Most Popular Feature Films Released 1981-01-01 to 1981-12-31


1. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

7.0
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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: 46,135 | Gross: $42.37M

2. 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: 663,146 | Gross: $242.37M

3. Mad Max 2: 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: 134,366 | Gross: $9.00M

4. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Fantasy, Horror

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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: 141,735

5. 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  

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, Haim Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson

Votes: 72,223 | Gross: $62.30M

6. 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: 168,703 | Gross: $11.43M

7. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Fantasy, 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: 64,714

8. Excalibur (1981)

R | 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  

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: 46,664

9. 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: 40,662 | Gross: $58.80M

10. 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: 63,735 | Gross: $29.80M

11. 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: 22,851 | Gross: $17.99M

12. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi

7.2
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In 1997, when the US 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: 91,350 | Gross: $25.24M

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  

A film adaption of the myth of Perseus and his quest to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster to save the Princess Andromeda.

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

Votes: 33,093

14. The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Sport

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

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: 25,998 | Gross: $59.90M

15. Stripes (1981)

R | 106 min | Action, 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: 48,769 | Gross: $85.30M

16. 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 orb terrorizes a young girl with a collection of stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Director: Gerald Potterton | Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks

Votes: 23,582

17. 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: 31,341 | Gross: $105.50M

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

R | 92 min | Comedy

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

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: 36,643

19. 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: 35,283

20. 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: 5,473

21. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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 convinces her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

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

Votes: 23,406

22. 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: 6,682

23. Taps (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  

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: 13,029

24. 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  

Mommie Dearest, best-selling memoir turned motion picture, depicts the abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford.

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

Votes: 10,603

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: 13,584

26. 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: 10,870 | Gross: $6.00M

27. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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: 39,856 | Gross: $19.10M

28. 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: 21,394 | Gross: $95.46M

29. 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: 21,446 | Gross: $119.29M

30. My Dinner with Andre (1981)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two old friends meet for dinner; as one tells anecdotes detailing his experiences, the other notices their differing worldviews.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn, Jean Lenauer, Roy Butler

Votes: 11,493 | Gross: $5.25M

31. Halloween II (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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: 51,017 | Gross: $25.50M

32. Victory (1981)

PG | 116 min | Action, Drama, Sport

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

As allied POWs prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers are making plans for the team's escape.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Pelé, Bobby Moore

Votes: 20,910

33. 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: 16,809

34. Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981)

R | 107 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

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: 4,215

35. 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: 10,440

36. 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  

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: 27,776

37. 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, Jim Belushi

Votes: 16,056 | Gross: $4.30M

38. 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 prehistoric tribesmen search for a new fire source.

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

Votes: 16,339

39. Modern Romance (1981)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Albert Brooks directs himself as a successful film editor with far too many issues that affects the relationship between him and his remarkably patient girlfriend.

Director: Albert Brooks | Stars: Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, Tyann Means, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 2,037

40. 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: 29,919

41. True Confessions (1981)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A worldly ambitious monsignor clashes with his older brother, a cynical Los Angeles homicide detective who is investigating the brutal murder of a young prostitute.

Director: Ulu Grosbard | Stars: Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Charles Durning, Kenneth McMillan

Votes: 5,496

42. Southern Comfort (1981)

R | 106 min | Action, Thriller

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

A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Fred Ward, Franklyn Seales

Votes: 12,101

43. This Is Elvis (1981)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Music

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

Though several actors portray Elvis Presley at different stages of his life, this documentary is comprised mostly of actual performance footage and interviews with Elvis, his fans and those... See full summary »

Directors: Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt | Stars: Elvis Presley, David Scott, Paul Boensch III, Johnny Harra

Votes: 833

44. 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: 3,288

45. Reds (1981)

PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

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: 16,292

46. Outland (1981)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

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

In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle, James Sikking

Votes: 21,568

47. Nighthawks (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Conservative street cop DaSilva reluctantly agrees to terminate an international terrorist who has demanded media attention. But DaSilva's "at-home" tactics are very much put to the challenge.

Directors: Bruce Malmuth, Gary Nelson | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Rutger Hauer, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner

Votes: 12,568

48. Cannibal Ferox (1981)

Not Rated | 93 min | Adventure, Horror

5.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Three friends out to disprove cannibalism meet two men on the run who tortured and enslaved a cannibal tribe to find emeralds, and now the tribe is out for revenge.

Director: Umberto Lenzi | Stars: Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei, Zora Kerova

Votes: 6,969

49. Caveman (1981)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

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

A cave-man seeks revenge on a much larger competitor for the hand of a beautiful cave-woman.

Director: Carl Gottlieb | Stars: Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid, Shelley Long, Jack Gilford

Votes: 5,739

50. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A film is being made of a story, set in 19th century England, about Charles, a biologist who's engaged to be married, but who falls in love with outcast Sarah, whose melancholy makes her ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae, Emily Morgan

Votes: 9,175