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The following is an overview of events in 1988 in film, including the highest-grossing films, award ceremonies and festivals, a list of films released and notable deaths. Rain Man was awarded the Academy Award for Best Picture, marking one of the few instances where the top-grossing film of the year was also the winner of such an award that year.

List of years in film (table)
In home video
In television

Highest-grossing films (U.S.)Edit

The top ten films released in 1988 by domestic gross are as follows:

Highest-grossing films of 1988[1]
Rank Title Distributor Domestic gross
1. Rain Man MGM $172,825,435
2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit Disney $156,452,370
3. Coming to America Paramount $128,152,301
4. Big 20th Century Fox $114,968,774
5. Twins Universal $111,938,388
6. Crocodile Dundee II Paramount $109,306,210
7. Die Hard 20th Century Fox $83,008,852
8. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Paramount $78,756,177
9. Cocktail Disney $78,222,753
10. Beetlejuice Warner Bros. $73,707,461


Academy Awards:

Best Picture: Rain Man – Mirage Entertainment, Star Partners II, United Artists
Best Director: Barry LevinsonRain Man
Best Actor: Dustin HoffmanRain Man
Best Actress: Jodie FosterThe Accused
Best Supporting Actor: Kevin KlineA Fish Called Wanda
Best Supporting Actress: Geena DavisThe Accidental Tourist
Best Foreign Language Film: Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle erobreren), directed by Bille August, Denmark

Golden Globe Awards:


Best Picture: Rain Man
Best Actor: Dustin HoffmanRain Man
Best Actress (tie): Jodie FosterThe Accused
Best Actress (tie): Shirley MacLaineMadame Sousatzka
Best Actress (tie): Sigourney WeaverGorillas in the Mist

Comedy or Musical:

Best Picture: Working Girl
Best Actor: Tom HanksBig
Best Actress: Melanie GriffithWorking Girl


Best Supporting Actor: Martin LandauTucker: The Man and His Dream
Best Supporting Actress: Sigourney WeaverWorking Girl
Best Director: Clint EastwoodBird
Best Foreign Language Film: Pelle the Conqueror, Denmark

Golden Raspberry Awards:

Worst Picture: Cocktail
Worst Director (tie): Blake EdwardsSunset
Worst Director (tie): Stewart RaffillMac and Me
Worst Actor: Sylvester StalloneRambo III
Worst Actress: Liza MinnelliArthur 2: On the Rocks & Rent-a-Cop
Worst Supporting Actor: Dan AykroydCaddyshack II
Worst Supporting Actress: Kristy McNicholTwo Moon Junction
Worst Screenplay: Heywood GouldCocktail
Worst New Star: Ronald McDonald (as himself) – Mac and Me
Worst Original Song: "Jack Fresh" – Caddyshack II, written and performed by Full Force

Palme d'Or (Cannes Film Festival)

Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle erobreren), directed by Bille August, Denmark

Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival)

La leggenda del santo bevitore (The Legend of the Holy Drinker), directed by Ermanno Olmi, Italy / France

Golden Bear (Berlin International Film Festival)

Red Sorghum (Hong gao liang), directed by Zhang Yimou, China

1988 Wide-release filmsEdit


Opening Title Studio Cast and crew Genre Medium
8 Cop Atlantic Releasing Corporation James B. Harris (director/screenplay); James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning, Charles Haid, Raymond J. Barry Crime, Thriller Live action
15 The Couch Trip Orion Pictures Michael Ritchie (director); Steven Kampmann, William Porter, Sean Stein, Walter Bernstein (screenplay); Dan Aykroyd, Walter Matthau, Charles Grodin, Donna Dixon Comedy Live action
For Keeps TriStar Pictures John G. Avildsen (director); Molly Ringwald, Randall Batinkoff, Kenneth Mars Comedy, Drama Live action
22 Braddock: Missing in Action III Cannon Films Aaron Norris (director); Chuck Norris, Aki Aleong, Yehuda Efroni, Roland Harrah III Action, Adventure Live action
5 She's Having a Baby Paramount Pictures / Hughes Entertainment John Hughes (director); Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth McGovern, Alec Baldwin, William Windom, Cathryn Damon, John Ashton, Paul Gleason Romance, Comedy Live action
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Orion Pictures Philip Kaufman (director/screenplay); Jean-Claude Carrière (screenplay); Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin, Derek de Lint, Erland Josephson, Pavel Landovský, Donald Moffat, Daniel Olbrychski, Stellan Skarsgård Drama, Romance Live action
12 Action Jackson Lorimar Film Entertainment Craig R. Baxley (director); Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone, Thomas F. Wilson Action Live action
Shoot to Kill Touchstone Pictures Roger Spottiswoode (director); Harv Zimmel, Michael Burton, Daniel Petrie, Jr. (screenplay); Sidney Poitier, Tom Berenger, Kirstie Alley Adventure, Crime, Thriller Live action
26 Bloodsport Warner Bros. Newt Arnold (director); Christopher Cosby, Mel Friedman, Sheldon Lettich (screenplays); Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres, Norman Burton, Roy Chiao, Forest Whitaker, Bolo Yeung Martial Arts Live action
Frantic Warner Bros. Roman Polanski (director); Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, John Mahoney, Emmanuelle Seigner Mystery. Thriller Live action
Hairspray New Line Cinema John Waters (director); Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine, Debbie Harry, Ricki Lake, Jerry Stiller, Ric Ocasek, Pia Zadora Comedy Live action
4 And God Created Woman Vestron Pictures Roger Vadim (director); Rebecca De Mornay, Vincent Spano, Frank Langella, Donovan Leitch Drama Live action
Moving Warner Bros. Alan Metter (director); Richard Pryor, Beverly Todd, Dave Thomas, Dana Carvey, Randy Quaid Comedy Live action
Prison Empire Pictures Renny Harlin (director); Lane Smith, Viggo Mortensen, Chelsea Field, Lincoln Kilpatrick, André De Shields Horror Live action
Switching Channels TriStar Pictures Ted Kotcheff (director); Kathleen Turner, Burt Reynolds, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Henry Gibson Comedy Live action
11 Masquerade Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Bob Swaim (director); Rob Lowe, Meg Tilly, Kim Cattrall, Doug Savant Romance, Mystery, Thriller Live action
Off Limits 20th Century Fox Christopher Crowe (director); Willem Dafoe, Gregory Hines, Fred Ward, Amanda Pays, Scott Glenn Action, Thriller Live action
Stand and Deliver Warner Bros. Ramón Menéndez (director); Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rosanna DeSoto, Andy García Drama Live action
18 D.O.A. Touchstone Pictures Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton (directors); Charles Edward Pogue (screenplay); Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Daniel Stern, Charlotte Rampling Crime, Thriller Live action
The Milagro Beanfield War Universal Pictures Robert Redford (director); Rubén Blades, Richard Bradford, Sônia Braga, Julie Carmen, James Gammon, Melanie Griffith, John Heard, Carlos Riquelme, Daniel Stern, Christopher Walken, Chick Vennera Comedy, Drama Live action
Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Warner Bros. Alan Myerson (director); Bubba Smith, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Leslie Easterbrook, Marion Ramsey, Janet Jones, Lance Kinsey, Matt McCoy, G. W. Bailey, George Gaynes Action, Adventure Live action
Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw TriStar Pictures / Carolco Pictures Pierre DeCelles (director); Brennan Howard, B.J. Ward, Nancy Cartwright, Tony Longo Adventure Animation
Stars and Bars Columbia Pictures Pat O'Connor (director); Daniel Day-Lewis, Harry Dean Stanton, Maury Chaykin, Joan Cusack, Keith David, Spalding Gray, Glenne Headly, Laurie Metcalf, Deidre O'Connell, Will Patton, Martha Plimpton, Steven Wright Comedy Live action
25 Biloxi Blues Universal Pictures / Rastar Mike Nichols (director); Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Corey Parker, Casey Siemaszko, Penelope Ann Miller, Park Overall Comedy, Drama Live action
The Fox and the Hound (re-release) Walt Disney Pictures Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens (directors); Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Dick Bakalyan, Paul Winchell, Keith Mitchell, Corey Feldman Drama Animation
Johnny Be Good Orion Pictures Bud Smith (director); Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey Jr., Paul Gleason, Uma Thurman, Seymour Cassel, Jennifer Tilly Comedy Live action
30 Beetlejuice Warner Bros. Pictures Tim Burton (director); Michael McDowell, Warren Skaaren (screenplay); Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, Michael Keaton Comedy, Fantasy Live action


Opening Title Studio Cast and crew Genre Medium
1 Bright Lights, Big City United Artists James Bridges (director); Jay McInerney (screenplay); Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, Phoebe Cates, Dianne Wiest Drama Live action
The Seventh Sign TriStar Pictures Carl Schultz (director); Demi Moore, Michael Biehn, Peter Friedman, Jürgen Prochnow Drama, Horror Live action
8 18 Again! New World Pictures Paul Flaherty (director); George Burns, Charlie Schlatter, Tony Roberts, Anita Morris, Red Buttons Fantasy, Comedy Live action
Above the Law Warner Bros. Andrew Davis (director/screenplay); Steven Pressfield, Ronald Shusett (screenplay); Steven Seagal, Pam Grier, Sharon Stone, Daniel Faraldo, Henry Silva Action Live action
Bad Dreams 20th Century Fox Andrew Fleming (director/screenplay); Steven E. de Souza (screenplay); Jennifer Rubin, Bruce Abbott, Richard Lynch, Dean Cameron, Harris Yulin Horror Live action
15 Appointment with Death Cannon Film Distributors Michael Winner (director/screenplay); Anthony Shaffer, Peter Buckman (screenplays); Peter Ustinov, Lauren Bacall, Carrie Fisher, John Gielgud, Piper Laurie, Hayley Mills, Jenny Seagrove, David Soul Mystery Live action
Brain Damage Palisades Entertainment Frank Henenlotter (director); Rick Hearst, Jennifer Lowry, Gordon MacDonald Comedy, Horror Live action
Colors Orion Pictures Dennis Hopper (director); Michael Schiffer (screenplay); Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, María Conchita Alonso Action, Crime Live action
The Moderns Nelson Entertainment Alan Rudolph (director); Keith Carradine, Linda Fiorentino, Geneviève Bujold, Geraldine Chaplin, Wallace Shawn, Kevin J. O'Connor, John Lone Drama, Comedy Live action
Plain Clothes Paramount Pictures Martha Coolidge (director); Scott Frank (screenplay); Arliss Howard, Suzy Amis, Seymour Cassel, Diane Ladd, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda, George Wendt Comedy Live action
Return to Snowy River Walt Disney Pictures Geoff Burrowes (director); Tom Burlinson, Sigrid Thornton, Brian Dennehy, Nicholas Eadie, Bryan Marshall, Mark Hembrow Drama Live action
22 Casual Sex? Universal Pictures Geneviève Robert (director); Lea Thompson, Victoria Jackson, Stephen Shellen, Jerry Levine, Mary Gross, Andrew Dice Clay Comedy Live action
Return of the Killer Tomatoes New World Pictures John De Bello (director); Michael Villani, John Astin, Karen Mistal, Anthony Starke, George Clooney Comedy, Horror Live action
The Unholy Vestron Pictures Camilo Vila (director); Ben Cross, Ned Beatty, William Russ, Jill Carroll, Hal Holbrook, Trevor Howard Horror Live action
29 Critters 2: The Main Course New Line Cinema Mick Garris (director); Scott Grimes, Liane Curtis, Don Opper, Barry Corbin, Tom Hodges Sci-Fi, Comedy, Horror Live action
Powaqqatsi The Cannon Group Godfrey Reggio (director) Documentary Live action
Sunset TriStar Pictures Blake Edwards (director/screenplay); Bruce Willis, James Garner, Mariel Hemingway, Kathleen Quinlan, Jennifer Edwards, Malcolm McDowell Mystery, Action Live action
4 The House on Carroll Street Orion Pictures Peter Yates (director); Kelly McGillis, Jeff Daniels, Mandy Patinkin Thriller Live action
6 Dead Heat New World Pictures Mark Goldblatt (director); Treat Williams, Joe Piscopo, Darren McGavin, Lindsay Frost, Vincent Price Action, Comedy, Horror Live action
Salsa The Cannon Group, Inc. / A Golan-Globus Production Boaz Davidson (director); Robby Rosa, Rodney Harvey Romance Live action
Shakedown Universal Pictures James Glickenhaus (director); Peter Weller, Sam Elliott, Patricia Charbonneau, Antonio Fargas, Blanche Baker Crime, Drama, Action Live action
13 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Paramount Pictures John Carl Buechler (director); Lar Park Lincoln, Terry Kiser, Kevin Blair, Kane Hodder, Walt Gorney Horror, Slasher Live action
Maniac Cop Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment William Lustig (director); Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, William Smith, Robert Z'Dar, Sheree North Action, Slasher Live action
The Nest Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Terence H. Winkless (director); Robert Lansing, Lisa Langlois, Franc Luz, Terri Treas, Diana Bellamy Horror Live action
Not of This Earth Concorde Pictures Jim Wynorski (director/screenplay); R.J. Robertson (screenplay); Traci Lords, Arthur Roberts, Lenny Juliano, Rebecca Perle Sci-Fi, Horror, Comedy Live action
20 Call Me Vestron Pictures Sollace Mitchell (director); Patricia Charbonneau, Stephen McHattie, Boyd Gaines, Sam Freed, Steve Buscemi Drama, Thriller Live action
Willow Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Ron Howard (director); Bob Dolman (screenplay); Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Billy Barty, Jean Marsh Fantasy Live action
25 Crocodile Dundee II Paramount Pictures John Cornell (director); Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon Action, Comedy Live action
Rambo III TriStar Pictures / Carolco Pictures Peter MacDonald (director); Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna Action, Adventure Live action
27 Killer Klowns from Outer Space Trans World Entertainment Stephen Chiodo (director); Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, Royal Dano, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi, John Vernon Sci-Fi, Horror, Comedy Live action
3 Big 20th Century Fox Penny Marshall (director); Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jared Rushton Fantasy, Comedy Live action
Funny Farm Warner Bros. George Roy Hill (director); Jeffrey Boam (screenplay); Chevy Chase, Madolyn Smith, Joseph Maher, Jack Gilpin, Brad Sullivan, MacIntyre Dixon Comedy Live action
10 Big Business Touchstone Pictures Jim Abrahams (director); Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Fred Ward, Edward Herrmann, Michael Gross Comedy Live action
Poltergeist III Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Gary Sherman (director); Tom Skerritt, Nancy Allen, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein Horror Live action
The Presidio Paramount Pictures Peter Hyams (director); Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan, Jack Warden Crime, Drama Live action
Puss in Boots The Cannon Group Eugene Marner (director); Christopher Walken, Jason Connery, Carmela Marner, Yossi Graber, Amnon Meskin, Elki Jacobs, Michael Schneider Musical, Fantasy, Adventure Live action
15 Bull Durham Orion Pictures Ron Shelton (director); Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl Romacne, Comedy, Sprots Live action
17 The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years New Line Cinema Penelope Spheeris (director); Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, Aerosmith, Kiss, Motörhead, Megadeth, Faster Pussycat, Lizzy Borden, London, Odin Documentary Live action
The Great Outdoors Universal Pictures / Hughes Entertainment Howard Deutch (director); Dan Aykroyd, John Candy Comedy Live action
Red Heat TriStar Pictures / Carolco Pictures Walter Hill (director/screenplay); Harry Kleiner, Troy Kennedy Martin (screenplays); Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O'Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon Action Live action
Waxwork Vestron Pictures Anthony Hickox (director); Zach Galligan, Deborah Foreman, Michelle Johnson, David Warner, Dana Ashbrook, Miles O'Keeffe, Patrick Macnee, John Rhys-Davies Horror, Comedy Live action
22 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Entertainment Robert Zemeckis (director); Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman (screenplays); Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Charles Fleischer, Stubby Kaye, Joanna Cassidy Comedy Live action/Animation
29 Coming to America Paramount Pictures John Landis (director); David Sheffield, Barry W. Blaustein (screenplays); Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley Romance, Comedy Live action


Opening Title Studio Cast and crew Genre Medium
6 License to Drive 20th Century Fox / Davis Entertainment Greg Beeman (director); Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Carol Kane, Richard Masur, Heather Graham Teen, Adventure Live action
Short Circuit 2 TriStar Pictures Kenneth Johnson (director); Fisher Stevens, Michael McKean, Cynthia Gibb, Jack Weston, Tim Blaney Sci-Fi, Action Live action
8 Arthur 2: On the Rocks Warner Bros. Bud Yorkin (director); Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud Comedy Live action
It Couldn't Happen Here Liberty Films Jack Bond (director); Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe, Joss Ackland, Neil Dickson, Gareth Hunt, Barbara Windsor Musical Live action
13 The Dead Pool Warner Bros. Buddy Van Horn (director); Steve Sharon (screenplay); Clint Eastwood, Patricia Clarkson, Liam Neeson, Evan Kim, Jim Carrey Action Live action
15 Bambi (re-release) Walt Disney Pictures David Hand, James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright (directors) Drama, Fantasy Animation
Die Hard 20th Century Fox / Silver Pictures John McTiernan (director); Jeb Stuart, Steven E. de Souza (screenplays); Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, Hart Bochner Action, Thriller Live action
A Fish Called Wanda Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Charles Crichton (director); John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin Heist, Comedy Live action
20 Midnight Run Universal Pictures Martin Brest (director); Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano Action, Comedy Live action
22 Big Top Pee-wee Paramount Pictures Randal Kleiser (director); Paul Reubens, Kris Kristofferson, Susan Tyrrell, Penelope Ann Miller, Valeria Golino Comedy Live action
Caddyshack II Warner Bros. Allan Arkush (director); Harold Ramis, Peter Torokvei (screenplays); Jackie Mason, Robert Stack, Dyan Cannon, Dina Merrill, Jonathan Silverman, Brian McNamara, Marsha Warfield, Paul Bartel, Randy Quaid, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd Sports, Comedy Live action
Mr. North The Samuel Goldwyn Company Danny Huston (director); Anthony Edwards, Robert Mitchum, Harry Dean Stanton, Anjelica Huston, Mary Stuart Masterson, Virginia Madsen, Tammy Grimes, David Warner, Lauren Bacall Comedy, Drama Live action
29 Cocktail Touchstone Pictures Roger Donaldson (director); Heywood Gould (screenplay); Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue Romance, Drama Live action
Monkey Shines Orion Pictures George A. Romero (director/screenplay); Jason Beghe, John Pankow, Kate McNeil, Joyce Van Patten Horror Live action
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking Columbia Pictures Ken Annakin (director/screenplay); Tami Erin, Eileen Brennan, Dennis Dugan, Dianne Hull, George DiCenzo, John Schuck, Dick Van Patten Adventure, Children Live action
5 The Blob TriStar Pictures Chuck Russell (director/screenplay); Frank Darabont (screenplay); Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillon, Donovan Leitch, Jeffrey DeMunn, Candy Clark, Joe Seneca Sci-Fi, Horror Live action
The Rescue Touchstone Pictures Ferdinand Fairfax (director); Kevin Dillon, Marc Price, Ned Vaughn, Christine Harnos, Ian Giatti, Charles Haid, Edward Albert, Timothy Carhart, Michael Gates Phenicie, Mel Wong, James Cromwell Drama, Action Live action
Vibes Columbia Pictures / Imagine Entertainment Ken Kwapis (director); Cyndi Lauper, Jeff Goldblum, Julian Sands, Googy Gress, Peter Falk Romance, Adventure, Comedy Live action
10 Clean and Sober Warner Bros. / Imagine Entertainment Glenn Gordon Caron (director); Michael Keaton, Kathy Baker, Morgan Freeman, M. Emmet Walsh, Tate Donovan, Luca Bercovici Drama Live action
12 The Last Temptation of Christ Universal Pictures Martin Scorsese (director); Paul Schrader (screenplay); Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey, Harry Dean Stanton, David Bowie Epic, Drama Live action
Mac and Me Orion Pictures Stewart Raffill (director); Christine Ebersole, Jonathan Ward, Katrina Caspary, Lauren Stanley, Jade Calegory Sci-Fi, Fantasy Live action
Tucker: The Man and His Dream Paramount Pictures Francis Ford Coppola (director); Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landau, Frederic Forrest, Mako, Dean Stockwell Biographical, Comedy, Drama Live action
Young Guns 20th Century Fox Christopher Cain (director); Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemaszko, Terry O'Quinn, Jack Palance, Terence Stamp Western Live action
19 Married to the Mob Orion Pictures Jonathan Demme (director); Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Modine, Dean Stockwell, Mercedes Ruehl, Alec Baldwin Comedy Live action
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master New Line Cinema Renny Harlin (director); Brian Helgeland, Ken Wheat, Jim Wheat (screenplays); Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Danny Hassel, Tuesday Knight, Ken Sagoes, Rodney Eastman, Andras Jones, Brooke Theiss, Toy Newkirk, Nicholas Mele, Brooke Bundy, Linnea Quigley Slasher Live action
24 Crossing Delancey Warner Bros. Joan Micklin Silver (director); Amy Irving, Peter Riegert, Jeroen Krabbé, Sylvia Miles Romance, Comedy Live action
26 Betrayed United Artists Costa-Gavras (director); Debra Winger, Tom Berenger, John Heard, John Mahoney Drama, Thriller Live action
Hero and the Terror Cannon Films William Tannen (director); Chuck Norris, Brynn Thayer, Steve James, Jack O'Halloran Action Live action
Hot to Trot Warner Bros. Michael Dinner (director); Hugo Gilbert, Stephen Neigher, Charlie Peters, Andy Breckman (screenplays); Bob Goldthwait, Virginia Madsen, Jim Metzler, Dabney Coleman Comedy Live action
Stealing Home Warner Bros. Steven Kampmann, William Porter (directors); Mark Harmon, Jodie Foster, Blair Brown, Jonathan Silverman, Harold Ramis, William McNamara, John Shea Coming of age, Romance, Drama Live action
2 The Deceivers Cinecom Pictures Nicholas Meyer (director); Pierce Brosnan, Shashi Kapoor, Saeed Jaffrey, Helena Michell, Keith Michell, David Robb, Tariq Yunus Adventure Live action
Eight Men Out Orion Pictures John Sayles (director/screenplays); John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner, Christopher Lloyd, Charlie Sheen, David Strathairn, D. B. Sweeney Sports, Drama Live action
9 Moon over Parador Universal Pictures Paul Mazursky (director/screenplay); Leon Capetanos (screenplay); Richard Dreyfuss, Raúl Juliá, Sônia Braga, Jonathan Winters, Fernando Rey Romance, Comedy Live action
Running on Empty Warner Bros. Sidney Lumet (director); Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch, Martha Plimpton, River Phoenix, Steven Hill Drama Live action
15 War Party Hemdale Film Corporation Franc Roddam (director); Billy Wirth, Kevin Dillon, Kevyn Major Howard, Jerry Hardin, Tantoo Cardinal, Bill McKinney, Guy Boyd, R.D. Call, William Frankfather, M. Emmet Walsh, Dennis Banks, Saginaw Grant, Rodney A. Grant Western, Drama Live action
16 Messenger of Death Cannon Films J. Lee Thompson (director); Charles Bronson, Trish Van Devere, Laurence Luckinbill, Daniel Benzali, Marilyn Hassett, Charles Dierkop, Jeff Corey, John Ireland, Penny Peyser, Gene Davis, John Solari, Jon Cedar, Tom Everett, Duncan Gamble, Bert Williams Crime, Action, Thriller Live action
Miles from Home Cinecom Pictures Gary Sinise (director); Richard Gere, Kevin Anderson, Penelope Ann Miller Drama, Action Live action
Tougher Than Leather New Line Cinema Rick Rubin (director); Run-D.M.C., Richard Edson, Jenny Lumet, The Beastie Boys Drama Live Action
23 Gorillas in the Mist Universal Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures Michael Apted (director); Sigourney Weaver, Bryan Brown Drama Live action
Kansas Trans World Entertainment David Stevens (director); Matt Dillon, Andrew McCarthy, Leslie Hope, Kyra Sedgwick, Arlen Dean Snyder Crime, Drama Live action
Patty Hearst Atlantic Releasing Paul Schrader (director); Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames, Frances Fisher, Jodi Long Biographical Live action
Sweet Hearts Dance TriStar Pictures Robert Greenwald (director); Don Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Daniels, Elizabeth Perkins, Kate Reid, Justin Henry Comedy, Drama Live action
24 Daffy Duck's Quackbusters Warner Bros. Greg Ford, Terry Lennon (directors); Mel Blanc, Julie Bennett, Roy Firestone, B.J. Ward Fantasy Animation
30 Bird Warner Bros. Pictures Clint Eastwood (director); Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora Biographical Live action
Heartbreak Hotel Touchstone Pictures Chris Columbus (director); David Keith, Tuesday Weld, Charlie Schlatter Comedy Live action


Opening Title Studio Cast and crew Genre Medium
7 Alien Nation 20th Century Fox Graham Baker (director); James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp Science-fiction, Action Live action
Clara's Heart Warner Bros. Robert Mulligan (director); Mark Medoff (screenplay); Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Ontkean, Kathleen Quinlan, Neil Patrick Harris, Spalding Gray Drama Live action
Memories of Me Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Henry Winkler (director); Billy Crystal, Alan King, JoBeth Williams Comedy, Drama Live action
Punchline Columbia Pictures David Seltzer (director/screenplay); Sally Field, Tom Hanks, John Goodman, Mark Rydell Comedy Live action
14 The Accused Paramount Pictures Jonathan Kaplan (director); Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis, Bernie Coulson, Leo Rossi, Ann Hearn, Carmen Argenziano, Steve Antin, Tom O'Brien Legal drama Live action
The Kiss TriStar Pictures Pen Densham (director); Stephen Volk, Tom Ropelewski, (screenplay); Joanna Pacula, Meredith Salenger, Nicholas Kilbertus, Mimi Kuzyk, Jan Rubeš Horror Live action
Another Woman Orion Pictures Woody Allen (director/screenplay); Philip Bosco, Betty Buckley, Blythe Danner, Sandy Dennis, Mia Farrow, Gene Hackman, Ian Holm, John Houseman, Martha Plimpton, Gena Rowlands, David Ogden Stiers, Harris Yulin Drama Live action
Night of the Demons International Film Marketing Kevin S. Tenney (director); William Gallo, Hal Havins, Amelia Kinkade, Cathy Podewell, Linnea Quigley Horror Live action
Pumpkinhead United Artists / MGM/UA Communications Co. Stan Winston (director); Lance Henriksen, John D'Aquino, Kerry Remsen Slasher Live action
21 Bat*21 TriStar Pictures Peter Markle (director); William C. Anderson (screenplay); Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Jerry Reed, David Marshall Grant, Clayton Rohner, Erich Anderson, Joe Dorsey War Live action
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Galaxy International Releasing Dwight H. Little (director); Alan B. McElroy (screenplay); Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, Michael Pataki Slasher Live action
Little Dorrit (wide-release) Cannon Films Christine Edzard (director/screenplay); Derek Jacobi, Joan Greenwood, Max Wall, Patricia Hayes, Alec Guinness, Miriam Margolyes, Simon Dormandy, Sarah Pickering Drama, Romance Live action
Mystic Pizza The Samuel Goldwyn Company Donald Petrie (director); Amy Holden Jones, Perry Howze, Randy Howze, Alfred Uhry (screenplays); Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor, Vincent D'Onofrio, William R. Moses, Adam Storke, Conchata Ferrell Coming-of-age Live action
Tapeheads Avenue Pictures Bill Fishman (director); John Cusack, Tim Robbins Comedy Live action
28 Feds Warner Bros. Daniel Goldberg (director); Rebecca De Mornay, Mary Gross, Ken Marshall, Fred Dalton Thompson Comedy Live action
4 Everybody's All-American Warner Bros. Taylor Hackford (director); Jessica Lange, Dennis Quaid, Timothy Hutton, John Goodman, Carl Lumbly Sports, Drama Live action
The Good Mother Touchstone Pictures Leonard Nimoy (director); Michael Bortman (screenplay); Diane Keaton, Liam Neeson, Jason Robards, Ralph Bellamy Drama Live action
U2: Rattle and Hum (U.S.) Paramount Pictures Phil Joanou (director); U2 Documentary Live action
They Live Universal Pictures John Carpenter (director); Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster Science fiction, Horror Live action
9 Child's Play United Artists / MGM/UA Communications Co. Tom Holland (director/screenplay); Don Mancini, John Lafia (screenplays); Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Dinah Manoff, Tommy Swerdlow, Jack Colvin, Raymond Oliver, Neil Giuntoli, Alan Wilder, Aaron Osborne, Juan Ramirez Slasher, Horror Live action
11 Evil Angels Warner Bros. Fred Schepisi (director); Robert Caswell (screenplays); Meryl Streep, Sam Neill Drama Live action
Distant Thunder Paramount Pictures Rick Rosenthal (director); John Lithgow, Ralph Macchio Drama Live action
Ernest Saves Christmas Touchstone Pictures John R. Cherry III (director); Ed Turner, B. Kline (screenplays); Jim Varney Comedy Live action
Iron Eagle II TriStar Pictures / Carolco Pictures Sidney J. Furie (director); Louis Gossett, Jr., Mark Humphrey, Stuart Margolin, Maury Chaykin Action Live action
Split Decisions New Century Entertainment David Drury (director); Craig Sheffer, Jeff Fahey, Jennifer Beals, John McLiam, Gene Hackman Sports Live action
18 The Chocolate War MCEG Sterling Keith Gordon (director); John Glover, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Wally Ward, Doug Hutchison, Jenny Wright, Bud Cort Drama Live action
Fresh Horses Columbia Pictures / Weintraub Entertainment Group David Anspaugh (director); Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Patti D'Arbanville, Ben Stiller Coming of age, Drama Live action
High Spirits TriStar Pictures Neil Jordan (director); Daryl Hannah, Peter O'Toole, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher, Liam Neeson, Martin Ferrero Fantasy, Comedy Live action
The Land Before Time Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment Don Bluth (director); Stu Krieger (screenplay); Gabriel Damon, Candace Hutson, Judith Barsi, Will Ryan Adventure, Drama Animation
1969 Atlantic Entertainment Group Ernest Thompson (director); Robert Downey Jr., Kiefer Sutherland, Bruce Dern, Mariette Hartley, Winona Ryder, Joanna Cassidy Drama Live action
Oliver & Company Walt Disney Pictures George Scribner (director); Jim Cox, Tim Disney, James Mangold (screenplays); Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Natalie Gregory, Cheech Marin, Bette Midler, Robert Loggia, Richard Mulligan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Sheryl Lee Ralph Musical Animation
23 Buster Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Vestron Pictures David Green (director); Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb, Martin Jarvis, Sheila Hancock, Stephanie Lawrence, Michael Attwell, Ralph Brown, Anthony Quayle Romance, Comedy, Crime Live action
Cocoon: The Return 20th Century Fox Daniel Petrie (director); Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Courteney Cox, Hume Cronyn, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Barret Oliver, Maureen Stapleton, Elaine Stritch, Jessica Tandy, Gwen Verdon, Tahnee Welch Science fiction Fantasy Comedy, Drama Live action
Full Moon in Blue Water Trans World Entertainment Peter Masterson (director); Gene Hackman, Teri Garr, Burgess Meredith, Elias Koteas Comedy, Drama, Romance Live action
Hanna's War Cannon Films Menahem Golan (director/screenplay); Stanley Mann (screenplay); Ellen Burstyn, Maruschka Detmers, Anthony Andrews, Donald Pleasence, David Warner Drama Live action
Scrooged Paramount Pictures Richard Donner (director); Mitch Glazer, Michael O'Donoghue (screenplays); Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard, Alfre Woodard Christmas Comedy Live action
2 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Paramount Pictures David Zucker (director); Leslie Nielsen. Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, O.J. Simpson, Ricardo Montalban Comedy Live action
Tequila Sunrise Warner Bros. Robert Towne (director); Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell, Raúl Juliá Crime, Thriller Live action
Watchers Universal Pictures / Carolco Pictures Jon Hess (director); Bill Freed, Damian Lee (screenplay); Corey Haim, Barbara Williams, Michael Ironside, Lala Sloatman Sci-Fi, Horror Live action
9 Mississippi Burning Orion Pictures Alan Parker (director); Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif Crime, Thriller Live action
My Stepmother Is an Alien Columbia Pictures Richard Benjamin (director); Dan Aykroyd, Kim Basinger, Jon Lovitz, Alyson Hannigan Sci-Fi Live action
Twins Universal Pictures Ivan Reitman (director); Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Kelly Preston, Chloe Webb, Bonnie Bartlett, Tony Jay Buddy, Comedy Live action
14 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Orion Pictures Frank Oz (director); Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly, Anton Rodgers, Barbara Harris Comedy Live action
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka MGM/UA Communications Co. / United Artists Keenen Ivory Wayans (director); Keenen Ivory Wayans, Bernie Casey, Antonio Fargas, Isaac Hayes, Jim Brown, Ja'net Dubois Action, Comedy, Parody Live action
Torch Song Trilogy New Line Cinema Paul Bogart (director); Harvey Fierstein (screenplay); Anne Bancroft, Matthew Broderick, Harvey Fierstein, Brian Kerwin Comedy, Drama Live action
16 Dangerous Liaisons Warner Bros. Stephen Frears (director); Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Keanu Reeves, Mildred Natwick, Uma Thurman Period, Romance film, Drama Live action
Purple People Eater Motion Picture Corporation of America Linda Shayne (director); Neil Patrick Harris, Ned Beatty, Shelley Winters, Thora Birch, Dustin Diamond, Peggy Lipton Sci-Fi, Comedy Live action
Rain Man United Artists / MGM/UA Communications Co. Barry Levinson (director); Barry Morrow, Ronald Bass (screenplay); Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino Comedy, Drama Live action
21 Beaches Touchstone Pictures Garry Marshall (director); Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, John Heard, James Read, Spalding Gray, Lainie Kazan Comedy, Drama Live action
Talk Radio Universal Pictures Oliver Stone (director/screenplay); Eric Bogosian (screenplay); Eric Bogosian, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Greene, Leslie Hope, John C. McGinley, John Pankow, Michael Wincott Drama Live action
Working Girl 20th Century Fox Mike Nichols (director); Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Cusack, Alec Baldwin, Philip Bosco Romance, Comedy, Drama Live action
23 The Accidental Tourist Warner Bros. Lawrence Kasdan (director/screenplay); Frank Galati (screenplay); William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis, Ed Begley, Jr., Bill Pullman, David Ogden Stiers Drama Live action
The Boost Hemdale Film Corporation Harold Becker (director); James Woods, Sean Young, John Kapelos, Steven Hill, Kelle Kerr Drama Live action
Dominick and Eugene Orion Pictures Robert M. Young (director); Tom Hulce, Ray Liotta, Jamie Lee Curtis Drama Live action
Hellbound: Hellraiser II New World Pictures Tony Randel (director); Peter Atkins (screenplay); Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham Horror Live action

Notable films released in 1988Edit

United States unless stated

Numerals and A–BEdit









Notable deathsEdit

Month Date Name Age Country Profession Notable films
January 3 Joie Chitwood 75 US Stuntman, Actor Live and Let Die
7 Michel Auclair 65 France Actor
7 Trevor Howard 74 UK Actor
8 Boyd Morgan 72 US Stuntman, Actor
16 Ballard Berkeley 83 UK Actor
19 Bridget Boland 75 UK Screenwriter
25 Colleen Moore 88 US Actress
February 1 Heather O'Rourke 12 US Actress
5 Emeric Pressburger 85 UK Writer, Director
8 Allan Cuthbertson 67 UK Actor
10 Ron Ellis 47 US Stuntman, Actor
March 3 Lois Wilson 93 US Actress The Covered Wagon
6 Jeanne Aubert 82 France Actress La Possession
7 Robert Livingston 83 US Actor
12 Karen Steele 56 US Actress
13 Steno 71 Italy Director, Screenwriter
13 John Holmes 43 US Actor
13 Olive Carey 92 US Actress, Writer
23 Reg Lye 75 Australia Actor
27 Renato Salvatori 55 Italy Actor
April 1 Jim Jordan 91 US Actor
5 Alf Kjellin 68 Sweden Actor, Director
6 John Clements 77 UK Actor, Writer, Director
7 Albert S. Rogell 86 US Director
11 Jeff Donnell 66 US Actress
11 Jesse L. Lasky Jr. 77 US Screenwriter
15 Kenneth Williams 62 UK Actor, Writer
21 I. A. L. Diamond 67 US Writer, Producer
22 Irene Rich 96 US Actress
28 Andrew Cruickshank 80 UK Actor, Writer
May 1 Paolo Stoppa 81 Italy Actor
12 Paul Osborn 86 US Screenwriter
15 Andrew Duggan 64 US Actor
15 Greta Nissen 82 Norway Actress
18 Anthony Forwood 72 UK Actor
18 Daws Butler 71 US Voice Actor
21 Barbara Laage 67 France Actress
30 Ella Raines 67 US Actress
June 5 Michael Barrington 63 UK Actor The Black Panther
11 Nathan Cook 38 US Actor National Lampoon's Vacation
16 Kim Milford 37 US Actor, Composer
22 Dennis Day 77 US Singer, Actor
July 7 Jimmy Edwards 68 UK Actor, Writer
12 Joshua Logan 79 US Writer, Director
22 Patrick Newell 56 UK Actor
25 Judith Barsi 10 US Actress
25 Douglas Hickox 59 UK Director, Assistant Director
27 Larry Clemmons 81 US Animator, Writer
August 1 Florence Eldridge 86 US Actress
5 Colin Higgins 47 US Director, Producer, Writer
5 Ralph Meeker 65 US Actor
7 Wilfred Jackson 82 US Animator
8 Alan Napier 85 US Actor
11 Anne Ramsey 59 US Actress
17 Victoria Shaw 53 Australia Actress
23 Jack Sher 75 US Writer, Director
24 Leonard Frey 49 US Actor
26 Milton Sperling 76 US Screenwriter
September 5 Gert Fröbe 75 Germany Actor
6 Harold Rosson 93 US Cinematographer
11 John Sylvester White 68 US Actor The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
12 Stephen B. Grimes 61 Italy Production Designer
14 Louis Quinn 73 US Actor
20 Roy Kinnear 54 UK Actor
21 Henry Koster 83 US Director, Writer, Producer
21 Christine Norden 63 UK Actress
October 1 Lucien Ballard 84 US Cinematographer
4 Margaret Lacey 76 UK Actress
6 Don Terry 86 US Actor
9 Edward Chodorov 84 US Screenwriter
11 Morgan Farley 90 US Actor
11 Bonita Granville 65 US Actress
12 Ken Murray 85 US Actor, Producer
13 Melvin Frank 75 US Writer, Director
14 Mary Morris 72 Switzerland Actress
24 Valerie Taylor 85 UK Actress, Writer
25 Eric Larson 83 US Animator
25 James Engle 81 US Assistant Director
27 Charles Hawtrey 73 UK Actor
31 John Houseman 86 US Actor, Producer
November 1 George J. Folsey 90 US Cinematographer
3 Sidney Carroll 75 US Screenwriter
6 John Hubbard 74 US Actor, Dialogue Director
9 Billy Curtis 79 US Stuntman, Actor
15 Mona Washbourne 84 UK Actress
27 Angela Aames 32 US Actress
27 John Carradine 82 Italy Actor
December 7 Christopher Connelly 47 US Actor
7 Dorothy Jordan 82 US Actress
10 Richard S. Castellano 55 US Actor
10 Dennis Arundell 90 UK Actor, Composer
17 Jerry Hopper 81 US Director
21 Bob Steele 81 US Actor
22 Tucker Smith 52 US Actor, Dancer
24 Noel Willman 70 US Actor
26 Julanne Johnston 88 US Actress
27 Hal Ashby 59 US Director, Editor

Film debutsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "1988 Domestic Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  2. ^ "A Cry in the Dark (1988) – Release dates". Retrieved 2012-06-15.

External linksEdit