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Movies: Popular Movies of 1981

Movies in chronological context: 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1981st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 981st year of the 2nd millennium, the 81st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1980s decade. ()

Movies of a decade: 1870s | 1880s | 1890s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s | 2020s


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2,758 movies found (page 1/92):

Raiders of the Lost Ark(1981)

PG
| 1h 55min | Adventure, Action
4.0/5 (with 4,338 votes)

When Dr. Indiana Jones – the tweed-suited professor who just happens to be a celebrated archaeologist – is hired by the government to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant, he finds himself up against the entire Nazi regime.

Directed by Steven Spielberg - With John Rhys-Davies, Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Denholm Elliott, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, ...

The Evil Dead(1981)

R
| 1h 25min | Horror
3.7/5 (with 1,190 votes)

When a group of college students finds a mysterious book and recording in the old wilderness cabin they've rented for the weekend, they unwittingly unleash a demonic force from the surrounding forest.

Directed by Sam Raimi - With Bruce Campbell, Betsy Baker, Richard DeManincor, Theresa Tilly, Ellen Sandweiss, Sam Raimi, ...

The Fox and the Hound(1981)

3.6/5 (with 1,160 votes)

When a feisty little fox named Tod is adopted into a farm family, he quickly becomes friends with a fun and adorable hound puppy named Copper. Life is full of hilarious adventures until Copper is expected to take on his role as a hunting dog -- and the object of his search is his best friend!

Mad Max 2(1981)

3.7/5 (with 1,159 votes)

Max Rockatansky returns as the heroic loner who drives the dusty roads of a postapocalyptic Australian Outback in an unending search for gasoline. Arrayed against him and the other scraggly defendants of a fuel-depot encampment are the bizarre warriors commanded by the charismatic Lord Humungus, a violent leader whose scruples are as barren as the surrounding landscape.

Directed by George Miller - With Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, ...

Escape from New York(1981)

R
| 1h 39min | Science Fiction, Action
3.6/5 (with 973 votes)

In 1997, the island of Manhattan has been walled off and turned into a giant maximum security prison within which the country's worst criminals are left to form their own anarchic society. However, when the President of the United States crash lands on the island, the authorities turn to a former soldier and current convict to rescue him.

Directed by John Carpenter - With Ernest Borgnine, Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Isaac Hayes, Adrienne Barbeau, Harry Dean Stanton, ...

An American Werewolf in London(1981)

R
| 1h 37min | Horror
3.7/5 (with 717 votes)

Two American tourists in England are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Directed by John Landis - With David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine, Frank Oz, Joachim Tennstedt, ...

Das Boot(1981)

R
| 2h 30min | Drama, History, War
4.0/5 (with 676 votes)

A German submarine hunts allied ships during the Second World War, but it soon becomes the hunted. The crew tries to survive below the surface, while stretching both the boat and themselves to their limits.

Directed by Wolfgang Petersen - With Jürgen Prochnow, Klaus Wennemann, Herbert Grönemeyer, Hubertus Bengsch, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Sky du Mont, ...

Halloween II(1981)

R
| 1h 32min | Horror
3.3/5 (with 586 votes)

After failing to kill stubborn survivor Laurie and taking a bullet or six from former psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael Myers has followed Laurie to the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, where she's been admitted for Myers' attempt on her life. The institution proves to be particularly suited to serial killers, however, as Myers cuts, stabs and slashes his way through hospital staff to reach his favorite victim.

For Your Eyes Only(1981)

PG
| 2h 7min | Adventure, Action, Thriller
3.3/5 (with 572 votes)

A British spy ship has sunk and on board was a hi-tech encryption device. James Bond is sent to find the device that holds British launching instructions before the enemy Soviets get to it first.

Directed by John Glen - With Roger Moore, Julian Glover, Carole Bouquet, Chaim Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Lois Maxwell, ...

Friday the 13th Part 2(1981)

R
| 1h 27min | Horror, Thriller
3.1/5 (with 487 votes)

Five years after the horrible bloodbath at Camp Crystal Lake, it seems Jason Voorhees and his demented mother are in the past. Paul opens up a new camp close to the infamous site, ignoring warnings to stay away, and a sexually-charged group of counselors follow -- including child psychologist major Ginny. But Jason has been hiding out all this time, and now he's ready for revenge.

Directed by Steve Miner, Sean S. Cunningham - With Amy Steel, Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer, John Furey, Kristin Baker, Stuart Charno, ...

Christiane F.(1981)

R
| 2h 11min | Drama
3.7/5 (with 420 votes)

This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 70s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14 years old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-storey apartment building in Berlin. She's fascinated by the 'Sound', a new disco with most modern equipment. Although she's legally too young, she asks a friend to take her. There she meets Detlef, who's in a clique where everybody's on drugs. Step by step she gets drawn deeper into the scene.

Directed by Uli Edel - With Natja Brunckhorst, David Bowie, Jens Kuphal

Blow Out(1981)

R
| 1h 48min | Thriller, Crime, Mystery
3.7/5 (with 380 votes)

Jack Terry is a master sound recordist who works on grade-B horror movies. Late one evening, he is recording sounds for use in his movies when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he does not know whom he can trust.

Directed by Brian De Palma - With John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz, Bernie Rachelle, John McMartin, ...
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Scanners(1981)

R
| 1h 43min | Science Fiction, Horror
3.4/5 (with 335 votes)

After a man with extraordinary—and frighteningly destructive—telepathic abilities is nabbed by agents from a mysterious rogue corporation, he discovers he is far from the only possessor of such strange powers, and that some of the other “scanners” have their minds set on world domination, while others are trying to stop them.

Directed by David Cronenberg - With Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Michael Ironside, Heiner Lauterbach, Niels Clausnitzer, ...

Excalibur(1981)

R
| 2h 20min | Adventure, Fantasy
3.5/5 (with 306 votes)

A surreal adaptation of Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur", chronicling Arthur Pendragon's conception, his rise to the throne, the search by his Knights of the Round Table for the Holy Grail, and ultimately his death.

Directed by John Boorman - With Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Nicol Williamson, Robert Addie, ...

Time Bandits(1981)

3.3/5 (with 292 votes)

Young history buff Kevin can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former employees of the Supreme Being, they've purloined a map charting all of the holes in the fabric of time and are using it to steal treasures from different historical eras. Taking Kevin with them, they variously drop in on Napoleon, Robin Hood and King Agamemnon before the Supreme Being catches up with them.

Directed by Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Katherine Helmond, ... - With John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Ralph Richardson, ...

Cabbage Soup(1981)

3.2/5 (with 290 votes)

2 buddy farmers are visited by aliens who like their domestic cabbage soup.

Directed by Jean Girault - With Louis de Funès, Jean Carmet, Jacques Villeret, Claude Gensac, Christine Dejoux, Gaëlle Legrand, ...

Stripes(1981)

R
| 1h 46min | Action, Comedy
3.3/5 (with 277 votes)

John Winger, an indolent sad sack in his 30s, impulsively joins the U.S. Army after losing his job, his girlfriend and his apartment.

Directed by Ivan Reitman - With Bill Murray, Warren Oates, P. J. Soles, Sean Young, John Candy, Harold Ramis, ...

Escape to Victory(1981)

PG-13
| 1h 56min | Drama, War
3.4/5 (with 276 votes)

A group of POWs in a German prison camp during World War II play the German National Soccer Team in this powerful film depicting the role of prisoners during wartime.

Directed by John Huston - With Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Pelé, Max von Sydow, Bobby Moore, Daniel Massey, ...

Chariots of Fire(1981)

PG
| 2h 3min | Drama, History
3.5/5 (with 267 votes)

In the class-obsessed and religiously divided UK of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell, a devout Christian born to Scottish missionaries in China, sees running as part of his worship of God's glory and refuses to train or compete on the Sabbath. Harold Abrahams overcomes anti-Semitism and class bias, but neglects his beloved sweetheart in his single-minded quest.

Directed by Hugh Hudson - With Ian Holm, Alice Krige, Nigel Havers, Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Cheryl Campbell, ...

Porky's(1981)

R
| 1h 34min | Comedy
3.2/5 (with 261 votes)

Set in 1954, a group of Florida high schoolers seek out to lose their virginity which leads them to seek revenge on a sleazy nightclub owner and his redneck sheriff brother for harassing them.

Directed by Bob Clark - With Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Roger Wilson, Tony Ganios, Kaki Hunter, ...

Bianco, rosso e Verdone(1981)

1h 50min | Comedy
3.7/5 (with 251 votes)

Three Italian have to move from their current city to vote to local elections elsewhere. Pasquale is an Italian emigrant living in Munich (Germany). He has to vote in Matera, Basilicata (south of Italy). He is genuinely happy to come back in Italy, even if just for some days; but the country he is dreaming is different from the reality he meets. Furio move from Torino to Roma with all his family. He is so niggler and heavy that Magda, his wife, is thinking to escape. Mimmo is a young good fellow, moving with his grand mother, from Verona to Roma. His trip is disturbed by worries about her health, while she is very calm. Written by 1felco.

Directed by Carlo Verdone - With Carlo Verdone, Irina Sanpiter, Elena Fabrizi, Angelo Infanti, Mario Brega, Milena Vukotic, ...

Possession(1981)

R
| 2h 3min | Horror
3.7/5 (with 242 votes)

A young woman left her family for an unspecified reason. The husband determines to find out the truth and starts following his wife. At first, he suspects that a man is involved. But gradually, he finds out more and more strange behaviors and bizarre incidents that indicate something more than a possessed love affair.

Directed by Andrzej Żuławski - With Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent, Johanna Hofer, Shaun Lawton, ...

History of the World: Part I(1981)

R
| 1h 32min | Comedy
3.4/5 (with 239 votes)

An uproarious version of history that proves nothing is sacred – not even the Roman Empire, the French Revolution and the Spanish Inquisition.

Directed by Mel Brooks - With Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, ...

Clash of the Titans(1981)

3.4/5 (with 233 votes)

To win the right to marry his love, the beautiful princess Andromeda, and fulfil his destiny, Perseus must complete various tasks including taming Pegasus, capturing Medusa's head, and battling the Kraken monster.

Directed by Desmond Davis - With Burgess Meredith, Claire Bloom, Flora Robson, Neil McCarthy, Tim Pigott-Smith, Pat Roach, ...

I'm Starting from Three(1981)

1h 50min | Comedy
3.9/5 (with 209 votes)

Gaetano, giovane napoletano, decide di lasciare casa, lavoro ed amici, per cercare altri momenti di vita e conoscere altre persone. Arriva a Firenze, a casa della zia. In un ambulatorio, dove capita per caso, conosce Marta e se ne innammora. Dopo una serie di divertenti situazioni (un vecchio amico dalla parlantina inarrestabile arriva da Napoli; la matura zia ed il suo attempato amante; un giovane prete Americano che vuole coinvolgerlo per forza nelle sue visite evangeliche; l'incontro con Riccardino, un giovane frustrato da una madre oppressiva; il padre che aspetta il miracolo della ricrescita di una mano amputata; etc.) Gaetano decide di restare a Firenze e di fare da padre al figlio che Marta aspetta, anche se la ragazza non vuole rivelare con esattezza il nome del padre.

Directed by Massimo Troisi - With Massimo Troisi, Lello Arena, Marco Messeri, Fiorenza Marchegiani, Cloris Brosca, Lino Troisi, ...

The Howling(1981)

R
| 1h 31min | Horror
3.2/5 (with 208 votes)

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a newswoman is sent to a rehabilitation center whose inhabitants may not be what they seem.

Directed by Joe Dante - With Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Robert Picardo, ...

Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure(1981)

1h 42min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
3.5/5 (with 205 votes)

Alan gets a map to some war treasure which the Japanese army left behind on a small Pacific island at the end of World War II. But some gangsters try to steal the map from him and so he hides on Charlie's boat which just leaves the harbor. He manipulates the ship's compass so that Charlie is not aware that he is sailing to the treasure island. But when they step on the island, they discover that it is not as abandoned as they believed: there are some natives - and a Japanese soldier still defending the treasure.

Directed by Sergio Corbucci - With Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Sal Borgese, Claudio Ruffini, Tom Tully, Salvatore Basile, ...

Heavy Metal(1981)

3.2/5 (with 203 votes)

A glowing orb terrorizes a young girl with a collection of stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Knock on Wood(1981)

1h 21min | Comedy, Crime, Adventure
3.6/5 (with 189 votes)

When the boss' unlucky daughter is missing in South America, Campana is sent to watch the boss' most unlucky employee who is sent as a private detective in hopes he can duplicate the daughter's mistakes.

Directed by Francis Veber - With Gérard Depardieu, Pierre Richard, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Corynne Charby, André Valardy, Robert Dalban, ...

The Cannonball Run(1981)

PG
| 1h 35min | Comedy, Action
3.1/5 (with 184 votes)

A cross-country road race is based on an actual event, the Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, organized by Brock Yates to protest the 55 mph speed limit then in effect in the U.S. The Cannonball was named for Erwin G. "Cannonball" Baker, who in the roaring 20's rode his motorcycle across the country. Many of the characters are based on ruses developed by real Cannonball racers over the several years that the event was run.

Directed by Hal Needham - With Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Jackie Chan, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., ...
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