Favoritest Movies of 1981by Tincage | created - 09 Jan 2012 | updated - 31 Jan 2012 | Public
I'm making (I hope...) the most comprehensive favorite movie list ever!!! (No sense in being arbitrary with such a commonly asked question!) So I'm ranking every movie I've ever seen using Paired Comparison Analysis. First, year by year. Then, the top 80th percentile from each year advance to the decade round, and from there the all time round. I'll admit that a number of movies a much younger me saw long ago may be appreciated more or differently now, but in their cases, I only have my reactions at the time to draw upon.
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1. Heavy Metal (1981)
R | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.
Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas, Julian Harris, Jimmy T. Murakami, Barrie Nelson, Paul Sabella, Jack Stokes, Pino Van Lamsweerde, Harold Whitaker | Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks
I know, I know... complete injustice, I put Heavy Metal over Raiders. Obviously I love Raiders, It's at #2 for this year. I go into 'why' a little bit more on my blog; Tincage Lining.
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure
In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.
Votes: 831,032 | Gross: $248.16M
3. The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
G | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime
Kermit the Frog, The Great Gonzo, and Fozzie Bear are reporters who travel to Britain to interview a rich victim of jewel thieves and help her along with her secretary, Miss Piggy.
Votes: 12,485 | Gross: $31.21M
5. History of the World: Part I (1981)
R | 92 min | Comedy, History
Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.
Votes: 43,500 | Gross: $31.67M
6. Escape from New York (1981)
R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.
Votes: 115,155 | Gross: $25.24M
7. Time Bandits (1981)
PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.
Votes: 54,698 | Gross: $42.37M
8. Excalibur (1981)
PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.
Votes: 54,485 | Gross: $34.97M
9. Outland (1981)
R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
A federal marshal stationed at a mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io, uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy. He gets no help from the workers or authorities when he finds himself marked for murder.
Votes: 25,444 | Gross: $17.37M
10. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British weapons communication/control device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
Votes: 85,490 | Gross: $62.30M
13. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror
Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
Votes: 84,918 | Gross: $30.57M
15. The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981)
PG | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Western
The sole surviving Texas Ranger (Klinton Spilsbury) of an ambush arranged by outlaw leader Major Bartholomew "Butch" Cavendish (Christopher Lloyd) returns to fight back as a great masked western hero, The Lone Ranger.
Votes: 1,688 | Gross: $12.62M
I haven't seen this since I was a kid. Younger than that, the Lone Ranger TV show was how my day started. Seeing this, at age 7 or 8 was, and haven't gotten to see it again.
16. Dragonslayer (1981)
PG | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom.
Votes: 13,813 | Gross: $14.11M
Dear any movie with a dragon, Dragonslayer is over 30 years old, why aren't more dragons in movies designed like these? We've suffered way to many ugly dragons.
20. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
R | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich community escape a horde of bandits.
Votes: 157,670 | Gross: $12.47M
Must revisit in high def. Did so with Mad Max, and it was (like so many that I've only seen in p&s VHS) like I saw it for the first time.
23. Gallipoli (1981)
PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History
Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.
Votes: 34,633 | Gross: $5.73M
25. Reds (1981)
PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.
Votes: 19,421 | Gross: $40.38M
26. Tarzan the Ape Man (1981)
Approved | 115 min | Adventure, Drama
While on an African expedition with her father, Jane Parker meets Tarzan, and the two become fascinated by each other.
Votes: 4,922 | Gross: $36.57M
28. The Cannonball Run (1981)
PG | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Sport
A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.
Votes: 31,145 | Gross: $72.18M
29. Arthur (1981)
PG | 97 min | Comedy, Romance
Arthur spends his time with booze and whores. His dad has a wife lined up for him that he keeps rejecting - until it's her or being cut off from $750,000,000. Then he goes shopping where he falls in love with a shoplifter.
Votes: 24,344 | Gross: $95.46M
30. The Howling (1981)
R | 91 min | Horror
After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.
Votes: 28,830 | Gross: $17.99M
31. Sharky's Machine (1981)
R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Tom Sharky is demoted to vice after a bust goes terribly wrong. He and his team stumble across a mob murder tied to prostitution and government.
Votes: 5,014 | Gross: $35.61M
32. Body Heat (1981)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.
Votes: 28,674 | Gross: $24.06M
33. The Professional (1981)
Not Rated | 108 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Victim of a plot which has resulted in his imprisonment in a Central African jail for two years, a French secret agent arrives in Paris to settle accounts.
34. On Golden Pond (1981)
PG | 109 min | Drama
Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.
Votes: 25,885 | Gross: $119.29M
35. American Pop (1981)
R | 96 min | Animation, Drama, History
The story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music in the 20th century.
Votes: 4,006 | Gross: $6.00M
36. Tuck Everlasting (1981)
90 min | Drama
In turn-of-the-20th-century upstate New York, Winnie Foster, a 12-year-old girl, discovers a family living in the woods near her family's home who never ages thanks to a magical spring they... See full summary »
37. The Devil and Max Devlin (1981)
PG | 96 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Max, a dead corrupt businessman, makes a Faustian pact with Satan's henchman to drive three people to Hell in exchange for longer life. Soon Max realizes that there still may be good in him.
Votes: 1,070 | Gross: $16.00M
38. Bustin' Loose (1981)
R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama
Joe Braxton is an ex-con who has been given a second chance to freedom after violating his probation. He has been hired by a school teacher named Vivian Perry to repair and drive an old ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,546 | Gross: $31.26M