The Most Essential 70s Movie Songs

by egmeinder | created - 30 Apr 2013 | updated - 30 Apr 2013 | Public
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1. Shaft (1971)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter.

Director: Gordon Parks | Stars: Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi, Christopher St. John

Votes: 13,295

2. Saturday Night Fever (1977)

R | 118 min | Drama, Music

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
77 Metascore

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.

Director: John Badham | Stars: John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller, Joseph Cali

Votes: 59,540 | Gross: $94.21M

3. The Way We Were (1973)

PG | 118 min | Drama, Romance

7.1
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Two desperate people have a wonderful romance, but their political views and convictions drive them apart.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles

Votes: 18,293

4. You Light Up My Life (1977)

PG | 90 min | Drama, Romance

4.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Laurie has been in show business since she was a child. Her dream is to be a singer, songwriter and actress. Her father wants her to be a comedian like him and Laurie only tries because it ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Brooks | Stars: Didi Conn, Joe Silver, Michael Zaslow, Stephen Nathan

Votes: 502

5. Super Fly (1972)

R | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.5
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The daily routine of cocaine dealer Priest who wants to score one more super deal and retire.

Director: Gordon Parks Jr. | Stars: Ron O'Neal, Carl Lee, Sheila Frazier, Julius Harris

Votes: 4,900

6. Thank God It's Friday (1978)

PG | 89 min | Comedy, Music

5.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

It's Friday and everyone is going to the hot new disco. The Commodores are scheduled to play if Floyd shows up with the instruments and Nicole dreams of becoming a disco star. Other ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Klane | Stars: Donna Summer, Valerie Landsburg, Terri Nunn, Chick Vennera

Votes: 1,757 | Gross: $7.30M

7. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.1
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55 Metascore

James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads, with the help of a K.G.B. Agent, whose lover he killed.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curd Jürgens, Richard Kiel

Votes: 83,612 | Gross: $46.80M

8. Cabaret (1972)

PG | 124 min | Drama, Musical

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
80 Metascore

A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them.

Director: Bob Fosse | Stars: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey

Votes: 40,179 | Gross: $42.77M

9. Blazing Saddles (1974)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Western

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
73 Metascore

In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman

Votes: 107,160 | Gross: $119.50M

10. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

G | 181 min | Drama, Family, Musical

8.0
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In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon

Votes: 32,481 | Gross: $80.50M

11. Same Time, Next Year (1978)

PG | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.2
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A man and woman meet by chance at a romantic inn over dinner. Although both are married to others, they find themselves in the same bed the next morning questioning how this could have ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Alan Alda, Ellen Burstyn, Ivan Bonar, Bernie Kuby

Votes: 4,835 | Gross: $19.70M

12. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western

7.4
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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.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel, Katy Jurado

Votes: 14,939

13. Ben (1972)

PG | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

5.3
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A lonely boy befriends Ben, the leader of a violent pack of killer rats.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: Lee Montgomery, Joseph Campanella, Arthur O'Connell, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 1,856

14. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

7.4
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58 Metascore

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 114,532 | Gross: $139.88M

15. Tommy (1975)

PG | 111 min | Drama, Musical

6.6
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A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Elton John

Votes: 16,656 | Gross: $34.25M

16. The Muppet Movie (1979)

G | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

7.6
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74 Metascore

Kermit and his newfound friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog legs merchant is after Kermit.

Director: James Frawley | Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt

Votes: 27,582 | Gross: $76.66M

17. Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)

R | 104 min | Comedy

6.8
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Mike Vecchio and Susan Henderson are preparing for their upcoming wedding. However, they seem to be the only two people at the wedding that are happy. Mike's brother Richie and his wife ... See full summary »

Director: Cy Howard | Stars: Gig Young, Bea Arthur, Bonnie Bedelia, Michael Brandon

Votes: 931

18. Harold and Maude (1971)

GP | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack

Votes: 61,544

19. Nashville (1975)

R | 160 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Shelley Duvall

Votes: 19,491 | Gross: $9.98M

20. Let's Do It Again (1975)

PG | 110 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.9
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Two Atlanta men raise funds for their charity by rigging boxing matches in New Orleans but their tricks attract the mob's attention.

Director: Sidney Poitier | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Calvin Lockhart, John Amos

Votes: 1,359

21. MASH (1970)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
79 Metascore

The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and high jinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman

Votes: 59,961 | Gross: $81.60M

22. The Omen (1976)

R | 111 min | Horror

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
62 Metascore

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens, David Warner

Votes: 90,198 | Gross: $4.27M

23. Live and Let Die (1973)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
55 Metascore

007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour, Clifton James

Votes: 81,918 | Gross: $35.38M

24. Mahogany (1975)

PG | 109 min | Drama, Romance

6.1
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Tracy, an aspiring designer from the slums of Chicago puts herself through fashion school in the hopes of becoming one of the world's top designers. Her ambition leads her to Rome spurring ... See full summary »

Directors: Berry Gordy, Tony Richardson, Jack Wormser | Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Perkins, Jean-Pierre Aumont

Votes: 1,413 | Gross: $5.00M

25. That's the Way of the World (1975)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Music

6.3
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Record executives want a highly-regarded record producer to focus on a white pop act whom they feel has the sound America wants. To keep his creative integrity, Buckmaster carefully begins to fight the system that has made him the respected producer he has become.

Director: Sig Shore | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Ed Nelson, Cynthia Bostick, Bert Parks

Votes: 149

26. The Sting (1973)

PG | 129 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
80 Metascore

Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning

Votes: 197,689 | Gross: $159.60M

27. Superman (1978)

PG | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
86 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando

Votes: 138,320 | Gross: $134.22M

28. Animal House (1978)

R | 109 min | Comedy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
79 Metascore

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.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst

Votes: 97,548 | Gross: $141.60M

29. A Star Is Born (1976)

R | 139 min | Drama, Music, Romance

6.4
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A has-been rock star falls in love with a young, up-and-coming songstress.

Director: Frank Pierson | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Busey, Oliver Clark

Votes: 5,665 | Gross: $80.00M

30. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
82 Metascore

When a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 309,393 | Gross: $232.91M

31. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

PG | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.1
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A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons

Votes: 35,451 | Gross: $84.56M

32. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Votes: 146,205 | Gross: $4.00M

33. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
81 Metascore

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.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 259,721 | Gross: $48.98M

34. Ice Castles (1978)

PG | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young girl is on top of the world until a tragic accident dashes her hopes and dreams of becoming a world-class figure skater. Only with the help of those who love her can she prove to ... See full summary »

Director: Donald Wrye | Stars: Lynn-Holly Johnson, Robby Benson, Colleen Dewhurst, Tom Skerritt

Votes: 2,614

35. The Goodbye Girl (1977)

PG | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being dumped by her live-in boyfriend, an unemployed dancer and her 10-year-old daughter are reluctantly forced to live with a struggling off-Broadway actor.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, Paul Benedict

Votes: 10,286 | Gross: $102.00M

36. Grease (1978)

PG-13 | 110 min | Musical, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
70 Metascore

Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway

Votes: 189,382 | Gross: $188.76M

37. Car Wash (1976)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This movie is about a close-knit group of employees who one day have all manner of strange visitors coming onto their forecourt, including Richard Pryor as a preaching "wonder-man" who is ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Schultz | Stars: Richard Pryor, Franklyn Ajaye, Darrow Igus, Otis Day

Votes: 5,272

38. New York, New York (1977)

PG | 155 min | Drama, Music, Musical

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An egotistical saxophonist and a young singer meet on V-J Day and embark upon a strained and rocky romance, even as their careers begin a long, up-hill climb.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Lionel Stander, Barry Primus

Votes: 15,050 | Gross: $13.80M

39. The Rose (1979)

R | 125 min | Drama, Music, Romance

7.0
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67 Metascore

The tragic life of a self-destructive female rock star who struggles to deal with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of her ruthless business manager.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: Bette Midler, Alan Bates, Frederic Forrest, Harry Dean Stanton

Votes: 6,771 | Gross: $29.20M

40. The Towering Inferno (1974)

PG | 165 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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.

Director: John Guillermin | Stars: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway

Votes: 33,080 | Gross: $116.00M

41. American Graffiti (1973)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
97 Metascore

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 69,509 | Gross: $115.00M

42. Norma Rae (1979)

PG | 114 min | Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
61 Metascore

A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Ron Leibman, Pat Hingle

Votes: 8,543 | Gross: $22.23M

43. The Harder They Come (1972)

R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Music

7.0
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Wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers.

Director: Perry Henzell | Stars: Jimmy Cliff, Janet Bartley, Carl Bradshaw, Ras Daniel Hartman

Votes: 4,564

44. Rocky (1976)

PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
69 Metascore

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.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers

Votes: 428,106 | Gross: $117.24M

45. Life of Brian (1979)

R | 94 min | Comedy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
75 Metascore

Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director: Terry Jones | Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam

Votes: 302,380 | Gross: $20.05M