding as Capone. He lets everyone know he’s the boss and no one should challenge him. I don’t know what the real Capone was like, but I could imagine he was like De Niro. I doubt the baseball bat scene is historically accurate but it’s a great scene showing the savagery of Capone.
The star of the movie is Sean Connery as Malone, an old Irish cop who teaches Ness the Chicago way. Connery won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in The Untouchables.
The Untouchables made over $76 million making it the #6 highest grossing movie of 1987.
If you haven’t see The Untouchables you need to add it to your list of movies to watch this month. You won’t be disappointing.
Remember when Geraldo opened Al Capones vault on live TV?
You can watch The Untouchables on HBO Max.
What so you get when you mix the governor of California and the governor of Minnesota with a heavyweight boxer? One hell of an action movie!
Predator stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura and Carl Weathers as an elite group of military operators. Their mission is to rescue a foreign diplomat from insurgents. They soon discover the insurgents are the least of their problems as something out-of-this-world is hunting and killing them.
The action is over the top and wonderful. The team blows up most of the jungle and still can’t find or kill the Predator. Of course Schwarzenegger can figure out how to kill it though.
Seeing the Predator emerge from the water and look for Schwarzenegger had me holding my breath as much as his character.
Predator is a high energy action movie that defines the 1980s. Lots of explosions, battle scenes and cheesy one-liners. It doesn’t get any better!
Kevin Peter Hall played the Predator. He was also in Harry and the Hendersons. Hall was 7 feet 2 inches tall! He starred in Predator 2 and the TV series Harry and the Hendersons.
I’ve seen Predator countless times. I saw it multiple times in the theater, rented it and bought it on VHS, DVD and Bluray.
If you want to watch a great 80s action movie, then look no farther than Predator. Even Roger Ebert liked it saying “Predator moves at a breakneck pace, it has strong and simple characterizations, it has good location photography and terrific special effects, and it supplies what it claims to supply: an effective action movie.”
You can watch Predator on Hulu.
Other movies released in June 1987
Here’s the rest of the movies released in June 1987. Witches of Eastwick was a big hit in 1987. It made the #10 spot of highest grossing films in 1987. It still doesn’t interest me..
I would like to see Cyclone though. Don’t know how I missed it back then. Unfortunately it’s not streaming anywhere.
If you’ve seen one of these let me know.
That will end our look at the movies form June 1987. Lots of comedies and some great action. I can re-watch The Untouchables and Predator non stop. The comedies from this month I haven’t seen in awhile.
Next month is will be another big months for movies. More comedies, dramas and action.
What are your favorites from June 1987?
Next week we’ll look at June 1992.