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List of 1981 Movies and TV Shows

Browse the full list of 1981 movies and TV shows streaming online, including services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, HBO and more. Sort by Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB rating, popularity and more to find something to watch!

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1. Raiders of the Lost Ark

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo95%
Reelgood Logo
95/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Action & Adventure

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Netflix), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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2. Das Boot

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
87/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Vudu).

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hulu_plus
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3. The Evil Dead

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo95%
Reelgood Logo
86/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Horror, Cult

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Showtime, Hulu & Shudder), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Showtime) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 3 others).

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hulu_plus
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4. An American Werewolf in London

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Comedy, Cult

What it's about: Two American tourists in England are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video & Hulu), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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5. Mad Max 2

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo95%
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Cult

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play, Prime Video & 5 others). Coming soon to Prime Video on September 29th, 2019 (PDT).

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6. Stripes

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo86%
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Comedy, Action & Adventure

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

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Netflix) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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7. Body Heat

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman convinces her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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amazon_prime
epix

8. Blow Out

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo85%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Drama, Mystery

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi TV & Vudu), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video) & stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix).

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9. Thief

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Crime

What it's about: Frank is an expert professional safecracker, specialized in high-profile diamond heists. He plans to use his ill-gotten income to retire from crime and build a nice life for himself complete with a home, wife and kids. To accelerate the process, he signs on with a top gangster for a big score.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi TV & Vudu), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (Vudu & FandangoNOW).

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10. Escape from New York

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo87%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Cult

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 4 others).

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11. Chariots of Fire

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo84%
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama, History

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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12. On Golden Pond

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama

What it's about: For Norman and Ethel Thayer, this summer on golden pond is filled with conflict and resolution. When their daughter Chelsea arrives, the family is forced to renew the bonds of love and overcome the generational friction that has existed for years. Norman must find his way through his anger and fear of growing old, while Chelsea struggles to rebuild their relationship. Ethel's consistent support of her "Knight in shining armor" is inspirational in its simplicity. This is a movie to ponder and always keep in your heart.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (PopcornFlix & Tubi TV), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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kanopy

13. Gallipoli

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo91%
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: As World War I rages, brave and youthful Australians Archy and Frank—both agile runners—become friends and enlist in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps together. They later find themselves part of the Dardanelles Campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula, a brutal eight-month conflict which pit the British and their allies against the Ottoman Empire and left over 500,000 men dead.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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14. Time Bandits

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo89%
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Cult

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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kanopy

15. My Dinner with Andre

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo91%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Biography, Independent

What it's about: Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, apparently playing themselves, share their lives over the course of an evening meal at a restaurant.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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16. Reds

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo90%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama, Biography

What it's about: An account of the revolutionary years of the legendary American journalist John Reed (1887-1920), who shared his adventurous professional life with his radical commitment to the socialist revolution in Russia, his dream of spreading its principles among the members of the American working class, and his troubled romantic relationship with the writer Louise Bryant (1885-1936).

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Starz), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Starz & Epix) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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17. The Fox and the Hound

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo70%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1981Rated: G
Animation, Action & Adventure

What it's about: 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!

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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18. Excalibur

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo79%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Starz), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Starz) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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amazon_prime
shoutfactorytv
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19. The Decline of Western Civilization

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1981
Documentary, History

What it's about: The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi TV), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, Shout Factory TV & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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20. For Your Eyes Only

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo73%
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Thriller

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (CBS All Access), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $13.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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21. Arthur

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Comedy, Romance

What it's about: Arthur is the most quotable drunk millionaire that is likely to ever steal your heart. Dudley Moore portrays Arthur, a thirty year old child who will inherit 750 million dollars if he complies with his family's demands and marries the woman of their choosing.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Cinemax), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Cinemax) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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22. Southern Comfort

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Independent

What it's about: A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition and in a strange country, their experience begins to mirror the Vietnam experience.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi TV), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video) & rent or buy from $0.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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23. Lola

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
72/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Germany in the autumn of 1957: Lola, a seductive cabaret singer-prostitute exults in her power as a temptress of men, but she wants out—she wants money, property, and love. Pitting a corrupt building contractor against the new straight-arrow building commissioner, Lola launches an outrageous plan to elevate herself in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale. Shot in childlike candy colors, Fassbinder’s homage to Josef von Sternberg’s classic The Blue Angel stands as a satiric tribute to capitalism.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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24. Scanners

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo76%
Reelgood Logo
72/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Horror, Science-Fiction

What it's about: Darryl Revok is the most powerful of all the scanners, and is the head of the underground scanner movement for world domination. Scanners have great psychic power, strong enough to control minds; they can inflict enormous pain/damage on their victims. Doctor Paul Ruth finds a scanner that Revok hasn't, and converts him to their cause - to destroy the underground movement.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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25. Lion of the Desert

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo80%
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Biography, Drama

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Sundance) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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26. The Woman Next Door

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo91%
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Madame Jouve, the narrator, tells the tragedy of Bernard and Mathilde. Bernard was living happily with his wife Arlette and his son Thomas. One day, a couple, Philippe and Mathilde Bauchard, moves into the next house. This is the accidental reunion of Bernard and Mathilde, who had a passionate love affair years ago. The relationship revives... A somber study of human feelings.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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27. Quest for Fire

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo85%
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: A colossal adventure odyssey that turns back the hands of time to the very beginning of man's existence. 80,000 years ago, when man roamed the earth, he was exposed to the many harsh elements of nature. Against the perilous atmosphere of rugged terrain, rival tribes and savage beasts, Quest for Fire examines a peaceful tribe's search for that all important element fire, and the knowledge to create it. Focusing on human dream as well as realistic insights into pre-historic man, the constant struggle for survival is vividly recreated in this sensational production.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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28. Diva

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
70/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Thriller, Action & Adventure

What it's about: Jules, a young Parisian postman, secretly records a concert performance given by the opera singer Cynthia Hawkins, whom he idolises. The following day, Jules runs into a woman who is being pursued by armed thugs. Before she is killed, the woman slips an audio cassette into his mail bag...

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $3.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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29. Clash of the Titans

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo68%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Family

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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30. The Burning

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo86%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Horror, Independent

What it's about: A caretaker at a summer camp is burned when a prank goes tragically wrong. After several years of intensive treatment at hospital, he is released back into society, albeit missing some social skills. What follows is a bloody killing spree with the caretaker making his way back to his old stomping ground to confront one of the youths that accidently burned him.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi TV).

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31. The Beyond

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo65%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Horror

What it's about: The New Yorker Liza Merril inherits an old hotel in Louisiana, and invests her savings to reopen the place. She doesn't realise that the hotel houses the body of a dead painter murdered decades earlier, nor that it's about to become a gateway to hell.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Shudder & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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32. Ms .45

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Crime, Independent

What it's about: A shy and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day. She wanders the New York streets at night in a sexy black dress with her attacker's gun strapped to her garter belt, blowing away any man who tries to pick her up.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (PopcornFlix, Tubi TV & IMDb TV), stream on a subscription service (ConTV) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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33. The Great Muppet Caper

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo76%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: G
Children, Comedy

What it's about: Kermit and Fozzie are newspaper reporters sent to London to interview Lady Holiday, a wealthy fashion designer whose priceless diamond necklace is stolen. Kermit meets and falls in love with her secretary, Miss Piggy. The jewel thieves strike again, and this time frame Miss Piggy. It's up to Kermit and Muppets to bring the real culprits to justice.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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34. Ragtime

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo90%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama

What it's about: A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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35. Taps

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo71%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama

What it's about: Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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epix

36. Dragonslayer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo86%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Fantasy, Action & Adventure

What it's about: The sorcerer and his apprentice Galen are on a mission to kill an evil dragon in order to save the King’s daughter from being sacrificed in accordance to a pact that the King himself made with the dragon to protect his kingdom. A fantasy film from Disney Studios that exhausted all possible visual effects of the time.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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37. Prince of the City

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo91%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: New York City detective Daniel Ciello agrees to help the United States Department of Justice help eliminate corruption in the police department, as long as he will not have to turn in any close friends. In doing so, Ciello uncovers a conspiracy within the force to smuggle drugs to street informants

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Cinemax), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Cinemax) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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38. The Howling

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo68%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Horror

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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39. Halloween II

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo28%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Horror, Thriller

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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40. Polyester

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo90%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Comedy, LGBTQ

What it's about: A suburban housewife's world falls apart when her pornographer husband admits he's serially unfaithful to her, her daughter gets pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Vudu) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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shudder

41. Dead & Buried

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo69%
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Horror, Mystery

What it's about: After a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses appear to be coming back to life and living normally as locals in the small town.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Vudu), stream on a subscription service (Full Moon & Shudder) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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42. Vernon, Florida

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1981
Documentary, Comedy

What it's about: Early Errol Morris documentary intersplices random chatter he captured on film of the genuinely eccentric residents of Vernon, Florida. A few examples? The preacher giving a sermon on the definition of the word "Therefore," and the obsessive turkey hunter who speaks reverentially of the "gobblers" he likes to track down and kill.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Mubi) & rent or buy from $5.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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epix

43. Mommie Dearest

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo49%
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama, Biography

What it's about: In this biographical film, glamorous yet lonely star Joan Crawford takes in two orphans, and at first their unconventional family seems happy. But after Joan's attempts at romantic fulfillment go sour and she is fired from her contract with MGM studios, her callous and abusive behavior towards her daughter Christina becomes even more pronounced. Christina leaves home and takes her first acting role, only to find her mother's presence still overshadowing her.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video & Hulu), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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cinemax

44. Victory

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo67%
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG-13
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Cinemax), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Cinemax) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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free

45. Cutter's Way

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo91%
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi TV & Vudu) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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epix

46. The French Lieutenant's Woman

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo77%
Reelgood Logo
66/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Drama, Romance

What it's about: In this story-within-a-story, Anna is an actress starring opposite Mike in a period piece about the forbidden love between their respective characters, Sarah and Charles. Both actors are involved in serious relationships, but the passionate nature of the script leads to an off-camera love affair as well. While attempting to maintain their composure and professionalism, Anna and Mike struggle to come to terms with their infidelity.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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Rent/Buy

47. Eye of the Needle

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo87%
Reelgood Logo
65/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Romance, Thriller

What it's about: 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.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (Prime Video & Vudu).

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amazon_prime
shoutfactorytv

48. The Chosen

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo75%
Reelgood Logo
65/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama

What it's about: The Chosen follows the story of two teenage boys determined to remain friends despite the deep differences between their two families. Set in New York during the 1940s, this provocative film follows the son of an orthodox rabbi and the son of a secular father, raised to question everything around him, including his religion. A moving coming of age story.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Shout Factory TV & Tubi TV), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video & Shout Factory TV) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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Rent/Buy

49. Absence of Malice

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo83%
Reelgood Logo
65/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Megan Carter is a reporter duped into running an untrue story on Michael Gallagher, a suspected racketeer. He has an alibi for the time his supposed crime was committed but it involves an innocent party. When she tells Carter the truth and the newspaper runs it, tragedy follows, forcing Carter to face up to the responsibilities of her job when she is confronted by Gallagher.

Where to Watch: Available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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Rent/Buy

50. Outland

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10