1981 Films

by StarbuckJohnson | created - 13 Feb 2017 | updated - 5 months ago | Public
 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords





IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Possession (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Horror

72 Metascore

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent

Votes: 21,985 | Gross: $1.11M

2. Scanners (1981)

R | 103 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane

Votes: 44,684 | Gross: $14.23M

3. Blow Out (1981)

R | 108 min | Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz

Votes: 39,866 | Gross: $13.75M

4. American Pop (1981)

R | 96 min | Animation, Drama, History

57 Metascore

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.

Director: Ralph Bakshi | Stars: Mews Small, Ron Thompson, Jerry Holland, Lisa Jane Persky

Votes: 4,054 | Gross: $6.00M

5. The Road Warrior (1981)

R | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

77 Metascore

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich community escape a horde of bandits.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Votes: 158,809 | Gross: $12.47M

6. Eyes of a Stranger (1981)

R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller

A reporter suspects a creepy neighbor, who lives in the high-rise building across from hers, is a serial killer terrorizing the Miami area.

Director: Ken Wiederhorn | Stars: Lauren Tewes, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John DiSanti, Peter DuPre

Votes: 2,013 | Gross: $1.12M

7. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 55,228 | Gross: $42.37M

8. Excalibur (1981)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

56 Metascore

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi

Votes: 54,888 | Gross: $34.97M

9. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

76 Metascore

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.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 116,547 | Gross: $25.24M

10. Heavy Metal (1981)

R | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

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

Votes: 29,474

11. Deprisa, Deprisa (1981)

99 min | Crime, Drama

Angela begins to hang around with Pablo and his gang of young robbers.

Director: Carlos Saura | Stars: Berta Socuéllamos, Jose Antonio Valdelomar González, Jesús Arias, José María Hervás Roldán

Votes: 981

12. The Fan (1981)

R | 95 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

Douglas, a record salesman, is an obsessive fan of actress Sally Ross. When his letters are rejected, he strikes out at her and her loved ones.

Director: Ed Bianchi | Stars: Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Michael Biehn, Maureen Stapleton

Votes: 1,786

13. Quest for Fire (1981)

R | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, History

79 Metascore

This story takes place in prehistoric time when three tribesmen search for a new fire source.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nicholas Kadi, Rae Dawn Chong

Votes: 19,637 | Gross: $20.96M

14. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

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.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 838,795 | Gross: $248.16M

15. Nightmare (1981)

R | 97 min | Horror

A mental patient embarks on a murder spree upon escaping from an institution.

Director: Romano Scavolini | Stars: Baird Stafford, Sharon Smith, C.J. Cooke, Mik Cribben

Votes: 3,108

16. Road Games (1981)

PG | 101 min | Mystery, Thriller

71 Metascore

A truck driver plays a cat-and-mouse game with a mysterious serial killer on a desolate Australian highway.

Director: Richard Franklin | Stars: Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page

Votes: 4,593

17. Enter the Ninja (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After just completing his training at a ninja school, an army vet travels to the Phillippines and finds himself battling a land grabber who wants his war-buddy's property. He must also ... See full summary »

Director: Menahem Golan | Stars: Franco Nero, Susan George, Shô Kosugi, Christopher George

Votes: 3,896

18. The Beyond (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror

A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where, following a series of supernatural "accidents", she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John

Votes: 18,752 | Gross: $0.12M

19. Halloween II (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror

40 Metascore

While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her.

Director: Rick Rosenthal | Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer

Votes: 70,046 | Gross: $25.53M

20. Pennies from Heaven (1981)

R | 108 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

During the Great Depression, a sheet music salesman seeks to escape his dreary life through popular music and a love affair with an innocent school teacher.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jessica Harper, Vernel Bagneris

Votes: 4,939 | Gross: $9.18M

21. All Night Long (1981)

R | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A drummer plants doubts into the mind of a bandleader about his wife's faithfulness in an attempt to take over the band himself.

Director: Jean-Claude Tramont | Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbra Streisand, Diane Ladd, Dennis Quaid

Votes: 1,514 | Gross: $4.45M

22. History of the World: Part I (1981)

R | 92 min | Comedy, History

47 Metascore

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.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn

Votes: 43,839 | Gross: $31.67M

23. Mommie Dearest (1981)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted.

Director: Frank Perry | Stars: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 13,473 | Gross: $19.03M

24. The Aimed School (1981)

90 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Mitamura Yuka (Hiroko Yakushimaru) is a normal shy middle school student that has psychic powers. When a new student with similar powers begins to show his skills, by stealing the student ... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Hiroko Yakushimaru, Ryôichi Takayanagi, Masami Hasegawa, Miyoko Akaza

Votes: 178

25. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

65 Metascore

Two childhood friends find themselves forced to become enemies.

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson

Votes: 79,922 | Gross: $63.46M

26. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

59 Metascore

Perseus must battle Medusa and the Kraken to save the Princess Andromeda.

Director: Desmond Davis | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith

Votes: 38,669 | Gross: $41.09M

27. The Funhouse (1981)

R | 96 min | Horror

56 Metascore

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin, Jack McDermott

Votes: 11,396 | Gross: $7.89M

28. Modern Problems (1981)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

27 Metascore

Jealous, harried air traffic controller Max Fiedler, recently dumped by his girlfriend, comes into contact with nuclear waste and is granted the power of telekinesis, which he uses not only to win her back, but to gain a little revenge.

Director: Ken Shapiro | Stars: Chevy Chase, Patti D'Arbanville, Dabney Coleman, Mary Kay Place

Votes: 4,655 | Gross: $26.15M

29. Hell Night (1981)

R | 101 min | Horror, Thriller

Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion, where they are stalked by the monstrous survivor of a family massacre years earlier.

Director: Tom DeSimone | Stars: Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton, Kevin Brophy

Votes: 5,600

30. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson

Votes: 28,970 | Gross: $24.06M

31. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

Wife and husband, both actors, play a couple in love from the Victorian era. Soon they begin to feel that fiction interweaves into reality.

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae, Emily Morgan

Votes: 11,301 | Gross: $22.60M

32. Back Roads (1981)

R | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

A prostitute and a drifter find themselves bound together as they make their way through the rural South, doing what they have to do to survive.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Keith, Miriam Colon

Votes: 751 | Gross: $11.81M

33. Killjoy (1981 TV Movie)

PG | 96 min | Mystery, Thriller

Story of a young woman's murder and the people who become involved with it.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey | Stars: Kim Basinger, Robert Culp, Stephen Macht, Nancy Marchand

Votes: 336

34. Outland (1981)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

48 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle, James Sikking

Votes: 25,709 | Gross: $17.37M

35. Thief (1981)

R | 123 min | Action, Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, Jim Belushi

Votes: 22,792 | Gross: $11.49M

36. Eye of the Needle (1981)

R | 112 min | Romance, Thriller, War

61 Metascore

A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Stephen MacKenna, Philip Martin Brown

Votes: 8,897 | Gross: $17.58M

37. Cutter's Way (1981)

R | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

70 Metascore

Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter.

Director: Ivan Passer | Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, Ann Dusenberry

Votes: 4,609 | Gross: $1.73M

38. Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror

In a small Southern town, a wrongfully-killed man exacts revenge on those who murdered him from beyond the grave.

Director: Frank De Felitta | Stars: Charles Durning, Robert F. Lyons, Claude Earl Jones, Lane Smith

Votes: 4,808

39. Raggedy Man (1981)

R | 94 min | Drama

It's 1944 in the small town of Gregory, Texas. Divorcée Nita Longley has been brought into the town by the telephone company to work as its switchboard operator, a job which requires her to... See full summary »

Director: Jack Fisk | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Eric Roberts, Sam Shepard, William Sanderson

Votes: 1,304 | Gross: $1.98M

40. Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981)

R | 104 min | Drama, Romance

A film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's novel. After a crippling injury leaves her husband impotent, Lady Chatterly is torn between her love for her husband and her physical desires. With her ... See full summary »

Director: Just Jaeckin | Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Shane Briant, Nicholas Clay, Ann Mitchell

Votes: 2,289

41. Ms .45 (1981)

R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.

Director: Abel Ferrara | Stars: Zoë Lund, Bogey, Albert Sinkys, Darlene Stuto

Votes: 7,758

42. Tattoo (1981)

R | 103 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A troubled tattoo artist has designs on a model.

Director: Bob Brooks | Stars: Bruce Dern, Maud Adams, Leonard Frey, Frederikke Borge

Votes: 656

43. Winter of Our Dreams (1981)

89 min | Drama, Romance

When a womanizing bookshop owner hears about the suicide of his former girlfriend, he tries to find out more and meets her friend, a prostitute. They hook up, but when she finds her friends... See full summary »

Director: John Duigan | Stars: Judy Davis, Bryan Brown, Cathy Downes, Baz Luhrmann

Votes: 216

44. Looker (1981)

PG | 93 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

20 Metascore

3 of 4 models, who had plastic surgery done by Larry after a computed list, are dead. Neither the cops nor Larry believe it's suicides. Larry investigates and stays with the 4th model. Who's behind the lists and murders?

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Albert Finney, James Coburn, Susan Dey, Leigh Taylor-Young

Votes: 4,400 | Gross: $3.28M

45. The Salamander (1981)

Not Rated | 103 min | Thriller

An Italian policeman investigates a series of murders involving people in prominent positions. Left behind at each murder scene is a drawing of a salamander. The policeman begins to suspect... See full summary »

Director: Peter Zinner | Stars: Franco Nero, Anthony Quinn, Martin Balsam, Sybil Danning

Votes: 730

46. Eyewitness (1981)

R | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6