Annal: 1981 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Results of the Golden Globe Award in the year 1981.

Film:Coal Miner's Daughter

Coal Miner's Daughter

Michael Apted

Sissy Spacek won a much-deserved Oscar for her lead in this entertaining biography of country-music legend Loretta Lynn. British director Michael Apted (Gorillas in the Mist) brings fine texture to the Kentucky backwoods section of the film, where the teenage Loretta meets her future husband (Tommy Lee Jones), who ultimately pushes her into show business. Lynn’s adult life is well covered, from her spouse’s philandering to her own on-stage crackups; but between the chapter-and-verse recollections, the script by Thomas Rickman is layered with life and…



Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker, David Zucker

The quintessential movie spoof that spawned an entire genre of parody films, the original Airplane! still holds up as one of the brightest comedic gems of the ‘80s, not to mention of cinema itself (it ranked in the top 5 of Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 100 funniest movies ever made). The humor may be low and obvious at times, but the jokes keep coming at a rapid-fire clip and its targets—primarily the lesser lights of ‘70s cinema, from disco films to star-studded disaster epics—are more than worthy for send-up. If you’ve seen even one of the…



Alan Parker

Fame helped to launch the 1980s on a tide of aspiration, creating a successful television series, kick-starting the leg-warmer industry and inspiring us all with the idea that with talent, a lot of hard work, plenty of suffering and luck, anybody might, one day, become a star. Nostalgia inevitably endows Fame with its own golden glow for anyone in the region of 40. And as we drown in the karaoke-by-numbers of today’s cynical television talent shows, its touchingly innocent quality makes for a poignant and telling contrast.

In truth, director…

Film:The Idolmaker

The Idolmaker

Taylor Hackford

The same year Neil Diamond made a ballyhooed (through lackluster) remake of The Jazz Singer, first-time director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman) created a musical biography packed with energy, verve, and style. Golden Globe winner Ray Sharkey is Vincent Vacarri, a tough, charismatic music fan who turns producer, creating stars in the halcyon days of rock and roll. Loosely based on the life of Bob Marucci, who created the Fabian and Frankie Avalon juggernauts, the story is part character study, part musical. The outstanding concert…

Film:Melvin and Howard

Melvin and Howard

Jonathan Demme

Jonathan Demme would later become one of America’s premiere directors, with an Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs and numerous nominations to his credit, but it was this sublime 1980 comedy that put him on the Hollywood map. Esteemed critic Pauline Kael called it “an almost flawless act of sympathetic imagination,” referring to the movie’s semifictional treatment of the true story of Melvin Dummar (played to perfection by Paul LeMat), an average guy whose life was turned upside down when he was made beneficiary of a $156 million will allegedly signed by…

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