My Favorite Films 1970-1979

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1.
The Godfather (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (175 mins.)
“ This is a damn near perfect film - the performances, the script, the editing, the lighting - my God, the lighting!

I thought it paced a little too slowly when I watched it for the first time in the late teens. Now I think I'd say the only flaw is that it isn't longer. ” - rfischer9100
 
2.
Chinatown (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder. (130 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ The institutional rot so common in noir films spreads to utilities! Powerful capitalists fathered LA by manipulating the environment, then they take advantage of it.

Stylish and compelling - a mystery that is super-complex but full of clues that actually fit together. I remembered being a bit more interested in Jake in previous viewings - this time I was very focused on how much he''s surrendered before this film even starts. ” - rfischer9100
 
3.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
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. (121 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
“ Have you heard of this? It's pretty good. ” - rfischer9100
 
4.
The Long Goodbye (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Detective Philip Marlowe tries to help a friend who is accused of murdering his wife. (112 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ Marlowe's cool detachment masking existential angst...in a fantastic distillation of '70s LA. ” - rfischer9100
 
5.
Manhattan (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (96 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
6.
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family. (135 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ An outlaw builds a multi-ethnic surrogate family. Occasionally the book's neo-Confederate roots show through in some Civil War ahistorical bs, but for the most part this is a revisionist western with a positive and sensitive portrayal of the West’s diversity (the movie doesn’t get going until Chief Dan George shows up) and nice subversion of tropes (settlers negotiate with Comanche then fight off white raiders). Great stuff – looks good too; Eastwood’s visual style has mature immensely (and become less dated) in the couple of years since High Plains. ” - rfischer9100
 
7.
The French Connection (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. (104 mins.)
“ One of the most successful integrations of the narrative looseness and verite touches of '70s New Hollywood with a really thrilling and compelling narrative. ” - rfischer9100
 
8.
All the President's Men (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation. (138 mins.)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
“ A super-sharp portrait of two guys working their ass off at a job that ended up making history. The mysteries and problem-solving constantly propel the story forward.

I do worry about how the film will age, as it does assume some basic knowledge of 1972 politics. ” - rfischer9100
 
9.
The Conversation (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered. (113 mins.)
“ A very immersive film about privacy, professionalism, obsession, and guilt. Coppola seamlessly blends taut thriller storytelling with eerie dreamlike sequences, and, of course, the film plays with sound mixing brilliantly. ” - rfischer9100
 
10.
The Passenger (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (126 mins.)
“ Antonioni's reworking a lot of his pet themes, but the dynamic camerawork, subtle performances, and landscape work together especially well here, and a postcolonial conflict gives the geopolitical ideas more weight than usual. ” - rfischer9100
 
11.
Taxi Driver (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, while attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process. (113 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Every decision Scorcese and DeNiro make seems to the perfect choice. Unsettling and sometimes hard to watch, and it has a lot to say about reactions to crime in NYC (great to watch after Death Wish). ” - rfischer9100
 
12.
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate. (202 mins.)
“ Well, I've got to put myself in the "Part I" is better camp - the elegance of Michael's arc in that film is hard to beat, but Part II is fantastic as well. De Niro's sections are so compelling, it's easy to see why this film has so many devotees. And, it's gorgeous just like its predecessor. ” - rfischer9100
 
13.
Alien (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life-form, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ Starts out with stunning designs and fascinating mystery, segues into a tenser and tenser horror flick. Rare working class sf. ” - rfischer9100
 
14.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles. (91 mins.)
“ I hadn't seen this is 10-15 years, and I was worried that it wouldn't age well. I got even more worried as the opening credit jokes bored me...but I needn't have been concerned. It's still hilarious.

It helps the comedy immensely that the production design and Gilliam's direction show the potential to make a very solid straight King Arthur tale, but instead they've made something for silly. ” - rfischer9100
 
15.
Annie Hall (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall. (93 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ It is an unfortunate fact about Woody Allen that the sex politics of his greatest works can be so bad; I mean, he's already problematic-enough, and divorcing the work from the artist doesn't always help in his case. The thing that saves Annie Hall, despite it's narrative of Allen's character so thoroughly elevating this manic pixie-rube dreamgirl, is that it is so thoroughly and self-consciously his perspective. Alvy is something of an unreliable narrator. Okay, nah, what saves it is Keaton's performance - her Annie is always great and nuanced, even if the script is saying something else about Alvy's role in her life. There is a ton of depth and humanity and emotional truth here too. ” - rfischer9100
 
16.
Days of Heaven (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune. (94 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
 
17.
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to. (100 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
18.
Walkabout (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Two young siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe. (100 mins.)
Director: Nicolas Roeg
“ Exploring death and sexuality in the Australian Outback. A very young (maybe too young, considering a lot of what she's asked to do here) Jenny Agutter gives a strong performance, and Nicholas Roeg provides stunning visuals. There's also some interesting editing. ” - rfischer9100
 
19.
The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein, a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world. (97 mins.)
Director: Víctor Erice
“ A look at death through the eyes of the child in fascist Spain that captures all the mystery that comes from that perspective. Sweet, funny, sad, and very beautiful. ” - rfischer9100
 
20.
Badlands (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands. (94 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ Pretty conventional compared to what Malick would go on to do, but still very beautifully shot and inventive. It took a while for me to connect with Spacek's voice-over, but I came to think that it really worked. ” - rfischer9100
 
21.
Alice in the Cities (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A German journalist is saddled with a nine-year-old girl after encountering her mother at a New York airport. (110 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ A dreamy road movie about modern landscapes and rootedness. ” - rfischer9100
 
22.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado. (95 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
“ Contrarianism alert: I don't think I'm a Kinski fan, though he has the film virtue of truly looking the part of a maniac.

Kinsky aside, this is a great-looking film that wonderfully combines epic history with the small intimacy that marks so many films of the era. Captures the cruelty and madness of the conquest of the New World. ” - rfischer9100
 
23.
Patton (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton. (172 mins.)
“ George C. Scott gives one of the greatest performances in film history, and the film manages the tricky feat of making Patton likable and admirable without glossing over his significant faults. A little too long. ” - rfischer9100
 
24.
Life of Brian (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah. (94 mins.)
Director: Terry Jones
“ Hilarious from start to finish and with more pointed satire than Python usually provides. ” - rfischer9100
 
25.
Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians, and proves to be a match for their warriors in one-on-one combat on the early frontier. (108 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
“ Stark and bleak but grounded by a great performance. The film has beautiful landscapes, quirky characters, and nice use of silence. I’m pretty fond of it, despite the fact that it goes on an Indian killing spree in the last act. The score is a little too jaunty as well. ” - rfischer9100
 
26.
The Conformist (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident. (113 mins.)
“ Gorgeous in a way that makes it highly immersive and compelling. Interesting gender and sexuality dynamics. ” - rfischer9100
 
27.
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great. (129 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ A well-acted and exciting adventure story harmed a bit by orientalism. ” - rfischer9100
 
28.
Don't Look Now (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
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. (110 mins.)
Director: Nicolas Roeg
“ A very creepy and atmospheric film about grief that looks great.

The central metaphor is so on the nose that it zooms right past heavy-handed and does a 360 back to rich and significant. ” - rfischer9100
 
29.
Network (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit. (121 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ A fascinating blend of over-the-top and cutting satire that doesn't always work but is incredible when it does. Some of the best-written rants in cinema history and lots of great performances. ” - rfischer9100
 
30.
Night Moves (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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. (100 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ There are a lot of parallels with The Long Goodbye - it's as much about LA and the detective's personal life and alienation as it is the mystery - though this is not quite as dark. Anyway, I loved The Long Goodbye, and I love Gene Hackman, so it's not surprising that I loved this too. ” - rfischer9100
 
31.
California Split (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but... (108 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ There's something damn cinematic about cards and dice and chips on green felt, and Altman milks it really well here. Gould and Segal have tons of charm, and the film really captures something about quickly-formed friendships, the communal experience of gambling, and the addictive experience of gambling. Plus, there's a take on anomie here that's up there with Antonioni's best. ” - rfischer9100
 
32.
The Mirror (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation. (107 mins.)
“ I enjoy abstraction best when it feels like a puzzle that can be solved (even if it can't). Tarkovsky nails that feeling here, and he does it in one of the most beautiful-looking films I can think of. ” - rfischer9100
 
33.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus. (125 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ The first hour is taut and thrilling and funny and full of social commentary...the second half is all those things but taut. Some of the revelations put this film pretty far ahead of its time. Pacino is great, and so are the various character actors around him. ” - rfischer9100
 
34.
Jaws (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a local sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down. (124 mins.)
“ A fun thriller with visual flourishes that show what's to come from Spielberg. ” - rfischer9100
 
35.
Paper Moon (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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. (102 mins.)
“ A much better throwback than What's Up Doc? buoyed by its strongly written and acted central pair (and a more fitting use of Madeline Kahn). ” - rfischer9100
 
36.
Harlan County U.S.A. (1976 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike. (103 mins.)
Director: Barbara Kopple
“ An amazing and informative film that really digs into a community and an issue and doesn't need any narrative tricks to make the story interesting. There's a really rich history here. ” - rfischer9100
 
37.
Day for Night (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A committed film director struggles to complete his movie while coping with a myriad of crises, personal and professional, among the cast and crew. (115 mins.)
“ Truffaut is constantly threatening to add melodrama or reach for gravitas in this film about making a film, but he undercuts these moves at every turn - even when dramatic events do transpire, the question is always about how they will affect the film. It's a little bit self-awareness about the single-mindedness of movie people, but mostly just a depiction of that single-mindedness. The movie also looks quite great (see the opening shot) and is chock full of great performances (Nathalie Baye really stood out for me). ” - rfischer9100
 
38.
Harold and Maude (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral. (91 mins.)
Director: Hal Ashby
“ It can be on the nose, it can work too hard at quirkiness, but at the center is a really compelling relationship. Ashby's direction is strong. I really appreciated Vivian Pickles's work on this watch. ” - rfischer9100
 
39.
Lady Snowblood (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A young girl is born and raised to be an instrument of revenge. (97 mins.)
Director: Toshiya Fujita
“ I've said this before: my love of this film may be skewed by my love of Kill Bill...but I really did love this film. There's a really interesting arc here about whether this woman born of revenge can be a human being. It's fast-paced, it has some nice twists, it's stylish, and that is a great theme song. Meiko Kaji is really something. ” - rfischer9100
 
40.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
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. (118 mins.)
Director: John Badham
“ Every second in 2001 Odyssey is absolutely thriling - the lights, the smoke, the style, the dancing, the flowing camera that is always exactly where it needs to be - I was very surprised. The rest of the film is pretty solid as well and does a good job portraying the narrowness of Tony's life when he's not on the dance floor. The dark turns in the final act are maybe a bit problematic - they get a bit heavy-handed, and I don't think the film realizes just how badly it's treating its female characters. ” - rfischer9100
 
41.
Wake in Fright (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After a bad gambling bet, a schoolteacher is marooned in a town full of crazy, drunk, violent men who threaten to make him just as crazy, drunk, and violent. (108 mins.)
Director: Ted Kotcheff
“ A spectacularly ambivalent thriller of identity. Basically all of the tension comes from whether John/Jack is or isn't what he's afraid he is or isn't, and he's screwed either way.

Also, lots of beer is drunk.

Poor kangaroos. ” - rfischer9100
 
42.
Young Frankenstein (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that he is not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body. (106 mins.)
Director: Mel Brooks
“ Thanks to Wilder, this has stronger characters than most Brooks films, and the jokes never suffer for it. ” - rfischer9100
 
43.
Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist. (140 mins.)
“ I was entranced by this film for the first hour or so, the compositions and rhythm are just so perfect. I didn't love the second half quite as much - the heist is good, but not my favorite, and the crawl to the inevitable conclusion was a little too drawn out. ” - rfischer9100
 
44.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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. (153 mins.)
Director: Francis Coppola
 
45.
The Sting (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker. (129 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ Sharp and slick and super-entertaining, even if there's not a lot going on beneath the surface. ” - rfischer9100
 
46.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In future Britain, Alex DeLarge, a charismatic and psycopath delinquent, who likes to practice crimes and ultra-violence with his gang, is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem - but not all goes according to plan. (136 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ A shocking and disturbing film. It’s a bit hard to sympathize with Alex, to say the least, which I’d say is the biggest stumbling block of the film (though certainly an intentional and well-executed one). Alex's awfulness provides the viewer with an interesting ethical dilemma. Is it right to basically neuter Alex with aversion therapy? Is Alex good if he only behaves because he has to? These are interesting and challenging questions.

The film’s biggest achievement is probably visual, which is not surprising for a Kubrick film. There are some amazing shots, and Kubrick creates a vibrant stylized world. It does look a bit like a futuristic vision from the sixties (which it basically is) – everything is colorful, sexualized, and very mod. But it is a compelling and believable vision. ” - rfischer9100
 
47.
Touki Bouki (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Mory, a cowherd, and Anta, a university student, try to make money in order to go to Paris and leave their boring past behind. (85 mins.)
“ Stylish and beautiful with an amazing soundtrack. Characters perhaps get overwhelmed a bit in the mix. ” - rfischer9100
 
48.
The Exorcist (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. (122 mins.)
“ I get the impression that this film is a lot scarier to people of faith (my Dad, raised in Catholic school, talked about its effect on him a lot), but it is incredibly atmospheric. The prologue in the Middle East does a lot of work to ground the demonic stuff. ” - rfischer9100
 
49.
The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A hobo accidentally stumbles onto a water spring, and creates a profitable way station in the middle of the desert. (121 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
“ A weird flick that’s more of a funny fable than the violent shoot em up you’d expect from Peckinpah. James Coburn is great, and there are wonderful moments. The first half feels like a fine parable of capitalism, but the second half bogs down in absurdism a bit (fast-motion, an out of nowhere bittersweet ending).
A nice follow-up to The Wild Bunch - equally revisionist in a totally different way. ” - rfischer9100
 
50.
Scenes from a Marriage (1973 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Ten years of Marianne and Johan's relationship are presented. We first meet them ten years into their marriage... (283 mins.)
“ Theatrical version - I kind of thought I'd had my fill of Bergman with Cries and Whispers, but this movie managed to temper its mystery a bit and explore its characters in ways that I found very compelling. It's anchored by great performances, and there are a lot of great twists in each conversation that manage to feel both surprising and earned. ” - rfischer9100
 
51.
Little Big Man (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Native Americans and fighting with General Custer. (139 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ A real mixed bag that is often hilarious but sometimes
hokey, ridiculous and simplistic at other time but (during a few rare moments) kinda beautiful. Hoffman doesn’t quite work for me but Dan George is fantastic. Some of the Western pastiche stuff is dumb, but some really works. Cheyenne stuff better than most westerns (including Dances with Wolves) but really simplifies. In quest to upset gender norms, women kind of come off poorly (sister wishes for rape, nagging wife, etc. – hey, just like the rest of the 60s). ” - rfischer9100
 
52.
The Heartbreak Kid (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Three days into his Miami honeymoon, New York Jewish Lenny meets tall, blonde Kelly. This confirms him... (106 mins.)
Director: Elaine May
“ The perfect 1970s companion to The Graduate. The alienation and anxiety has survived into the next decade, but the idealism has been stripped away.

The first half was very uncomfortable to watch, but it builds as it goes (and starts to reveal its agenda more fully) to a beautiful last line/moment. ” - rfischer9100
 
53.
Superman (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
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. (143 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
“ I grew up on superhero comic books, and this film sets the stage for the more serious superhero films of the 2000s. For that alone, it’s worthy of attention. But, it’s also a very compelling story with strong and rich characters. Christopher Reeve is magnificent, and his growth into his role as Earth’s protector strikes all the right notes.

As Superman switches gears to accommodate more conflict with the villain, the second half of the film does not work as well. I’m not crazy about the idea of playing Lex Luthor for comic relief, though Gene Hackman’s performance is great. Luthor’s plot is ridiculous and overly-complex, and I have always hated the infamous deus ex machina near the end of the film. Still, this is a fun, groundbreaking superhero film that has aged relatively well. ” - rfischer9100
 
54.
The Wicker Man (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (88 mins.)
Director: Robin Hardy
“ An odd musical horror film that is very atmospheric - it struck me perhaps as more whimsical than terrifying, and I found myself almost rooting for the pagans over the protagonist, but it was very enjoyable. ” - rfischer9100
 
55.
House (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A schoolgirl and six of her classmates travel to her aunt's country home, which tries to devour the girls in bizarre ways. (88 mins.)
“ I'm glad I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this movie - mostly silly, highly inventive, occasionally creepy, unique. ” - rfischer9100
 
56.
The Jerk (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis. (94 mins.)
Director: Carl Reiner
 
57.
Barry Lyndon (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England. (184 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Absolutely gorgeous in almost every frame. I think there is something to the story of a wild, romantic life flattened then undone by success, but I can't say it held me at rapt attention for the full three hours - then again, it didn't need to, the composition and production design took care of that. ” - rfischer9100
 
58.
The Confession (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed... (139 mins.)
Director: Costa-Gavras
“ An uncomfortable film that spends a long time taking the audience through the harrowing process of extracting a forced confession. Again, Costa-Gavras shows the terrifying mundanity of a totalitarian government with dashes of humor that make the whole all the more awful. ” - rfischer9100
 
59.
Eraserhead (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child. (89 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ There were weird movies before this, but I'm not sure any of them paired their weirdness with such incredible craft and attention to detail. ” - rfischer9100
 
60.
Dirty Harry (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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. (102 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
“ I'm gonna set aside (somewhat) the fact that the whole thing is a straw man argument in favor of *beep* all over basic civil rights and say that this film is wonderfully shot and perfectly paced. It's easy to see why it influenced the cop genre so heavily and elevated it to new heights of popularity. Both the filmmaking and the appeals to base emotions are quite effective. ” - rfischer9100
 
61.
Mean Streets (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob. (112 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Has so much of what would make Scorcese great, even if it is a bit more raw than his best films. DeNiro's character drives me nuts, but I guess that's the point. ” - rfischer9100
 
62.
Rocky (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (120 mins.)
“ A really solid crowdpleaser - the fact that it became so iconic I think says something about the dissatisfaction of post-Watergate, deindustrializing, stagflating America. ” - rfischer9100
 
63.
MASH (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (116 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ The main characters' cruel jokes haven't entirely aged well, but this anarchic comedy/war movie is a very effective representation of the dark, anti-war, anti-authority mood at the time. ” - rfischer9100
 
64.
The Getaway (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A recently released ex-con and his loyal wife go on the run after a heist goes awry. (123 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
“ Peckinpah uses a very slick crime thriller to tell a story about faith in relationships...but the theme is much more awkward than the exciting and entertaining plot, especially in the very problematic character played by Sally Struthers (no fault on her part - she does a great job).

Quincy Jones should've scored all '70s films. ” - rfischer9100
 
65.
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Trailed by a clan of female ninja, Ogami is paid to assassinate a clan traitor accompanied by three killers known as the Gods of Death. (95 mins.)
Director: Kenji Misumi
“ Imaginative and manic violence - it's a bit easier to sympathize with Lone Wolf this time, and Cub gets some things to do. So far, in the first two movies, the assassination jobs have felt like afterthoughts to the larger story of clan rivalries. ” - rfischer9100
 
66.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In New York, armed men hijack a subway car and demand a ransom for the passengers. Even if it's paid, how could they get away? (104 mins.)
Director: Joseph Sargent
“ A very solid and compelling crime thriller...a nice example of heist films' fetishization of professionalism. ” - rfischer9100
 
67.
Blazing Saddles (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary. (93 mins.)
Director: Mel Brooks
“ Lots of different types of humor, some work better than others, but the whole is damn funny. ” - rfischer9100
 
68.
American Graffiti (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college. (110 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
“ I'm worried that I'm selling this short because its structure has been so often imitated that it feels very familiar and because of my innate generation x antipathy to baby boomer nostalgia.

It does an excellent job of capturing a particular time and place and using some light, entertaining stories to say a bit more about growing up and mortality. ” - rfischer9100
 
69.
The Last Picture Show (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (118 mins.)
“ Nostalgia started to get pretty hot in the 70s, huh? I like how the film subverts its own nostalgia by showing a much more sordid and complicated world than is often depicted, but I did feel a bit alienated from it nonetheless. Bogdanovich paints a pretty black and white picture though. ” - rfischer9100
 
70.
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them. (93 mins.)
“ So direct that its directness feels like affectation. But, there's a purity to it, and there are some gorgeous filmmaking moments, like the camera move in then out before and after the emotional outdoor dining scene.

As other have noted, it remains very timely. Maybe racism would be less transparent in this age of "I'm not a racist, but..." (then again, maybe that age is over). ” - rfischer9100
 
71.
Gimme Shelter (1970 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont. (91 mins.)
“ Glad I watched this so soon after Woodstock. It's fairly easy to see where Altamont went wrong, and the Maysles do a great job capturing the cynicism of the organizers (and the Stones), the restless violence of the Hell's Angels, and the lazy recklessness of putting and keeping them on the job. It's a good thing they were on the job (and it's hard to imagine how they could have put together a film in their aesthetic if it had been all peace and love). ” - rfischer9100
 
72.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (120 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ For the first half-hour, this feels like New Hollywood naturalism run amok - candlelit darkness that strains the eyes and horrible sound that is impenetrable at times. Things seem to clear up a bit (coincidentally?) when Julie Christie shows up and the strong character work with her and Beatty make this into something special. The dirty, snowy landscapes are really something.

For me, this film's greatest legacy is not so much where it stands in Altman's oeuvre as the obvious influence it had on Deadwood (which surpasses it). ” - rfischer9100
 
73.
State of Siege (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used... (120 mins.)
Director: Costa-Gavras
“ Chunks of this film are very much lectures about US support for right-wing Latin American dictatorships, but they're on point lectures and they're set up by a very compelling situation. As always with Costa-Gavras, the politics are both believable and terrifying. The tragedy of the ending works quite well too. ” - rfischer9100
 
74.
The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
'It's Monopoly out there'. Jason Staebler, The King of Marvin Gardens, has gone directly to jail, lives... (103 mins.)
Director: Bob Rafelson
“ I found Bruce Dern and Ellen Burstyn really compelling here and the setting is used really well (including great sound design, like a desolate wind blowing around the central hotel room). There are interesting ruminations on business and family and a few surprises. Am I the only person who likes this more than Five Easy Pieces. ” - rfischer9100
 
75.
An Unmarried Woman (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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. (124 mins.)
Director: Paul Mazursky
“ Good on Mazursky for writing such a well-realized female character, though it did strike me as unfortunate that a woman writer wasn't given the opportunity to tell a story like this. It is a very endearing tale of a divorcee's independence made very charming by Clayburgh's performance. ” - rfischer9100
 
76.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
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. (133 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
“ I think this film would've benefited immensely from a bit of nuance, but strong performances and direction from Forman make it very watchable and memorable, and the central metaphor is strong even if it is ham-fisted. ” - rfischer9100
 
77.
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
During a rural summer picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind. (115 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ So much mystery. Very compelling, but eventually too much mystery. ” - rfischer9100
 
78.
Claire's Knee (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
On holiday, a conflicted man lusts after beautiful stepsisters despite his betrothal to a diplomat's daughter. (105 mins.)
Director: Éric Rohmer
“ I've had the same reaction to all three of the Rohmer movies I've seen so far: how am I not bored out of my mind? I know that sounds like an underhanded compliment, but I don't mean it. I really am dazzled how Rohmer can completely suck me into a story that's mostly people over-intellectualizing their feelings in quiet conversation. The scenery helps, as does the smart dialogue. ” - rfischer9100
 
79.
The New Land (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life of an immigrant family from Sweden in the Minnesota's forests, during mid 19th century (204 mins.)
Director: Jan Troell
“ Has many of the virtues of The Emigrants but some of the action is heightened, even pulpy at times. The Karl-Oskar and Kristina's romance finally comes to the center of this two-film epic, giving it a strong through-line and resonance. ” - rfischer9100
 
80.
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust. (117 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
“ A very fun paranoid thriller with great hero performance from Redford. The romance always felt a little forced to me. ” - rfischer9100
 
81.
Black and White in Color (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors... (90 mins.)
“ Starts off a little slow, but ends up being a funny, dark, brutal, and brilliant satire of war and colonialism. Most Europeans and lazy, selfish idiots, but a smart selfless colonialist is even worse. It would've been great to get some development of the African characters, but it certainly doesn't hold back against the French characters it focuses on. ” - rfischer9100
 
82.
Killer of Sheep (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Set in the Watts area of Los Angeles, a slaughterhouse worker must suspend his emotions to continue working at a job he finds repugnant, and then he finds he has little sensitivity for the family he works so hard to support. (80 mins.)
Director: Charles Burnett
“ Grounded slice of life super-indie film that gives an unfortunately rare look at working class black family life. ” - rfischer9100
 
83.
Animal House (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
At a 1962 college, Dean Vernon Wormer is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but those trouble-makers have other plans for him. (109 mins.)
Director: John Landis
 
84.
Solaris (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane. (167 mins.)
“ I wanted to like this film more. I think my usual Tarkovskiy judgment of "beautiful and impressive but distancing" applies, and this is a film that, to my unfortunately unRussian mind, that could use more expressive passion. ” - rfischer9100
 
85.
Sorcerer (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle. (121 mins.)
“ Wages of Fear is one of the great labor movies - Friedkin transforms the same plot into a story of globalization...though the exploitation is still there in a broader form. The prologues seem really unnecessary and are very familiar from Friedkin's other works, but the film really picks up after that, and it looks great. ” - rfischer9100
 
86.
High Plains Drifter (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (105 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ a film that sounds cool when you describe it –
vengeful ghost hired to defend town destroys instead. But, problematic rape scene and some over-the-top 70s direction (and music…ugh!) make this a less-than-amazing film. It is different in really interesting ways, and as a sort of nihilistic horror revenge thing it kinda works. Eastwood will do better. ” - rfischer9100
 
87.
Deliverance (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (109 mins.)
Director: John Boorman
“ The juxtaposition of progress and the primal is really fascinating, even if it leans on very simple and cruel stereotypes. On top of that, it's a exciting thriller in the middle. ” - rfischer9100
 
88.
How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
In 1594 in Brazil, the Tupinambás Indians are friends of the Frenches and their enemies are the Tupiniquins... (84 mins.)
“ A fairly even-handed look at Tupi culture that comes off as surrealistic in its attempt to step outside of a western mindset. ” - rfischer9100
 
89.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together. (102 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
“ I think there's a tension in a lot of Bunuel's films between his satirical tendencies and his surrealistic tendencies - they often undercut each other in that ambiguity and satire aren't always complementary. This is very clever and fun though, and the real genius comes from the way he weaves dreams into his dream logic here. ” - rfischer9100
 
90.
The Decameron (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron". (112 mins.)
“ Vibrant and funny with great world-building. ” - rfischer9100
 
91.
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Recounted in flashback are the romantic perils of Mathieu, a middle-aged French sophisticate as he falls for his nineteen year-old former chambermaid Conchita. (102 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
“ The plot and character aren't all that interesting, but Bunuel's little surrealistic tricks elevate this; the ubiquitous terrorism seems pretty timely. ” - rfischer9100
 
92.
Cries & Whispers (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface. (91 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ Another rollicking good time from Bergman!

This film is unquestionably brilliant, especially in its use of color and the way the characters come through so clearly and with so many layers while their histories remain largely mysterious. But, boy is this a misery-fest. ” - rfischer9100
 
93.
Get Carter (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate. (112 mins.)
Director: Mike Hodges
“ I'm not sure it has much to add to the violent anti-hero criminal genre beyond what Point Blank has already done, but Caine is really fun to watch.

Pretty bummed that he never says "She was only sixteen years old." ” - rfischer9100
 
94.
Companeros (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A Swedish arms dealer and a Mexican peon team up to rescue the intellectual leader of the Revolutionary cause, while taking part in numerous misadventures along the way. (118 mins.)
Director: Sergio Corbucci
“ <Ennio Morricone music starts>: I'm in!

Adding someone deeply concerned with ethics to the usual Spaghetti Western gang of anti-heroes makes for an interesting dynamic though the film still gets to enjoy lots of violent action. Fun performances from the three leads, including a very over-the-top Jack Palance villain. ” - rfischer9100
 
95.
Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A man named Billy Pilgrim tells the story of how he became unstuck in time and was abducted by aliens. (104 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ For a book that I love dearly and assumed was unfilmable, this is pretty strong. It captures maybe 30% of what I love of the book, which makes it pretty great. ” - rfischer9100
 
96.
Duel (1971 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer. (90 mins.)
“ Has its clumsy bits - I'm not sure Weaver is the best choice and the voice-over is intrusive - but mostly incredibly slick and thrilling. I think this Spielberg guy has potential. ” - rfischer9100
 
97.
Five Fingers of Death (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two martial arts schools prepare for an important tournament. (104 mins.)
Director: Chang Ho Cheng
“ I'm not sure I'm 100% convinced on Lo Lieh as the star here, but this is incredibly fun - the fight scenes are pretty constant, and there's some imaginative blood spatter. Of course, the characters aren't too deep, but it's an entertaining set of archetypes (especially among the bad guys). ” - rfischer9100
 
98.
Zabriskie Point (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology... (113 mins.)
“ Antonioni's politics are frustrating; he's such an astute critic of consumer society, but he always ends up throwing up his hands and giving up. Mark embodied that here, and it's pretty obnoxious.

While he's never been about linear plotting, this feels less controlled than usual. But, it's still full of great ideas and wonderful visuals, especially that despair-filled end. ” - rfischer9100
 
99.
Cria Cuervos (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Three orphaned sisters under the custody of their stern aunt and their handicapped grandmother will have to acclimatise to the new conditions of their shared life, overcome life's constant impediments, and in the process, grow up. (105 mins.)
Director: Carlos Saura
“ Was Ana Torrent the greatest child actress of all time? This film has a lot more in common with Spirit of the Beehive than Torrent; it's atmospheric, allegorical, and a little mysterious. That's a great film to have a lot in common with. ” - rfischer9100
 
100.
In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end. (109 mins.)
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
“ An absolutely fascinating film that is a tough watch at times. There's a lot to unpack here - the sexual death spiral reminds me a lot of films about drug addiction. Sex and love are on the table. The final line of narration suggests to me that there are broader points about war and self-destruction. ” - rfischer9100