Most Popular Feature Films 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: 685,982 | Gross: $242.37M

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: 137,833 | Gross: $9.00M

3. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror, Thriller

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: 147,092

4. 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  

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: 94,493 | Gross: $25.24M

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: 41,522 | Gross: $19.10M

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: 174,417 | Gross: $11.43M

7. 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: 67,636

8. Excalibur (1981)

R | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.4
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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: 47,646

9. 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: 11,210 | Gross: $6.00M

10. Christiane F. (1981)

R | 138 min | Biography, Drama

7.6
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This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story... See full summary »

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Natja Brunckhorst, Eberhard Auriga, Peggy Bussieck, Lothar Chamski

Votes: 16,166

11. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

6.9
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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: 33,852

12. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

7.0
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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: 9,444

13. 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: 50,144 | Gross: $85.30M

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: 31,959 | Gross: $105.50M

15. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.8
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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: 73,957 | Gross: $62.30M

16. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.2
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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: 41,896 | Gross: $58.80M

17. 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: 21,553

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 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: 24,022

19. 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: 5,600

20. 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: 26,634 | Gross: $59.90M

21. Possession (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Horror

7.4
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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: 14,713

22. 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: 47,266 | Gross: $42.37M

23. 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: 10,923

24. Pennies from Heaven (1981)

R | 108 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

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

During the Great Depression, a sheet music salesman seeks to escape his dreary life through popular music and a love affair with an innocent school teacher.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jessica Harper, Vernel Bagneris

Votes: 4,344 | Gross: $3.60M

25. Reds (1981)

PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
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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: 16,774

26. Thief (1981)

R | 122 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

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: 16,926 | Gross: $4.30M

27. 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: 65,726 | Gross: $29.80M

28. Heavy Metal (1981)

R | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

6.7
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A glowing orb terrorizes a young girl with a collection of stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Directors: Gerald Potterton, 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: 24,260

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: 21,978 | Gross: $119.29M

30. 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: 37,786

31. 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: 3,448

32. Quest for Fire (1981)

R | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.4
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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: 16,785

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: 17,239

34. 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: 21,908 | Gross: $95.46M

35. 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: 4,283

36. 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: 12,221 | Gross: $5.25M

37. 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: 23,630 | Gross: $17.99M

38. 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: 36,550

39. 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  

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: 13,396

40. 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: 28,990

41. Saturday the 14th (1981)

PG | 75 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

4.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

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: 2,428

42. 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: 10,970

43. The Final Conflict (1981)

R | 108 min | Horror

5.6
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The now adult Antichrist plots to eliminate his future divine opponent while a cabal of monks plot to stop him.

Director: Graham Baker | Stars: Sam Neill, Rossano Brazzi, Don Gordon, Lisa Harrow

Votes: 14,477

44. Halloween II (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror

6.6
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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: 53,257 | Gross: $25.50M

45. The Funhouse (1981)

R | 96 min | Horror

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

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin, Jack McDermott

Votes: 9,051

46. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.5
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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: 30,544

47. Under the Rainbow (1981)

PG | 98 min | Comedy

5.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

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: 2,137 | Gross: $8.50M

48. Ghost Story (1981)

R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

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

Two generations of men find themselves haunted by the presence of a spectral woman. When the son of one of the elderly men returns to his hometown after his brother's mysterious death, they attempt to unravel her story.

Director: John Irvin | Stars: Craig Wasson, Alice Krige, Fred Astaire, John Houseman

Votes: 5,796

49. 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: 22,138

50. 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: 6,841