Best Thriller Movies of 1980

1.

The Shining

6.8
8.4/10 IMDB

Jack Torrance accepts a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel, where he, along with his wife Wendy and their son Danny, must live isolated from the rest of the world for the winter. But they aren't prepared for the madness that lurks within.

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone, Joe Turkel, Anne Jackson, Tony Burton, Barry Dennen ..
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1980-05-23
2.

The Long Good Friday

5.3
7.6/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman, Dave King, Bryan Marshall, Derek Thompson, Eddie Constantine, P.H. Moriarty, Alan Ford, Paul Barber ..
Directed by: John Mackenzie
Release date: 1980-11-01
3.

Dressed to Kill

5.1
7.1/10 IMDB

A mysterious, tall, blonde woman wearing sunglasses murders one of a psychiatrist's patients, and now she's after the prostitute who witnessed it.

Starring: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, David Margulies, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm, Brandon Maggart, Amalie Collier ..
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Release date: 1980-07-25
4.

Altered States

5.0
6.9/10 IMDB

A research scientist explores the boundaries and frontiers of consciousness. Using sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic mixtures from native American shamans, he explores these altered states of consciousness and finds that memory, time, and perhaps reality itself are states of mind.

Starring: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid, Thaao Penghlis, Miguel Godreau, Dori Brenner, Peter Brandon, Charles White-Eagle, Drew Barrymore ..
Directed by: Ken Russell
Release date: 1980-12-25
5.

Cruising

4.7
6.5/10 IMDB

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 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.

Starring: Al Pacino, Karen Allen, Paul Sorvino, Richard Cox, Don Scardino, Joe Spinell, Jay Acovone, Randy Jurgensen, Barton Heyman, Kirsten Baker ..
Directed by: William Friedkin
Release date: 1980-02-15
6.

American Gigolo

4.5
6.3/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, H├ęctor Elizondo, K Callan, Carole Cook, Nina van Pallandt, Bill Duke, Brian Davies, Tom Stewart, Patricia Carr ..
Directed by: Paul Schrader
Release date: 1980-02-08
7.

Gloria

4.5
7.1/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Gena Rowlands, Julie Carmen, John Adames, Buck Henry, Lupe Garnica, Jessica Castillo, Tom Noonan, Ronald Maccone, Lawrence Tierney, John P. Finnegan ..
Directed by: John Cassavetes
Release date: 1980-10-01
8.

Terror Train

4.2
5.8/10 IMDB

A masked killer targets six college kids responsible for a prank gone wrong three years earlier and who are currently throwing a large New Year's Eve costume party aboard a moving train.

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield, Derek MacKinnon, Sandee Currie, Timothy Webber, Anthony Sherwood, Howard Busgang, Steve Michaels ..
Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode
Release date: 1980-10-03
9.

Alligator

4.2
6.0/10 IMDB

A baby alligator is flushed down a toilet and survives by eating discarded lab animals that have been injected with growth hormones. The now gigantic animal escapes the city sewers and goes on a rampage, pursued by a cop and a big-game hunter.

Starring: Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Michael V. Gazzo, Dean Jagger, Sydney Lassick, Jack Carter, Perry Lang, Henry Silva, Bart Braverman, Angel Tompkins ..
Directed by: Lewis Teague
Release date: 1980-07-02
10.

Prom Night

4.1
5.4/10 IMDB

This slasher movie follows a relentless killer who is out to avenge the death of a young girl who died after being bullied and teased by four of her classmates. Now high-school students, the guilt-ridden kids have kept their involvement a secret, but when they start being murdered, one by one, it's clear that someone knows the truth. Also coping with the past are members of the dead girl's family, most notably her prom-queen sister, Kim Hammond (Jamie Lee Curtis).

Starring: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Antoinette Bower, Michael Tough, David Mucci, Robert A. Silverman, Pita Oliver, Jeff Wincott ..
Directed by: Paul Lynch
Release date: 1980-07-18

Also check Best thriller movies of 1981.

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