Old Movies Every Young Person Should Watch

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The Breakfast Club (1985)

Five high-schoolers (a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal) spend a Saturday in detention together— and realize they’re not that different from each other after all.

PHOTO: Universal Pictures

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Working Girl (1988)

Melanie Griffith, whom you might now know as Dakota Johnson’s mom, plays Tess McGill, a Staten Island secretary at a Wall Street investment bank whose hack boss (Sigourney Weaver) steals her merger idea. When said boss breaks her leg and is out of the office, Tess takes back what’s hers.

PHOTO: 20th Century Fox

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Moonstruck (1987)

Cher won the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Loretta, an “unlucky” woman who falls for her fiancé’s brother (Nicolas Cage).


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Reality Bites (1994)

The movie that defines ’90s angst: Lelaina (Winona Ryder) is an idealistic college graduate and aspiring documentarian; her best friend, Troy (Ethan Hawke), is a cynical dropout who can’t keep a job. There’s also Sammy (Steve Zahn), who just came out to his family, and Vickie (Janeane Garofalo), who worries she’s HIV-positive. (Fun fact: This was Ben Stiller’s directorial debut!)

PHOTO: Universal Pictures

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Pretty Woman (1990)

You’d be hard-pressed to find a performance more charming than Julia Roberts’s as Vivian, a sex worker who agrees to spend a whole week with a wealthy businessman (Richard Gere) — then winds up falling for him (and he for her). There’s a shopping montage set to Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” that is easily the best shopping montage in movie history.

PHOTO: Touchstone Pictures

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When Harry Met Sally

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