Most Popular Feature Films Released 1981-01-01 to 1981-12-31
1. 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: 29,392 | Gross: $72.18M
2. 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: 773,776 | Gross: $248.16M
3. 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: 60,312 | Gross: $25.53M
4. 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: 4,586 | Gross: $35.61M
6. 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: 150,354 | Gross: $12.47M
8. 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: 106,962 | Gross: $25.24M
9. 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: 26,616 | Gross: $24.06M
10. 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: 78,003 | Gross: $30.57M
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: 51,868 | Gross: $34.97M
13. 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: 18,550 | Gross: $1.11M
15. 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: 34,256 | Gross: $111.29M
18. 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: 48,344 | Gross: $21.72M
19. 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: 51,547 | Gross: $42.37M
20. 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: 34,861 | Gross: $13.75M
22. 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: 12,657 | Gross: $14.11M
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: 26,386 | Gross: $17.99M
24. 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: 3,541 | Gross: $50.43M
26. 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: 24,440 | Gross: $119.29M
29. 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: 41,313 | Gross: $31.67M
30. Mommie Dearest (1981)
R | 129 min | Biography, Drama
Votes: 12,537 | Gross: $19.03M
31. 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
32. 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: 2,767 | Gross: $26.28M
36. 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: 23,388 | Gross: $95.46M
37. Thief (1981)
R | 122 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: 20,322 | Gross: $11.49M
38. 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.
39. Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981)
R | 104 min | Drama, Romance
A film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's novel. After a crippling injury leaves her husband impotent, Lady Chatterly is torn between her love for her husband and her physical desires. With her ... See full summary »
40. 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.
41. 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: 33,064 | Gross: $5.73M
42. 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: 19,166 | Gross: $12.38M
43. 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 »
45. 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: 14,632 | Gross: $5.67M
47. Outland (1981)
R | 112 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: 24,142 | Gross: $17.37M
48. 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: 8,160 | Gross: $17.58M
49. The Prowler (1981)
R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.