Top 20 Movies Of 1981 (Nos. 11-15)

For this week's Ranked!, we compiled the twenty greatest movies from 1981. Tell us what you think when you get down to #1. And let us know if you would've ordered them differently.

Here are numbers 11-15:

15. For Your Eyes Only

There is absolutely nothing negative you can say about a movie poster that involves ass cheeks and a crossbow, just as there is nothing derogatory you can say about this 007 flick. After suffering through the oddly out-of-place Moonraker in my Bond-watching youth, I felt like For Your Eyes Only was a true return to form. My mother was a certifiable Bond fanatic, having read all the books as a kid and seeing every single one of the films. As I got a little older, I was allowed to come along to watch James globe trot for MI6 and save the world with style. In this installment there is a sunken boat, a Royal Navy situation, a race against the Russians and a formidable femme fatale. Plus it's got one of the best winter chase scenes in Bond history.--Dufmanno

14. The Great Muppet Caper

I've always thought The Great Muppet Caper was the best one.

I know that we won't all agree on this. The first movie is sort of the gold standard, for its heartfelt sweetness alone. I get that. But while The Muppet Movie told the origin story of our favorite characters, Caper took our beloved heroes and gave them a supercool story. It dropped them into England (literally – they're thrown out of a plane mid-flight at the start of the film) and put them at the center of a jewelry theft plotline. It took stars like Charles Grodin and Diana Rigg, and placed them next to Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie. Gimmicky, you say? Instant cinematic chemistry, I say. It was fun, and it was action-packed, in a lovable, doofy sort of way. And when my daughter watched it for the first time last Fall, she was enchanted by the mystery, the humor, and the songs.

It's not everyone's favorite muppet movie. But thirty years after its original theatrical release, it's still mine.--Didactic Pirate

13. Excalibur

The movie poster for this movie fascinated me, as it reminded me of a fantasy version of Star Wars. The film is a pretty accurate adaptation of Le Morte d'Arthur: the story of King Arthur, his powerful sword Excalibur, Knights of the Round Table, and betrayal by Queen Guinevere and his best man Lancelot. Liam Neeson was in the movie as Gawain, and I totally forgot about him being in the film. What I love most about Excalibur is that it stayed pretty darn true to its inspiration, and sorcery and magic play an important part in the story. Nicol Williamson, who plays Merlin, steals the show. He is perfectly cast to play the enigmatic mage. The movie focuses on the central theme of righteousness and reconciliation. It also poo-poos on incest. And rightfully so.--Jay

12. History Of The World, Part I

Everything I learned about the Inquisition, I learned from Mel Brooks... in one lavish, over the top, hilarious musical number. I also learned about the ten commandments, the dawn of man, and that "it's good to be the king." Mel Brooks's History Of The World, Part I was tailor made for the sophomoric tastes of my friends and me. It's filled with puns, gags, fart jokes, and other schtick that endeared me to Mel Brooks forever. Blazing Saddles might be smarter and Young Frankenstein might be better made, but I haven't been walking around quoting those movies since I've been 10.--Daddy Geek Boy

11. The Evil Dead

Few things in life are more terrifying than sitting in a dark basement and having your first encounter with The Evil Dead. It's a moment you won't be able to replicate as you nearly choked on your Orville Redenbacher after viewing what is perhaps the most vile and shocking scene in carnal foliage violence in the history of film. Don't ever trust the trees and vines around your house. Period. Yes, this group of fun loving kids from Michigan State just wanted a quiet weekend in a cabin in the Tennessee forest but they got way more than they bargained for when they started screwing around with that zany Book Of The Dead. If this modern horror masterpiece had never existed, the template for the thousands of pale imitators that tried to capture its magic would have been following a far different path. It was unapologetically gruesome and terrifyingly creepy with a cast that made you thank your lucky stars you weren't stranded there with them. Bruce Campbell's Ash remains one of my all-time favorite horror movie protagonists with his "get it done" no-nonsense approach to survival and his batshit crazy eyes. Hey, you'd be a little off kilter too if this happened to you.--Dufmanno

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