Best Drama Movies of 1980
The Elephant Man
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man being mistreated by his "owner" as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of great intelligence and sensitivity. Based on the true story of Joseph Merrick (called John Merrick in the film), a severely deformed man in 19th century London.
The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.
Beth, Calvin, and their son Conrad are living in the aftermath of the death of the other son. Conrad is overcome by grief and misplaced guilt to the extent of a suicide attempt. He is in therapy. Beth had always preferred his brother and is having difficulty being supportive to Conrad. Calvin is trapped between the two trying to hold the family together.
Coal Miner's Daughter
Biography of Loretta Lynn, a country and western singer that came from poverty to fame.
During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who hopes to distance themselves from the irregular practices of the war. The trial does not progress as smoothly as expected by the General Staff, as the defence puts up a strong fight in the courtroom.
The Long Good Friday
In the late 1970s, Cockney crime boss Harold Shand, a gangster trying to become a legitimate property mogul, has big plans to get the American Mafia to bankroll his transformation of a derelict area of London into the possible venue for a future Olympic Games. However, a series of bombings targets his empire on the very weekend the Americans are in town. Shand is convinced there is a traitor in his organization, and sets out to eliminate the rat in typically ruthless fashion.
Somewhere in Time
Young writer Richard Collier is met on the opening night of his first play by an old lady who begs him to "Come back to me". Mystified, he tries to find out about her, and learns that she is a famous stage actress from the early 1900s. Becoming more and more obsessed with her, by self-hypnosis he manages to travel back in time—where he meets her.
In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs and danger.
While attending a retrospect of his work, a filmmaker recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films.
The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.
When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.
The Big Red One
A veteran sergeant of World War I leads a squad in World War II, always in the company of the survivor Pvt. Griff, the writer Pvt. Zab, the Sicilian Pvt. Vinci and Pvt. Johnson, in Vichy French Africa, Sicily, D-Day at Omaha Beach, Belgium and France, and ending in a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia where they face the true horror of war.
Harvard graduate James Averill is the sheriff of prosperous Jackson County, Wyo., when a battle erupts between the area's poverty-stricken immigrants and its wealthy cattle farmers. The politically connected ranch owners fight the immigrants with the help of Nathan Champion, a mercenary competing with Averill for the love of local madam Ella Watson. As the struggle escalates, Averill and Champion begin to question their decisions.
The Blue Lagoon
Two small children and a ship's cook survive a shipwreck and find safety on an idyllic tropical island. Soon, however, the cook dies and the young boy and girl are left on their own. Days become years and Emmeline and Richard make a home for themselves surrounded by exotic creatures and nature's beauty. But will they ever see civilization again?
A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.
A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as a decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society.
After moving to Pasadena, Texas, country boy Bud Davis starts hanging around a bar called Gilley's, where he falls in love with Sissy, a cowgirl who believes the sexes are equal. They eventually marry, but their relationship is turbulent due to Bud's traditional view of gender roles. Jealousy over his rival leads to their separation, but Bud attempts to win Sissy back by triumphing at Gilley's mechanical bull-riding competition.
Where the Buffalo Roam
Semi-biographical film based on the experiences of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
Little Lord Fauntleroy
Young Cedric Errol and his widowed mother live in genteel poverty in 1880s Brooklyn after the death of his father. Cedric's grandfather, the Earl of Dorincourt, has long ago disowned his son for marrying an American. But after the death of the Earl's remaining son, he decides to accept Cedric as his heir.
Julian makes a lucrative living as an escort to older women in the Los Angeles area. He begins a relationship with Michelle, a local politician's wife, without expecting any pay. One of his clients is murdered and Detective Sunday begins pumping him for details on his different clients, something he is reluctant to do considering the nature of his work. Julian begins to suspect he's being framed. Meanwhile Michelle begins to fall in love with him.
An idealistic, modern-day cowboy struggles to keep his Wild West show afloat in the face of hard luck and waning interest.
The Stunt Man
While on the run from the police, Steve Railsback hides in a group of moviemakers where he pretends to be a stunt man. Both aided and endangered by the director he avoids both the police and sudden death as a stuntman. The mixture of real danger and fantasy of the movie is an interesting twist for the viewer as the two blend in individual scenes.
Alex Linden is a psychiatrist living in Vienna who meets Milena Flaherty though a mutual friend. Though Alex is quite a bit older than Milena, he's attracted to her young, carefree spirit. Despite the fact that Milena is already married, their friendship quickly turns into a deeply passionate love affair that threatens to overtake them both. When Milena ends up in the hospital from an overdose, Alex is taken into custody by Inspector Netusil.
The Ninth Configuration
Col. Vincent Kane is a military psychiatrist who takes charge of an army mental hospital situated in a secluded castle. Among Kane's many eccentric patients is Capt. Billy Cutshaw, a troubled astronaut in the midst of an existential crisis. Although Kane's own grasp on sanity is questionable, he manages to engage Cutshaw in a series of thoughtful conversations about science and faith that deeply affect the lives of both men.
In the 16th Century, a Dutch ship sails the Pacific from the Americas in order to escape the Spanish. Blackthorn is the pilot of the ship and the first to realize the possibilities of Japan. Japan is a feudal society which has a strong presence of the Portugese. A struggle is in the final stages for who will be the Shogun, the leader who, under the emperor, governs the land. Toranaga sees in Blackthorn things he can use to at least survive the struggle to come, and if both play their hands correctly, become Shogun.
Docu-drama surrounding the events leading to the Soviet Union's invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.
Mr. Krueger's Christmas
Willy Krueger, a lonely and aging widower, lives in a basement apartment with only his cat George for company. Finishing his work for the day as the custodian for the building, he ventures out on Christmas Eve to buy a tree and on the way, he imagines he is a well-dressed gentleman while peering at some fine tailoring in a shop window along the snowy street. Returning home, he falls asleep listening to an LP by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, dreaming that he is conducting them in carols of the season. Awakening to find some carollers outside his window, he beckons them to visit him offering hot chocolate, but they leave after only one song. In trimming the tree, he places upon it the mittens left behind by Clarissa, the youngest of the carolling group. Handling figures of the small nativity beneath his tree, Willy finds himself in the manger for the very first Christmas.
The story of a woman who survives the car accident which kills her husband, but discovers that she has the power to heal other people. She becomes an unwitting celebrity, the hope of those in desperate need of healing, and a lightning rod for religious beliefs and skeptics.
Drama telling the story of Blue, a young man of Jamaican descent living in Brixton in 1980, as he hangs out with his friends, fronts a dub sound system, loses his job, struggles with family problems and has his friendships tested by racism.
In downtown Manhattan, a twenty-something boy whose Father is not around and whose Mother is institutionalized, is a big Charlie Parker fan. He almost subconsciously searches for more meaning in his life and meets a few characters along the way.
Playing for Time
When a Jewish songstress is plucked from the stage and sent to Auschwitz, she and other musicians find themselves assigned to a terrible task—using their talents to soothe fellow prisoners who are sentenced to die in the gas chambers.
The exploration of the effects of an unexpected catastrophe, known as VUE (violent unknown event) through the bios of 92 survivors.
Clifford Peach, an easygoing teenager, is finding less than easy to fit in at his new high school, where a tough-talking bully terrorizes his classmates and extorts their lunch money. Refusing to pay up, Clifford enlist the aid of an overgrown misfit whose mere presence intimidates students and teachers alike. But their "business relationship" soon turns personal as Clifford and the troubled loner forge a winning alliance against their intimidators - and a very special friendship with each other.
Out of the Blue
A young girl whose father is an ex-convict and whose mother is a junkie finds it difficult to conform and tries to find comfort in a quirky combination of Elvis and the punk scene.
After a failed suicide attempt leaves him partially crippled, Rory begins spending a lot of time at a neighborhood bar full of interesting misfits. When Jerry the bartender suddenly finds himself playing basketball for the Golden State Warriors, Rory and the rest of the bar regulars hope his success will provide a lift to their sagging spirits. Will Jerry forget his friends? What about his junkie hooker girlfriend and her pimp?
The Lathe of Heaven
George Orr, a man whose dreams can change waking reality, tries to suppress this unpredictable gift with drugs. Dr. Haber, an assigned psychiatrist, discovers the gift to be real and hypnotically induces Mr. Orr to change reality for the benefit of mankind --- with bizarre and frightening results.
Breaking Glass is the story of punk singer Kate and her meteoric rise to stardom. Starting out in the rock pubs of London, Kate, assisted by her manager Danny, becomes a huge star overnight. Once at the top the pressure is immense as Kate's band are squeezed out and she is left to cope alone in the spotlight.
Recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, a man returns home to Australia to die in the wildness. His plans become complicated when he meets a young boy and decides to take him under his wing.
Return of the Secaucus Seven
Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, D.C.
The Jericho Mile
A runner, serving a life sentence at Folsom Prison, works at becoming the world's fastest miler and wins a chance to compete for a spot on the Olympic team.
True story of Clarence Gideon's fight to be appointed counsel at the expense of the state. This landmark case led to the Supreme Court's decision which extended this right to all criminal defendants.
Little Miss Marker
Sorrowful Jones is a cheap bookie in the 1930s. When a gambler leaves his daughter as a marker for a bet, he gets stuck with her. His life will change a great deal with her arrival and his sudden love for a woman also involved in gambling operations.
When a man's best friend is killed on the streets of New York, he transforms into a violent killer, turning New York into a war zone.
A renowned former army scout is hired by ranchers to hunt down rustlers but finds himself on trial for the murder of a boy when he carries out his job too well. Tom Horn finds that the simple skills he knows are of no help in dealing with the ambitions of ranchers and corrupt officials as progress marches over him and the old west.
An ancient Indian warrior who has reached the end of his life is brought back from his 'death' to save his family from a raiding party of enemy Indians in this unique story of 'Indians without a single cowboy.
Melvin and Howard
The story of hard-luck Melvin Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.
John McVicar was a London Bad Boy. he graduated to armed bank robbery and was Britain's "Public Enemy No. 1". He was captured and put into a high security prison. Will even the highest security prison be able to hold him? This is the true story of his life, his criminal exploits and his eventual rehabilitation.
That Sinking Feeling
Ronnie, Wal, Andy and Vic are four bored, unemployed teens in dreary, rainy Glasgow. Ronnie comes up with a great idea. He has noticed that stainless steel sinks are worth a lot of money and comes up with a complicated scheme: to steal sinks from a warehouse dressed as girls and using a stop-motion-potion.
When a 13-year-old girl befriends a defiant antisocial child of the streets, the mismatched runaways set off to the Big Apple to find their own adventure.