1972 in film to watch

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1. The Cowboys (1972)

GP | 134 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

52 Metascore

Rancher Wil Andersen is forced to hire inexperienced boys as cowhands in order to get his herd to market on time but the rough drive is full of dangers and a gang of cattle rustlers is trailing them.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst

Votes: 12,109 | Gross: $7.50M

2. The Hot Rock (1972)

GP | 101 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Dortmunder and his pals plan to steal a huge diamond from a museum. But this turns out to be only the first time they have to steal it...

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Robert Redford, George Segal, Ron Leibman, Paul Sand

Votes: 4,556

3. Cabaret (1972)

PG | 124 min | Drama, Musical

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: 43,903 | Gross: $42.77M

4. Tales from the Crypt (1972)

PG | 92 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Five strangers get lost in a crypt and, after meeting the mysterious Crypt Keeper, receive visions of how they will die.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ralph Richardson, Geoffrey Bayldon

Votes: 8,544

5. Silent Running (1972)

G | 89 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.

Director: Douglas Trumbull | Stars: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin, Jesse Vint

Votes: 24,721

6. What's Up, Doc? (1972)

G | 94 min | Comedy

The accidental mix-up of four identical plaid overnight bags leads to a series of increasingly wild and wacky situations.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars

Votes: 17,612

7. Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

A man named Billy Pilgrim tells the story of how he became unstuck in time and was abducted by aliens.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Michael Sacks, Ron Leibman, Eugene Roche, Sharon Gans

Votes: 11,336

8. Pink Flamingos (1972)

NC-17 | 93 min | Comedy, Crime

47 Metascore

Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive".

Director: John Waters | Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole

Votes: 20,152 | Gross: $0.18M

9. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,450,692 | Gross: $134.97M

10. Fritz the Cat (1972)

Unrated | 78 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s.

Director: Ralph Bakshi | Stars: Skip Hinnant, Rosetta LeNoire, John McCurry, Judy Engles

Votes: 10,150 | Gross: $25.00M

11. Vampire Circus (1972)

PG | 84 min | Horror

As the plague sweeps the countryside, a quarantined village is visited by a mysterious traveling circus. Soon, young children begin to disappear, and the locals suspect the circus troupe might be hiding a horrifying secret.

Director: Robert Young | Stars: Adrienne Corri, Thorley Walters, Anthony Higgins, John Moulder-Brown

Votes: 3,153

12. Play It Again, Sam (1972)

PG | 85 min | Comedy, Romance

A neurotic film critic obsessed with the movie Casablanca (1942) attempts to get over his wife leaving him by dating again with the help of a married couple and his illusory idol, Humphrey Bogart.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Jerry Lacy

Votes: 23,023

13. Deep Throat

9 min | Short, Action, Adventure | Post-production

This is the story about one of the most notorious climbs in North America made for the general public. We highlight some of the greatest climbers in our history along with their struggle ... See full summary »

Director: John Dickey | Star: James Wearing

14. Frenzy (1972)

R | 116 min | Thriller

A serial murderer is strangling women with a necktie. The London police have a suspect, but he is the wrong man.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Anna Massey

Votes: 37,319

15. The Candidate (1972)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.

Director: Michael Ritchie | Stars: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas, Don Porter

Votes: 8,965

16. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

PG | 88 min | Action, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

In a futuristic world that has embraced ape slavery, Caesar, the son of the late simians Cornelius and Zira, surfaces after almost twenty years of hiding out from the authorities, and prepares for a slave revolt against humanity.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalban, Natalie Trundy

Votes: 28,106 | Gross: $9.00M

17. Butterflies Are Free (1972)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A blind man moves into his own apartment against the wishes of his overprotective mother and befriends the freethinking young woman next door.

Director: Milton Katselas | Stars: Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert, Eileen Heckart, Paul Michael Glaser

Votes: 4,237

18. Joe Kidd (1972)

PG | 88 min | Western

52 Metascore

An ex-bounty hunter reluctantly helps a wealthy landowner and his henchmen track down a Mexican revolutionary leader.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Stroud

Votes: 15,212

19. Fat City (1972)

PG | 96 min | Drama, Sport

Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell, Candy Clark

Votes: 6,774

20. Deliverance (1972)

R | 109 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

82 Metascore

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's dammed and turned into a lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a canoeing trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox

Votes: 91,746

21. Snoopy Come Home (1972)

G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Snoopy is forced to choose, between Lila his former owner or Charlie Brown

Director: Bill Melendez | Stars: Chad Webber, Robin Kohn, Stephen Shea, David Carey

Votes: 3,819

22. Blacula (1972)

PG | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror, Romance

An ancient African prince, turned into a vampire by Dracula himself, finds himself in modern Los Angeles.

Director: William Crain | Stars: William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala

Votes: 5,168 | Gross: $2.18M

23. The Last House on the Left (1972)

R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller

68 Metascore

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess, Fred J. Lincoln

Votes: 29,875 | Gross: $3.10M

24. The Ruling Class (1972)

PG | 154 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other, somewhat more respectable, members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensue.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe, Hugh Owens

Votes: 5,399

25. Sounder (1972)

G | 105 min | Drama, Family

80 Metascore

The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks, Carmen Mathews

Votes: 3,169

26. Solaris (1972)

PG | 167 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy

Votes: 70,136

27. Bad Company (1972)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

A god-fearing Ohio boy dodging the Civil War draft arrives in St. Joseph, MO where he joins up with a hardscrabble group of like runaways heading west.

Director: Robert Benton | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Barry Brown, Jim Davis, David Huddleston

Votes: 3,262

28. Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

R | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan

Votes: 3,341 | Gross: $9.60M

29. Sleuth (1972)

PG | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller

A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Alec Cawthorne, John Matthews

Votes: 42,025

30. Man of La Mancha (1972)

PG | 132 min | Drama, Fantasy, Musical

The funny story of mad but kind and chivalrous elderly nobleman Don Quixote who, aided by his squire Sancho Panza, fights windmills that are seen as dragons to save prostitute Dulcinea who is seen as a noblewoman.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Sophia Loren, James Coco, Harry Andrews

Votes: 3,606

31. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

PG | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

70 Metascore

Nine people explore a cruise ship at sea in a manner that turns their whole lives upside down.

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

Votes: 37,924 | Gross: $84.56M

32. The Getaway (1972)

PG | 123 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

55 Metascore

A recently released ex-con and his loyal wife go on the run after a heist goes awry.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson, Sally Struthers

Votes: 25,377 | Gross: $36.73M

33. The Heartbreak Kid (1972)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Three days into his Miami honeymoon, New York Jewish Lenny meets tall, blonde Kelly. This confirms him in his opinion that he has made a serious mistake and he decides he wants Kelly ... See full summary »

Director: Elaine May | Stars: Charles Grodin, Cybill Shepherd, Jeannie Berlin, Audra Lindley

Votes: 3,537 | Gross: $12.21M

34. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)

PG | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

In Vinegaroon, Texas, former outlaw Roy Bean appoints himself the judge for the region and dispenses his brand of justice as he sees fit.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Roy Jenson, Gary Combs

Votes: 6,602

35. Across 110th Street (1972)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Two New York City cops go after amateur crooks who are trying to rip off the Mafia and start a gang war.

Director: Barry Shear | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa, Frank Adu

Votes: 4,343

36. Jeremiah Johnson (1972)

GP | 108 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

75 Metascore

A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by the Crow tribe, and proves to be a match for their warriors in single combat on the early frontier.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Robert Redford, Will Geer, Delle Bolton, Josh Albee

Votes: 26,054 | Gross: $47.74M

37. The Way of the Dragon (1972)

R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

58 Metascore

A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them.

Director: Bruce Lee | Stars: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao, Ping Ou Wei

Votes: 28,695

38. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Del Negro

Votes: 46,839

39. Cries & Whispers (1972)

R | 91 min | Drama

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.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin

Votes: 26,033

40. Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)

Not Rated | 105 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A reporter and a promiscuous young woman try to solve a series of child killings in a remote southern Italian town rife with superstition and a distrust of outsiders.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian, Irene Papas

Votes: 6,946

41. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)

PG | 100 min | Drama

From the Pullizer Prize winning play by Paul Zindel, this is the story of Beatrice Hunsdorfer and her daughters, Ruth and Matilda. A middle-aged widowed eccentric, Beatrice is looking for ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Newman | Stars: Joanne Woodward, Nell Potts, Roberta Wallach, Judith Lowry

Votes: 1,919

42. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)

R | 88 min | Comedy

66 Metascore

Seven stories are trying to answer the question: what is sex? Or maybe they are not trying.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Gene Wilder, Louise Lasser, John Carradine

Votes: 35,881

43. Game of Death (1978)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

36 Metascore

A martial arts movie star must fake his death to find the people who are trying to kill him.

Directors: Robert Clouse, Bruce Lee | Stars: Bruce Lee, Gig Young, Dean Jagger, Hugh O'Brian

Votes: 15,245 | Gross: $10.00M

44. The Harder They Come (1972)

R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Music

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: 4,934

45. Images (1972)

R | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorizing apparitions, kills off each, unknowing if these demons are merely figments of her hallucinatory imagination or part of reality.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi, Hugh Millais

Votes: 4,341

46. Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972)

86 min | Action, Drama

The Four Seasons Brothel is run by a ruthless madam, Lady Chun Yi. Countless young girls have been kidnapped or bought and then sold into a life of servitude, prostitution, and torture at ... See full summary »

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Lily Ho, Hua Yueh, Betty Pei Ti, Lin Tung

Votes: 584

47. The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

R | 103 min | Drama

A daydreamer convinces his radio personality brother to help fund one of his get-rich-quick schemes.

Director: Bob Rafelson | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Julia Anne Robinson

Votes: 4,450

48. The New Land (1972)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Western

A Swedish immigrant family struggle to establish a new life for themselves in the forest of Minnesota in the mid 19th Century.

Director: Jan Troell | Stars: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Eddie Axberg, Pierre Lindstedt

Votes: 3,283

49. Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii (1972)

G | 92 min | Documentary, Music

Live versions of the songs, filmed in an old Pompeii amphitheater. Songs included are Echoes (split into 2 parts), Careful with that axe, Eugene, A saucerful of secrets, One of those days, ... See full summary »

Director: Adrian Maben | Stars: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, Nick Mason

Votes: 8,028