50 movies from 1979 worth watching

by runefromnorway | created - 01 Nov 2011 | updated - 20 Jul 2016 | Public
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1. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, War

94 Metascore

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 641,307 | Gross: $83.47M

2. Manhattan (1979)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

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.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Michael Murphy

Votes: 137,769 | Gross: $45.70M

3. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

PG | 105 min | Drama

77 Metascore

After his wife leaves him, a work-obsessed Manhattan advertising executive is forced to learn long-neglected parenting skills, but a heated custody battle over the couple's young son deepens the wounds left by the separation.

Director: Robert Benton | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry

Votes: 141,259 | Gross: $106.26M

4. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 839,968 | Gross: $78.90M

5. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

R | 120 min | Drama

Maria marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only for him to go missing in the war. Alone, Maria puts to use her beauty and ambition in order to find prosperity during Germany's "economic miracle" of the 1950s.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny, Gisela Uhlen

Votes: 13,367

6. Being There (1979)

PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama

83 Metascore

After the death of his employer forces him out of the only home he's ever known, a simpleminded, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful tycoon and an insider in Washington politics.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden

Votes: 70,842 | Gross: $30.18M

7. All That Jazz (1979)

R | 123 min | Drama, Music, Musical

72 Metascore

Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid career of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.

Director: Bob Fosse | Stars: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer

Votes: 30,578 | Gross: $37.82M

8. The Tin Drum (1979)

R | 142 min | Drama, War

63 Metascore

In 1924, Oskar Matzerath is born in the Free City of Danzig. At age three, he falls down a flight of stairs and stops growing. In 1939, World War II breaks out.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach

Votes: 23,620

9. Breaking Away (1979)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

91 Metascore

A working-class Indiana teen obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl while searching for life goals with his friends.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley

Votes: 23,034 | Gross: $16.42M

10. Life of Brian (1979)

R | 94 min | Comedy

77 Metascore

Born on the original Christmas in the stable next door to Jesus Christ, Brian of Nazareth spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

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

Votes: 387,675 | Gross: $20.05M

11. The China Syndrome (1979)

PG | 122 min | Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.

Director: James Bridges | Stars: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Scott Brady

Votes: 29,393 | Gross: $51.72M

12. My Brilliant Career (1979)

G | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A proud young woman in early 20th century Australia must choose between marriage and independence.

Director: Gillian Armstrong | Stars: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes, Robert Grubb

Votes: 4,235

13. Mad Max (1979)

R | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley

Votes: 201,440 | Gross: $8.75M

14. Wise Blood (1979)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

Fresh out of the army, Hazel Motes attempts to open the first Church Without Christ in the small town of Taulkinham.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Brad Dourif, John Huston, Dan Shor, Harry Dean Stanton

Votes: 5,657

15. Tess (1979)

PG | 186 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A strong-willed young peasant girl attracts the affection of two men.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson, John Collin

Votes: 16,327

16. Best Boy (1979)

111 min | Documentary, Biography

In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his mentally ill, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period.

Director: Ira Wohl | Stars: Ira Wohl, Philip Wohl, Zero Mostel, Christine O'Connor

Votes: 643

17. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

PG | 107 min | Drama, Horror

79 Metascore

Count Dracula moves from Transylvania to Wismar, spreading the Black Plague across the land. Only a woman pure of heart can bring an end to his reign of horror.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor

Votes: 35,033

18. The Black Stallion (1979)

G | 118 min | Adventure, Family, Sport

84 Metascore

After being shipwrecked with a magnificent horse off the coast of Africa in the 1940s, a boy bonds with the stallion, and trains him to race after their rescue.

Director: Carroll Ballard | Stars: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Clarence Muse

Votes: 12,586

19. Quadrophenia (1979)

R | 120 min | Drama, Music

79 Metascore

Jimmy loathes his job and parents. He seeks solace with his mod clique, scooter riding and drugs, only to be disappointed.

Director: Franc Roddam | Stars: Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Phil Davis, Mark Wingett

Votes: 18,546

20. Norma Rae (1979)

PG | 114 min | Drama

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: 11,297 | Gross: $22.23M

21. The Jerk (1979)

R | 94 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

A simpleminded, sheltered country boy suddenly decides to leave his family home to experience life in the big city, where his naivete is both his best friend and his worst enemy.

Director: Carl Reiner | Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams, Mabel King

Votes: 56,402 | Gross: $73.69M

22. Christ Stopped at Eboli (1979)

150 min | Drama

A doctor in Fascist Italy is exiled to a remote village for his political views.

Director: Francesco Rosi | Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Paolo Bonacelli, Alain Cuny, Lea Massari

Votes: 2,366 | Gross: $0.07M

23. Heartland (1979)

PG | 96 min | Western, Drama

A widow with a young daughter travels to a ranch in Wyoming to manage the household of a rancher. After a while the man and woman develop a relationship that leads to a marriage. But life in the harsh place takes its toll.

Director: Richard Pearce | Stars: Rip Torn, Conchata Ferrell, Barry Primus, Megan Folsom

Votes: 964

24. Hair (1979)

PG | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

68 Metascore

Claude Bukowski leaves the family ranch in Oklahoma for New York where he is rapidly embraced into the hippie group of youngsters led by Berger, yet he's already been drafted. He soon falls in love with Sheila Franklin, a rich girl but still a rebel inside.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo, Annie Golden

Votes: 36,936 | Gross: $15.28M

25. 10 (1979)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

68 Metascore

A Hollywood composer goes through a mid-life crisis and becomes infatuated with a sexy, newly married woman.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Dudley Moore, Bo Derek, Julie Andrews, Robert Webber

Votes: 17,429 | Gross: $74.87M

26. The Muppet Movie (1979)

G | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

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: 35,198 | Gross: $76.66M

27. Real Life (1979)

PG | 99 min | Comedy

64 Metascore

A film crew sets out to record a year in the life of an average family, but things quickly start going wrong.

Director: Albert Brooks | Stars: Dick Haynes, Albert Brooks, Matthew Tobin, J.A. Preston

Votes: 3,194

28. Love on the Run (1979)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Antoine Doinel is now more than thirty. He divorces from Christine. He is a proofreader, and is in love with Sabine, a record seller. Colette, his teenager love, is now a lawyer. She buys ... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claude Jade, Marie-France Pisier, Dani

Votes: 6,690

29. Stalker (1979)

Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko

Votes: 129,252 | Gross: $0.23M

30. Vengeance Is Mine (1979)

Not Rated | 139 min | Crime, Drama

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the run.

Director: Shohei Imamura | Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako, Mitsuko Baishô

Votes: 6,359

31. Hardcore (1979)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama

63 Metascore

A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films in California's porno pits.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Season Hubley, Dick Sargent

Votes: 10,323

32. The Warriors (1979)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

65 Metascore

In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler

Votes: 99,763 | Gross: $22.49M

33. Going in Style (1979)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

Three friends living on the dole decide to rob a bank.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: George Burns, Art Carney, Lee Strasberg, Charles Hallahan

Votes: 3,153 | Gross: $26.87M

34. North Dallas Forty (1979)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

80 Metascore

A satire of American professional football in which a veteran pass-catcher's individuality and refusal to become part of the team family is bitterly resented by his disciplinarian coaches.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Nick Nolte, Charles Durning, Mac Davis, Dayle Haddon

Votes: 5,144 | Gross: $26.08M

35. The Great Santini (1979)

PG | 115 min | Drama

64 Metascore

As he approaches manhood, Ben Meechum struggles to win the approval of his demanding alpha male father, an aggressively competitive, but frustrated Marine pilot.

Director: Lewis John Carlino | Stars: Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Michael O'Keefe, Lisa Jane Persky

Votes: 6,205

36. The Third Generation (1979)

111 min | Crime, Drama

A wildly anarchic satire of urban guerrilla warfare in which a band of leftist radicals inadvertently become puppets of the West German government, which uses them to justify its authoritarian policies.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Eddie Constantine, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Spengler, Margit Carstensen

Votes: 2,386

37. Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979)

R | 104 min | Drama

Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: Bruce MacDonald, Maggie Renzi, Adam LeFevre, Maggie Cousineau

Votes: 2,036 | Gross: $2.00M

38. Over the Edge (1979)

PG | 95 min | Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

A group of bored teenagers rebel against authority in the community of New Granada after the death of one of their own.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan | Stars: Matt Dillon, Michael Eric Kramer, Pamela Ludwig, Vincent Spano

Votes: 6,875

39. The Wanderers (1979)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

The Wanderers is a teenage, Italian gang in Bronx, NYC, 1963. They have their confrontations with other gangs. Drugs and weapons are uncool. Adult life awaits them.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Ken Wahl, Karen Allen, John Friedrich, Toni Kalem

Votes: 10,867 | Gross: $0.01M

40. Angi Vera (1979)

96 min | Drama, Romance

Vera Angi works as a nurse in a hospital after WWII in communist Hungary. Because she speaks up about the terrible conditions in which the nurses and doctors have to work, she's placed in a six-month education course.

Director: Pál Gábor | Stars: Vera Pap, Erzsi Pásztor, Éva Szabó, Tamás Dunai

Votes: 335

41. The Europeans (1979)

90 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

It's the mid-nineteenth century. Adult siblings Felix Young and Eugenia Munster were born and raised in Europe and have a somewhat bohemian lifestyle reflective of their travels throughout ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Lee Remick, Robin Ellis, Wesley Addy, Tim Choate

Votes: 967

42. Those Wonderful Movie Cranks (1979)

90 min | Comedy, Drama, History

Returning home to Prague, the magician Pasparte (Rudolf Hrusínský), an owner of a circus caravan, meets his dying colleague who entrusts his beautiful daughter Aloisie (Hana Buresová) to ... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Menzel | Stars: Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlasta Fabiánová, Blazena Holisová, Vladimír Mensík

Votes: 252

43. Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Music

70 Metascore

Ramones fanatic and delinquent Riff Randell battles it out with the strict new principal of Vince Lombardi High School, Miss Togar, with help from the Ramones.

Directors: Allan Arkush, Joe Dante | Stars: P.J. Soles, Vincent Van Patten, Clint Howard, Dey Young

Votes: 9,890

44. A Little Romance (1979)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

52 Metascore

An American teenager living in Paris meets and falls in love with a local.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Diane Lane, Thelonious Bernard, Arthur Hill

Votes: 5,729

45. The Butterfly Murders (1979)

Not Rated | 88 min | Action, Horror, Mystery

A journalist attempting to solve a mystery in "Martial World" enlists the ai