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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?


Gideon Harlax suddenly finds himself in an unidentified militarized city, where the citizens seem to be all sick, who seem to understand his questions but who do not speak English. A public address system streams out monocordic announcements in Estonian spoken backwards. 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 Play for Today (1970) See more »


Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor
(BWV 582) (excerpt)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

A battle between good and evil for the fate of the earth
3 September 2008 | by bmcguinn-1See all my reviews

I liked this film. It's got it all, inter-dimensional(or planetary?..you decide)travel, unrequited homosexual love, heterosexual love, journeys of self awakening, the apocalypse, great music played by weird organists with a devilish pact, oh and of course Sting as the good angel(spirit) Helith. The basic gist of the story is Helith and the evil Asrael go head to heads after Asrael wakes the Earth spirit Magog from her slumber.Magog represents the destruction of the earth. Helith and Asrael are then charged with influencing man to save or destroy the planet. Gideon Harlax, a writer of the paranormal, stumbles upon a bizarre series of coincidental deaths on a ferry from Denmark and the weirdness begins from here including being transported to another planet, dimension or future Earth..(it's never explained). Dr Albrecht Von Drachenfels is in unwillingly in league with Asrael and the fate of the Earth and mankind rests with a piece of music he must play to herald the apocalypse........yee har!! I Loved the atmosphere of dread that the film portrayed in a nod to the Danish Film industry and at times you feel really uncomfortable and bewildered which is of course how you're supposed to feel as it reflects the confusion and uncertainty that the main character is feeling. It doesn't lead you by the hand like Hollywood films do, so expect to have to think a little( oh the horror!!). Overall enjoyable for sci-fi fans who like apocalyptic themes.Give it a go for the sake of mankind!

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