Best 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.
An American Werewolf in London
Two American tourists in England are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
Jack Terry is a master sound recordist who works on grade-B horror movies. Late one evening, he is recording sounds for use in his movies when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he does not know whom he can trust.
The Evil Dead
When a group of college students finds a mysterious book and recording in the old wilderness cabin they've rented for the weekend, they unwittingly unleash a demonic force from the surrounding forest.
The Fox and the Hound
When a feisty little fox named Tod is adopted into a farm family, he quickly becomes friends with a fun and adorable hound puppy named Copper. Life is full of hilarious adventures until Copper is expected to take on his role as a hunting dog -- and the object of his search is his best friend!
Escape from New York
In the future, crime is out of control and New York City's Manhattan is a maximum security prison. Grabbing a bargaining chip right out of the air, convicts bring down the President's plane in bad old Gotham. Gruff Snake Plissken, a one-eyed lone warrior new to prison life, is coerced into bringing the President, and his cargo, out of this land of undesirables.
Lion of the Desert
This movie tells the story of Omar Mukhtar, an Arab Muslim rebel who fought against the Italian conquest of Libya in WWII. It gives western viewers a glimpse into this little-known region and chapter of history, and exposes the savage means by which the conquering army attempted to subdue the natives.
For Your Eyes Only
A British spy ship has sunk and on board was a hi-tech encryption device. James Bond is sent to find the device that holds British launching instructions before the enemy Soviets get to it first.
My Dinner with Andre
Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, apparently playing themselves, share their lives over the course of an evening meal at a restaurant.
On Golden Pond
For Norman and Ethel Thayer, this summer on golden pond is filled with conflict and resolution. When their daughter Chelsea arrives, the family is forced to renew the bonds of love and overcome the generational friction that has existed for years.
The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy
An Earth Man and his alien friend escape an exploding Earth, and set forth on an odd adventure across the universe with a known fugitive. Based on the book by Douglas Adams, the dialog follows the book closely. This was originally a 6-part series from the BBC
After failing to kill stubborn survivor Laurie and taking a bullet or six from former psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael Myers has followed Laurie to the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, where she's been admitted for Myers' attempt on her life. The institution proves to be particularly suited to serial killers, however, as Myers cuts, stabs and slashes his way through hospital staff to reach his favorite victim.
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.
As World War I rages, brave and youthful Australians Archy and Frank—both agile runners—become friends and enlist in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps together. They later find themselves part of the Dardanelles Campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula, a brutal eight-month conflict which pit the British and their allies against the Ottoman Empire and left over 500,000 men dead.
In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman convinces her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.
An account of the revolutionary years of the legendary American journalist John Reed, who shared his adventurous professional life with his radical commitment to the socialist revolution in Russia, his dream of spreading its principles among the members of the American working class, and his troubled romantic relationship with the writer Louise Bryant.
A surreal adaptation of Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur", chronicling Arthur Pendragon's conception, his rise to the throne, the search by his Knights of the Round Table for the Holy Grail, and ultimately his death.
Chariots of Fire
In the class-obsessed and religiously divided UK of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell, a devout Christian born to Scottish missionaries in China, sees running as part of his worship of God's glory and refuses to train or compete on the Sabbath. Harold Abrahams overcomes anti-Semitism and class bias, but neglects his beloved sweetheart in his single-minded quest.
The Great Muppet Caper
Kermit and Fozzie are newspaper reporters sent to London to interview Lady Holiday, a wealthy fashion designer whose priceless diamond necklace is stolen. Kermit meets and falls in love with her secretary, Miss Piggy. The jewel thieves strike again, and this time frame Miss Piggy. It's up to Kermit and Muppets to bring the real culprits to justice.
Eye of the Needle
Great Britain, 1944, during World War II. Relentlessly pursued by several MI5 agents, Henry Faber the Needle, a ruthless German spy in possession of vital information about D-Day, takes refuge on Storm Island, an inhospitable, sparsely inhabited island off the coast of northern Scotland.
Clash of the Titans
To win the right to marry his love, the beautiful princess Andromeda, and fulfil his destiny, Perseus must complete various tasks including taming Pegasus, capturing Medusa's head, and battling the Kraken monster.
A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition and in a strange country, their experience begins to mirror the Vietnam experience.
Friday the 13th Part 2
Five years after the horrible bloodbath at Camp Crystal Lake, it seems Jason Voorhees and his demented mother are in the past. Paul opens up a new camp close to the infamous site, ignoring warnings to stay away, and a sexually-charged group of counselors follow -- including child psychologist major Ginny. But Jason has been hiding out all this time, and now he's ready for revenge.
Absence of Malice
Megan Carter is a reporter duped into running an untrue story on Michael Gallagher, a suspected racketeer. He has an alibi for the time his crime was allegedly committed—but it involves an innocent party. When he tells Carter the truth and the newspaper runs it, tragedy follows, forcing Carter to face up to the responsibilities of her job when she is confronted by Gallagher.
History of the World: Part I
An uproarious version of history that proves nothing is sacred – not even the Roman Empire, the French Revolution and the Spanish Inquisition.
Military cadets take extreme measures to ensure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.
Young history buff Kevin can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former employees of the Supreme Being, they've purloined a map charting all of the holes in the fabric of time and are using it to steal treasures from different historical eras. Taking Kevin with them, they variously drop in on Napoleon, Robin Hood and King Agamemnon before the Supreme Being catches up with them.
After a man with extraordinary—and frighteningly destructive—telepathic abilities is nabbed by agents from a mysterious rogue corporation, he discovers he is far from the only possessor of such strange powers, and that some of the other “scanners” have their minds set on world domination, while others are trying to stop them.
Arthur is a 30-year-old child who will inherit $750 million if he complies with his family's demands and marries the woman of their choosing.
The French Lieutenant's Woman
In this story-within-a-story, Anna is an actress starring opposite Mike in a period piece about the forbidden love between their respective characters, Sarah and Charles. Both actors are involved in serious relationships, but the passionate nature of the script leads to an off-camera love affair as well. While attempting to maintain their composure and professionalism, Anna and Mike struggle to come to terms with their infidelity.
Escape to Victory
A group of POWs in a German prison camp during World War II play the German National Soccer Team in this powerful film depicting the role of prisoners during wartime.
John Winger, an indolent sad sack in his 30s, impulsively joins the U.S. Army after losing his job, his girlfriend and his apartment.
The Postman Always Rings Twice
The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.
A shy and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day. She wanders the New York streets at night in a sexy black dress with her attacker's gun strapped to her garter belt, blowing away any man who tries to pick her up.
The embodiment of ultimate evil, a glowing orb terrorizes a young girl with bizarre stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.
The sorcerer and his apprentice Galen are on a mission to kill an evil dragon to save the King’s daughter from being sacrificed according to a pact that the King himself made with the dragon to protect his kingdom.
An honest marshal in a corrupt mining colony on Io, Jupiter's sunless third moon, is determined to confront a violent drug ring even though it may cost him his life. After his wife angrily deserts him, he waits alone for the arrival of killers hired by the company to eliminate him.
Renowned actress Joan Crawford, at the height of her career, adopts two orphans - Christina and Christopher - to fill the lonely gap in her personal life. However, as her professional and romantic relationships sour, Joan's already callous and abusive behavior towards Christina intensifies. Christina leaves home to pursue an acting path of her own, only to find her mother's presence still overshadowing her.
After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a newswoman is sent to a rehabilitation center whose inhabitants may not be what they seem.
Dead & Buried
After a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses appear to be coming back to life and living normally as locals in the small town.
Prince of the City
New York City detective Daniel Ciello agrees to help the United States Department of Justice help eliminate corruption in the police department, as long as he will not have to turn in any close friends. In doing so, Ciello uncovers a conspiracy within the force to smuggle drugs to street informants
An international terrorist has New York in a grip of panic and it's up to Det. Sgt. Deke DaSilva to take him down.
My Bloody Valentine
Twenty years ago in the sleepy mining town of Valentine Bluffs, a fatal mining disaster occurred on Valentine's Day while some of the crew was decorating for a party. The sole survivor of the accident killed the remaining crewmembers and warned the town not to celebrate Valentine's Day again. When a group of teenagers decides to defy that order, a murderous maniac in mining gear begins dispatching townsfolk in bloody and creative ways.
Set in 1954, a group of Florida high schoolers seek out to lose their virginity which leads them to seek revenge on a sleazy nightclub owner and his redneck sheriff brother for harassing them.
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.
A caretaker at a summer camp is burned when a prank goes tragically wrong. After several years of intensive treatment at hospital, he is released back into society, albeit missing some social skills. What follows is a bloody killing spree with the caretaker making his way back to his old stomping ground to confront one of the youths that accidently burned him.
A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.
The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie
Bugs Bunny hosts an award show featuring several classic Looney Tunes shorts and characters. This movie was released in 1981 by Warner Bros. and was produced by Friz Freleng. New footage was one of the final productions done by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (also known as Marvel Productions beginning in the 1980s) and the film was re-released in the USA on April 28, 2009 from Warner Home Video.
Rebellious teen Amy defies her parents by going to a trashy carnival that has pulled into town. In tow are her boyfriend, Buzz, and their friends Liz and Richie. Thinking it would be fun to spend the night in the campy "Funhouse" horror ride, the teens witness a murder by a deformed worker wearing a mask. Locked in, Amy and her friends must evade the murderous carnival workers and escape before it leaves town the next day.