The 100 Best Films Of The 1970'sby ecmblume | created - 28 Dec 2010 | updated - 05 Jan 2011 | Public
The best decade for films. End of story. Some are undisputed masterpieces. Some are excellent. Some aren't. Some are ripe for rediscovery. And maybe some you just haven't seen. Either way, this is The 100 Best Films Of The 1970's. Enjoy and feel free to comment. (And also let me know if I overlooked any good ones). As usual, they are NOT ranked in order.
- Instant Watch Options
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- On TV
- Release Year
1. Taxi Driver (1976)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.
Votes: 580,020 | Gross: $28.26M
3. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)
PG | 112 min | Drama, Romance
A recently widowed woman is on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer.
Votes: 17,286 | Gross: $17.60M
4. Five Easy Pieces (1970)
R | 98 min | Drama
A dropout from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest.
7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
R | 133 min | Drama
A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.
Votes: 764,166 | Gross: $112.00M
9. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
R | 202 min | Crime, Drama
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.
Votes: 904,907 | Gross: $57.30M
10. The Conversation (1974)
PG | 113 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple, on whom he is spying, will be murdered.
Votes: 82,054 | Gross: $4.42M
11. Apocalypse Now (1979)
R | 147 min | Drama, War
During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.
Votes: 504,119 | Gross: $83.47M
13. French Connection II (1975)
R | 119 min | Action, Crime, Drama
"Popeye" Doyle travels to Marseille to find Alain Charnier, the drug smuggler who eluded him in New York.
Votes: 14,171 | Gross: $12.48M
15. Jaws (1975)
PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.
Votes: 468,413 | Gross: $260.00M
16. The Wicker Man (1973)
R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.
Votes: 54,091 | Gross: $0.06M
18. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.
19. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.
Votes: 1,036,033 | Gross: $322.74M
22. The Deer Hunter (1978)
R | 183 min | Drama, War
An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.
Votes: 261,396 | Gross: $48.98M
24. Straight Time (1978)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama
Fresh off his most recent prison term, an ex con assaults his former probation officer and goes on the run.
Votes: 6,255 | Gross: $9.90M
25. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
PG | 105 min | Drama
Ted Kramer's wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.
Votes: 109,272 | Gross: $106.26M
26. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
PG | 138 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
After an accidental encounter with otherworldly vessels, an ordinary man follows a series of psychic clues to the first scheduled meeting between representatives of Earth and visitors from the cosmos.
Votes: 156,258 | Gross: $132.09M
27. American Graffiti (1973)
PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama
A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.
Votes: 69,891 | Gross: $115.00M
28. Animal House (1978)
R | 109 min | Comedy
At a 1962 college, Dean Vernon Wormer is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but those troublemakers have other plans for him.
Votes: 98,317 | Gross: $141.60M
29. High Plains Drifter (1973)
R | 105 min | Mystery, Western
A gunfighting stranger comes to the small settlement of Lago and is hired to bring the townsfolk together in an attempt to hold off three outlaws who are on their way.
Votes: 41,429 | Gross: $15.70M
30. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
PG | 135 min | Western
A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.
Votes: 55,786 | Gross: $31.80M
31. Play Misty for Me (1971)
R | 102 min | Thriller
A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.
Votes: 21,318 | Gross: $10.60M
32. Dirty Harry (1971)
R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.
34. Carrie (1976)
R | 98 min | Horror
Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.
Votes: 140,276 | Gross: $33.80M
35. Little Big Man (1970)
PG-13 | 139 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Native Americans and fighting with General Custer.
Votes: 29,016 | Gross: $31.56M
36. Three Days of the Condor (1975)
R | 117 min | Mystery, Thriller
A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.
Votes: 39,335 | Gross: $41.51M
37. The Last Picture Show (1971)
R | 118 min | Drama
In 1951, a group of high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both culturally and economically.
Votes: 34,926 | Gross: $29.13M
38. Black Sunday (1977)
R | 143 min | Action, Thriller
Black Sunday is the powerful story of a Black September terrorist group attempting to blow up a Goodyear blimp hovering over the Super Bowl stadium with 80,000 people and the president of the United States in attendance.
Votes: 5,700 | Gross: $15.77M
39. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
R | 118 min | Drama, Music
A Brooklyn teenager feels his only chance to succeed is as the king of the disco floor. His carefree youth and weekend dancing help him to forget the reality of his bleak life.
Votes: 59,954 | Gross: $94.21M
40. The Bad News Bears (1976)
PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league.
Votes: 17,665 | Gross: $42.35M
41. Rocky (1976)
PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport
Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.
Votes: 431,400 | Gross: $117.24M
43. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
R | 83 min | Horror
Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.
Votes: 110,791 | Gross: $30.86M
44. Halloween (1978)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.
Votes: 178,583 | Gross: $47.00M
45. Marathon Man (1976)
R | 125 min | Crime, Thriller
A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.
Votes: 49,287 | Gross: $21.71M
46. Papillon (1973)
R | 151 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.
Votes: 104,670 | Gross: $53.27M
47. Serpico (1973)
R | 130 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.
Votes: 89,809 | Gross: $29.80M
51. Nashville (1975)
R | 160 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.
Votes: 19,616 | Gross: $9.98M
52. All the President's Men (1976)
PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History
Votes: 84,144 | Gross: $70.60M
53. All That Jazz (1979)
R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.
Votes: 21,918 | Gross: $37.82M
54. Deliverance (1972)
R | 109 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.
58. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
R | 120 min | Drama, Western
A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.
59. Blue Collar (1978)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama
Three workers, Zeke (Richard Pryor), Jerry (Harvey Keitel), and Smokey (Yaphet Kotto), are working at a car plant and drinking their beers together. One night, when they steal away from ... See full summary »
60. Last Tango in Paris (1972)
NC-17 | 129 min | Drama, Romance
A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.
Votes: 41,272 | Gross: $36.14M
61. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western
Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.
64. Silver Streak (1976)
PG | 114 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
On a long-distance train trip, a man finds romance but also finds himself in danger of being killed, or at least pushed off the train.
65. Paper Moon (1973)
PG | 102 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.
Votes: 29,167 | Gross: $30.93M
66. Being There (1979)
PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama
A simple, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.
Votes: 56,871 | Gross: $30.18M
69. Manhattan (1979)
R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.
Votes: 115,516 | Gross: $45.70M
70. Superman (1978)
PG | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.
Votes: 138,958 | Gross: $134.22M
72. Don't Look Now (1973)
R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.
73. An Unmarried Woman (1978)
R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A wealthy woman from Manhattan's Upper East Side struggles to deal with her new identity and her sexuality after her husband of 16 years leaves her for a younger woman.
Votes: 3,796 | Gross: $24.00M
74. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
R | 135 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A proud strip club owner is forced to come to terms with himself as a man, when his gambling addiction gets him in hot water with the mob, who offer him only one alternative.
76. Stay Hungry (1976)
R | 102 min | Drama, Comedy
A syndicate wants to buy a whole district to rebuild it. They've bought every house except the small gym "Olympic", where Mr. Austria Joe Santo prepares for the Mr. Universum championships ... See full summary »
78. Phantasm (1979)
R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him.
Votes: 26,125 | Gross: $11.99M
81. Piranha (1978)
R | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.
Votes: 15,627 | Gross: $6.00M
82. Silent Running (1972)
G | 89 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.
83. Lenny (1974)
R | 111 min | Biography, Drama
The story of acerbic 1960s comic Lenny Bruce, whose groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style and social commentary was often deemed by the Establishment as too obscene for the public.
85. The Main Event (1979)
PG | 112 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport
A bankrupt entrepreneur attempts to recoup some of her losses by getting a washed-out boxer she picked up as a tax loss back into the ring - an idea her protégé isn't fond of.
Votes: 2,135 | Gross: $42.80M
86. The Parallax View (1974)
R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller
An ambitious reporter gets in way-over-his-head trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the world's headlines.
87. Every Which Way But Loose (1978)
PG | 114 min | Action, Comedy
The San Fernando Valley adventures of trucker turned prize-fighter Philo Beddoe and his pet orangutan Clyde.
Votes: 19,318 | Gross: $106.00M
89. Professione: reporter (1975)
PG-13 | 126 min | Drama, Thriller
A frustrated war correspondent, unable to find the war he's been asked to cover, takes the risky path of co-opting the I.D. of a dead arms dealer acquaintance.
Votes: 16,870 | Gross: $0.62M
90. Sleuth (1972)
PG | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller
A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.
91. Sisters (1972)
R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A journalist witnesses a brutal murder in a neighboring apartment, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.
95. Night Moves (1975)
R | 100 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Los Angeles private detective Harry Moseby is hired by a client to find her runaway teenage daughter and he stumbles upon a case of murder and artifact smuggling.
96. Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)
PG | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
In rural Arizona, countless killer tarantulas are migrating through a farm town, killing every living thing in their path. The town's veterinarian will do everything in his power to survive the onslaught.
Votes: 3,721 | Gross: $17.00M
97. Earthquake (1974)
PG | 123 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.
Votes: 11,593 | Gross: $79.70M
98. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
PG | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.
Votes: 35,619 | Gross: $84.56M
99. Airport (1970)
G | 137 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.
Votes: 14,648 | Gross: $100.49M
100. The Towering Inferno (1974)
PG | 165 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
At the opening party of a colossal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it.
Votes: 33,260 | Gross: $116.00M