My Top 20 by Year - 1989

by miran_kor | created - 23 Apr 2014 | updated - 01 Mar 2017 | Public

Under construction and always in progress.

The Best films from this year (according to IMDb) I've seen (so far).

Out of 214 films 'seen' (ie rated at IMDb). (Mar 2017)


  • Features, shorts, docs and TV movies eligible ("A film is a film is a film.").
  • TV mini-series are NOT (unless stated otherwise).
  • My humble rates added (for films with the same rate just once or twice though).
  • Films with the same rate are ordered arbitrarily. Feel free to re-order them at your will.
  • When I saw more than 20 excellent films (9/10 or above in my book) from a certain year I'll try and list them ALL. That would make some lists much longer but all the excellentia deserves to be mentioned.

Cinema = cinema (big screen) viewing TV = TV viewing PC = download OL = online viewing VHS = VHS viewing

Yet to see (among many):

Sweetie (Campion, 1989) La bande des quatre (Gang of Four, Rivette, 1989) Henry V (Branagh, 1989) Ganashatru (An Enemy of the People, S. Ray, 1989) Majo no takkyûbin (Kiki's Delivery Service, Miyazaki, 1989) Ladri di saponette (The Icicle Thief, Nichetti, 1989) Longtime Companion (N. René, 1989) Roger & Me (M. Moore, 1989, doc) Speaking Parts (Egoyan, 1989) Splendor (Scola, 1989) Komitas (Askarian, 1989, TV) La vie et rien d’autre (Life and Nothing But, Tavernier, 1989) Palombella rossa (Red Lob, Moretti, 1989) Az én XX. századom (My Twentieth Century, Enyedi, 1989) Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours (My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days, Zulawski, 1989) Posetitel muzeya (Visitor of a Museum, Lopushanskiy, 1989) Spasi i sokhrani (Save and Protect, Sokurov, 1989) The Unbelievable Truth (Hartley, 1989) Che ora è? (What Time Is It?, Scola, 1989) Dastforoush (The Peddler, Makhmalbaf, 1989) Boris Godounov (Zulawski, 1989) Seobe (Migrations, A. Petrović, 1989) Enemies: A Love Story (Mazursky, 1989) Pont de Varsòvia (Warsaw Bridge, Portabella, 1989) Les baisers de secours (Emergency Kisses, Garrel, 1989) Resan till Melonia (The Journey to Melonia, Åhlin, 1989) Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki (Violent Cop, Kitano, 1989) Storia di ragazzi e di ragazze (The Story of Boys and Girls, Avati, 1989) Wodaabe - Die Hirten der Sonne. Nomaden am Südrand der Sahara (Herdsmen of the Sun, Herzog, 1989, TV, doc) Sati (Widow Burning, A. Sen, 1989) Always (Spielberg, 1989) Lean on Me (Avildsen, 1989) Zatôichi (Katsu, 1989) For All Mankind (Reinert, 1989, doc) Noce blanche (White Wedding, Brisseau, 1989) Nocturne indien (Corneau, 1989) Bunker Palace Hôtel (Bilal, 1989) Je suis le seigneur du château (I'm the King of the Castle, Wargnier, 1989) Un monde sans pitié (Love Without Pity, Rochant, 1989) Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein (Hard to Be a God, P. Fleischmann, 1989) Rembrandt Laughing (Jost, 1989) La fille de 15 ans (The 15 Year Old Girl, Doillon, 1989) Yaaba (Grandmother, Ouedraogo, 1989) Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men (Hinton, 1989) Bilder der Welt und Inschrift des Krieges (Images of the World and the Inscription of War, Farocki, 1989, doc) Les sièges de l'Alcazar (Moullet, 1989) Aad, baad, khaak (Water, Wind, Dust; Naderi, 1989) Pahiram ng isang umaga (On Borrowed Time, I. Bernal, 1989) Great Balls of Fire! (McBride, 1989) Romuald et Juliette (Mama, There's a Man in Your Bed; Serreau, 1989) Reunion (Schatzberg, 1989) True Love (Savoca, 1989) Iskanderija, kaman oue kaman (Alexandria, Again and Forever; Chahine, 1989)

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1. The Mummy's Dream (1989)

5 min | Documentary, Short

Add a Plot

Director: Takashi Ito

Votes: 41

OL. 10/10.

OL. 9.5/10.

3. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

92 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 76,702 | Gross: $27.55M

PC. 9.5/10.

4. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

77 Metascore

An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated with another woman.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Bill Bernstein, Claire Bloom

Votes: 51,014 | Gross: $18.25M

Cinema. 9/10.

5. Dekalog (1989–1990)
Episode: Dekalog, jeden (1989)

TV-MA | 55 min | Drama

"I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other God but me." Ten-year-old Pawel and his father Krzysztof run their lives on their beloved home computer, while Pawel's aunt worries that his... See full summary »

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Henryk Baranowski, Wojciech Klata, Maja Komorowska, Artur Barcis

Votes: 5,425


6. Nostos: The Return (1989)

85 min | Adventure, History

At the end of the war, Odysseus, the wandering hero, with his companions begins his sail back home to the Mediterranean. The conclusion of his adventure is delayed by many natural obstacles... See full summary »

Director: Franco Piavoli | Stars: Luigi Mezzanotte, Branca de Camargo, Alex Carozzo, Paola Agosti

Votes: 257


7. Santa Sangre (1989)

NC-17 | 123 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, Thelma Tixou

Votes: 17,243


8. Bashu, the Little Stranger (1989)

120 min | Drama, War

Lost in a foreign part of the country after running away for his life, a little boy whose family have been killed during the war is saved and trained by a middle-aged woman.

Director: Bahram Beizai | Stars: Susan Taslimi, Parviz Poorhosseini, Adnan Afravian, Bashu

Votes: 2,109


9. Isle of Flowers (1989)

13 min | Documentary, Short

The ironic, heartbreaking and acid "saga" of a spoiled tomato: from the plantation of a "Nisei" (Brazilian with Japanese origins); to a supermarket; to a consumer's kitchen to become sauce ... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado | Stars: Paulo José, Ciça Reckziegel, Douglas Trainini, Júlia Barth

Votes: 5,104


10. Darkness Light Darkness (1989)

Not Rated | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A human body gradually reconstructs itself as its various component parts crowd themselves into a small room and eventually, after much experimentation, sort out which part goes where.

Director: Jan Svankmajer

Votes: 3,958


11. The Cow (1989)

10 min | Animation, Short, Drama

In the outback, on the railway station there lives a family. 4th grade schoolboy Vasya Rubtsov is experiencing the death of his beloved best friend the cow. The boy remembers how they used ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandr Petrov | Stars: Nikolai Gusarov, Lyubov Teplova, Kostya Panov

Votes: 766


12. Homework (1989)

86 min | Documentary, Drama

In this documentary, Kiarostami asks a number of students about their school homework. The answers of some children shows the darker side of this method of education.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Babak Ahmadpoor, Farhang Akhavan, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Abbas Kiarostami

Votes: 819


13. Things I Like, Things I Don't Like (1989)

8 min | Short, Comedy

A 9 minute comedy starring Dominique Pinon (Delicatessen). Featuring muted colors with a sepia black and white, Pinon takes the viewer through various examples of what he "likes and ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Dominique Pinon, Chick Ortega, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Diane Bertrand

Votes: 1,981


14. Manly Games (1988)

Not Rated | 14 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A man sits down to watch a football match, which seems to consist of the players being violently mutilated in various inventive ways. The players then leave the football pitch and invade ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Svankmajer | Star: Miroslav Kuchar

Votes: 997


15. The Song of Songs (1989)

10 min | Documentary, Short

About love and birth of human being.

Director: Herz Frank

Votes: 36


16. Exciting Love Story (1989)

6 min | Animation, Short

A man visits the panels of a comic page-like world in search for his loved Gloria.

Director: Borivoj Dovnikovic-Bordo

Votes: 54

Orig. title: Uzbudljiva ljubavna priča.


17. Sitting on a Branch, Enjoying Myself (1989)

110 min | Comedy, Drama

Pepe and Prengel, returning from war, meet Ester and both fall in love with the girl and live together in a deserted house. Fanatic communist, Zelmira, wants to turn their world upside-down.

Director: Juraj Jakubisko | Stars: Bolek Polívka, Borek Dlouhý, Ivan Drozdy, Judita Durdiaková

Votes: 406


18. Pièce touchée (1989)

16 min | Short

Arnold's original material is a piece of found-footage from the 50s. 18 seconds long and very typical for the period. A quiet take: a living room, a woman in an arm-chair. Her husband opens... See full summary »

Director: Martin Arnold

Votes: 226

OL. 9/10.

19. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

NC-17 | 124 min | Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.

Director: Peter Greenaway | Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard

Votes: 32,110 | Gross: $7.72M

Cinema. 8.5/10.

20. Black Rain (1989)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama

The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara, Shôichi Ozawa

Votes: 2,709

OL. 8.5/10.

21. A City of Sadness (1989)

157 min | Drama

A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Shu-Fen Hsin, Sung Young Chen, Jack Kao

Votes: 3,702

Cinema. 8/10.

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