Best Documentary Movies of 1981


Kiss Me, Petruchio

7.9/10 IMDB

A documentary about the 1978 stage production of The Taming of the Shrew by the New York City Shakespeare company at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. Includes scenes from the production, interviews with Meryl Streep (Kate) and Raul Julia (Petruchio) as well as an introduction by producer Joseph Papp and audience commentary.

Starring: Meryl Streep, Raúl Juliá, John Bottoms, Joel Brooks, Max Gulak, Joseph Papp, Larry Pine, Deborah Rush ..
Directed by: Christopher Dixon
Release date: 1981-01-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1981 : The man who could not see far enough

The man who could not see far enough

7.7/10 IMDB

A film that uses literary, structural, autobiographical, and performance metaphors to construct a series of tableaux that evoke the act of vision, the limits of perception, and the rapture of space.

Directed by: Peter Rose
Release date: 1981-09-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1981 : Hatsu Yume (First Dream)

Hatsu Yume (First Dream)

6.8/10 IMDB

A series of shots showing the majesty of Japan.

Directed by: Bill Viola
Release date: 1981-01-01

Urban Struggle: The Battle of the Cuckoo's Nest

7.9/10 IMDB

Locals formed vigilante groups to fight it, Police used legal force to repress it, City officials wanted to ban it entirely. This never before released feature length documentary was filmed in the early 80's and exposes the punk rock scene that was going on at the infamous Cuckoo's Nest club owned by Jerry Roach.

Starring: Pat Brown, Chuck Dukowski, Jack Grisham, Keith Morris, Jerry Roach, Mike Roche, Henry Rollins, Casey Royer, Derf Scratch ..
Directed by: Paul Young
Release date: 1981-06-01

Take It or Leave It

7.3/10 IMDB

Autobiographical account of the cult 80's British pop group 'Madness (II)' , with members of the group playing themselves, charting their rise from humble beginnings as pub band The Invaders to chart success and their first overseas tour. The film follows the ups and downs of individual members of the group, and features all of their early hits including "The Prince", "One Step Beyond", "Baggy Trousers" and "Night Boat to Cairo"

Starring: Suggs, Mark Bedford, Lee Thompson, Carl Smyth, Dan Woodgate, Chris Foreman, Mike Barson, John Hasler, Simon Birdsall, Andrew Chalk ..
Directed by: Dave Robinson
Release date: 1981-10-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1981 : Richard Feynman: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Richard Feynman: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

8.8/10 IMDB

Richard Feynman was a scientific genius with - in his words - a "limited intelligence". This dichotomy is just one of the characteristics that made him a fascinating subject. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out exposes us to many more of these intriguing attributes by featuring an extensive conversation with the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner. During the course of the interview, which was conducted in 1981, Feynman uses the undeniable power of the personal to convey otherwise challenging scientific theories. His colorful and lucid stories make abstract concepts tangible, and his warm presence is sure to inspire interest and awe from even the most reluctant student of science. His insights are profound, but his delivery is anything but dry and ostentatious.

Starring: Richard Feynman ..
Release date: 1981-11-23

The Willmar 8

7.8/10 IMDB

Risking jobs, friends, family and the opposition of church and community, eight unassuming women begin the longest bank strike in American history.

Starring: Lee Grant ..
Directed by: Lee Grant
Release date: 1981-04-21

America Screams

8.2/10 IMDB

Vincent Price hosts this history of amusement parks and roller coasters across the United States.

Starring: Vincent Price ..
Directed by: Scott Campbell
Release date: 1981-12-28
Best Documentary Movies of 1981 : Fourteen's Good, Eighteen's Better

Fourteen's Good, Eighteen's Better

7.6/10 IMDB

Profile on three young Adelaide women. Diana, Kerry and Josie are now 18 years old, and continue to have open and frank discussions about their lives.

Starring: Kerry Carlson, Diana Doman, Josie Petersen ..
Directed by: Gillian Armstrong
Release date: 1981-07-10
Best Documentary Movies of 1981 : The Rocky Horror Treatment

The Rocky Horror Treatment

7.4/10 IMDB

A 1981 documentary looking at the Cult following of the Rocky Horror show and introducing the sequel "Shock Treatment".

Starring: Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Rik Mayall, Barry Humphries, Nell Campbell, Michael White, Sal Piro, Salvatore Paul Piro ..
Directed by: Don Kline
Release date: 1981-02-04

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