DISCOVER--the very best of 1970s cinema

The economy was crap, the music was crap, the TV was crap... but the films were amazing. Just look what was coming out of American and European cinema before Speilberg and Lucas ruined everything...
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1.
Across 110th Street (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Two New York City cops go after amateur crooks who are trying to rip off the Mafia and start a gang war. (102 mins.)
Director: Barry Shear
 
2.
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
 
3.
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
 
4.
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
 
5.
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
 
6.
The Beguiled (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
While imprisoned in a Confederate girls boarding school, a Union soldier cons his way into each of the lonely women's hearts. (105 mins.)
Director: Donald Siegel
 
7.
Bloody Mama (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A psychological gangster film based on fact. Machine gun totin' Ma Barker lead her family gang (her sons) on a crime spree in the Depression era... (90 mins.)
Director: Roger Corman
 
8.
Breezy (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Breezy is a teen-aged hippy with a big heart. After taking a ride with a man who only wants her for sex... (106 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
9.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo. (112 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
 
10.
Carrie (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Carrie White, a shy, friendless 17 year-old girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom. (98 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
11.
Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A mysteriously linked pair of young women find their daily lives preempted by a strange boudoir melodrama... (193 mins.)
Director: Jacques Rivette
 
12.
Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
When fellow operatives (and childhood friends) Matthew Johnson and Melvin Johnson disappear during an undercover mission in Hong Kong... (94 mins.)
Director: Chuck Bail
 
13.
Dillinger (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
John Dillinger and his gang go on a bank robbing spree across the midwest, but one G-Man is determined to bring him down. (107 mins.)
Director: John Milius
 
14.
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
 
15.
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Larry Rayder is an aspiring NASCAR driver, Deke Sommers is mechanic. As they feel they collectively are the best... (93 mins.)
Director: John Hough
 
16.
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
 
17.
The Driver (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
"The Driver" is a specialist in a rare business: he drives getaway cars in robberies. His exceptional talent prevented him from being caught yet... (91 mins.)
Director: Walter Hill
 
18.
The Enforcer (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Dirty Harry must foil a terrorist organization made up of disgruntled Vietnam veterans. But this time, he's teamed with a rookie female partner that he's not too excited to be working with. (96 mins.)
Director: James Fargo
 
19.
Enter the Dragon (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover. (102 mins.)
Director: Robert Clouse
 
20.
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A drop-out 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. (98 mins.)
Director: Bob Rafelson
 
21.
The Gauntlet (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive. (109 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
22.
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
 
23.
Il solco di pesca (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
(92 mins.)
 
24.
Immoral Tales (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Four erotic tales from in various historical eras. The first, 'The Tide', is set in the present day... (103 mins.)
 
25.
Jackson County Jail (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
This is a powerful drama about a young woman who stumbles into a nightmare land of hijacking and humiliation... (84 mins.)
Director: Michael Miller
 
26.
The Killer Elite (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Mike Locke, who works for a private security firm affiliated with the CIA, is betrayed by his partner and left apparently crippled for life. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
 
27.
Klute (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute. (114 mins.)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
 
28.
Last Tango in Paris (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex. (129 mins.)
 
29.
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
 
30.
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
 
31.
Love and Death (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In czarist Russia, a neurotic soldier and his distant cousin formulate a plot to assassinate Napoleon. (85 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
32.
Magnum Force (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Dirty Harry is on the trail of vigilante cops who are not above going beyond the law to kill the city's undesirables. (124 mins.)
Director: Ted Post
 
33.
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts... (139 mins.)
Director: Nicolas Roeg
 
34.
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
 
35.
Mean Streets (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A small-time hood struggles with a moral crisis regarding his friends, family, business, and his conflicting religious beliefs. (112 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
36.
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
 
37.
The Omega Man (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Army doctor Robert Neville struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race. (98 mins.)
Director: Boris Sagal
 
38.
The Outfit (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Earl Macklin robs a bank owned by the mob, serves his prison time and is released, only to start a private war against the crime outfit that owned the bank. (103 mins.)
Director: John Flynn
 
39.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons--his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
 
40.
Prime Cut (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out. (88 mins.)
Director: Michael Ritchie
 
41.
Private Vices, Public Pleasures (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Rudolf is a good-natured pan-sexual golden boy, who cavorts on his rural estate with a host of beautiful... (104 mins.)
Director: Miklós Jancsó
 
42.
That Malicious Age (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
Gardener Nino Castellano takes a job in a southern-Italian villa and quickly finds himself embroiled in a menage-a-trois with Gloria Guida and Anita Sanders which soon leads to sex, death and mayhem! (90 mins.)
Director: Silvio Amadio
 
43.
Sleeper (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A nerdish store owner is revived out of cryostasis into a future world to fight an oppressive government. (89 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
44.
The Shootist (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity. (100 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
 
45.
Soylent Green (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO. (97 mins.)
 
46.
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, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process. (113 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
47.
Thieves Like Us (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing... (123 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
 
48.
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
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Thanks, Boris


Obsessed with the popular culture of the 1960s and surrounding decades, Jon Abbott has been writing about film and TV for over thirty years in around two dozen different publications, trade, populist, and specialist. He is the author of several books, including

Irwin Allen Television Productions 1964-1970,
Stephen J. Cannell Television Productions: A History of All Series and Pilots,
The Elvis Films,
Cool TV of the 1960s: Three Shows That Changed the World,
and Strange New World: Sex Films of the 1970s.

See his Amazon author's page, and his other lists on the IMDB, all under the pre-fix DISCOVER. ” - jonabbott56