My Nominations: Creepshow. Blade Runner. Diner. ET. Evil Under The Sun. Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Gandhi. The Thing. The Verdict. Conan The Barbarian.
You know me; I love a good ensemble movie and I love a good ‘small team against the odds/Dirty Dozen type movie. We have both of those this year – Fast Times perhaps being one of the first and finest examples of an up and coming ensemble forming a formless slice of life coming of age format – Judge Reinhold, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Nic Cage, Forest Whitaker, Brian Backer, Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz, Amanda Wyss, Robert Romanus, Ray Walston, and Vincent Schiavelli all pop up.
Diner follows a similar group of youngsters in another part of the US, a group a few years out of school but also on the verge of a shift in their lives. Steve Guttenberg, Micky Rourke, Paul Reiser, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern, Ellen Barkin, and Tim Daly star. Looking back to a more established ensemble is Evil Under The Sun, an Agatha Christie tale featuring Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Sylvia Miles, James Mason, Jane Birkin, Colin Blakely, Roddy McDowell, and Diana Rigg.
With a massive cast, albeit perhaps featuring less well known stars, is Gandhi with Ben Kingsley, Edward Fox, Candice Bergen, John Mills, John Gielgud, Martin Sheen, Trevor Howard, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth, Nigel Hawthorne, Daniel Day Lewis, Pradeep Kumar, Ian Bannen, Amrish Puri, Richard Griffiths etc etc.
It’s not all large casts though, with The Verdict relying mainly on Paul Newman, James Mason, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, and Milo O’Shea, while ET introduces Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas alongside Dee Wallace and Peter Coyote. Blade Runner features some of the most iconic casting of the year – Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, Joanna Cassidy, and Edward James Olmos. Creepshow is an anthology with little to no crossover between stories – those stories featuring Ted Danson, Stephen King, Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Harris, Jon Lormer, Viveca Lindfors, Leslie Nielsen, Gaylen Ross, Hal Holbrook, and EG Marshall.
Finally, The Thing sees Kurt Russell lead an increasingly threatened and paranoid team of snow boys including Wilford Brimley, Keith David, TK Carter, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Thomas G Waites, Joe Polis, Peter Maloney, David Clennon, Richard Dysart, and Charles Hallahan. It’s one of the greatest single location movies ever and it wouldn’t be that way if the cast and characters were not all likeable and relatable.
My Winner: The Thing
Let us know your winner in the comments!