1. Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Oh, Sloane. Who wouldn’t take a day off to drive around Chicago with you? No one, for the record, has ever looked this good in high school. Fact.
2. Nicolette Sheridan as The Sure Thing in The Sure Thing (1985)
OK, yes, she doesn’t get a name and is totally objectified, both by the filmmakers and the characters, but come on. That first scene where she baby-oils herself on the beach could make a grown man cry (or grown woman cry, but the women will be crying for different, self-hating reasons).
3. Kim Basinger as Elizabeth in 9 ½ Weeks (1986)
It pains me to put up this photo, as it shows the yumminess that was Mickey Rourke before he went and ruined his beautiful face (and started carrying around tiny dogs and wearing so much leather), but it must be said that the ’80s were good to Kim Basinger, and that in this flick in particular she was supersexy.
4. Jennifer Grey as Frances “Baby” Houseman in Dirty Dancing (1987)
Proving once and for all that plastic surgery is not attractive, Jennifer Grey was never hotter than in this movie with her original nose (and sick dance moves). One must wonder, though, if Patrick Swayze's hotness increases the hotness of everyone around him, like a virus. Even Jerry Orbach was smokin'.
5. Karen Allen as Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Perhaps the general population would call her more cute than hot, but whatever. Whenever I watch Raiders I just want to eat her little face off! Does that sound creepy?
6. Elisabeth Shue as Chris Parker in Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
This is a bias for me, as I watched Adventures in Babysitting approximately 68 times from 1988-1993 and wanted nothing more than to be Elisabeth Shue. I still maintain, however, that she is a fine-lookin’ woman, in this film particularly.
7. Jennifer Beals as Alex Owens in Flashdance (1983)
That face. That body. That dance scene in the steel mill. Case closed.
8. Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters (1984)
When she turns into the Gatekeeper at the end of the movie, Rick Moranis can’t resist her hit-by-lightning hair and come-hither eyes... and neither can I. I like a little singe on a woman, you know what I’m saying?
9. Robin Wright as Buttercup in The Princess Bride (1987)
Since I so egregiously ignored Cary Elwes in my previous list (Oh, my sweet Westley, what have I done?), I must mention the cornfed beauty that is Robin Wright Penn in her debut film. I hope Sean Penn hits himself hard every time he watches The Princess Bride because damn, Penn, you do not give that up.
10. Kathleen Turner as Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone (1984)
Hot, wet, jungle Turner, before her nose inexplicable widened by a factor of five and she started looking like a drag queen (I’m sorry, but it’s true). This is exactly how I want to look if I am ever marooned on an island with Michael Douglas.
Honorable mentions: Phoebe Cates as Linda Barrett in Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Daryl Hannah as Roxanne Kowalski in Roxanne; Isabella Rossellini as Dorothy Vallens in Blue Velvet (1986).
I got a bunch of comments for this, so just let me say: I restrict my list to movies I have seen and I can’t ever see Sean Young as sexy after Ace Ventura when she played a man. Sorry.
It is also worth noting that Maxim has its own list of Hottest Women of the ’80s, and that none of mine overlap with theirs. I consider that a compliment to my taste.