Best Thriller Movies of 1980
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.
Dressed to Kill
A mysterious, tall, blonde woman wearing sunglasses murders one of a psychiatrist's patients, and now she's after the prostitute who witnessed it.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
When CIA operative Miles Kendig deliberately lets KGB agent Yaskov get away, his boss threatens to retire him. Kendig beats him to it, however, destroying his own records and traveling to Austria where he begins work on a memoir that will expose all his former agency's covert practices. The CIA catches wind of the book and sends other agents after him, initiating a frenetic game of cat and mouse that spans the globe.
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 (Peter O'Toole) 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.
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.