Annal: 1981 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama

Results of the Golden Globe Award in the year 1981.

Film:Ordinary People

Ordinary People

Robert Redford

Robert Redford made his Oscar-winning directorial debut with this highly acclaimed, poignantly observant drama (based on the novel by Judith Guest) about a well-to-do family’s painful adjustment to tragedy. Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland play a seemingly happy couple who lose the older of their two sons to a boating accident; Timothy Hutton plays the surviving teenage son, who blames himself for his brother’s death and has attempted suicide to end his pain. They live in a meticulously kept home in an affluent Chicago suburb, never allowing themselves to…

Film:The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man

David Lynch

You could only see his eyes behind the layers of makeup, but those expressive orbs earned John Hurt a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his moving portrayal of John Merrick, the grotesquely deformed Victorian-era man better known as The Elephant Man. Inarticulate and abused, Merrick is the virtual slave of a carnival barker (Freddie Jones) until dedicated London doctor Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins in a powerfully understated performance) rescues him from the life and offers him an existence with dignity. Anne Bancroft costars as the actress whose visit to…

Film:The Ninth Configuration

The Ninth Configuration

William Peter Blatty

The lunatics are running the asylum…but are they really lunatics? Is Colonel Kane (Stacy Keach) really a noted psychiatrist, assigned to supervise patients in an experimental government clinic, or is he really “Killer” Kane, a decorated U.S. Marine who committed atrocities in Vietnam before going insane? And why did Captain Cutshaw (Scott Wilson) go berserk just seconds before a scheduled rocket launch? These are just some of the puzzles that will eventually be solved in The Ninth Configuration, a giddy and often brilliant drama created by William Peter…

Film:Raging Bull

Raging Bull

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s brutal black-and-white biography of self-destructive boxer Jake LaMotta was chosen as the best film of the 1980s in a major critics’ poll at the end of the decade, and it’s a knockout piece of filmmaking. Robert De Niro plays LaMotta (famously putting on 50 pounds for the later scenes), a man tormented by demons he doesn’t understand and prone to uncontrollably violent temper tantrums and fits of irrational jealousy. He marries a striking young blond (Cathy Moriarty), his sexual ideal, and then terrorizes her with never-ending accusations of…

Film:The Stunt Man

The Stunt Man

Richard Rush

The “lost” sleeper hit of 1980 has since become one of the most revered cult movies of all time, largely due to its bawdy, irreverent story about the art and artifice of filmmaking and an outrageously clever performance by Peter O’Toole. As megalomaniacal film director Eli Cross, O’Toole plays a larger-than-life figure whose ability to manipulate reality is like a power-trip narcotic. The focus of his latest mind game is a fugitive (Steve Railsback) recruited to replace a stuntman killed during a recent on-set accident. In return for protective sanctuary, the…

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