Most Popular Feature Films/TV Series Released 1981-01-01 to 1981-12-31


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: 710,224 | Gross: $242.37M

2. Excalibur (1981)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

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

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the round table of Camelot even as forces conspire to tear it apart

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi

Votes: 48,919

3. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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: 70,497

4. Taps (I) (1981)

PG | 126 min | Drama

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

Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

Director: Harold Becker | Stars: George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn

Votes: 13,784

5. 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. Is it Mrs. Voorhees' son Jason, who did not really drown in the lake some 30 years before?

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

Votes: 43,174 | Gross: $19.10M

6. 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: 151,545

7. Only Fools and Horses.... (1981–2003)

TV-PG | 95 min | Comedy

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Classic comedy following the misadventures of two Wheeler Dealer brothers Del Boy and Rodney Trotter who scrape their living by selling dodgy goods believing that next year they will be millionaires.

Stars: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Roger Lloyd Pack, Buster Merryfield

Votes: 34,191

8. 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  

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: 51,869 | Gross: $85.30M

9. The Road Warrior (1981)

R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
76 Metascore

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Votes: 141,523 | Gross: $9.00M

10. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
75 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: 98,567 | Gross: $25.24M

11. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 180,739 | Gross: $11.43M

12. Dynasty (1981–1989)

60 min | Drama, Romance

6.2
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The trials and tribulations of two feuding families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, both oil rich families in Denver, Colorado.

Stars: John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins, Gordon Thomson

Votes: 4,812

13. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

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

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: 34,683

14. Porky's (1981)

R | 94 min | Comedy

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
40 Metascore

In 1954, a group of Florida high schoolers seek out to help their buddy lose his virginity, which leads them to seek revenge on a sleazy nightclub owner and his redneck sheriff brother for harassing them.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Roger Wilson

Votes: 32,601 | Gross: $105.50M

15. The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Sport

6.1
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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: 27,384 | Gross: $59.90M

16. 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: 75,927 | Gross: $62.30M

17. Endless Love (1981)

R | 116 min | Drama, Romance

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

A high school student's love for a 15-year-old girl is thwarted by parental disapproval, circumstance and accident.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt, Shirley Knight, Don Murray

Votes: 5,758

18. 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  
78 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: 24,723

19. Arthur (1981)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Romance

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

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: 22,360 | Gross: $95.46M

20. Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama

8.2
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The lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct.

Stars: Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz, James Sikking

Votes: 5,351

21. Heavy Metal (1981)

R | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

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

A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas, Julian Harris, Jimmy T. Murakami, Barrie Nelson, Paul Sabella, Jack Stokes, Pino Van Lamsweerde, Harold Whitaker | Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks

Votes: 25,155

22. Mommie Dearest (1981)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

6.7
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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: 11,700

23. Neighbors (1981)

R | 94 min | Comedy

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

A quiet man's peaceful suburban lifestyle is threatened by the new, obnoxious couple that moves in next door.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Kathryn Walker, Cathy Moriarty

Votes: 6,383 | Gross: $28.73M

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

R | 92 min | Comedy

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: 38,814

25. Possession (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Horror

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

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent

Votes: 15,693

26. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time traveling 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: 48,382 | Gross: $42.37M

27. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

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

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: 67,871 | Gross: $29.80M

28. On Golden Pond (1981)

PG | 109 min | Drama

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

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: 22,644 | Gross: $119.29M

29. Blow Out (1981)

R | 107 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
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: 30,611

30. The Fall Guy (1981–1986)

60 min | Action, Adventure

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

The adventures of a film stunt performer who moonlights as a bounty hunter when movie work is slow.

Stars: Lee Majors, Douglas Barr, Heather Thomas, Markie Post

Votes: 4,451

31. Dragonslayer (1981)

PG | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

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

A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom.

Director: Matthew Robbins | Stars: Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam

Votes: 11,613 | Gross: $6.00M

32. 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  

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: 43,422 | Gross: $58.80M

33. The Howling (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

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

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone

Votes: 24,304 | Gross: $17.99M

34. Scanners (1981)

R | 103 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

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

A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane

Votes: 37,832

35. The Greatest American Hero (1981–1983)

60 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

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

A teacher is asked to be a superhero using a special alien suit with powers he can barely understand or control.

Stars: William Katt, Connie Sellecca, Robert Culp, Michael Paré

Votes: 3,236

36. Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981)

R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

3.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A scuba diving instructor, her biochemist boyfriend, and her police chief ex-husband try to link a series of bizarre deaths to a mutant strain of piranha fish whose lair is a sunken freighter ship off a Caribbean island resort.

Directors: James Cameron, Ovidio G. Assonitis | Stars: Tricia O'Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen, Ricky Paull Goldin

Votes: 6,165

37. Deadly Blessing (1981)

R | 100 min | Horror

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

After her husband dies of mysterious circumstances, a widow becomes increasingly paranoid of the neighboring religious community that may have diabolical plans for her.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner, Jeff East

Votes: 3,652

38. Cagney & Lacey (1981–1988)

60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

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

Two female police detectives cooperate with each other both in their professions and in their personal lives.

Stars: Tyne Daly, Al Waxman, Martin Kove, John Karlen

Votes: 2,265

39. The Burning (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

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

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam | Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua

Votes: 11,443

40. Tarzan the Ape Man (1981)

R | 107 min | Adventure, Drama

3.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

While on an African expedition with her father, Jane Parker meets Tarzan, and the two become fascinated by each other.

Director: John Derek | Stars: Bo Derek, Richard Harris, Miles O'Keeffe, John Phillip Law

Votes: 4,369

41. Simon & Simon (1981–1989)

60 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

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

Two brothers of disparate tastes and manners run a private detective agency.

Stars: Jameson Parker, Gerald McRaney, Mary Carver, Tim Reid

Votes: 3,160

42. Private Lessons (1981)

R | 87 min | Comedy

5.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An immigrant housemaid seduces a 15-year-old boy and later fakes her own death as part of his chauffeur's blackmail plot. Troubles arise when the two start to fall in love.

Director: Alan Myerson | Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Howard Hesseman, Eric Brown, Patrick Piccininni

Votes: 2,464 | Gross: $26.28M

43. Falcon Crest (1981–1990)

60 min | Drama, Romance

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

Set in the vineyards of California, this prime-time soap opera featured the conflict within the powerful Gioberti family, owners of the vast Falcon Crest Winery.

Stars: Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, Chao Li Chi, David Selby

Votes: 2,438

44. 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: 54,881 | Gross: $25.50M

45. Roar (1981)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
65 Metascore

A family goes to Africa to meet their father who lives with wild lions.

Director: Noel Marshall | Stars: Tippi Hedren, Noel Marshall, Melanie Griffith, John Marshall

Votes: 1,670 | Gross: $2.00M

46. Quest for Fire (1981)

R | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, History

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

This story takes place in prehistoric time when three tribesmen search for a new fire source.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nicholas Kadi, Rae Dawn Chong

Votes: 17,284

47. Thief (1981)

R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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

Becoming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the mafia, who have other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi

Votes: 17,819 | Gross: $4.30M

48. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

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

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins

Votes: 31,267

49. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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

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: 17,804

50. Carnival Magic (1981)

G | 86 min | Fantasy

2.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

A magician in a carnival--who actually can read minds and levitate people and objects--works with a superintelligent chimp named Alex, who can also talk. The magician and the chimp soon ... See full summary »

Director: Al Adamson | Stars: Don Stewart, Jennifer Houlton, Howard Segal, Regina Carrol

Votes: 333