54 Great Made for TV Movies/Mini-Series of the 1980's from 1980-1989

by MichaelWeihn | created - 26 Aug 2012 | updated - 26 Aug 2012 | Public

Here is a list of great TV movies from the 80's many of which I haven't been able to get a copy of since but I have seen most of them again and again. Again in no particular order.

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1. The Burning Bed (1984 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An abused battered wife has had enough of husband beating up on her. Everywhere she turns for help, there's not much anyone will do. After he rapes her one night, she sets the bed on fire with him in it asleep.

Director: Robert Greenwald | Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Paul Le Mat, Richard Masur, Grace Zabriskie

Votes: 1,950

2. Small Sacrifices (1989 TV Movie)

159 min | Crime, Drama, History

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A peculiar and disturbing case catches the attention of the police when a young mother and her children, all severely injured, show up in a hospital's emergency room.

Director: David Greene | Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O'Neal, Gordon Clapp, John Shea

Votes: 824

3. Between Two Women (1986 TV Movie)

95 min | Drama

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This story focuses on the changing relationship between two women, a mother and her daughter-in-law, over a 14 year span. The first is a domineering, self righteous and flamboyant former ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Avnet | Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Colleen Dewhurst, Michael Nouri, Bridgette Andersen

Votes: 151

4. Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story (1986 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Farrah Fawcett plays real-life Beate Klarsfeld, a German Protestant housewife who, with the help of her Jewish law-student husband, Serge, began an unrelenting campaign after World War II ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg | Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Tom Conti, Geraldine Page, Hélène Vallier

Votes: 121

5. Murder in Texas (1981 TV Movie)

200 min | Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Story of Texas heiress Joan Robinson who married plastic surgeon, John Hill. Her father, Ash is suspicious of Hill, thinking that he married Joan for money which he used to buy a house and ... See full summary »

Director: William Hale | Stars: Katharine Ross, Sam Elliott, Farrah Fawcett, Andy Griffith

Votes: 258

6. Margaret Bourke-White (1989 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 105 min | Biography, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Biographical account of pioneering photographer's career.

Director: Lawrence Schiller | Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Frederic Forrest, David Huddleston, Jay Patterson

Votes: 67

7. The Red-Light Sting (1984 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Thriller

4.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Government agent Frank Powell (Beau Bridges) is determined to bring down racketeering crime lord Oliver Sully (Harold Gould) but cannot find any evidence. Powell concocts a plan to have the... See full summary »

Director: Rod Holcomb | Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Beau Bridges, Harold Gould, Paul Burke

Votes: 49

8. Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (1987 TV Movie)

282 min | Biography, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of one of the richest women in America - heiress to the Woolworth fortune. She had vast wealth and seven husbands, but never found lasting love.

Director: Charles Jarrott | Stars: Farrah Fawcett, David Ackroyd, Stéphane Audran, Amadeus August

Votes: 313

9. China Rose (1983 TV Movie)

100 min | Drama, Mystery

6.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A man arrives in China to search for his son, whom he hasn't seen in many years. A female American Embassy employee, who knows the country and speaks the language, is assigned to assist him... See full summary »

Director: Robert Day | Stars: George C. Scott, Michael Biehn, Ali MacGraw, Denis Lill

Votes: 127

10. Deadly Intentions (1985 TV Movie)

200 min | Crime, Thriller, Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young, naive woman falls for and marries a doctor but then she realizes that he is not what he seemed.

Director: Noel Black | Stars: Michael Biehn, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Morgana King, Jack Kruschen

Votes: 285

11. Promised a Miracle (1988 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Loving parents throw away their young son's insulin in the belief that God will then heal him of diabetes.

Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal | Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Judge Reinhold, Tom Bower, Giovanni Ribisi

Votes: 126

12. The Parade (1984 TV Movie)

120 min | Drama

5.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Set in a small town in Kansas during the days before the town's annual Fourth of July parade, this rural drama follows Rachel Kirby whose life is thrown into turmoil when her estranged, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter H. Hunt | Stars: Michael Learned, Frederic Forrest, Rosanna Arquette, Maxwell Caulfield

Votes: 45

13. One Cooks, the Other Doesn't (1983 TV Movie)

120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Joseph Bologna is real estate agent who has a problem: his ex-wife (Suzanne Pleshette) and son are moving in with him-and his jealous bride.

Director: Richard Michaels | Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Allyce Beasley, Joseph Bologna, Oliver Clark

Votes: 43

14. Johnny Belinda (1982 TV Movie)

95 min | Drama

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Anthony Page | Stars: Richard Thomas, Rosanna Arquette, Dennis Quaid, Candy Clark

Votes: 170

15. The Executioner's Song (1982 TV Movie)

Unrated | 135 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Gary Gilmore, a convicted murderer who lobbied for his own execution.

Director: Lawrence Schiller | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Christine Lahti, Rosanna Arquette, Eli Wallach

Votes: 1,365

16. The Wall (1982 TV Movie)

Unrated | 135 min | Action, War, Drama

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A dramatic re-enactment of the Warsaw Ghetto Jewish uprising in April 1943 were 650 armed members of the Jewish Fighting Organization of Poland held off a 3,000 strong Nazi force in which ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Markowitz | Stars: Tom Conti, Lisa Eichhorn, Gerald Hiken, Rachel Roberts

Votes: 138

17. A Long Way Home (1981 TV Movie)

120 min | Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Many years after being abandoned by his parents, Donald sets out in search of his siblings. His biggest challenge is cutting through layers of bureaucratic red tape. He happens upon a ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Markowitz | Stars: Timothy Hutton, Brenda Vaccaro, Rosanna Arquette, Paul Regina

Votes: 233

18. Rape and Marriage: The Rideout Case (1980 TV Movie)

96 min | Drama

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Based on the real-life Oregon criminal case which dramatizes the unique dispute in which Greta Rideout instigated the prosecution of her husband, John, charging him with raping her.

Director: Peter Levin | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Linda Hamilton, Rip Torn, Eugene Roche

Votes: 134

19. Go Toward the Light (1988 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young couple faces the realities of life with their child who is diagnosed with AIDS.

Director: Mike Robe | Stars: Linda Hamilton, Piper Laurie, Joshua Harris, Ned Beatty

Votes: 427

20. Club Med (1986 TV Movie)

100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

4.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

O'Shea is the easy going head honcho at Club Med. After years apart, he finally runs into his ex-wife Kate. They fight, fall in love again, and know it won't work. Stuffy Englishman Gilbert... See full summary »

Director: Bob Giraldi | Stars: Jack Scalia, Linda Hamilton, Patrick Macnee, Janis Lee Burns

Votes: 123

21. Secret Weapons (1985 TV Movie)

Approved | 96 min | Drama

5.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Hamilton plays a young Russian girl recruited to be a sex spy, seducing men and catching them in compromising situations so they can be blackmailed. The problems start when she falls in ... See full summary »

Director: Don Taylor | Stars: Sally Kellerman, Linda Hamilton, Hunt Block, Viveca Lindfors

Votes: 174

22. Secrets of a Mother and Daughter (1983 TV Movie)

120 min | Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A widowed mother, Ava Pryce (Katharine Ross) and daughter Susan Decker (Linda Hamilton) clash over the same man, the owner of a West Coast restaurant Alex Shepherd (Michael Nouri) -- Ava is... See full summary »

Director: Gabrielle Beaumont | Stars: Katharine Ross, Linda Hamilton, Michael Nouri, Bibi Besch

Votes: 62

23. The Corsican Brothers (1985 TV Movie)

100 min | Adventure

5.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

In the 18th century were born two siamese brothers on Corsica who paradoxically carry different feelings of hate and reconciliation in their blood.

Director: Ian Sharp | Stars: Trevor Eve, Geraldine Chaplin, Olivia Hussey, Nicholas Clay

Votes: 140

24. A Place to Call Home (1987 TV Movie)

96 min | Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Sam Gavin decides to relocate his family from Houston, Texas to a sheep station in Australia to protect his eleven children from the "destructive influences" of modern American society. ... See full summary »

Director: Russ Mayberry | Stars: Linda Lavin, Lane Smith, Lori Loughlin, Robert MacNaughton

Votes: 93

25. The Brotherhood of Justice (1986 TV Movie)

R | 97 min | Action, Crime, Drama

5.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A group of high school students, led by a rich boy Derek, is sick of school violence and decides to become underground vigilantes named "Brotherhood of Justice". It starts with the idea "... See full summary »

Director: Charles Braverman | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Kiefer Sutherland, Lori Loughlin, Joe Spano

Votes: 1,288

26. Not My Kid (1985 TV Movie)

100 min | Drama

6.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A teenaged drug addict is sent to Dr. Royce's controversial drug intervention program where the addicts in the program confront each other in supervised group meetings. Also, in evening ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Tuchner | Stars: George Segal, Stockard Channing, Andrew Robinson, Gary Bayer

Votes: 166

27. Easy Prey (1986 TV Movie)

120 min | Biography, Drama

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young girl with Stockholm Syndrome becomes a companion for a dangerous man posing as a photographer to pick up his victims.

Director: Sandor Stern | Stars: Gerald McRaney, Sean McCann, Susan Hogan, Kate Lynch

Votes: 135

28. I Saw What You Did (1988 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

5.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A group of pranksters unintentionally get the attention of a serial killer who soon starts targeting them.

Director: Fred Walton | Stars: Shawnee Smith, Tammy Lauren, Candace Cameron Bure, Robert Carradine

Votes: 528

29. Crime of Innocence (1985 TV Movie)

96 min | Drama

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A family seeks justice after a girl is assaulted in jail, and the law does nothing to protect her.

Director: Michael Miller | Stars: Andy Griffith, Diane Ladd, Steve Inwood, Shawnee Smith

Votes: 172

30. Bluegrass (1988 TV Movie)

240 min | Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman tries to be successful in the male-dominated horse racing business. Intrigue, greed, power games and love trying to put stones in her way.

Director: Simon Wincer | Stars: Cheryl Ladd, Wayne Rogers, Diane Ladd, Mickey Rooney

Votes: 116

31. A Bunny's Tale (1985 TV Movie)

Unrated | 104 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

6.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A dramatization of Gloria Steinem's undercover investigation of the working conditions Bunnies faced at the Playboy Clubs.

Director: Karen Arthur | Stars: Kirstie Alley, Cotter Smith, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Joanna Kerns

Votes: 229

32. Challenge of a Lifetime (1985 TV Movie)

100 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

5.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Nora Scoonover is 35, divorced, in debt and going nowhere when her 16 year-old son, Steven, runs away from camp and asks to spend the summer with her. Together they decide that she will ... See full summary »

Director: Russ Mayberry | Stars: Penny Marshall, Richard Gilliland, Jonathan Silverman, Mary Woronov

Votes: 37

33. Shattered Innocence (1988 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A HS grad leaves behind her modest life and finds work in the Sex industry. It ends in disaster.

Director: Sandor Stern | Stars: Jonna Lee, Melinda Dillon, John Pleshette, Kris Kamm

Votes: 301

34. Quarterback Princess (1983 TV Movie)

96 min | Drama, Sport

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The Maida family has moved to Oregon, and daughter Tami wants to play quarterback for the high school football team. There's just one problem. She's a girl. With everyone from the coach to ... See full summary »

Director: Noel Black | Stars: Don Murray, Barbara Babcock, Dana Elcar, John Stockwell

Votes: 821

35. Desperate Lives (1982 TV Movie)

96 min | Drama

5.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A brother and sister get caught up in the drug scene in their local high school, with tragic results.

Director: Robert Michael Lewis | Stars: Diana Scarwid, Doug McKeon, Helen Hunt, William Windom

Votes: 161

36. The Miracle of Kathy Miller (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With the support of her parents (Sharon Gless & Frank Converse), an Arizona adolescent (Helen Hunt) overcomes severe injuries to run in a 10K race.

Director: Robert Michael Lewis | Stars: Sharon Gless, Frank Converse, Helen Hunt, Bill Beyers

Votes: 144

37. The Ryan White Story (1989 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 105 min | Biography, Drama

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of Ryan White, a 13-year-old haemophiliac who contracted AIDS from factor VIII, which was used to control this disorder.

Director: John Herzfeld | Stars: Judith Light, Lukas Haas, Michael Bowen, Nikki Cox

Votes: 578

38. An Early Frost (1985 TV Movie)

95 min | Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young lawyer hasn't told his parents about his homosexuality. Now he must tell them--at a time when the diagnosis was still a death sentence--that he has AIDS.

Director: John Erman | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Sylvia Sidney, Aidan Quinn

Votes: 1,602

39. Consenting Adult (1985 TV Movie)

100 min | Drama

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Young and shy Jeff discovers his attraction to men. After struggling with himself he comes out to his parents. His mum eventually listens to him and tries to understand his feelings, but ... See full summary »

Director: Gilbert Cates | Stars: Marlo Thomas, Martin Sheen, Barry Tubb, Talia Balsam

Votes: 332

40. Silence of the Heart (1984 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Skip Lewis is a 16 year old, who's been through some stuff. Like he has been having academic problems, and a girl whom he has been pursuing has told him that she has no interest in him. He ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Michaels | Stars: Mariette Hartley, Dana Hill, Howard Hesseman, Chad Lowe

Votes: 276

41. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981 TV Movie)

PG | 150 min | Biography, Drama

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Biography focusing on the former first lady's years in D.C., from working as a newspaper's "Inquiring Camera Girl" to meeting and being courted by Rep. Jack Kennedy to life on the campaign trail and into the White House.

Director: Steve Gethers | Stars: Jaclyn Smith, James Franciscus, Rod Taylor, Stephen Elliott

Votes: 155

42. Deadly Care (1987 TV Movie)

96 min | Drama

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

True story about a nurse's descent into the nightmarish world of substance abuse which endangers her life and the lives of her patients.

Director: David Anspaugh | Stars: Cheryl Ladd, Jason Miller, Jennifer Salt, Belinda Balaski

Votes: 41

43. A Death in California (1985)

240 min | Drama

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Beverly Hills socialite embarks on a love/hate relationship with a psychotic businessman who murdered her fiance and then raped and terrorized her which leads to a bizarre trial.

Stars: Cheryl Ladd, Sam Elliott, Alexis Smith, Fritz Weaver

Votes: 134

44. Kentucky Woman (1983 TV Movie)

96 min | Drama

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A woman faces harassment and humiliation when she goes to work as a coal miner to support her small son and ailing dad.

Director: Walter Doniger | Stars: Cheryl Ladd, Ned Beatty, Philip Levien, Sandy McPeak

Votes: 73

45. Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer (1983 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

This made-for-TV sequel to the 1977 theatrical film "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" follows a New York City detective's quest to find the murderer of a schoolteacher.

Director: Bill Persky | Stars: George Segal, Shelley Hack, Alan North, Barton Heyman

Votes: 69

46. The Midnight Hour (1985 TV Movie)

Unrated | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Romance

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Phil, Melissa, Mitch, Mary, and Vinnie are high school friends, who unwittingly raise the dead on Halloween night. Once the dead have returned, Pitchford Cove will never be the same again....or will it?

Director: Jack Bender | Stars: Lee Montgomery, Shari Belafonte, LeVar Burton, Peter DeLuise

Votes: 1,199

47. V: The Final Battle (1984)

TV-14 | 272 min | Action, Sci-Fi

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A small group of human resistance fighters fight a desperate guerilla war against the genocidal extra-terrestrials who dominate Earth.

Stars: Jane Badler, Michael Durrell, Robert Englund, Faye Grant

Votes: 5,909

48. Roe vs. Wade (1989 TV Movie)

100 min | Biography, Drama

6.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Holly Hunter plays a lonely, single, poorly educated Texan who finds herself pregnant with no means to support a child. To avoid giving up the child, she seeks an abortion. Denied an ... See full summary »

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Holly Hunter, Amy Madigan, James Gammon, Terry O'Quinn

Votes: 248

49. The Day After (1983 TV Movie)

Unrated | 127 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director: Nicholas Meyer | Stars: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Cullum

Votes: 11,757

50. Deadly Lessons (1983 TV Movie)

100 min | Thriller

5.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A psycho is stalking the students at an exclusive girls' school.

Director: William Wiard | Stars: Donna Reed, Larry Wilcox, David Ackroyd, Diane Franklin

Votes: 146

51. In the Custody of Strangers (1982 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A teenage delinquent who goes on a drunken joyride is left in jail overnight by his parents in the hope that he might learn a lesson from it. But events follow which result in the boy ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Greenwald | Stars: Martin Sheen, Jane Alexander, Emilio Estevez, Kenneth McMillan

Votes: 314

52. Thursday's Child (1983 TV Movie)

100 min | Drama

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: David Lowell Rich | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Don Murray, Jessica Walter, Rob Lowe

Votes: 84

53. Born to Be Sold (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 96 min | Thriller

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A social worker tries to break up a ring of crooks who buy new-born babies from teen-aged mothers and sell them to couples who can't obtain them through legal adoption channels.

Director: Burt Brinckerhoff | Stars: Lynda Carter, Harold Gould, Philip Sterling, Dean Stockwell

Votes: 112

54. A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story (1989 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Drama

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Tracy Thurman was married to a man who abused her. But he continues to harass her after she gets a restraining order, and the police do little to help. When he brutally beats her and ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Markowitz | Stars: Nancy McKeon, Dale Midkiff, Graham Jarvis, Yvette Heyden

Votes: 841