Best Tv Movie Movies of 1981
The Pee-wee Herman Show
An adult-oriented version of what would eventually become an award-winning children's classic. This version of the show features Pee-wee's playhouse and many of the characters of the later series, but with adult and sexual overtones and jokes including "mirror shoes" and others.
Elizabeth Winfield is a retired teacher, who desperately tries to keep her family together. While she's traveling through the country and meeting her relatives, back in her hometown, a group of shopping mall developers are planning to take over her family land in order to begin their ambitious project. Now she needs to find ways to stop this construction in time before the town's annual festivities.
A one-man filmed play of Leonard Nimoy's adaptation of "Van Gogh" (1979) by Phillip Stephens.
A teacher plays a mental game with some of his students. Based on a true story.
The Winter's Tale
King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events that lead to death, a ferocious bear, an infant left in the snow, young love, and a statue coming to life.
Dramatization depicting the events surrounding Adolf Hitler's last weeks in and around his underground bunker in Berlin before and during the battle for the city.
The Trolls and the Christmas Express
The Trolls and the Christmas Express is an animated classic about six roguish trolls who are determined to sabotage Christmas by infiltrating Santa's village disguised as elves. After a week of wreaking havoc but still not completely ruining Christmas, they are about to give up when they get a devilishly clever idea. On the day before Christmas Eve they get the reindeer dancing and singing songs all night long. The poor reindeer are so tired the next day that they cannot find the energy to pull Santa's sleigh. Christmas looks like it has finally been ruined - but everyone knows you can't stop Christmas! The elves quickly devise a plan to link the train from Santa's village with tracks that travel all over the world. Santa can deliver the toys using the Christmas Express.
The Muscle Market
Danny Duggan runs a failing building contractors, and resorts to sub-gangster thuggery to keep the business afloat. However, with the bottom falling out of the building game, Duggan finds that playing at gangster is only fun when you're on the winning side.
The Marva Collins Story
Cicely Tyson was Emmy-nominated as Outstanding Actress for her portrait of a Chicago schoolteacher whose remarkable achievements with black children labelled "unteachable" were spotlighted in a 1979 "60 Minutes" segment about how she became disillusioned with the traditional school system and decided to work outside of it, transforming her students into young scholars through her unique teaching style.
The Five of Me
Henry Hawksworth (David Birney) is a man menaced by a multiple personality. There is Dana, the conservative family man; Johnny, violent and sociopathic; Peter, creative and childish; and Phil, protective and unemotional. "Dana" falls in love with Ann (Dee Wallace) and marries her. Following a crime, "Johnny" is arrested and tried. In court, Henry's multiple personalities are painfully revealed.
The Making of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
One of the first 'Making of...' movies to become a hit in its own right.
A Long Way Home
Many years after being abandoned by his parents, Donald sets out in search of his siblings. His biggest challenge is cutting through layers of bureaucratic red tape. He happens upon a helpful counselor who offers her assistance in locating his missing brother and sister. Written by Fryingham
Story of a young woman's murder and the people who become involved with it.
Great Movie Stunts: Raiders of the Lost Ark
A documentary hosted by Harrison Ford about the stunts of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.'
All the Way Home
A wife and mother in 1915 Tennessee copes with the loss of her husband and the necessity of raising their children alone.
Bill, an intellectually disabled man, ventures out into the world for the first time, having spent most of his life in a dreary inner city Institution. He is taken in by a kind family and learns what it means to love for the first time in his life.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
Biography of the former first lady, focusing on her years as a photojournalist and leading up to her marriage to John F. Kennedy and their moving into the White House.
The Muppets Go to the Movies
The Muppets Go to the Movies aired on ABC on May 20, 1981 to help promote The Great Muppet Caper. The special was taped between March 9 and 17, 1981. In this one-hour special, Lily Tomlin and Dudley Moore join the Muppets in a tribute to film classics. Kermit the Frog hosts the program, which begins with an all-cast rendition of "Hey a Movie!" from The Great Muppet Caper.
The Children Nobody Wanted
True story of Tom Butterfield and his crusade to provide family life for homeless children, becoming not only the first bachelor caretaker, but the youngest single adult to become a legal foster parent in the state of Missouri.
Dial M for Murder
A London businessman concocts an intricate plan to murder his unfaithful wife for her money.
A Whale for the Killing
A conservationst tries to rescue a whale trapped in a lagoon in Newfoundland. Based on the book by Canadian author Farley Mowat.
Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City
Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City chronicles Strawberry Shortcake's trip to Big Apple City, so she can compete in a baking contest at "the little theater off Times Pear". Strawberry's journey, however, is in jeopardy due to the constant interference of the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak, who is her only competition in the bake-off. The Pieman counts on his kohlrabi cookies and a little trickery to beat Strawberry and her famous shortcake.
The movie begins with the volcano's awakening on March 20 and ends with its eruption on May 18, 1980.
Kiss Me, Petruchio
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.
Fire on the Mountain
Fire on the Mountain is a 1981 made-for-television movie adaptation of the Edward Abbey novel, Fire on the Mountain, directed by Donald Wrye and starring Buddy Ebsen as John Vogelin, Ron Howard as Lee Mackie and Michael Conrad as Col. Desalius. The hero of the movie is Vogelin, a New Mexico rancher whose land adjoins the White Sands Missile Range and is about to be condemned by the United States Air Force to use his land to expand a bombing range. He is the last holdout among the several people whose land the Air Force wants, and he refuses to move. A young land developer, Mackie, is sent to vacate the rancher, but soon he joins in defying the military. Soon it boils down to a battle of wills between Vogelin and the equally bullheaded army officer Colonel Desalius.
Murder in Texas
Based on a true story, this film tells of a plastic surgeon who was suspected of causing the death of his first wife, the daughter of a wealthy member of Houston society. The doctor then marries his mistress, whom he had been keeping during his marriage. His former father-in-law, convinced that his daughter was murdered, determines to see the doctor punished.
A dramatization of the controversial trial concerning the right for Neo-Nazis to march in the predominately Jewish community of Skokie.
Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy "Satchel" Paige
Story of Leroy "Satchel" Paige, star pitcher in the Negro Leagues, and later in the major leagues. Traces his life from his troubled youth, including his life in a detention school for Negroes, to his highs and lows in baseball, and in his personal life.
The Princess and the Cabbie
A young woman works to overcome her dyslexia with the help of a good-hearted cab driver.
Play about two elderly cancer patients suffering in hospital.
No Place to Hide
After the death of her rich father, Amy Manning lives happily with her stepmother. But recently she's been seeing a man in black following her, waiting for her in her car, wanting to kill her. The police can't help her. But who is this man in black? Is it the young man she's started dating? Or the psychologist her mother told her to visit? Or is she really insane...?
Child Bride of Short Creek
Partially based on the true events surrounding a rural religious cult in the American Midwest, and how the members' children suffered for their parents' fanaticism.
Splendor in the Grass
Two teenagers, in love in pre-Depression Kansas, cope with parental pressure and the strict sexual mores of the day.
Twelve year old Jennifer is unhappy with her widowed mom's relationship with a family friend. Feeling lonely, she readily accepts the friendship of an adult man named Howie and joins the softball team he coaches. Soon, Howie is convincing Jennifer to pose for photographs which become more and more revealing. Howie turns out to be a pedophile who works in child pornography and he plans to make Jennifer a "star". Will Jennifer's mother be able to help her daughter before it's too late?
The Berenstain Bears' Easter Surprise
A very inquisitive Brother Bear is wondering why Spring is taking so long to arrive. With Easter approaching and a new arrival to the Bear family on the way, Brother looks for answers, and Mama teaches him the true meaning of Spring.
Coward of the County
A life-long yellow-belly who made a deathbed promise to his father to be a pacifist seeks bloody revenge on the men who gang raped his wife.
Terror Among Us
A police sergeant and a parole officer endeavor to stop a rapist-on-parole before he can follow through his threats on five women whom testifed against him years earlier.
Against Wind and Tide: A Cuban Odyssey
Against Wind and Tide: A Cuban Odyssey is a 1981 American documentary film about the Mariel boatlift, which was first broadcast on PBS the week of June 1, 1981. Written by John Brousek, the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Lily: Sold Out
After taking her successful Broadway show to Las Vegas, Lily Tomlin is faced with a tough decision: soften her act for mass appeal, or keep her material the way she originally intended?
The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold
Sent in search of a Christmas tree, cabin boy Dinty Doyle lands on a mysterious, uncharted Irish island where he accidentally releases a bad-tempered banshee from her pine tree prison. Leprechaun Blarney Kilakilarney knows that in order to survive, the banshee will try to swipe his clan's pot of Christmas gold. With some magical assistance from Lord Patrick, the king of the wee folk, Dinty and Blarney make a plan to outwit the gold-hungry hag before Christmas morning dawns.
Word of Honor
A reporter refuses to reveal his source in the case of the murder of a young girl. As a result, he and his family are shunned by the residents of the small town in which they live. Virtually no one comes to his daughter's wedding, and at his office, the police search his desk, and his boss threatens to fire him.
The Pride of Jesse Hallam
Jesse Hallum sells the family farm to see that his daughter receives the medical care she needs at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The big city challenges him, though, especially when his illiteracy is exposed.
Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective
When D. C. Dangerous Davies, not held in high regard by his superiors, is assigned to find a notorious criminal kingpin, he uncovers the details of 15-year-old cold case.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain's classic about how Tom Sawyer's best friend, Huckleberry Finn, runs away from his drunken father and helps the runaway slave Jim to escape.
The Killing of Randy Webster
A young man is shot and killed in an altercation with Houston police. His father doesn't believe the police version of the incident and starts digging around on his own.
The Munsters' Revenge
The film begins with the Munster family making a visit to the wax museum. They take a picture of themselves standing next to their wax replicas. When the family leaves, the statues in the museum mysteriously come to life and begin wreaking havoc across the city. Herman and Grandpa are then arrested for various crimes they did not commit and try to clear their names in time for the Halloween celebration at the Munster home.
Vivian has magic powers. She doesn't hesitate to save her boyfriend David from failing in school by murdering teachers. However, David has gotten tired of her and is putting his charm on a new girl in school, Robin. Robin discovers that she also has magic powers, and before long the two girls clash violently.
Killing at Hell's Gate
A rafting party is terrorised during a trip down the river.
The Gentleman Bandit
Based on the real-life ordeal of Baltimore priest Bernard Pagano, who was accused of several armed robberies in the late Seventies.
The Best of Times
This ABC pilot starred 7 teenagers in a 80's style Laugh-In. It told the light and dark side of teenage thoughts with dancing and singing added in for color.