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1984 Movie Reviews – Finders Keepers and Making the Grade

by Sean P. Aune | May 18, 2024May 18, 2024 10:30 am EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1984 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.


We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly four dozen.

Yes, we’re insane, but 1984 was that great of a year for film.

The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1984 so that it is their true 40th anniversary. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.

This time around, it’s May 11, 1984, and we’re off to see Finders Keepers and Making the Grade.

Finders Keepers

Never let it be said that Richard Lester – the director of Finders Keepers – didn’t love a sight gag. He proved that with his cut of Superman II. The trend continues here, but it’s just not that funny.

The 1980s obsession with less-than-likable characters continues here. The film starts with people stealing money from a millionaire, only to have said money fall into the hands of a con man. Thus, there continues to be an ongoing fight between the two groups of criminals over who will make off with the money.

And that’s where we’re at. When the film ends, the con man, his new female friend, and his mentor end up with the money.


The guy that was originally robbed of five million is still short his five million, but yay, the lovable scamps got the money, so it’s all good.

The film was a slog of half-hearted jokes and felt, yet again, like a relic of the more slapstick-style comedies of the 1970s. It was most definitely not my cup of tea.

Making the Grade

Let us be super clear here: Preppies were evil.

Okay, maybe not ‘evil,’ but they were annoying, and for some reason, Hollywood became obsessed with making them the ‘villains’ of movies throughout the first half of the 1980s. And they were always identifiable by having a sweater tied around their neck.


Down-on-his-luck Eddie Keaton (Judd Nelson) gets hired to impersonate a preppie at his prep school so said preppie can spend the year goofing off. It’s perfect for Keaton as he owes a loanshark (Andrew Dice Clay), a significant amount of money and this is the perfect place to hide until it’s not. While there, Keaton comes to like the lifestyle, and he especially likes Tracey Hoover (Jonna Lee).

It’s… fine. The most comical bit was the friend of Eddie’s pretending to be his father and having all of his old restaurant instincts kick in during a meeting with the school’s president. Otherwise, it was a fairly forgettable little comedy, that most certainly did not… make the grade.

… I’ll see myself out.

1984 Movie Reviews will return on May 25 with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!


Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing