1981 in film

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List of years in film (table)
In home video
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
In television
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984

The following is an overview of events in 1981 in film, including the highest-grossing films, award ceremonies and festivals, a list of films released and notable deaths.

Highest-grossing films (U.S.)[edit]

The top ten 1981 released films by box office gross in North America are as follows:

Highest-grossing films of 1981[1]
Rank Title Studio Domestic gross
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark Paramount Pictures / Lucasfilm $212,222,025
2. On Golden Pond Universal Pictures / ITC $119,285,432
3. Superman II Warner Bros. $108,185,706
4. Arthur Orion Pictures / Warner Bros. $95,461,682
5. Stripes Columbia Pictures $85,297,000
6. The Cannonball Run 20th Century Fox / Golden Harvest $72,179,579
7. Chariots of Fire Warner Bros. / Ladd $58,972,904
8. For Your Eyes Only United Artists $54,812,802
9. The Four Seasons Universal Pictures $50,427,646
10. Time Bandits Embassy Pictures $42,365,581

Events[edit]

Awards[edit]

Academy Awards:

Best Picture: Chariots of Fire – Enigma, The Ladd Company/Warner Bros.
Best Director: Warren BeattyReds
Best Actor: Henry FondaOn Golden Pond
Best Actress: Katharine HepburnOn Golden Pond
Best Supporting Actor: John GielgudArthur
Best Supporting Actress: Maureen StapletonReds
Best Foreign Language Film: Mephisto, directed by Istvan Szabo, Hungary

Golden Globe Awards:

Drama:
Best Picture: On Golden Pond
Best Actor: Henry FondaOn Golden Pond
Best Actress: Meryl StreepThe French Lieutenant's Woman
Musical or comedy:
Best Picture: Arthur
Best Actor: Dudley MooreArthur
Best Actress: Bernadette PetersPennies from Heaven
Other
Best Director: Warren BeattyReds
Best Foreign Film: Chariots of Fire, United Kingdom

Golden Raspberry Awards:

Worst Picture: Mommie Dearest
Worst Director: Michael CiminoHeaven's Gate
Worst Actor: Klinton SpilsburyThe Legend of the Lone Ranger
Worst Actress: Bo DerekTarzan, the Ape Man; Faye DunawayMommie Dearest
Worst Supporting Actor: Steve ForrestMommie Dearest
Worst Supporting Actress: Diana ScarwidMommie Dearest

Palme d'Or (Cannes Film Festival):

Man of Iron (Człowiek z żelaza), directed by Andrzej Wajda, Poland

Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival):

Marianne and Juliane (Die Bleierne Zeit), directed by Margarethe von Trotta, W. Germany

Golden Bear (Berlin Film Festival):

Faster, Faster (Deprisa, deprisa / Vivre vite), directed by Carlos Saura, Spain / France

Notable films released in 1981[edit]

U.S.A. unless stated

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I-J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U-V

W

Z

1981 Wide-release movies[edit]

January–March[edit]

April–June[edit]

July–September[edit]

October–December[edit]

Births[edit]

Notable deaths[edit]

Month Date Name Age Country Profession Notable films
January 10 Richard Boone 63 USA Actor
11 Beulah Bondi 91 USA Actress
16 Bernard Lee 73 UK Actor
February 1 Wanda Hendrix 52 USA Actress
4 Mario Camerini 85 Italy Director, Screenwriter
21 Ron Grainer 58 Australia Composer
March 4 Torin Thatcher 76 UK Actor
14 Eleanor Perry 66 USA Screenwriter
15 René Clair 82 France Director, Screenwriter
April 7 Norman Taurog 82 USA Director, Screenwriter
14 Sergio Amidei 76 Italy Screenwriter
26 Herb Voland 62 USA Actor
26 Jim Davis 71 USA Actor
May 18 Arthur O'Connell 73 USA Actor
18 Richard Hale 88 USA Actor
June 22 Lola Lane 75 USA Actress
July 3 Ross Martin 61 Poland Actor
27 William Wyler 79 Germany Director, Producer
August 1 Paddy Chayefsky 58 USA Screenwriter
4 Melvyn Douglas 80 USA Actor
18 Anita Loos 93 USA Screenwriter
30 Vera-Ellen 60 USA Actress
September 1 Ann Harding 79 USA Actress
23 Chief Dan George 82 Canada Actor
27 Robert Montgomery 77 USA Actor
October 5 Gloria Grahame 54 USA Actress
24 Edith Head 83 USA Costume Designer
26 Glenn Anders 92 USA Actor
November 12 William Holden 63 USA Actor
16 Morgan Conway 78 USA Actor
21 Ejner Federspiel 85 Denmark Actor
25 Jack Albertson 74 USA Actor
27 Lotte Lenya 83 Austria Actress
29 Natalie Wood 43 USA Actress
December 17 Ada Kramm 82 Norway Actress
27 Hoagy Carmichael 82 USA Actor
28 Allan Dwan 96 Canada Director

Film debuts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]