The Essentials: 1981

In 1981, man first walked on the moon.  Okay, maybe not.  But he did in an MTV promo!  '81 was the year that MTV was launched, and I'm guessing nobody back then could have guessed where the cable network would be today (and how far it has fallen from grace).  Also in '81?  Lady Di married Prince Charles.  The term "Internet" was first mentioned.  The AIDS virus was identified.  And Muhammad Ali retired.  Popular songs that year included Olivia Newton John's "Physical" and the Diana Ross-Lionel Richie duet, "Endless Love."

The movies of 1981 were (admittedly) not the greatest, save for one giant exception (in a Fedora hat and armed with whip) plus a few choice gems.  It wasn't easy coming up with a satisfying Essentials list from that year.  Not as many movies were released in 1981 as they are today, so there is automatically less to choose from.  Nevertheless, choices still had to be made.  Here is a taste of just some of the movies I had to omit: An American Werewolf in London, Stripes, Reds, and Arthur.  And, here's what made the final cut:


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  • Looks like you had more to choose from than you'd originally thought :) This is a pretty solid list.

    They do kind of all pale in comparison to "Raiders," though.

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