Category:1981 television films
Pages in category "1981 television films"
The following 69 pages are in this category, out of 69 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 69 pages are in this category, out of 69 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. The Best Little Girl in the World – The Best Little Girl in the World is a 1981 television film directed by Sam OSteen and executive produced by Aaron Spelling. The film is based upon the 1978 novel of the name written by Steven Levenkron. Seventeen-year-old Casey Powell is a shy teenaged cheerleader who gets good grades and her parents, Frank and Joanne, give all their attention to her 19-year-old sister Gail, who has just found out she is pregnant by someone she has no interest in marrying. Frank is infuriated and Joanne is worried, so they forget to spend time with Casey, not a new thing, as problem-child Gail has always drawn attention away from good-girl Casey. Feeling ignored by her parents and embarrassed by harassment at her audition, Casey starts wanting to look like the girls on the covers of magazines and begins to diet. Casey is noticed by her teacher, Madame Seuart, who tells her that she could be very good if she loses a few pounds. It doesnt take long before Casey becomes anorexic and bulimic, Caseys parents ignore her dream of becoming a professional dancer and instead want her to graduate high school, get a good job, and then become a wife and mother. Over the next two months, Caseys illness progresses as she throws herself into dieting and ballet dancing. Her grades in school begin to deteriorate, which draws her parents attention, however. When Gail sees how thin Casey has become, she is horrified, Casey is sent to a doctor who orders her to start eating normally again, threatening to send her to a hospital if she doesnt. Despite the pressure, Casey continues her eating disorder in secret, Frank finds her diet pills and tries to force her to eat, but she refuses. After feeling ignored at a party, Casey lies to her parents about having eaten at the party, Frank doesnt believe her and tries to force feed her a peanut butter sandwich, but Casey bites his hand. Because her parents took away her diet pills and laxatives, Casey attempts to more from the pharmacy the next day, however, she is caught. Her parents bail her out, but she collapses outside of the station and is taken to the hospital. She tries to run away, but collapses in the attempt and is re-captured, in the hospital, Casey befriends fellow patient Carol Link, who is also suffering from anorexia and bulimia. Carol gives Casey advice about how to be kicked out of the hospital, however, Casey later watches Carols death from a pill overdose. Crushed and devastated, she runs away again but collapses for the third time, when she regains consciousness, Casey is angry that shes back in the hospital. When Casey improves, she is allowed to see her family again
2. Bill (1981 film) – Bill is a 1981 American made-for-television biographical drama film starring Mickey Rooney and Dennis Quaid based on the life of Bill Sackter. The film was broadcast on CBS on December 22,1981, a sequel, Bill, On His Own, was released in 1983. Bill is a man with mental retardation in his 60s and he ventures out into the world for the first time after spending most of his life at Grandville, a dreary inner city institution in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since age seven. Bill is taken in by a family and learns what it means to love for the first time in his life
3. The Bunker (1981 film) – The Bunker is a 1981 CBS television film, Time Life production based on the book The Bunker by James P. ODonnell. The film opens in 1945, with ODonnell gaining entry to the Führerbunker by bribing a Soviet sentry with a packet of cigarettes, the actors interpretations of the events differ in ways from the traditional accounts. This became a controversial scene due to a perception in some circles that the resemblance to Jesus Christs legendary foreseeing of Judass betrayal was intentional. These accusations were denied, as were reports regarding a rumoured on-set romance between Piper Laurie and Cliff Gorman. Also, the film shifts the point-of-view character. This includes characters who are not known to have left their experiences on record, for example, Dr. Werner Haase is used in this manner, even though he was never interviewed. Likewise, two scenes are written from the viewpoint of Hitlers cook, Constanze Manziarly, and in one scene, Manziarly actually has a flashback, remembering happier days. However, Manziarly disappeared while escaping from the bunker, so neither ODonnell nor any person was able to interview her or get her viewpoint. In a short scene at the beginning of the film, a younger ODonnell is played by actor James Naughton, ODonnell himself provided brief voice-over narrations at the beginning and end of the film. Anthony Hopkins won an Emmy for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler, actors on the set claimed his performance was so convincing that those playing German soldiers snapped to attention whenever Hopkins came onto the set, even if he wasnt in character. Actors Michael Sheard and Tony Steedman reprised their characters from the 1973 British television film The Death of Adolf Hitler, harman William L. McCaughey Howard S. Wollman Downfall,2004 film The Bunker at the Internet Movie Database
4. Child Bride of Short Creek – Child Bride of Short Creek is a 1981 American made-for-television drama film written by Joyce Eliason, starring Diane Lane, Helen Hunt, Christopher Atkins, and Dee Wallace. The members of the group dress in old-fashioned clothing and spend many hours a day doing domestic and agricultural chores with traditional equipment. The women are trained to serve and be subservient to their husbands and they rarely travel away from the community and are usually kept away from outside influences such as magazines and radio. Jessies father Jay Jacobs has three wives, including Jessies mother Mary, who sees her husband on certain days when he is not with his other wives. State authorities are investigating the group due to its unlawful customs of polygamy. President Kings 19-year-old son Isaac returns home safely from serving in the Korean War, at his homecoming party, he and Jessie become attracted to each other, and over time they fall in love. To his fathers chagrin, Isaac begins to reject the groups lifestyle, Isaac further questions the groups beliefs when his younger sisters accidentally drown because they were not allowed to learn how to swim. Meanwhile, President King has confided to the men of the group that God has told him to take Jessie as his wife, despite Jessies youth, her father Jay accepts this as Gods will. Jessies friend Naomi attempts to run away from Short Creek, planning to go to Las Vegas and she naively accepts a ride from two young men who get her to drink alcohol for the first time and then try to rape her. She is rescued just in time by President King and driven back to Short Creek, President King also tells Jessie of his plan to marry her. A reluctant Jessie goes along with his plan because she wants to please her parents and do the will of God, Jessie and Isaac secretly confess their love for each other and plan to run away together. However, after going a distance they see many armed police preparing to launch a raid on the group. The police arrive and separate the families, sending the women and children to barracks where they will be re-educated in a lifestyle, while the men are sent to jail. Mary, seeing that Isaac and Jessie still love each other, tells her daughter to run, Jessie hugs Mary goodbye, and goes to join Isaac, they drive away together
5. Coward of the County – Coward of the County is a country song written by Roger Bowling and Billy Ed Wheeler, and recorded by American country music singer Kenny Rogers. It was released in November 1979 as the single from the multi-platinum album Kenny. A million-selling gold-certified 45, it is one of Rogers biggest hits, the song is about a mans nephew who is a reputed coward, but finally takes a stand for his lover. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and it also hit #1 on the Cash Box singles chart and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In addition, it hit #1 on the UK Singles chart and it was the most recent traditional country music song to hit number one in the UK, in February 1980. In Ireland, the song was #1 for six consecutive weeks, the song tells the story of a young man named Tommy, who earns a notorious reputation as the coward of the county since he never stood up for himself one single time to prove the county wrong. Tommys non-confrontational attitude was influenced, at age 10, by his visit with his imprisoned father. Despite his cowardly reputation, Tommy falls in love with Becky, One day, while Tommy was working, the three Gatlin brothers came to Beckys house, attacked and took turns at Becky. Tommy returns home and finds Becky crying and her dress torn, reaching above the fireplace and taking down his daddys picture, he faces the dilemma of choosing between upholding his fathers plea of walking away from trouble, or achieving justice for Becky. Tommy chooses to visit the bar where the Gatlin boys are. Amid laughter upon Tommys entrance, and after one of them got up and met him halfway cross the floor, Tommy turns around, however he actually turned to lock the door behind him and trap the Gatlin boys inside with him. Fueled by twenty years of crawlin that was bottled up inside him, Tommy then reflects on his dead fathers plea, addressing him respectfully that while he did his best to avoid trouble, he hopes he understands that sometimes you gotta fight when youre a man. It has been claimed that mention of the Gatlin boys, there was three of them in the song was a reference to The Gatlin Brothers. However, in The Billboard Book of Number One Country Singles, Rogers stated that he did not realize the connection, larry Gatlin also gave the song a positive review. Writer Billy Edd Wheeler denied that the lyric was a reference to the Gatlin Brothers, larry Gatlin said in an interview on the Adam Carolla Show that Roger Bowling had a personal grudge against him although he didnt know why. He told Carolla that when Bowling won song of the year for Lucille, Gatlin told Carolla, He said fuck you Gatlin. I said Let me tell you something, hoss, if we werent in the Grand Ole Opry House dressed up in tuxedos, I would just open a boot shop in your ass. Gatlin said it was a year or two later that his family showed up in Coward of the County
6. Dark Night of the Scarecrow – Dark Night of the Scarecrow is a 1981 American made-for-television suspense horror film directed by veteran novelist Frank De Felitta from a script by J. D. Feigelson. Feigelsons intent had been to make an independent feature, but his script was bought by CBS for television, despite this, in a small town in the Deep South, Charles Eliot Bubba Ritter, a large but gentle mentally challenged man, befriends young Marylee Williams. Some of the townspeople are upset by the closeness between Marylee and Bubba, and the brooding, mean-spirited postman Otis Hazelrigg is the worst, when Marylee is mauled by a vicious dog and lies unconscious at a doctors office, Otis promptly assumes that Bubba has murdered her. Otis and three friends – gas station attendant Skeeter Norris and farmer-cousins Philby and Harliss Hocker – form a lynch mob, Bubbas mother disguises him as a scarecrow and posts him in a nearby field to wait for the drama to cool down. Otis bloodhounds sniff Bubba out, and all four vigilantes empty multiple rounds from their guns, afterwards, they discover that Marylee is in fact alive, thanks to Bubba, whom they have just murdered. Acting fast, Otis places a pitchfork in Bubbas lifeless hands to make it appear as if he were attacking them with a weapon, the vigilantes are subsequently released because of lack of evidence against them when the murder is brought to court. Marylee, who has recovered from the attack, sneaks out of her room at night, Mrs. Ritter cannot bring herself to tell Marylee the truth and instead tells her that Bubba has gone away where no one can hurt him. Marylee runs out of the house to look for Bubba and Mrs. Ritter goes after her. She finds Marylee sitting in the field where Bubba had been killed singing a song of hers and Bubbas. A day later, Harliss finds a scarecrow in his fields like the one Bubba was hidden in, Otis suspects the district attorney of putting it there to rattle the four of them and tells the others to keep calm and do nothing. In the evening, the figure disappears, and Harliss hears activity in his barn and he is investigating up in the loft when a wood chipper below starts of its own accord. Startled, he topples over into the machine and is killed, because the wood chipper had not run out of gasoline after Harliss had been killed but had been switched off, Otis, Philby and Skeeter suspect that Harliss death was not accidental. Otis obliquely accuses Mrs. Ritter of having engineered this supposed accident, she denies involvement, but says that other agencies will punish her sons murderers. At the local churchs Halloween party while playing hide-and-seek with the children, Marylee is confronted by Otis. Instead, she tells him that she knows what he and his friends did to Bubba, Otis chases after her but is stopped by a security guard, who tells him to go back to the party. The scarecrow soon reappears in Philbys field, and that night Otis breaks into Mrs. Ritters house, trying to stop what he sees as the next stage of her plot, he handles her so roughly that she suffers a fatal heart attack. To cover his tracks, Otis starts a gas leak results in an explosion that destroys the house. While everyone else believes the explosion was an accident, the attorney is suspicious
7. Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story – Death of a Centerfold, The Dorothy Stratten Story is a 1981 American made-for-television biographical film directed by Gabrielle Beaumont. It is a dramatization of the life and the murder of Playboy Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten. The movie was aired on NBC on November 1,1981, two years later the same story was developed by director Bob Fosse in his movie Star 80, starring Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts. The New York Times critic John J. OConnor praised the movie, saying, Jamie Lee Curtiss Dorothy is a thoroughly understandable, if not sympathetic figure. People magazine also praised the film, saying, Jamie Lee Curtis is just right as Stratten, Movie critic Leonard Maltin described the film as exploitative. Death of a Centerfold, The Dorothy Stratten Story aired on NBC, when the film was broadcast a second time on NBC in the summer of 1983, it fared better by finishing 4th in the ratings. The movie was first issued on VHS on September 1,1998 and it was later released on January 25,2010 on DVD. Death of a Centerfold, The Dorothy Stratten Story at the Internet Movie Database
8. Family Reunion (film) – Family Reunion is a 1981 four-hour American made-for-television drama film directed by Fielder Cook. The teleplay by Allan Sloane was based on the Good Housekeeping article How America Lives by Joe Sparton and it was produced by Columbia Pictures Television for NBC, which aired it in two parts on October 11 and 12,1981. At its core is feisty matriarch Elizabeth Winfield, a New England teacher recently retired after a fifty-year career and she uses an unlimited bus ticket received as a gift to visit the distant members of her long-estranged family. During her absence, her hometown, which bears her familys name. Bette Davis as Elizabeth Winfield J
9. The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island – The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligans Island is a 1981 made-for-television comedy film. It is the third of three movies that reunited the cast of the 1964–67 sitcom Gilligans Island, the film aired on NBC on May 5,1981. The former castaways own and operate a resort on the formerly-deserted island, called The Castaways. Thurston Howell III has some business in the mainlands and his son Thurston Howell IV came to the island and runs the hotel business, the Castaways heard about the news in Mr Howells private TV. After a brief time struggling in the jungle, they are discovered by Gilligan and Skipper, the Castaways play a fun game against the Globetrotters, and are soundly defeated, with the Globetrotters thinking to themselves this group has little basketball ability. He uses a robot to try to scare them away, by various attempts of sabotage, notable sports broadcasters Chick Hearn and Stu Nahan appear as part of the basketball game scene, with Hearn calling the play-by-play action of the climactic showdown. The Globetrotters have no idea how to defeat a team of robots, at the moment before the game expires, Gilligan makes the winning shot. Pierson then remarks the outcome of the game does not matter, for everyone was watching the game he ordered the supremium removed from the mine. The Professor warns that supremium is a very unstable element outside of its natural surroundings, pierson realizes this too late as the supremium explodes and sinks his yacht, leaving him penniless. As everyone celebrates, Thurston Howell III return from his business trip, bob Denver - Gilligan Alan Hale, Jr. Despite this, a new character of Thurston Howell IV was added due to the health of actor Jim Backus. Schwartz was impressed with Ruprechts performance in maintaining a Howell-like persona, in an effort to keep up continuity, Backus insisted that he felt well enough to make a cameo appearance and he is featured briefly at the end, claiming to have returned from his mainland business. Sherwood Schwartz and Dawn Wells both recalled how emotional it was, on set that day, as Jim filmed his short scene and he was weakened, and very shaky, but he still dominated his character as before. After he finished, he walked over to Dawn, and asked Was I funny, Dawn assured him that he was, although it broke her heart to see how weakened he had become, not to be able to tell. As Jim left the set with his wife, Henny. Jim, also in tears, stopped, and responded to the applause by blowing kisses to everybody, neither of the previous actresses who played Ginger agreed to reprise their role in this film. Bob Denvers wife, Dreama, having appeared on an episode as a cavewoman, appeared as Charlene. This would be the final performance together of Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, like the original sitcom, The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligans Island featured a laugh track
10. Valley of the Dolls – Valley of the Dolls is the first novel by American writer Jacqueline Susann. Published in 1966, the book was the biggest selling novel of its year, to date, it has sold more than 31 million copies, making it one of the best-selling works in publishing history. As life becomes difficult, each woman grows increasingly dependent on dolls, over the course of twenty eventful years, each of the women strives to ascend the Mount Everest of her dreams, only to find herself back in the valley of the dolls. Susann had apparently been thinking about the novel for some time, some years earlier, she had begun a show business novel, Underneath the Pancake, with her friend, actress Beatrice Cole. Later, she considered writing a novel about drug usage in show business to be called The Pink Dolls. Valley of the Dolls is widely considered to be a roman a clef, with its characters based on famous figures as Judy Garland, Carole Landis, Dean Martin. In 1973, after publication of her novel, Susann said. Itll only make my books sell, I dont care, Susann insisted that she began each book with a theme, Then I start asking, what kind of a personality. And because I have an ear, I unconsciously pick up certain people. Susann dedicated the book to her poodle, Josephine, and to her husband, the book was published by Bernard Geis Associates on February 10,1966, and took off like a Cape Canaveral space shot. Although Publishers Weekly, in a review, called the novel big, brilliant and sensational. Gloria Steinem panned the book in The New York Herald Tribune as did the reviewer in The New York Times, time magazine called it the Dirty Book of the Month, and said, it might more accurately be described as a highly effective sedative, a living doll. Despite the poor reviews, the book was a commercial juggernaut, on May 8,1966, in its ninth week on the list, the book reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, where it remained for 28 consecutive weeks. With a total of 65 weeks on the list, the became the best selling novel of 1966. By the time of Susanns death in 1974, it had entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the best selling novel in publishing history, by 2016, the book had sold more than 31 million copies. In 1967 the book was adapted into a film of the name, directed by Mark Robson, and starring Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Paul Burke, Sharon Tate. The movie was written by Helen Deutsch and Dorothy Kingsley, and produced by Robson, reviews were scathing, but the film was an enormous box-office hit, becoming the sixth most popular of the year with $44 million at the domestic box office. Susann, who had a cameo as a reporter, hated the film
11. Kyoufu Densetsu Kaiki! Frankenstein – Frankenstein, is a 1981 Japanese animated television film based on Mary Shelleys novel and the Marvel comic book Monster of Frankenstein. In this 98-minute violent, adult-oriented film, the creature was portrayed as a misunderstood monster, the film was dubbed and released in the U. S in 1984. The dubbed version never had a title but was advertised as both Monster of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Legend of Terror, in 1860, Victor Frankenstein after creating the monster together with his partner Zuckel, the monster attacks the assistant and falls from a cliff. Assuming the monster is dead, Victor returns to his wife Elizabeth, a police inspector named Bellbeau investigates some mysterious mutilations killings, and Victor is blackmailed by his former assistant, who lost an eye in his fight with the monster. Victor grows more and more paranoid, having terrifying nightmares about his creature, the monster survived his fall, and stole clothes and food from the villagers, who he killed in his confusion, including Zuckel. Victors daughter, Emily, spends time with her grandfather, a blind man who warned his son Victor about his experiments. When the monster finds his way to the cabin, he becomes good friends with Emily and the old man, because they can see that he only wants to be loved. Victor wanted to rid himself of all the evidence of his experiments, so he decided to hunt the monster down, from Emily, the monster learns about God. When a fire out in the woods, Emilys mother is killed. When Philip tries to shoot Franken, he is killed by the monster. Emily thinks Franken did it on purpose and shoots his hand and he seeks refuge in a church, where gazes upon the crucifix, and notices that both Christ and himself has a hole though their hands, he breaks into tears, and begs god for forgiveness. Victor believes that his creation killed his wife, he finds him the church, the grandfather tells Emily that it was not Frankens fault that her mother died, and she sets out to find him. At the mountains, Inspector Bellbeau and his police force open fire on the monster, Emily comes to his rescue, and for the first time, Franken speaks her name. Tired of a life he never wanted, the monster commits suicide by throwing himself off of a cliff, Victor, driven mad by all the terror he caused, shoots himself in the chest. Inspector Bellbeau visits Frankens grave, as the red scarf Emily gave the monster blows away in the wind while Emily now lives with her grandfather, list of animated feature-length films Kyoufu Densetsu Kaiki. Frankenstein at the Internet Movie Database
12. No Place to Hide (1981 film) – No Place to Hide is a 1981 made-for-TV psychological thriller directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. The film is based on a story by Harriet Steinberg. After leaving work one evening, a 20-year-old art student named Amy Manning finds out while driving home that the man in black who sneaks up on her repeatedly is in her backseat. Even though he has the opportunity to kill her, he tells her Soon, Amy, soon, the police are no longer willing to help her, and although her stepmother Adele tells her she believes her, she advises her to visit a psychiatrist, Dr. Letterman. To him she admits that her father drowned a year ago during a boating accident and she was supposed to attend him on his trip, but canceled, and has felt guilty ever since. One day, she finds a package in the post with a card that reads Soon, Amy, with Adele, she traces the origin of the package, leading to a florist who claims that she made the order herself. Adele contacts James Lockwood to discuss Amys situation, but she overhears this, there, the mysterious man shows up again and terrifies her, as she tries to escape, until lawyer student David Norland appears. Returning to psychiatrist Letterman, Amy is told that her subconscious is making up the killer and she believes him, and decides to return to the place where her father died - a cabin in the woods - to face her guilt. Originally, Adele accompanies her, but a meeting with James forces her to leave. During this meeting, James tells her that he heard from Letterman that Amy is suicidal, considering that she will receive her fathers estate when she turns 21 in three months, it would leave them penniless. Adele puts up an act as though she cares about Amys well-being. Letterman, meanwhile, has gone to the cabin, and after a struggle, he sedates Amy and puts her on a boat, afterwards, he comforts Adele, who feels somewhat guilty due to her recent bonding with Amy. Shortly later, strange events start to occur to Adele in the mansion, such as locked doors that open. She becomes convinced someone is messing with her, but Letterman convinces her that she is imaginating it all. One night, she is determined that she is hearing Amys cries, until she receives a call from James. The following night, Adele is startled when Amy suddenly appears before her door, around the same time, Letterman arrives, and Adele, thinking his attempts to enter her room are Amys, shoots through the door, killing him. It turns out that Amys death was a set-up from James, David, shortly after Adeles arrest, Amy is happy to celebrate her two months with David. In the final scene, David whispers Soon, Amy, soon, at the end of the movie, Amy wakes up to find out that it was all just a dream. or was it
13. Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars – Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars is a 1981 television film incorporating re-edited footage from the 1967 British Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Created by ITC Entertainments New York City offices, the film is a compilation of the original episodes Shadow of Fear, Lunarville 7, Crater 101 and it complements a previous Captain Scarlet compilation movie, Captain Scarlet vs the Mysterons. The film was received by fans of the original 1960s programme. The film was mocked in November 1988 on Mystery Science Theater 3000. An attempt to survey the Mysterons planet, Mars, with a probe is threatened when a scientist attached to the project is killed and duplicated by the Mysterons. After reporting back to Cloudbase, Scarlet, Blue and Green return to the Moon to remove the source from the Mysteron complex in Crater 101. Entering the city, they try to disable their enemies powers of reconstruction before the complex is destroyed in an atomic explosion. Back on Cloudbase, Dr Kurnitz finds that the crystal pulsator recovered from the Mysteron complex has communicational capabilities, using a special device to broadcast to Spectrums enemies directly, Colonel White requests an end to hostilities between Earth and Mars. This film has received two video releases, the first by Channel 5 in the 1980s, the second by PolyGram in 1992. Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars at the Internet Movie Database