Best Movies Of 1970s

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Best Movies Of 1970s

Ever seen these Best Movies Of 1970s? We promise you'll find some new films. We gathered 25 of our favorites.

The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather
★★★★
★★★★
3.7 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton
Rated R

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy. It stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of the fictional Corleone crime family. The story, spanning 1945 to 1955, follows the Corleone family as they struggle to protect their business and expand their empire while dealing with the criminal underworld, the U.S. government, and the changing cultural landscape of America. The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, having won three Academy Awards and spawning two sequels. It is considered to be a landmark work in the gangster genre.

The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather Part II
★★★★
★★★★
3.6 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
Rated R

The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film and the sequel to The Godfather. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the film stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, and John Cazale, reprising their roles from the original film. It is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, presenting parallel dramas: one picks up the 1958 story of Michael Corleone (Pacino), the new Don of the Corleone family, while the prequel covers the journey of his father, Vito Corleone (De Niro), from his Sicilian childhood to the founding of his family enterprise in New York City. The Godfather Part II earned 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for De Niro’s performance. The film is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time and its legacy continues to influence popular culture.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Milos Forman, starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco
Rated R

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 American drama film directed by Milos Forman, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a criminal who is sent to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation, where he clashes with the oppressive Nurse Ratched, played by Louise Fletcher. The story follows McMurphy's rebellion against the oppressive staff of the hospital, and his attempts to help the other inmates. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Nicholson, and Best Actress for Fletcher.

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

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From George Lucas, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness
Rated PG

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope is the first film in the Star Wars saga and tells the classic story of good versus evil. It follows the journey of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he joins forces with the Rebellion to battle the Galactic Empire and its powerful leader, the evil Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones). Along the way, Luke meets a variety of companions, including the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), the feisty Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), the lovable droids C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), and the talented smuggler, Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Together, they must find a way to destroy the Death Star before it can be used to wipe out the Rebel Alliance. Along the way, the group faces a variety of dangerous adversaries and obstacles, and Luke discovers the power of the Force that will help him save the galaxy.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest
Rated R

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic war film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. It stars Martin Sheen as a US Army soldier on a mission to kill renegade Green Beret colonel Walter Kurtz (Marlon Brando) in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The film follows the story of Captain Benjamin Willard (Sheen), a traumatized, dispirited soldier who struggles to complete the mission amidst the horrors of war and his own mental decline. As Willard and his team get closer to Kurtz, they experience the brutality and chaos of war, and the film culminates in an explosive, surreal confrontation between the two men at Kurtz's compound deep in the Cambodian jungle. Along the way, Willard also meets a variety of people, including members of a US Navy patrol boat crew, a beautiful French plantation owner, and a crazed photojournalist. Apocalypse Now is a powerful exploration of the psychological tolls of war and the human capacity for evil.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke
Rated R

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name. The film follows Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a charismatic, sociopathic delinquent who lives in a near-future dystopian Britain. Alex and his "Droogs" engage in random acts of ultra-violence, including rape and malicious assault. After Alex is arrested and convicted of murder, he is subjected to an experimental therapy that turns him into a pacifist. Alex then attempts to adjust to a society that no longer tolerates violence. The film is noted for its innovative visual style, which Kubrick uses to comment on contemporary themes, including crime, youth culture, and authoritarianism. Despite controversy over its violent content, A Clockwork Orange was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It has since become a cult classic that has been recognized as one of the greatest films of all time.

The Sting (1973)

The Sting
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From George Roy Hill, starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning
Rated PG

The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in 1936, directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a pair of con men who seek revenge on a mob boss. The pair plan and execute a complex series of schemes to con the mobster out of a large sum of money. Along the way, they enlist the help of a variety of shady characters, including a crooked bookie, a pickpocket, and a jazz musician. The duo's schemes are put to the test as the mob boss gets wise to their game and attempts to thwart them at every turn. In the end, the con men are victorious, but not without a few twists and turns along the way. The Sting was a critical and commercial success, winning seven Academy Awards and becoming the highest-grossing film of 1973.

Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks
Rated R

Taxi Driver follows the story of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a lonely and mentally unstable US Marine veteran living in New York City in 1976. After becoming increasingly isolated from society, Travis begins to work as a night-time taxi driver, navigating the dark and seedy streets of the city. His encounters with criminals, prostitutes, and other nightlife inhabitants drive him to an obsession with cleansing the city of its filth. He soon embarks on a mission of vigilante justice, setting out to save a young teenager, Iris (Jodie Foster), from her life in the sex trade. His increasingly violent actions spiral out of control, culminating in a dramatic and gripping climax.

Chinatown (1974)

Chinatown
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Roman Polanski, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez
Rated R

Chinatown is a 1974 neo-noir mystery film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. It was written by Robert Towne and is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. The film follows private investigator Jake Gittes, who is hired by a powerful water magnate to investigate his wife's infidelity. However, what begins as a simple investigation quickly spirals into a complex web of secrets and lies involving the city's water supply, corruption, and incest. As Jake delves deeper into the case, he discovers a darker truth that threatens to destroy the lives of those around him. Despite facing violence and danger, Jake battles to uncover the truth and bring justice to the people of Chinatown.

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From William Friedkin, starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb
Rated R

The Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film directed by William Friedkin and adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. The film stars Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, and Linda Blair. The story follows a Catholic priest named Father Damien Karras, who is asked to perform an exorcism on a 12-year-old girl named Regan MacNeil who has become possessed by a demonic presence. Father Karras must battle the forces of evil while also struggling with his own spiritual crisis. The film is widely acclaimed and is often regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards, although only winning two, and grossed over $441 million at the box office. It is credited with helping to change the landscape of horror films and making them more accepted by mainstream audiences.

Jaws (1975)

Jaws
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary
Rated PG

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. The film stars Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss as Chief Martin Brody, Quint, and Matt Hooper, respectively, a trio of men who set out to hunt a great white shark terrorizing the waters of Amity Island. Brody is a police chief who is initially skeptical of the danger posed by the shark, while Quint and Hooper are professional shark hunters. Over the course of the film, the trio face off against the massive and dangerous shark, as Brody comes to terms with his fear and ultimately saves Amity Island from the menace.

The Deer Hunter (1978)

The Deer Hunter
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Michael Cimino, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage
Rated R

The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic war drama film directed by Michael Cimino and starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep. The plot follows a trio of Russian American steelworkers whose lives are changed forever after they are sent to fight in the Vietnam War. The story focuses on the devastating effects of the war and the bonds of friendship and loyalty between the men. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time and was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning five, including Best Picture and Best Director for Cimino.

Rocky (1976)

Rocky
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From John G. Avildsen, starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers
Rated PG

Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags-to-riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia. Rocky starts out as a small-time club fighter, and later gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The film also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian's brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed. Rocky goes the distance in a 15-round fight against Creed, and although Creed is declared the winner by a split decision, the spectators and media hail Rocky as the "real winner" for his sheer determination and bravery. After the fight, Rocky and Adrian's love blossoms and the two eventually marry.

Paper Moon (1973)

Paper Moon
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Peter Bogdanovich, starring Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman
Rated PG

Paper Moon is a 1973 comedy-drama directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. Set in the Depression-era Midwest, the film follows the adventures of a nine-year-old orphan named Addie Loggins (Tatum O'Neal) and her con artist father Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal). After Moses' business partner is killed in a robbery, Moses takes Addie to stay with her aunt, with whom he hopes to collect a debt. On the road, Moses meets con artist, slick-talking con man, "Drummer" Soap (Madge Sinclair). Moses and Addie strike up a business partnership, where Addie helps Moses in his con-artist schemes. As they cross the Midwest, they encounter many colorful characters, as well as some dangerous situations. The film explores the unique and often humorous relationship between Moses and Addie, as they learn to trust each other and accept each other's flaws. In the end, they discover that they were meant to be family, no matter what the circumstances.

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

A Woman Under the Influence
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From John Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper, Lady Rowlands
Rated R

A Woman Under the Influence tells the story of Mabel Longhetti (Gena Rowlands), a housewife and mother who is struggling with her mental health. After her husband, Nick (Peter Falk), notices her increasingly bizarre behavior, he arranges for her to see a psychiatrist. Mabel's fragile mental state and the pressures of her husband's expectations cause her to continue to spiral out of control, leading to a heartbreaking climax. Along the way, the film examines the complexities of mental illness, familial love, and social pressures.

Network (1976)

Network
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Sidney Lumet, starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall
Rated R

Network is a 1976 American satirical black comedy-drama film written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet. The film stars Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall, and tells the story of a fictional television network, UBS, and its struggle with poor ratings. The film follows the protagonist, Howard Beale (Finch), a news anchor who, after learning of his impending dismissal, advises his viewers to shout out of their windows "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" His outburst ignites a wave of anti-establishment fury among viewers, who choose to rally around him. The network executives exploit his popularity by using him to increase ratings, but his new-found fame soon destroys his life and sanity. The film received four Academy Awards, including Best Actor (Finch posthumously) and Best Original Screenplay (Chayefsky).

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger
Rated PG

Barry Lyndon is a 1975 period drama film written, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. The film follows the exploits of an Irish rogue who rises in society in 18th-century Europe by gambling and marrying into wealth. Ryan O'Neal stars as Barry Lyndon, with Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger, and Leon Vitali in supporting roles. The story follows Lyndon's rise from poverty to success and his eventual downfall. Lyndon is a charming yet flawed opportunist who uses his wit, charm, and cunning to climb the social ladder, ultimately becoming a member of the English aristocracy. Along the way, he encounters numerous characters and adventures, including a duel, an affair, and a life of luxury. Despite his success, his reckless decisions lead to his eventual downfall. Barry Lyndon was a critical and commercial success upon its release, earning four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography for John Alcott. The film is noted for its beautiful cinematography and attention to historical detail, with Kubrick creating some of the most iconic images in cinema.

The Last Picture Show (1971)

The Last Picture Show
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Peter Bogdanovich, starring Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson
Rated R

The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ellen Burstyn, and Ben Johnson. Set in 1951 in the small, declining town of Anarene, Texas, the story follows the lives of two high school seniors, Sonny Crawford and Duane Jackson, as they navigate the complexities of adolescence. The film follows Sonny and Duane as they struggle with the loneliness, loneliness, and apathy of life in a small town, and their subsequent attempts to escape it. They find solace in the town movie theater, and in the arms of local girls Charlene Duggs and Jacy Farrow. The film focuses on the developing relationships between the characters and the range of emotions experienced in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. As the film progresses, Sonny and Duane struggle with the consequences of their actions, and the end of their innocence.

Papillon (1973)

Papillon
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Franklin J. Schaffner, starring Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon
Rated R

Papillon is a 1973 adventure drama film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. The film follows the story of Henri "Papillon" Charrière (McQueen), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious Devil's Island penal colony. Determined to gain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with a convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Hoffman). Together, they try to escape the prison and its harsh rules. The film is based on the 1969 autobiography by the real-life Papillon and is a testament to the human spirit and perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds.

Being There (1979)

Being There
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Hal Ashby, starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden
Rated PG

Being There is a 1979 American comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby, based on the 1970 novel of the same name by Jerzy Kosiński. The film stars Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, and Jack Warden. The story follows Chance, a simple gardener who resides in a Washington, D.C. townhouse owned by an old, wealthy man. After his employer dies, Chance is forced to fend for himself in a world he knows nothing about. Through a series of misunderstandings, Chance is mistaken for a wise political advisor by the powerful and elite in Washington. With his simple, naive wisdom, Chance quickly rises to power, becoming a target of political figures who seek to use him for their own gain. In the end, Chance's newfound success is shattered when the truth is revealed.

Annie Hall (1977)

Annie Hall
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Woody Allen, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane
Rated PG

Annie Hall tells the story of neurotic New Yorker Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and his doomed relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). After meeting in a movie line, Alvy and Annie fall in love and attempt to make a relationship work, despite their different backgrounds and personalities. Through a series of flashbacks, the film examines the couple's relationship over the years and Alvy's inability to move on from the end of their relationship. Along the way he must also confront his own insecurities and neuroses. In the end, Annie Hall is a bittersweet exploration of love, relationships, and the choices we make.

Patton (1970)

Patton
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Franklin J. Schaffner, starring George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong
Rated GP

Patton is a 1970 American biographical war film starring George C. Scott as General George S. Patton during World War II. It tells the story of Patton's career and his role in the Allied victory, his often-controversial view of military leadership, and his complex relationships with his staff. The film follows Patton's rise to success in the North African, Sicilian, and European theatres of World War II. It also follows his struggles with the complicated and sometimes conflicting directives of his superiors and subordinates, as well as his personal battles with his own ego and insecurities. The film is recognized for its accurate depiction of the historical events of World War II, and it won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

All the President's Men (1976)

All the President's Men
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Alan J. Pakula, starring Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam
Rated PG

All the President's Men is a 1976 American political thriller directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. The film is based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, which chronicles their reporting on the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post. The film follows the two reporters as they investigate the break-in at the Democratic National Committee office at the Watergate complex by five men with ties to President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign. As they continue their investigation, they uncover an elaborate cover-up involving high-level government officials, and their work leads to Nixon's resignation. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won four for Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and Best Sound.

Harold and Maude (1971)

Harold and Maude
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Hal Ashby, starring Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack
Rated PG

Harold and Maude is a 1971 dark comedy film directed by Hal Ashby and starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. The film follows the unlikely relationship between the 20-year-old Harold, a death-obsessed young man, and 79-year-old Maude, an eccentric and spontaneous free spirit. As their relationship develops, Harold learns to embrace life and discover his identity. The film explores themes of love, mortality, and freedom of choice. As Harold continues to explore life with Maude, he learns valuable lessons about living for the moment, accepting others, and finding joy in the little things. As their relationship is tested by those around them, Harold and Maude ultimately find the courage to follow their hearts.

Manhattan (1979)

Manhattan
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Woody Allen, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Michael Murphy
Rated R

Manhattan is a 1979 romantic comedy-drama from director Woody Allen and follows the life of Isaac Davis (Allen), a twice-divorced 42-year-old television writer living in New York City. He is currently dating a 17-year-old high school student and struggling with his relationship with his best friend and college girlfriend, Mary Wilke (Diane Keaton). As Isaac navigates his relationships and tries to find happiness in his own life, he also examines the lives of those around him and comes to terms with his own mortality. The film explores issues such as modern romance, age differences, and the complex relationships between people. The film is laced with Allen's trademark wit, humor, and insight, as well as stunning black and white cinematography of the city of Manhattan.

 



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