My Favorite Movies of 1981

by Girgisbond | created - 23 Sep 2013 | updated - 05 Sep 2019 | Public
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1. 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: 177,624 | Gross: $12.47M

2. The Boat (1981)

R | 149 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 247,157 | Gross: $11.49M

3. The Flame Trees of Thika (1981– )

Not Rated | 50 min | Biography, Drama

Elspeth (Holly Aird) and her unconventional parents decide to settle down in Kenya and begin a coffee plantation. This is a time of discovery for Elspeth, as she encounters the incredible ... See full summary »

Stars: Hayley Mills, David Robb, Holly Aird, Mick Chege

Votes: 415

4. Taps (I) (1981)

PG | 126 min | Drama

49 Metascore

Military cadets take extreme measures to ensure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

Director: Harold Becker | Stars: George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn

Votes: 18,177 | Gross: $35.86M

5. On Golden Pond (1981)

PG | 109 min | Drama

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon

Votes: 31,148 | Gross: $119.29M

6. Quartet (1981)

R | 101 min | Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

Marya Zelli finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Suzanne Flon, Sébastien Floche, Anthony Higgins

Votes: 1,438 | Gross: $0.01M

7. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, are driven to win in the 1924 Olympics as they wrestle with issues of pride and conscience.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 59,559 | Gross: $58.97M

8. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

65 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins

Votes: 39,431 | Gross: $5.73M

9. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

55 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 104,014 | Gross: $30.57M

10. Blow Out (1981)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

86 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: 51,516 | Gross: $13.75M

11. 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: 139,300 | Gross: $25.24M

12. Stripes (1981)

R | 106 min | Comedy, War

68 Metascore

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates

Votes: 73,082 | Gross: $85.30M

13. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

54 Metascore

James Bond is assigned to find a missing British vessel, equipped with a weapons encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson

Votes: 99,945 | Gross: $62.30M

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

R | 92 min | Comedy, History, Musical

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: 49,274 | Gross: $31.67M

15. Indiana Jones and the 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: 943,950 | Gross: $248.16M

AKA - Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

16. 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: 44,091 | Gross: $41.09M

17. 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.

Director: William A. Fraker | Stars: Klinton Spilsbury, Michael Horse, Christopher Lloyd, Matt Clark

Votes: 2,210 | Gross: $12.62M

18. Death Hunt (1981)

R | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

40 Metascore

In 1931 Canada, Yukon trapper Johnson has a feud with a dog owner who later retaliates by publicly accusing Johnson of murder and thus triggering a police manhunt in the wilderness.

Director: Peter R. Hunt | Stars: Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Andrew Stevens, Carl Weathers

Votes: 7,552

19. 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: 61,314 | Gross: $34.97M

20. Masada (1981)

394 min | Action, Drama, History

After the destruction of the Second Temple, nine hundred Jewish zealots hold out against a five thousand man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.

Stars: Peter O'Toole, Peter Strauss, Barbara Carrera, Alan Feinstein

Votes: 2,249

21. Sphinx (1981)

PG | 118 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

Egyptologist Erica Baron finds more than she bargained for during her long-planned trip to The Land of the Pharoahs: murder, theft, betrayal, love, and a mummy's curse.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Lesley-Anne Down, Frank Langella, Maurice Ronet, John Gielgud

Votes: 1,425 | Gross: $2.02M



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