1980s Biographical Movies

Public list by WPS with 64 movies or TV shows/series

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64 movies and TV shows/series found (page 1/3):

La Bamba(1987)

| 1h 48min | Drama, Music
3.6/5 (with 243 votes)

Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of singer Ritchie Valens whose life was cut short by a plane crash.

Lion of the Desert(1981)

| 2h 53min | Action, History, War
3.6/5 (with 52 votes)

This movie tells the story of Omar Mukhtar, an Arab Muslim rebel who fought against the Italian conquest of Libya in WWII. It gives western viewers a glimpse into this little-known region and chapter of history, and exposes the savage means by which the conquering army attempted to subdue the natives.


Miniseries based on the life and death of Anwar Sadat, the 3rd President of Egypt.

Where the Buffalo Roam(1980)

| 1h 39min | Comedy, Drama, History
3.1/5 (with 54 votes)

Semi-biographical film based on the experiences of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

The Hunter(1980)

| 1h 33min | Action
3.0/5 (with 37 votes)

During his long career, bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson has caught over 5,000 criminals. Now, while he is working on apprehending fugitives in Illinois, Texas and Nebraska, he himself is being hunted by a psychotic killer.

Johann Sebastian Bach(1985)

4.5/5 (with 1 vote)

- No description / details available yet. -

Tom Horn(1980)

| 1h 34min | Action, Drama, Western
3.3/5 (with 36 votes)

A renowned former army scout is hired by ranchers to hunt down rustlers but finds himself on trial for the murder of a boy when he carries out his job too well. Tom Horn finds that the simple skills he knows are of no help in dealing with the ambitions of ranchers and corrupt officials as progress marches over him and the old west.

Patty Hearst(1988)

1h 48min | Drama
3.0/5 (with 13 votes)

The true story of a rich girl who was abducted by American revolutionaries in the 1970's. Her time spent with her captors made her question herself and her way of life and she joined forces with the cause that her abductors were fighting for. This created a US scandal and Patty Hearst has become a pop culture fixture.


2.9/5 (with 21 votes)

Buster is a small time crook who pulls a big time job. When he finds that the police will not let the case drop, he goes into hiding and can't contact his wife and child. He arranges to meet them in Mexico where he thinks they can begin again, but finds that he must choose between his family and freedom.


| 1h 34min | Drama, History, Western
3.3/5 (with 22 votes)

William Walker and his mercenary corps enter Nicaragua in the middle of the 19th century in order to install a new government by a coup d'etat.


2h 15min | Drama
3.6/5 (with 7 votes)

Late in the 1500s, an aging tea master teaches the way of tea to a headstrong Shogun. Through force of will and courageous fighting, Hideyoshi becomes Japan's most powerful warlord, unifying the country. Rikyu, through the tea ceremony and floral arrangements, tempers his lord, helping Hideyoshi focus on a single flower or be in a simple room where the shape of a cup is of most importance. But other forces fuel Hideyoshi's ambitions: the Portuguese bring a globe and guns, and he believes he can conquer Korea and China. When Rikyu raises doubts about invading China, Hideyoshi demands an apology, and Rikyu himself must find courage in the way of tea.

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story(1988)

| 43min | Drama, Music, Animation
3.6/5 (with 20 votes)

The final 17 years of American singer and musician Karen Carpenter, performed almost entirely by modified Barbie dolls.

Directed by Todd Haynes
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| 1h 52min | Drama
2.8/5 (with 7 votes)

A single mother takes a job with the government where she is confronted with corruption.


1h 52min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
2.0/5 (with 6 votes)

The ghost of John Belushi looks back on his troubled life and career.

Onassis: The Richest Man in the World(1988)

2h | Drama
3.2/5 (with 5 votes)

Biography of the life of Aristotle Onassis, a Greek who rose to become one of the world's most wealthiest men, detailing his rise to power and unhappy marriages.

The Executioner's Song(1982)

| 2h 37min | Crime, Drama, TV Movie
3.1/5 (with 8 votes)

In this fact-based made-for TV film, Gary Gilmore, an Indiana man who just finished serving a lengthy stay in prison, tries to start anew by moving to Utah. Before long, Gary begins an ill-advised romance with the troubled Nicole Baker, a teenage single mother. As their relationship quickly deteriorates, Gary goes on a murderous rampage, leaving two dead. During his trial, he demands capital punishment; a media circus ensues and outsiders look to profit from his story.

Egon Schiele: Excess and Punishment(1980)

1h 35min | Drama
2.9/5 (with 5 votes)

In 1912, in Austria, the painter Egon Schiele is sent to jail accused of pornography with the nymphet Tatjana in his erotic paints. His mate, the model Vally, gets help from a famous lawyer to release him. Then he leaves Vally, marries with another woman and goes to the war.

The Marva Collins Story(1981)

1h 40min | Drama, TV Movie, History
3.9/5 (with 1 vote)

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.

Directed by Peter Levin - With Cicely Tyson

Heart of a Champion: The Ray Mancini Story(1985)

1h 34min | Action, Drama
2.0/5 (with 1 vote)

Heart of a Champion: The Ray Mancini Story is a TV movie produced by Sylvester Stallone.

Directed by Richard Michaels - With Robert Blake

Legend of a Fighter(1982)

1h 29min | Action, History
3.3/5 (with 7 votes)

This is a powerful, yet fictionalized life story of Huo Yuan Chia, a real kung fu master in Southern China who brought respect to the populace and allowed kung fu to be taught to all Chinese during a time of revolt and low morale in the country's history.

Personal Services(1987)

| 1h 45min | Comedy
3.0/5 (with 11 votes)

The story of the rise of a madame of a suburban brothel catering to older men, inspired by the real experiences of Cynthia Payne. The story follows Christine Painter (Julie Walters) as the down-at-heel waitress who, with the help of prostitute Shirley (Shirley Stelfox) and cross-dressing Wing Commander Morten (Alec McCowen), seeks to up her earnings by turning her suburban home into a brothel. Before long she and her girls are chaining up judges, spanking Generals and attending to the needs of Honourable Members. Christine sees herself as providing a vital service to these harmless pervs and when finally the house is busted and the case comes to court, it's fair to say that the presiding judge isn't unfamiliar with her work.


1h 40min | Drama
3.2/5 (with 2 votes)

Story about gymnast Nadia Comaneci from her childhood beginning as a gymnast and how she was discovered by Belya Karolyi. Nadia received 7 perfect 10's in the Montreal Olympics.

Directed by Alan Cooke - With Johann Carlo, Leleco Banks, Marcia Frederick, Talia Balsam, Carrie Snodgress

Houston: The Legend of Texas(1986)

3.9/5 (with 3 votes)

Sam Elliot stars as Sam Houston, the visionary who nearly single-handedly forged the state of Texas into a powerful entity in its own right. Refusing to forget the Alamo (as if anyone could), Houston led the military in Texas' rebellion against Mexico. G.D. Spradlin co-stars as President Andrew Jackson, with Michael Beck appearing as Jim Bowie, James Stephens as Stephen Austin, and Richard Yniguez as Mexican General Santa Anna. Lensed on location in the Lone Star state, this sweeping made-for-TV film originally occupied three hours' screen time on November 22, 1986. Its title at that time was Houston: The Legend of Texas. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi.

Directed by Peter Levin - With Sam Elliott

Second Serve(1986)

3.3/5 (with 2 votes)

Fact-based story about tennis pro Renee Richards, whose player status was challenged in 1976 when it was revealed that she was a trans woman. Flashback to 1964 before she was out as trans, a successful New York doctor with a great lifestyle, a flashy girl friend, and a secret life. Her psychiatrist mother refuses to deal with her and sends her to a colleague who diagnoses with a psychotic gender confusion, which he says can be unlearned. After a failed marriage and parenthood, she comes out as trans, with a new life in California.

The Scarlett O'Hara War(1980)

1h 38min | Drama, Comedy, TV Movie
2.9/5 (with 2 votes)

This is the story of how one of the famous movie roles was cast. The role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind.

Mussolini and I(1985)

3.0/5 (with 1 vote)

A compelling drama/documentary chronicling the life and death of Il Duce himself, from his days as a terrorist to his alliance with Hitler to the betrayal of his son-in-law and untimely demise.

Young Toscanini(1988)

1h 49min | Drama
2.9/5 (with 3 votes)

A fanciful biopic of legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini as a very young man.

The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James(1986)

2.5/5 (with 4 votes)

This movie looks at the last years (not days, as implied in the title) of famous outlaws, Frank and Jesse James. The film opens in 1877 with the brothers trying to settle down after 15 years of thievery. Frank is shown to be a book-loving and family-oriented man, while brother Jesse is a money-hungry womanizer. The movie follows their lives through Jesse's death at the hands of the "rotten little coward" Bob Ford and Frank's death in 1892.

Directed by William A. Graham

Love Child(1982)

| 1h 36min | Romance / Love, Drama, Crime
3.3/5 (with 1 vote)

It's an extraordinarily touching true-story about Terry Jean Moore, the determined, independent and young woman who is imprisoned for 7 years on account of a "five dollar" robbery. In the prison she will be pregnant by a jailer and she has to fight for bear and keep her child.

Sophia Loren: Her Own Story(1980)

2h 30min | Drama, TV Movie
3.1/5 (with 3 votes)

Dramatization of the life of Italian actress Sophia Loren who plays herself during adulthood and also that of her mother Romilda Villani.

Directed by Mel Stuart - With Sophia Loren
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