1981 Films

by jketchens | created - 16 Feb 2012 | updated - 18 May 2015 | Public
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1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
85 Metascore

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 742,972 | Gross: $248.16M

1x IMAX, 4x 35mm

2. Ragtime (1981)

PG | 155 min | Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
57 Metascore

A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: James Cagney, Elizabeth McGovern, Howard E. Rollins Jr., Brad Dourif

Votes: 7,235 | Gross: $21.02M

3. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 45,535 | Gross: $58.97M

4. The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

G | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

7.2
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Kermit, Gonzo, and Fozzie are reporters who travel to Britain to interview a rich victim of jewel thieves and help her along with her secretary, Miss Piggy.

Director: Jim Henson | Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson

Votes: 11,189 | Gross: $31.21M

5. Halloween II (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
40 Metascore

While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her.

Director: Rick Rosenthal | Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer

Votes: 57,927 | Gross: $25.53M

6. History of the World: Part I (1981)

R | 92 min | Comedy, History

6.9
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Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn

Votes: 40,143 | Gross: $31.67M

7. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

7.0
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79 Metascore

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 49,991 | Gross: $42.37M

8. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
77 Metascore

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson

Votes: 25,671 | Gross: $24.06M

9. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

7.6
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60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 75,406 | Gross: $30.57M

10. Stripes (1981)

R | 106 min | Comedy, War

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
68 Metascore

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates

Votes: 54,004 | Gross: $85.30M

11. Absence of Malice (1981)

PG | 116 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
64 Metascore

When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of a union head, the man's life begins to unravel.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban, Melinda Dillon

Votes: 10,142 | Gross: $40.72M

12. On Golden Pond (1981)

PG | 109 min | Drama

7.7
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Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon

Votes: 23,614 | Gross: $119.29M

13. Reds (1981)

PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
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76 Metascore

A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.

Director: Warren Beatty | Stars: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Jerzy Kosinski

Votes: 17,982 | Gross: $40.38M

14. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi

7.2
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76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 103,131 | Gross: $25.24M

15. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

6.9
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Perseus must battle both Medusa and the Kraken to save the Princess Andromeda.

Director: Desmond Davis | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith

Votes: 35,624 | Gross: $41.09M

16. Blow Out (1981)

R | 107 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.4
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85 Metascore

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz

Votes: 32,866 | Gross: $13.75M

17. The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Sport

6.2
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28 Metascore

A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.

Director: Hal Needham | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise

Votes: 28,283 | Gross: $72.18M

18. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.1
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Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King

Votes: 46,152 | Gross: $21.72M

19. Arthur (1981)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Romance

6.9
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69 Metascore

Arthur is a happy drunk with no pretensions at any ambition. He is also the heir to a vast fortune which he is told will only be his if he marries Susan. He does not love Susan, but she ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Gordon | Stars: Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud, Geraldine Fitzgerald

Votes: 22,923 | Gross: $95.46M

20. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.6
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The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.

Director: Bob Rafelson | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, John Colicos, Michael Lerner

Votes: 18,513 | Gross: $12.38M

21. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

7.3
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Two childhood friends find themselves forced to become enemies.

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson

Votes: 70,938 | Gross: $63.46M

22. Mommie Dearest (1981)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
55 Metascore

The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted.

Director: Frank Perry | Stars: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 12,177 | Gross: $19.03M

23. The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

PG | 109 min | Comedy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
73 Metascore

A comic allegory about a traveling Bushman who encounters modern civilization and its stranger aspects, including a clumsy scientist and a band of revolutionaries.

Director: Jamie Uys | Stars: N!xau, Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, Louw Verwey

Votes: 46,767 | Gross: $30.03M

24. Under the Rainbow (1981)

PG | 98 min | Comedy

5.4
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A visiting dignitary, a CIA agent, a Nazi spy, Japanese tourists, an assassin and a group of "midget" actors from The Wizard of Oz (1939) all check into an elite Los Angeles hotel called Under the Rainbow.

Director: Steve Rash | Stars: Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher, Eve Arden, Joseph Maher

Votes: 2,277 | Gross: $18.83M

25. Modern Problems (1981)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

5.0
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Jealous, harried air traffic controller Max Fiedler, recently dumped by his girlfriend, comes into contact with nuclear waste and is granted the power of telekinesis, which he uses not only to win her back, but to gain a little revenge.

Director: Ken Shapiro | Stars: Chevy Chase, Patti D'Arbanville, Dabney Coleman, Mary Kay Place

Votes: 4,285 | Gross: $26.15M

26. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
70 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 158,009 | Gross: $2.40M

27. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
54 Metascore

Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson

Votes: 78,777 | Gross: $62.30M

28. Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981)

PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

6.1
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Mexico, 1840s. When the new Spanish Governor begins to grind the peasants under his heel, wealthy landowner Don Diego Vega follows in his late father's footsteps and becomes Zorro, the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: George Hamilton, Lauren Hutton, Brenda Vaccaro, Ron Leibman

Votes: 3,519 | Gross: $11.12M

29. Looker (1981)

PG | 93 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.1
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Plastic surgeon Larry Roberts performs a series of minor alterations on a group of models who are seeking perfection. The operations are a resounding success. But when someone starts ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Albert Finney, James Coburn, Susan Dey, Leigh Taylor-Young

Votes: 3,698 | Gross: $3.28M

30. Saturday the 14th (1981)

PG | 75 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

4.5
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A family moves into a house inhabited by scary creatures and a number of close calls ensue.

Director: Howard R. Cohen | Stars: Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, Jeffrey Tambor, Severn Darden

Votes: 2,584

31. The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)

PG | 88 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

5.4
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When an ordinary woman is exposed to a unique mix of chemicals, she begins to uncontrollably physically shrink.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty, Henry Gibson

Votes: 3,844 | Gross: $20.26M

32. Carbon Copy (1981)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Drama

5.6
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When a rich white corporate executive finds out that he has an illegitimate black son, things start falling apart for him at home, at work and in his social circles.

Director: Michael Schultz | Stars: George Segal, Susan Saint James, Jack Warden, Dick Martin

Votes: 2,061 | Gross: $9.57M

33. The Devil and Max Devlin (1981)

PG | 96 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

5.0
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Max, a dead corrupt businessman, makes a Faustian pact with Satan's henchman to drive three people to Hell in exchange for longer life. Soon Max realizes that there still may be good in him.

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern | Stars: Elliott Gould, Bill Cosby, Susan Anspach, Adam Rich

Votes: 995 | Gross: $16.00M