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


1. The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Sport

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

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: 29,392 | Gross: $72.18M

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

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.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 773,776 | Gross: $248.16M

3. 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: 60,312 | Gross: $25.53M

4. Sharky's Machine (1981)

R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.3
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58 Metascore

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.

Director: Burt Reynolds | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Rachel Ward, Vittorio Gassman, Brian Keith

Votes: 4,586 | Gross: $35.61M

5. 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: 162,931 | Gross: $2.40M

6. The Road Warrior (1981)

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

7.6
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77 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: 150,354 | Gross: $12.47M

7. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.8
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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: 80,909 | Gross: $62.30M

8. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi

7.2
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76 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: 106,962 | Gross: $25.24M

9. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.4
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77 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: 26,616 | Gross: $24.06M

10. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

7.6
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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: 78,003 | Gross: $30.57M

11. Excalibur (1981)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.4
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56 Metascore

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

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

Votes: 51,868 | Gross: $34.97M

12. 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  
68 Metascore

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: 56,425 | Gross: $85.30M

13. 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: 18,550 | Gross: $1.11M

14. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.4
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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: 199,513 | Gross: $11.49M

15. Porky's (1981)

R | 94 min | Comedy

6.2
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40 Metascore

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.

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

Votes: 34,256 | Gross: $111.29M

16. 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: 14,841 | Gross: $35.86M

17. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

6.9
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59 Metascore

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: 36,535 | Gross: $41.09M

18. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.1
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26 Metascore

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.

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

Votes: 48,344 | Gross: $21.72M

19. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

7.0
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79 Metascore

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling 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: 51,547 | Gross: $42.37M

20. Blow Out (1981)

R | 108 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.4
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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: 34,861 | Gross: $13.75M

21. Endless Love (1981)

R | 116 min | Drama, Romance

4.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 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: 6,197 | Gross: $31.18M

22. Dragonslayer (1981)

PG | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

6.7
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68 Metascore

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: 12,657 | Gross: $14.11M

23. The Howling (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

6.6
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68 Metascore

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.

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

Votes: 26,386 | Gross: $17.99M

24. The Four Seasons (1981)

PG | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

7.2
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55 Metascore

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.

Director: Alan Alda | Stars: Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Len Cariou, Sandy Dennis

Votes: 3,541 | Gross: $50.43M

25. Scanners (1981)

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

6.8
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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: 41,075 | Gross: $14.23M

26. On Golden Pond (1981)

PG | 109 min | Drama

7.7
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68 Metascore

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: 24,440 | Gross: $119.29M

27. 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  
78 Metascore

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: 47,321 | Gross: $58.97M

28. Student Bodies (1981)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Horror

5.6
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41 Metascore

A murderer known as "The Breather" kills off high schoolers.

Directors: Mickey Rose, Michael Ritchie | Stars: Kristen Riter, Matthew Goldsby, Jerry Belson, Joe Flood

Votes: 3,799 | Gross: $5.17M

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

R | 92 min | Comedy, History

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: 41,313 | Gross: $31.67M

30. 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  
55 Metascore

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: 12,537 | Gross: $19.03M

31. 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  
51 Metascore

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: 27,221

32. Private Lessons (1981)

R | 87 min | Comedy

5.2
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34 Metascore

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: 2,767 | Gross: $26.28M

33. Galaxy of Terror (1981)

R | 81 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

5.1
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Science fiction suspense thriller, in which a rescue space ship crew meets up with horrors projected by their own imaginations.

Director: Bruce D. Clark | Stars: Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston, Bernard Behrens

Votes: 5,149

34. Quest for Fire (1981)

R | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.4
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79 Metascore

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: 18,439 | Gross: $20.96M

35. 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: 73,303 | Gross: $63.46M

36. Arthur (1981)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Romance

6.9
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69 Metascore

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: 23,388 | Gross: $95.46M

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

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.

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

Votes: 20,322 | Gross: $11.49M

38. 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: 12,826

39. Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981)

R | 104 min | Drama, Romance

5.1
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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 »

Director: Just Jaeckin | Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Shane Briant, Nicholas Clay, Ann Mitchell

Votes: 2,122

40. Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)

R | 94 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

3.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  
15 Metascore

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, Miller Drake | Stars: Tricia O'Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen, Ricky Paull Goldin

Votes: 6,632

41. 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: 33,064 | Gross: $5.73M

42. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

6.6
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61 Metascore

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: 19,166 | Gross: $12.38M

43. 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: 18,630

44. Tarzan the Ape Man (1981)

R | 115 min | Adventure, Drama

3.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  
24 Metascore

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: 4,690 | Gross: $36.57M

45. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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.

Director: George Mihalka | Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight

Votes: 14,632 | Gross: $5.67M

46. Roar (1981)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, 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: 2,057 | Gross: $2.00M

47. 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: 24,142 | Gross: $17.37M

48. Eye of the Needle (1981)

R | 112 min | Romance, Thriller, War

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

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.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Stephen MacKenna, Philip Martin Brown

Votes: 8,160 | Gross: $17.58M

49. The Prowler (1981)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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.

Director: Joseph Zito | Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger

Votes: 7,602

50. Caveman (1981)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Romance

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
55 Metascore

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: 6,362 | Gross: $15.97M



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