Best Action Movies of 1981
Raiders of the Lost Ark
When Dr. Indiana Jones – the tweed-suited professor who just happens to be a celebrated archaeologist – is hired by the government to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant, he finds himself up against the entire Nazi regime.
Mad Max 2
Max Rockatansky returns as the heroic loner who drives the dusty roads of a postapocalyptic Australian Outback in an unending search for gasoline. Arrayed against him and the other scraggly defendants of a fuel-depot encampment are the bizarre warriors commanded by the charismatic Lord Humungus, a violent leader whose scruples are as barren as the surrounding landscape.
Escape from New York
In 1997, the island of Manhattan has been walled off and turned into a giant maximum security prison within which the country's worst criminals are left to form their own anarchic society. However, when the President of the United States crash lands on the island, the authorities turn to a former soldier and current convict to rescue him.
Frank is an expert professional safecracker, specialized in high-profile diamond heists. He plans to use his ill-gotten income to retire from crime and build a nice life for himself complete with a home, wife and kids. To accelerate the process, he signs on with a top gangster for a big score.
An international terrorist has New York in a grip of panic and it's up to Det. Sgt. Deke DaSilva to take him down.
The Cannonball Run
A cross-country road race is based on an actual event, the Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, organized by Brock Yates to protest the 55 mph speed limit then in effect in the U.S. The Cannonball was named for Erwin G. "Cannonball" Baker, who in the roaring 20's rode his motorcycle across the country. Many of the characters are based on ruses developed by real Cannonball racers over the several years that the event was run.
Eye of the Needle
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.
After the destruction of the Second Temple, 900 Jewish zealots hold out against a 5000 man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.
Yukon Territory, Canada, November 1931. Albert Johnson, a trapper who lives alone in the mountains, buys a dog almost dead after a brutal dogfight, a good deed that will put him in trouble.
Police officer Tom Sharky gets busted back to working vice, where he happens upon a scandalous conspiracy involving a local politician. Sharky's new 'machine' gathers evidence while Sharky falls in love with a woman he has never met.