80's Geek-boy Movie marathon: help me think of movies.
July 10, 2007 12:30 PM   Subscribe

A friend of mine is hosting an 80's Geek-boy Movie marathon. Help me think of movies.

A friend of mine is hosting an 80's Geek-boy Movie marathon. To be specific, movies will be shown that are from the 80s and feature main characters that are male, young(ish), and geeky (preferrably intelligent with regards to computers/science, but other kinds of geeky intelligence might be okay, too). Some good examples we came up with include: Explorers, War Games and Real Genius.

Since we don't really have the patience to sit through dozens of hours of movies, we were planning on watching a couple, and then just watching choice scenes from the rest. I can search imdb just fine on my own, but if you would be so kind, please recommend a specific scene from an 80s Geek-boy movie that would really highlight the geekiness of the characters in the scene.
posted by 23skidoo to Media & Arts (47 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Weird Science!
posted by mullingitover at 12:37 PM on July 10, 2007

First thought that comes to mind is Short Circuit...

But you might want to check out this site, which has an amazing list of 80's movies.
posted by kdern at 12:37 PM on July 10, 2007

Revenge of the Nerds
posted by gnutron at 12:38 PM on July 10, 2007

Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
posted by stam_broker at 12:39 PM on July 10, 2007

For Weird Science, we could use the montage scene, but for Short Circuit, can you recommend a scene that highlights the geekiness?
posted by 23skidoo at 12:40 PM on July 10, 2007

posted by nomisxid at 12:40 PM on July 10, 2007

Oh, there's a great geek scene near the beginning of Sixteen Candles. One of the geeks involved is John Cusack.

Andrew McCarthy was certainly not being portrayed as a geek, but he does manipulate a school computer to romance Molly Ringwald in one scene of Pretty in Pink.

3 O'Clock High has a good example of nerd hero; if you just want one scene, I'd head for the ending.

And surely McFly's, both dad and son, provide a few geeky moments in Back to the Future.
posted by 100watts at 12:47 PM on July 10, 2007

Oh! And I can't believe I forgot the little brother in Better Off Dead!
posted by 100watts at 12:50 PM on July 10, 2007

Sixteen Candles, if only for the scene where Anthony Michael Hall displays Molly Ringwald's undies to a bathroom of awed geeks.
posted by GaelFC at 12:51 PM on July 10, 2007

Almost any scene from WarGames (which I can't believe hasn't been mentioned yet) would do.
posted by cerebus19 at 12:51 PM on July 10, 2007

The Wizard?
posted by mattbucher at 12:52 PM on July 10, 2007

D'oh! That'll teach me to read the whole question.
posted by cerebus19 at 12:53 PM on July 10, 2007

Any movie with Patrick Dempsey in it, although he was more of a nerd than a geek.

Electric Dreams - the guy in it was so hot and geeky

posted by iconomy at 12:57 PM on July 10, 2007

My Science Project
The Goonies
posted by cadge at 12:59 PM on July 10, 2007

The Last Starfighter, the premise of which is that the last hope of the galaxy is someone who kicks ass at a video game.


Deadly Friend
posted by mkultra at 12:59 PM on July 10, 2007

Real Genius - prof gets 15 year old genius to work on his pet laser project. Geek has no idea it's really a top secret weapon being developed for the government. Lots of geekery and nerdity.
posted by iconomy at 1:03 PM on July 10, 2007

seconding Real Genius
posted by SBMike at 1:08 PM on July 10, 2007

Well, thirding, SBMike, since the first mention was in the question ;-)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 1:14 PM on July 10, 2007

Fourthing Real Genius since you had it in your question.

If you are not terribly strict about the date range, Sneakers (1992) has some choice parts involving River Phoenix's character.
posted by mkb at 1:16 PM on July 10, 2007

Oh man I hate it when people do that. What I did.
posted by iconomy at 1:16 PM on July 10, 2007

Like most everyone else I'm blanking on scenes but DARYL (about a boy robot becoming human must be filled with them), there was a space camp movie, Goonies (the geeked out kid with the gadgets strapped to him), little nikita (a kid who gets dragged into being a spy must have something), and yeah, war games!
posted by jeffe at 1:19 PM on July 10, 2007

Wow, Space Camp. I'd forgotten about that, or perhaps blocked it out.

Little Nikita isn't nerdy at all, though it did remind me of Gotcha!, another gem from Anthony Edwards' nerd-salad days.
posted by mkultra at 1:24 PM on July 10, 2007

80's Geek Boy scenes?

Revenge of the Nerds: Pick a scene. Any scene.
The Goonies: Any scene with Richard 'Data' Wang & his inventions.
The Lost Boys: The Frog Brothers try to save Cory Hiam's life by giving him a comic book.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:28 PM on July 10, 2007

cloak and dagger
posted by zap rowsdower at 1:30 PM on July 10, 2007

Good call, 100watts-- definitely 3 O'Clock High (just saw it again a few weeks ago and it was so much better as an adult!).

The first movie that came to mind for me was Terminal Entry, which is sort of a second-rate combo of War Games, Delta Force, and Space Camp, but nowhere near as good as any of those. If you're looking for a movie on these themes that almost no one has seen, it's a gem (from IMDB):

The USA are attacked by a large group of well organized terrorists who communicate through a computer network via satellite. A bunch of highschool kids has hacked the password and gained access. They believe it's a game and unknowingly cause terror acts all over the country. An anti-terror force fights against the terrorists
posted by activitystory at 1:36 PM on July 10, 2007

Scenes to pick out (um, spoiler alert):

DARYL: When DARYL flies the SR-71 Blackbird

Cloak & Dagger: When Davey discovers his video-game-store-owner friend has been shot; when the nice old couple at that Alamo turn out to be bad guys.

The Lost Boys: "Death by stereo."
posted by activitystory at 1:44 PM on July 10, 2007

Yeah - Definitely The Manhattan Project. 80's high school dude builds an atomic bomb.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:45 PM on July 10, 2007

Flight of the motherfucking Navigator, obviously!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:51 PM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

tons of scenes in Stand By Me
posted by Salvatorparadise at 1:54 PM on July 10, 2007

Cloak and Dagger
posted by kc8nod at 1:55 PM on July 10, 2007

Midnight Madness, specifically for the character of Leon.
posted by Bromius at 2:26 PM on July 10, 2007

UHF. Any scene with Philo in it.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:31 PM on July 10, 2007

Don't forget Young Sherlock Holmes!
posted by zebra3 at 2:52 PM on July 10, 2007

"Can't Buy Me Love". Patrick Dempsey playing poker on Sat night with his friends, who are all geeks.
posted by gfrobe at 3:03 PM on July 10, 2007

Seconding Buckaroo Banzai, but what about WAR GAMES?
posted by nkknkk at 3:23 PM on July 10, 2007

Please tell me you'll consider something from Empire Strikes Back (1980).

Luke is still just a 'kid' then. With a light saber, no less.
posted by UnclePlayground at 3:29 PM on July 10, 2007

dirtynumbangelboy writes "Flight of the motherfucking Navigator, obviously!"

Seconding this shit.
posted by chiababe at 4:53 PM on July 10, 2007

not exactly in the form, but you really can't skip over Tron in this trip to geeky mecca, can you?
posted by rubberfish at 5:31 PM on July 10, 2007

Seconding Electric Dreams. I love that movie.

What about "Mazes and Monsters"?
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:37 PM on July 10, 2007

I can't believe no one has mentioned War Games.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:10 PM on July 10, 2007

in descending order: Three Days of the Condor (hot Redford phone phreaking action!!)? Tron? Spaceballs? Heartbeeps? Ice Pirates? ...and nthing all of the above.
posted by mimi at 7:15 PM on July 10, 2007

Thirding Flight of the Navigator.
Also, Time Bandits.
posted by contraption at 8:02 PM on July 10, 2007

Hard to find, but 1000% worth it: Joysticks. The movie is fucking magnificent. It was made for a marathon like this. Just the opening sequence would do great.
[Trailer] [Random Clip]
posted by churl at 8:34 PM on July 10, 2007

definitely flight of the navigator. also, definitely sneakers, even though it's a couple years past the 80s.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:05 AM on July 11, 2007

Before movies they have cartoons right?
You could play the foghorn Leghorn one where he goes to play hide and seek with Miss Prissy's nerdy kid (or nephew - what ever he is) and the kid pulls out a pad and paper to figure it out (he might also pull out a maybe slide ruler or protrator or something).

Ferris Bueller's Day Off when he hacks into the school computer and changes his grades.

I can't think of a scene but there is also the movie "Lucas", "One crazy Summer"
posted by beccaj at 6:34 AM on July 11, 2007

Seconding My Science Project.

There's a great scene where the geeky guy (stuck with the cool kids) shows the others how to use an M-16. He learned from a book, had apparently never actually held one before.
posted by codswallop at 10:05 AM on July 12, 2007

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