Best 100 Movies of '70s

by jzerenidis | created - 24 Nov 2016 | updated - 05 May 2018 | Public

Best Movies of the decade 1970-1979 that I've seen, ranked best to worst.

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1. 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: 1,511,413 | Gross: $134.97M

The Godfather I (1972) 10/10

2. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,058,697 | Gross: $57.30M

The Godfather II (1974) 10/10

3. 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: 744,942 | Gross: $78.90M

Alien (1979) 10/10

4. The Conversation (1974)

PG | 113 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple, on whom he is spying, will be murdered.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 90,824 | Gross: $4.42M

The Conversation (1974) 9/10

5. 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: 572,075 | Gross: $83.47M

Apocalypse Now (1979) 9/10

6. Young Frankenstein (1974)

PG | 106 min | Comedy

80 Metascore

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle

Votes: 137,047 | Gross: $86.30M

Young Frankenstein (1974) 9/10

7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

83 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Michael Berryman

Votes: 865,109 | Gross: $112.00M

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 9/10

8. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

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

Votes: 294,973 | Gross: $48.98M

The Deer Hunter (1978) 9/10

9. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks

Votes: 675,623 | Gross: $28.26M

Taxi Driver (1976) 9/10

10. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

81 Metascore

When a 12 year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.

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

Votes: 345,927 | Gross: $232.91M

The Exorcist (1973) 9/10

11. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

PG | 128 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

63 Metascore

In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery

Votes: 51,978

Murder on the Orient Express (1974) 9/10

12. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

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 mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,173,655 | Gross: $322.74M

Star Wars (1977) 8/10

13. Chinatown (1974)

R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

92 Metascore

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Votes: 276,713 | Gross: $29.20M

Chinatown (1974) 8/10

14. Straw Dogs (1971)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna

Votes: 53,769

Straw Dogs (1971) 8/10

15. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation, which turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Sully Boyar

Votes: 224,698 | Gross: $50.00M

Dog Day Afternoon (1975) 8/10

16. The Sting (1973)

PG | 129 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.

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

Votes: 228,991 | Gross: $159.60M

The Sting (1973) 8/10

17. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 718,198

A Clockwork Orange (1971) 8/10

18. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 523,387 | Gross: $260.00M

Jaws (1975) 8/10

19. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

R | 155 min | Drama, Romance

88 Metascore

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her mental illness proves to be a problem in the marriage.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper, Lady Rowlands

Votes: 19,232 | Gross: $13.34M

A Woman Under the Influence (1974) 8/10

20. The French Connection (1971)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco

Votes: 103,460

The French Connection (1971) 8/10

21. Duel (1971 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Action, Thriller

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell

Votes: 59,097

Duel (1971) 8/10

22. 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: 94,077

Deliverance (1972) 8/10

23. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

75 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain

Votes: 127,702 | Gross: $30.86M

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) 8/10

24. Monty Python's 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: 348,305 | Gross: $20.05M

Life of Brian (1979) 8/10

25. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

PG | 105 min | Drama

77 Metascore

Ted Kramer's wife leaves him, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.

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

Votes: 124,292 | Gross: $106.26M

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) 8/10

26. A Bridge Too Far (1977)

PG | 175 min | Drama, History, War

Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier

Votes: 48,986 | Gross: $50.80M

A Bridge Too Far (1977) 8/10

27. 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: 42,998

Sleuth (1972) 8/10

28. Papillon (1973)

R | 151 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon

Votes: 116,325 | Gross: $53.27M

Papillon (1973) 8/10

29. The Omen (1976)

R | 111 min | Horror

62 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 101,905 | Gross: $4.27M

The Omen (1976) 8/10

30. Dirty Harry (1971)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

90 Metascore

When a madman calling himself "the Scorpio Killer" menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni

Votes: 136,233 | Gross: $35.90M

Dirty Harry (1971) 7/10

31. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

R | 117 min | Mystery, Thriller

63 Metascore

A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow

Votes: 44,646 | Gross: $41.51M

Three Days of The Condor (1975) 7/10

32. Days of Heaven (1978)

PG | 94 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

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.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz

Votes: 48,332

Days of Heaven (1978) 7/10

33. All the President's Men (1976)

PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam

Votes: 96,414 | Gross: $70.60M

All the President's Men (1976) 7/10

34. Klute (1971)

R | 114 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi, Roy Scheider

Votes: 20,451 | Gross: $12.51M

Klute (1971) 7/10

35. Being There (1979)

PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

A simpleminded, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.

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

Votes: 62,362 | Gross: $30.18M

Being There (1979) 7/10

36. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

PG | 112 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Roberts Blossom, Jack Thibeau

Votes: 109,402 | Gross: $43.00M

Escape From Alcatraz (1979) 7/10

37. Marathon Man (1976)

R | 125 min | Crime, Thriller

64 Metascore

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane

Votes: 54,843 | Gross: $21.71M

Marathon Man (1976) 7/10

38. Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Not Rated | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

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.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand

Votes: 20,141 | Gross: $0.37M

Le Cercle Rouge (1970) 7/10

39. 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: 25,461 | Gross: $51.72M

The China Syndrome (1979) 7/10

40. The Fifth Seal (1976)

116 min | Drama, War

In Budapest in 1944, a watchmaker, a book seller and a carpenter are drinking in a bar with the owner,when they are joined by a stranger. The watchmaker asks a hypothetical question that will change their lives.

Director: Zoltán Fábri | Stars: Lajos Öze, László Márkus, Ferenc Bencze, Sándor Horváth

Votes: 3,324

The Fifth Seal (Az Otödik Pecsét) (1976) 7/10

41. Rocky (1976)

PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport

70 Metascore

A small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

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

Votes: 491,643 | Gross: $117.24M

Rocky (1976) 7/10

42. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

PG | 138 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

Roy Neary, an electric lineman, watches how his quiet and ordinary daily life turns upside down after a close encounter with a UFO.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon

Votes: 173,877 | Gross: $132.09M

Close Encounters of The Third Kind (1977) 7/10

43. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

81 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 216,417 | Gross: $47.00M

Halloween (1978) 7/10

44. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

PG | 91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

93 Metascore

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table embark on a surreal, low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones | Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam

Votes: 478,657 | Gross: $1.23M

Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975) 7/10

45. Get Carter (1971)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

Director: Mike Hodges | Stars: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne

Votes: 27,308 | Gross: $0.13M

Get Carter (1971) 7/10

46. The Getaway (1972)

PG | 123 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.4