Gregor's Top 40 of 1981

by Movie-Mate | created - 24 Nov 2013 | updated - 4 months ago | Public
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1. 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: 854,919 | Gross: $248.16M

2. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 179,960 | Gross: $2.40M

3. 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: 120,245 | Gross: $25.24M

4. Blow Out (1981)

R | 108 min | Mystery, Thriller

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: 41,659 | Gross: $13.75M

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: 26,645 | Gross: $119.29M

6. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

60 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: 87,888 | Gross: $30.57M

7. Mad Max 2: 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: 161,581 | Gross: $12.47M

8. 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: 45,865 | Gross: $14.23M

9. 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: 29,660 | Gross: $24.06M

10. The Prodigal Son (1981)

R | 100 min | Action, Comedy

A rich man's son (Yuen Biao) believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately, his father, anxious for his son's safety, bribes all his opponents to lose. After a ... See full summary »

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Biao Yuen, Ching-Ying Lam, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Frankie Chan

Votes: 2,823

The Prodigal Son

11. ...All the Marbles (1981)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

Harry Sears manages The California Dolls, a female wrestling tag team who tour America, hoping for a chance at winning big time. Harry's also romantically involved with one of them. Their ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Peter Falk, Vicki Frederick, Laurene Landon, Burt Young

Votes: 1,811

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: 62,889 | Gross: $85.30M

13. The Howling (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone

Votes: 29,752 | Gross: $17.99M

14. 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: 30,330

15. 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: 23,613 | Gross: $11.49M

16. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

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: 223,012 | Gross: $11.49M

17. My Young Auntie (1981)

Not Rated | 121 min | Action, Comedy

Cheng Tai-Nan (Kara Hui) is an honest and faithful servant of a dying patriarch who wants nothing more than to protect his vast wealth from his selfish, conniving nephew, Yung-Sheng. ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Liang Liu, Kara Wai, Hou Hsiao, Lung Wei Wang

Votes: 611

My Young Auntie

18. Return of the Sentimental Swordsman (1981)

101 min | Action, Drama

Many feel that this, one of the Shaw Studio's biggest moneymakers, is one of those rare sequels which superior to its original. In any case, the charming title hero is back in action, ... See full summary »

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Li Ching, Lung Ti, Sheng Fu, Feng Ku

Votes: 140

Return of the Sentimental Swordsman

19. The Treasure Hunters (1981)

R | 104 min | Action, Comedy

A rich young man seeks to make a name for himself by being the one to discover a lost treasure. He teams up with a streetwise kung-fu artist and together, they set out to not only find the ... See full summary »

Director: Chia Yung Liu | Stars: Sheng Fu, Chia-Hui Liu, Chan-Peng Chang, Kwok Keung Chan

Votes: 165

The Treasure Hunters

20. Game of Death II (1981)

R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

After Billy Lo is killed while seeking the murderers of his friend, his brother Bobby goes all out to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Directors: See-Yuen Ng, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Corey Yuen | Stars: Bruce Lee, Tae-jeong Kim, Jung-Lee Hwang, Roy Horan

Votes: 2,737

Tower of Death

21. Roar of the Lion (1981)

Not Rated | 104 min | Action, Drama

The traditional lion dance never looked so good as in Lion vs. Lion which captures the most impressive sequences of lion dancing on film. Lo Mang teams up with Wong Yu, as they ... See full summary »

Directors: Hsia Hsu, Wen-Chun Ma | Stars: Meng Lo, Yue Wong, Pan Pan Yeung, Wen-Chun Ma

Votes: 129

Lion Vs. Lion

22. Samurai Reincarnation (1981)

122 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

The villain is called Amakusa Shiro Tokaisada. He is actually based on a real christian samurai. The movie was one of the inspirations for the game called 'Samurai Shodown' (actual spelling)

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Kenji Sawada, Akiko Kana, Ken Ogata

Votes: 763

23. Martial Club (1981)

R | 110 min | Action, Drama

Wong Fei-Hong and his once-rival, now friend, find themselves and their martial arts schools pitted against a rival school which uses a Kung Fu expert from the North to do their dirty work.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Kara Wai, Te-Lo Mai, Hou Hsiao

Votes: 400

Martial Club

24. Bloody Parrot (1981)

89 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

An expert swordsman is suspected of being the thief of a treasure sent to Emperor. The swordsman who has nothing to do with the theft investigates and is led on the trail of the supernatural "Bloody Parrot".

Director: Shan Hua | Stars: Jason Piao Pai, Tony Liu, Jenny Liang, Kuan-Chung Ku

Votes: 155

Bloody Parrot

25. The Sword Stained with Royal Blood (1981)

104 min | Action, Drama

"Godfather of the kung-fu film", Chang Cheh, made this treasured and beloved adventure featuring a sword, training manual, treasure map and a secret message. The kung-fu which ensues is as impressive as it is glorious.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Hsueh-Erh Wen, Tien Hsiang Lung, Sheng Chiang

Votes: 187

Sword Stained With Royal Blood

26. Prince of the City (1981)

R | 167 min | Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption, and soon realises he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Treat Williams, Jerry Orbach, Richard Foronjy, Don Billett

Votes: 6,910 | Gross: $8.12M

27. Southern Comfort (1981)

R | 106 min | Action, Thriller

63 Metascore

During a routine exercise, a team of National Guards are threatened by angry and violent locals.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Fred Ward, Franklyn Seales

Votes: 15,605 | Gross: $5.00M

28. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

65 Metascore

A little fox named Tod, and Copper, a hound puppy, vow to be best buddies forever. But as Copper grows into a hunting dog, their unlikely friendship faces the ultimate test.

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

Votes: 81,722 | Gross: $63.46M

29. Suddenly in the Dark (1981)

Not Rated | 95 min | Horror

A wife starts to suspect her husband's infidelity after the arrival of their new, young housekeeper, who carries a mysterious wooden doll with herself.

Director: Young Nam Ko | Stars: Il-bong Yun, Yeong-ae Kim, Ki-seon Lee, Hye-ri Han

Votes: 206

Suddenly at Midnight

30. Galaxy of Terror (1981)

R | 81 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

38 Metascore

Science fiction suspense thriller, in which a rescue space ship crew meets up with horrors projected by their own imaginations.

Director: Bruce D. Clark | Stars: Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston, Bernard Behrens

Votes: 6,375

31. The Burning (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

42 Metascore

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam | Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua

Votes: 14,771

32. Reds (1981)

PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.

Director: Warren Beatty | Stars: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Jerzy Kosinski

Votes: 20,045 | Gross: $40.38M

33. Road Games (1981)

PG | 101 min | Horror, 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: 4,821

34. Hell Night (1981)

R | 101 min | Horror, Thriller

36 Metascore

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: 5,840

35. 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: 26,130 | Gross: $17.37M

36. 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: 55,676 | Gross: $34.97M

37. Dragonslayer (1981)

PG | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

68 Metascore

A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom.

Director: Matthew Robbins | Stars: Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam

Votes: 14,437 | Gross: $14.11M

38. The Masked Avengers (1981)

R | 92 min | Action, Drama

Philip Kwok (Lizard venom) plays a repentant killer who vows to destroy the masked gang of which he was a member. A young fighter and his martial arts brothers (incl Chiang Sheng, venom ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Siu-Ho Chin, Sheng Chiang, Ke Chu

Votes: 609

Masked Avengers

39. Dreadnaught (1988)

91 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

A short-tempered, violent criminal named "White Tiger" is on the run from the police and joins a theater troupe for disguise, killing anyone who angers him or who suspects his identity. One... See full summary »

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen | Stars: Biao Yuen, Ka-Yan Leung, Shun-Yee Yuen, Tak-Hing Kwan

Votes: 630

40. Black Lizard (1981)

82 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Young swordsman Lung Fei encounters strange omens portending the death of his fiancee Ting Tzu-chu. His enquiries with the help of Chief Constable Tieh Hu reveal an astounding story.

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Tung-Shing Yee, Helen Poon, Kuan-Chung Ku, Man-No Chen

Votes: 67

The Black Lizard

41. 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: 88,650 | Gross: $62.30M

42. 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: 71,459 | Gross: $25.53M

43. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

26 Metascore

Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King

Votes: 56,069 | Gross: $21.72M

44. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

46 Metascore

A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.

Director: George Mihalka | Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight

Votes: 16,882 | Gross: $5.67M

45. 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: 8,078

46. The House by the Cemetery (1981)

Not Rated | 86 min | Horror