Released between 1981-01-01 and 1981-12-31 Catalog (Sorted by Number of Votes Descending)
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure
In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.
Votes: 780,558 | Gross: $248.16M
4. The Road Warrior (1981)
R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.
Votes: 151,223 | Gross: $12.47M
5. Escape from New York (1981)
R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 108,202 | Gross: $25.24M
7. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror
Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
Votes: 79,094 | Gross: $30.57M
9. Halloween II (1981)
R | 92 min | Horror
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.
Votes: 63,587 | Gross: $25.53M
11. Excalibur (1981)
PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.
Votes: 52,233 | Gross: $34.97M
12. Time Bandits (1981)
PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.
Votes: 51,968 | Gross: $42.37M
13. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
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.
Votes: 49,388 | Gross: $21.72M
15. History of the World: Part I (1981)
R | 92 min | Comedy, History
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.
Votes: 41,587 | Gross: $31.67M
18. Blow Out (1981)
R | 108 min | Mystery, Thriller
A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.
Votes: 35,420 | Gross: $13.75M
19. Porky's (1981)
R | 94 min | Comedy
In 1954, a group of Florida high school students try to help their buddy lose his virginity, which leads them to seeking revenge on a sleazy nightclub owner and his redneck sheriff brother for harassing them.
Votes: 34,450 | Gross: $111.29M
20. Gallipoli (1981)
PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History
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.
Votes: 33,252 | Gross: $5.73M
21. The Cannonball Run (1981)
PG | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Sport
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.
Votes: 29,716 | Gross: $72.18M
22. Heavy Metal (1981)
R | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
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
23. The Howling (1981)
R | 91 min | Horror
After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.
Votes: 26,906 | Gross: $17.99M
24. Body Heat (1981)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.
Votes: 26,829 | Gross: $24.06M
25. On Golden Pond (1981)
PG | 109 min | Drama
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.
Votes: 24,617 | Gross: $119.29M
26. Victory (1981)
PG | 116 min | Drama, Sport, War
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.
Votes: 24,329 | Gross: $10.85M
27. Outland (1981)
R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 24,291 | Gross: $17.37M
28. Arthur (1981)
PG | 97 min | Comedy, Romance
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 »
Votes: 23,495 | Gross: $95.46M
29. Thief (1981)
R | 123 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.
Votes: 20,606 | Gross: $11.49M
30. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.
Votes: 19,307 | Gross: $12.38M
31. Possession (1981)
R | 124 min | Drama, Horror
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.
Votes: 19,002 | Gross: $1.11M
32. Christiane F. (1981)
R | 138 min | Biography, Drama
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 »
33. Reds (1981)
PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.
Votes: 18,639 | Gross: $40.38M
35. The Beyond (1981)
R | 87 min | Horror
A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where, following a series of supernatural "accidents", she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.
Votes: 17,452 | Gross: $0.12M
38. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.
Votes: 14,839 | Gross: $5.67M
39. My Dinner with Andre (1981)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
Two old friends meet for dinner; as one tells anecdotes detailing his experiences, the other notices their differing worldviews.
Votes: 14,832 | Gross: $5.25M
40. Nighthawks (1981)
R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
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.
Votes: 14,542 | Gross: $14.91M
42. The Burning (1981)
R | 91 min | Horror
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.
43. Dragonslayer (1981)
PG | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom.
Votes: 12,803 | Gross: $14.11M
44. Mommie Dearest (1981)
R | 129 min | Biography, Drama
Votes: 12,634 | Gross: $19.03M
45. The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
G | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime
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.
Votes: 11,701 | Gross: $31.21M
46. The Professional (1981)
R | 108 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Victim of a plot which has resulted in his imprisonment in a Central African jail for two years, a French secret agent arrives in Paris to settle accounts.
47. The House by the Cemetery (1981)
Not Rated | 86 min | Horror
A New England home is terrorized by a series of murders, unbeknownst to the guests that a gruesome secret is hiding in the basement.
48. Absence of Malice (1981)
PG | 116 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
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.
Votes: 10,585 | Gross: $40.72M
49. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
R | 124 min | Drama, Romance
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 »
Votes: 10,576 | Gross: $22.60M
50. Diva (1981)
R | 117 min | Thriller
Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed. All these characters twist their way through an intricate and stylish French language thriller.
Votes: 10,546 | Gross: $0.11M
52. Dead & Buried (1981)
R | 94 min | Horror, Mystery
A suspense horror film set in a small coastal town where, after a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses begin to come back to life.
Votes: 8,387 | Gross: $0.22M
53. Mephisto (1981)
Unrated | 144 min | Drama
A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and ... See full summary »
54. Eye of the Needle (1981)
R | 112 min | Romance, Thriller, War
A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband.
Votes: 8,226 | Gross: $17.58M
56. Ragtime (1981)
PG | 155 min | Drama
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.
Votes: 7,643 | Gross: $21.02M
57. Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
R | 110 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.
58. Ms .45 (1981)
R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.
59. La chèvre (1981)
91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime
When the accident-prone daughter of a French businessman disappears in Mexico and the detective sent down to find her returns empty-handed, the businessman's company psychologist comes up ... See full summary »
61. Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)
R | 94 min | Drama, Horror, Romance
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.
62. Ghost Story (1981)
R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
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.
Votes: 6,647 | Gross: $23.37M
64. Nice Dreams (1981)
R | 88 min | Comedy, Crime
Disguised as ice cream vendors, Cheech and Chong make--and subsequently lose--millions of dollars selling a batch of marijuana with an unusual side effect.
Votes: 6,308 | Gross: $33.98M
66. True Confessions (1981)
R | 108 min | Crime, Drama
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.
Votes: 6,208 | Gross: $10.20M
67. Prince of the City (1981)
R | 167 min | Crime, Drama
A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.
Votes: 6,125 | Gross: $8.12M
69. Polyester (1981)
R | 86 min | Comedy
A suburban housewife's world falls apart when she finds that her pornographer husband is serially unfaithful to her, her daughter is pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet.
70. Death Hunt (1981)
R | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
In 1931 Canada, Yukon trapper Johnson has a feud with a dog owner who later retaliates by publicly accusing Johnson of murder and thus triggering a police manhunt in the wilderness.
73. Fort Apache the Bronx (1981)
R | 125 min | Crime, Drama
In New York, South Bronx's main police precinct is nicknamed Fort Apache by its employees who feel like troopers surrounded by hostiles in a wild west isolated outpost.
Votes: 5,015 | Gross: $29.20M
74. Sjecas li se Dolly Bell? (1981)
Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A young man grows up in Sarajevo in the 1960s, under the shadow of his good, but ailing father, and gets attracted by the world of small-time criminals. They hire him to hide a young ... See full summary »
76. S.O.B. (1981)
R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama
A movie producer who made a huge flop tries to salvage his career by revamping his film as an erotic production, where its family-friendly star takes her top off.
Votes: 4,921 | Gross: $14.87M
78. Pennies from Heaven (1981)
R | 108 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
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.
Votes: 4,702 | Gross: $9.18M
79. Sharky's Machine (1981)
R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Tom Sharky is demoted to vice after a bust goes terribly wrong. He and his team stumble across a mob murder tied to prostitution and government.
Votes: 4,661 | Gross: $35.61M
80. One from the Heart (1981)
R | 107 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
Hank and Frannie don't seem to be able to live together anymore. After a five-year relationship, lustful and dreamy Fanny leaves down-to-earth Hank on the anniversary of their relationship.... See full summary »
Votes: 4,476 | Gross: $0.64M
81. Modern Problems (1981)
PG | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 4,397 | Gross: $26.15M
82. Lola (1981)
R | 115 min | Drama, Romance
In post-war West Germany, the charming Von Bohm is appointed a city's new Building Commissioner. His morality is tested when he unknowingly falls in love with a brothel worker, Lola, the paid mistress of a corrupt property developer.
83. Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 96 min | Horror
In a small Southern town, a wrongfully-killed man exacts revenge on those who murdered him from beyond the grave.
84. Coup de Torchon (1981)
Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A worn-out, ineffective police chief humiliated by everyone around him decides one day to improve his life, by any means.
89. Looker (1981)
PG | 93 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
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 »
Votes: 3,990 | Gross: $3.28M
90. The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
PG | 88 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi
When an ordinary woman is exposed to a unique mix of chemicals, she begins to uncontrollably physically shrink.
Votes: 3,976 | Gross: $20.26M
93. Knightriders (1981)
R | 146 min | Action, Drama
A medieval reenactment troupe find it increasingly difficult to keep their family-like group together, with pressure from local law enforcement, interest from entertainment agents and a growing sense of delusion from their leader.
94. American Pop (1981)
R | 96 min | Animation, Drama, History
The story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music in the 20th century.
Votes: 3,735 | Gross: $6.00M
95. Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981)
PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
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 »
Votes: 3,628 | Gross: $11.12M
96. The Four Seasons (1981)
PG | 107 min | Comedy, Drama
Three middle-aged wealthy couples take vacations together in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Along the way we are treated to mid-life, marital, parental and other crises.
Votes: 3,562 | Gross: $50.43M
97. Vabank (1981)
108 min | Comedy, Crime
Set in Warsaw in 1930's. After six years in jail, framed for bank robbery by an accomplice, the legendary Kwinto has only revenge on his mind. He is a safecracker in the old style, a thief ... See full summary »
98. An Eye for an Eye (1981)
R | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
Sean Kane is forced to resign from the San Francisco Police Department's Narcotics Division when he goes berserk after his partner is murdered. He decides to fight alone and follows a trail... See full summary »
Votes: 3,066 | Gross: $7.68M
100. Private Lessons (1981)
R | 87 min | Comedy
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.
Votes: 2,812 | Gross: $26.28M