HOLLYWOOD went to the opera, spoofed the rock documentary, revived concert movies and musicals and celebrated the hiphop culture in 1984, which also marked the rise of the ethnic hero. He was black in "Beverly Hills Cop," Spanish in "El Norte," Italian in "The Karate Kid," and half-Italian in "Purple Rain."

Prince's production bears another mark of '84, the year of the battered woman, with Apollonia Kotero the victim in "Rain," Terri Garr in "Firstborn," and women in general in Brian De Palma's accursed "Body Double."

But women, except for the heroines in "Entre Nous," preferred men who slapped back. The sensitive guy was unceremoniously rejected -- Gene Hackman was "Misunderstood," as was Paul Newman in "Harry & Son." Strong was in for women, too, like Helen Slater as "Supergirl," Grace Jones as an Amazon in "Conan the Destroyer," and Helen Mirren as a spacecraft commander in "2010," which brings us to Yet Another Trend -- taking up a lot of space without a good reason. There were more than 20 sci-fi films this year, and even more aliens, if you count "Greystoke," "Splash" and "Moscow on the Hudson."

There were more than 20 romances, 30 foreign films, 20 musicals (counting "Footloose") and a spate of patriotic films. There were four messiahs and five loincloth movies (hers -- "Sheena" and theirs -- "Greystoke," "Conan," "Iceman" and "Mutiny on the Bounty"), three women with lost luggage, and two people stuffed into dumpsters.

It was finally a year of great literary expectations and novel pretensions, with Bill Murray on "The Razor's Edge," Albert Finney "Under the Volcano" and Jeremy Irons as "Swann in Love." What could be worse? AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL TURKEY AND NINE OTHER FOUL-UPS.


2."Body Double."

3."Micki & Maude."

4."Blame It on Rio."


6. "Oxford Blues."



9. "Harry & Son."

10. "Hotel New Hampshire."

And that's not counting the likes of "Hard Bodies," "Hard to Hold" and other movies that are hard to take, like "Friday the 13th, the Final Chapter" (oh, sure) or "Piranha II: The Spawning," which is the best title of the year after "Piggies," a porno movie that claims to begin where "Porky's" left off. MOST MEMORABLE DIALOGUE

* "Valium, more Valium, for the Neanderthal." -- Timothy Hutton in "Iceman."

* "No matter where you go, there you are." -- Peter Weller in "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai."

* "They're round . . . and there are two of them." -- Thierry L'Hermitte to Karen Allen in "Until September." SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST

1."Choose Me."

2. "Sunday in the Country."

3. "Bizet's Carmen."


5."Soldier's Story."

6."Spinal Tap."

7."Stop Making Sense."

8."Cotton Club."


10."Entre Nous."

11."El Norte."

12."The Gods Must Be Crazy." MOST IMPROVED

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Selleck and Phoebe Cates.