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Artemis 81 (1981)

The epic battle for the future of mankind is fought between an angel of light and an angel of death.


Alastair Reid


David Rudkin


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hywel Bennett ... Gideon Harlax
Dinah Stabb Dinah Stabb ... Gwen Meredith
Dan O'Herlihy ... Albrecht Von Drachenfels
Sting ... Helith
Anthony Steel ... Tristram Guise
Roland Curram ... Asrael
Margaret Whiting Margaret Whiting ... Laura Guise
Ian Redford Ian Redford ... Jed Thaxter
Mary Ellen Ray Mary Ellen Ray ... Sonia
Cornelius Garrett Cornelius Garrett ... Pastor
Siv Borg Siv Borg ... Pastor's Wife
Frode Berg Frode Berg ... Pastor's Son
Ingrid Pitt ... Hitchcock Blonde
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Library Student
Sylvia Coleridge ... Library Scholar


Paranormal novelist Gideon Harlax is drawn into a battle between the forces of good, represented by alien angel Helith, and the forces of evil, represented by Helith's evil brother Asrael. Ranging from Oxford to Denmark, a North Sea ferry to an alien planet, Harlax unwittingly becomes part of an ancient plot that may result in the destruction of Earth... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


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Release Date:

29 December 1981 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Artemis '81 See more »

Filming Locations:

Abersoch, Gwynedd, Wales, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (DVD version)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The family of a black employee of the DFDS Seaways Lorry service drives home in Birmingham in their red Morris Marina, a series that stopped being produced in 1980 due to its recognized poor quality. See more »


Library Scholar: [to Gideon Harlax] Young man! If you must fantasize, do so elsewhere!
See more »

Alternate Versions

According to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), no cuts were made to the DVD version (179:37) as it was presented for rating. However, it also informs that the DVD Distributor in 2007 cut 1m 47s from the broadcast precut version (181:24). This shorter version is due to copyright issues involving Hitchcock's Rebecca and Rear Window, references and stills that were part of the finale. See more »


References Vampyr (1932) See more »


Das Rheingold
Written by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

21 July 2007 | by sickofitall28See all my reviews

I first saw this when I was 10 years old and it baffled me. As it's never been repeated or made commercially available I've been waiting ages for a DVD release to see if I can make sense of it. It's a film that deserves a second look, without a doubt - and thankfully the audio commentary with the director and writer explains so much, because without it you'll still be scratching your head and muttering "what the hell was that all about..." In particular, that strange, terrifying Eastern-block country Gideon finds himself in. Fepiz! was the title of DC Thompson's Dandy comic that is seen next to a copy of his own book, and for some reason it's that image that has always stayed with me since '81. Listen to the audio commentary for an explanation of that strange language and the city as a whole. A fine and Fepiz work? Not a masterpiece by any means, verging on the pretentious at times but brave, ambitious and with some disturbing imagery that will remain with you for a long time.

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