Exploring the ’80s Movie Montage: The “We Can Fix It Up” Montage

We all love the movie montage. It’s the perfect way to show a lot of action in a short period of time. This was a very popular movie making technique in the ’80s. There were many different versions, but this time around I’m going to focus on the “We Can Fix It Up” montage.


There are 4 basic parts

  1. The kick ass ’80s song.
  2. Let’s assess the damage or What did we get ourselves into?
  3. We gotta get to work. This house/mill/boat ain’t gonna fix itself and we need a place to live/dance/win a regatta.
  4. Bask in our own awesomeness. After a tough 2-3 minutes we have ourselves a brand new house/mill/boat!

Revenge of the Nerds

Those lovable nerds need a place to live after those asshole jocks boot them out of the dorms. Of course, all they can find is this former crack den of a fixer upper.

1. Kick Ass ’80s Song: Bone Symphony, “One Foot in Front of the Other”

2. The group gathers in front of their future home and and try to choose between getting to work or murdering their super nerd leader Lewis.

3. The nerd gang hitch up their slacks even further and get to work. Things get fixed despite the use of child labor, blind painters, and Booger getting everyone high.

4. Check it out. Meth Lab to Nerd Lair in less that 5 minutes! If only those dickhead jocks would leave them alone.

[After a long legal battle with FOX Entertainment, they pulled the clip. Jerks. – Todd]


Footloose is chock full of montage goodness (See previous post on the Dance Training Montage). This time Kevin Bacon and his crew of backup dancers need to get the old mill ready for the big dance.

1. Kick Ass ’80s Song:  Kenny Loggins, “I’m Free (Heaven Helps The Man)”

2. Sensing that they can conquer any obstacle put in front of them, the kids skip the assessment phase and practice some synchronized dirt biking.

3. The gang ditches the bikes and gets to work. Chris Penn huffs helium while everyone else sweep-dances the place clean.

4. Finally, Lori Singer finds the light switch. When she flips it on everyone erupts with glee as they realize the movie set crew already spent 2 weeks decorating for them.

One Crazy Summer / Summer Rental

Two very similar themed movies. In both movies, the lead character visits an east coast summer vacation town and quickly has a run in with the local rich dude asshole. Also in both movies, they decide to resolve their differences by facing off in a sailing regatta. Of course, the rich dude asshole has the best boat in town and has dominated the regatta for the last 200 years or so. And of course, the new guy in town has to scrape up a boat that was either once a floating restaurant or had been lying sideways on a beach.

1. Kick Ass ’80s Songs: “Unknown Instrumental Boat Building Boogie” / Jimmy Buffet, “Turning Around”

2. Both boats are either full of holes or covered in barnacles but we can’t stop now. There’s a guy I barely know mad at me. I’ll be leaving in a day and I will never see him again, but I have to prove to him and the town that I’m the better man.

3. Both crews get to work. Once again, things get fixed despite the use of child labor, inept workers, and another Booger sighting.

4. After a little scraping, a coat of paint, and some chewing gum, the boats are ready to go up against the rich dude asshole. Oh hey, don’t worry about the other 50 boats entered in the race. Just focus on the rich dude asshole. Now, let’s win that regatta!

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