Cinema: Best of 1981: Cinema

Body Heat. Dark and supple and unpredictable, like the femme fatale at its core, Body Heat establishes Lawrence Kasdan as an awesomely assured writerdirector, and William Hurt as America's hunkiest loser.

Chariots of Fire. The year's handsomest period piece is about athletes running for Olympic gold—and to save their souls. Writer Colin Welland and Director Hugh Hudson manage to inspire without being cloying, and mark an honorable return to the British tradition of quality.

Cutter's Way. (Original title: Cutter and Bone.) A murder mystery set on the downslope of the California dream, flavorsomely written by...

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