Ever watched these Greatest Movies Of The 70s? We know for sure you'll find some new picks. Here are 25 of the top ones.
From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton
The Godfather is a 1972 American crime drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy, based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel of the same name. It stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family. The story, spanning 1945 to 1955, chronicles the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of his son Michael Corleone (Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss. The film's plot chronicles the Corleone family's power struggles as they attempt to gain control of their organized crime empire. Michael, the youngest Corleone, is initially reluctant to follow in his father's footsteps, but eventually takes over after his father is shot. He ruthlessly eliminates the crime families who oppose him, and strategically places his associates in positions of power. Despite its violent themes, The Godfather is widely considered a masterpiece and one of the greatest films of all time. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture and was the recipient of numerous other awards and nominations. It has been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and is ranked second on Empire magazine's
From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy. It is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather Part I, continuing the story of the Corleone crime family while also exploring the past of the family's patriarch, Vito Corleone. The film begins with Vito's rise as an immigrant in early 20th century New York, and then fast-forwards to the events of The Godfather Part I, in which Michael Corleone, Vito's son, assumes control of the family crime business. The central storyline of The Godfather Part II follows Michael's attempts to protect his family's interests in the face of increased rival gang activity and government investigations. The film also features flashbacks to Vito's life as a young man in Sicily, as he comes to terms with his new life in America. The Godfather Part II received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It won six Oscars, including Best Supporting Actor for Robert De Niro's portrayal of the young Vito Corleone.
From Milos Forman, starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 American drama film directed by Milos Forman and based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a criminal serving a prison sentence who feigns mental illness to serve the rest of his sentence in a mental institution rather than jail. Once inside the institution, McMurphy clashes with the oppressive Nurse Ratched and acts as a father-figure to the other inmates. With the help of Chief Bromden, he rallies the patients to rebel against the oppressive authority figures, leading to a climactic finale. In addition to Nicholson, the film stars Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, Will Sampson, and Christopher Lloyd, and features Danny DeVito, Scatman Crothers, and Sydney Lassick in supporting roles. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Nicholson, Best Actress for Fletcher, Best Director for Forman, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman.
From George Lucas, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness
Star Wars: A New Hope tells the story of key characters: Luke Skywalker, a young farmer longing for adventure; Princess Leia, a rebel leader holding secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon; Han Solo, a charismatic smuggler; and Obi-Wan Kenobi, an old Jedi master. When the Empire threatens the galaxy, Luke joins forces with the Rebel Alliance to save the galaxy from the Empire’s tyranny. With help from Han, Leia and Obi-Wan, Luke leads a daring mission to destroy the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, and restore freedom and justice to the galaxy. Along the way, Luke discovers that he has a powerful connection to the Force and must confront his destiny as a Jedi Knight.
From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest
Apocalypse Now is a brilliant and darkly surreal exploration of the horrors of the Vietnam War. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the film follows an American Army officer, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), on a secret mission to assassinate a renegade American colonel, Kurtz (Marlon Brando). His journey leads him upriver into Cambodia, where he encounters the hostile environment of the jungle, the madness of war, and his own inner demons. Along the way, he meets a variety of characters, including a USO Playmate (Aurore Clement), a photojournalist (Dennis Hopper), and a strange Green Beret (Robert Duvall). Ultimately, Willard must confront the darkness of Kurtz's madness, and the morality of his mission. Apocalypse Now presents a powerful, disturbing, and ultimately unforgettable vision of the human cost of war.
From Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke
A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian crime film written, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick and adapted from Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name. It follows the life of Alex, a young delinquent, who is sent to prison after committing a series of violent crimes. Once incarcerated, Alex is forced to undergo aversion therapy to modify his behavior, which has unexpected consequences. The film is known for its intense, graphic scenes of violence, as well as its unique aesthetic, which combines elements of futurism, surrealism, and satire. It is an exploration of free will and human nature, exploring the implications of using mind-altering techniques to control people's behavior. It is also noted for its use of music, particularly classical works from Beethoven, Rossini, and others.
From George Roy Hill, starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning
The Sting is a 1973 crime caper film directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as small-time con men seeking revenge against a mob boss. Set in 1930s Chicago, the film follows two grifters as they plan and execute a complicated scheme to con the mob boss out of a large sum of money. With the help of an eccentric hustler and some clever disguises, they devise an elaborate plan to swindle the mobster. Through twists and turns, the movie follows the two men as they outwit and outsmart their enemies. Ultimately, they succeed in conning the mob boss and walk away with the money.
From Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks
Taxi Driver is a classic 1976 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The film stars Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, a lonely taxi driver in New York City who descends into insanity and attempts to assassinate a presidential candidate in an attempt to rescue a teenage prostitute, played by Jodie Foster. Also featured are Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks and Leonard Harris. The film follows Travis as he becomes increasingly isolated and frustrated with the moral decay of society, and his attempts to help the people he meets during his late-night shifts as a taxi driver. He is eventually driven to take desperate and violent action, but ultimately finds a kind of redemption. Taxi Driver was a critical and commercial success, earning numerous awards and nominations including four Academy Award nominations. It has since become a cult classic, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made.
From Roman Polanski, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez
Chinatown is a 1974 neo-noir mystery drama film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. The film follows private eye J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Nicholson) as he investigates the murder of a prominent Los Angeles land baron and uncovers a web of corruption and deceit involving the city's water supply and a secret affair between the baron's wife and her lover. With the help of an enigmatic socialite (Dunaway), Gittes uncovers a sinister plot in which the city's powerful elite are colluding to manipulate the city's water supply for their own gain. The investigation leads to a startling revelation and a climactic showdown at the Los Angeles aqueduct. Chinatown is considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and being nominated for eleven Oscars in total.
From William Friedkin, starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb
The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin. It is based on the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. The film follows the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl, named Regan, and her mother's desperate attempts to win back her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The film features an ensemble cast including Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, and Linda Blair in the title role. The Exorcist received widespread critical acclaim upon its release, being hailed by many as the greatest horror film ever made. It earned ten Academy Award nominations, winning two: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound Mixing. It also inspired a number of sequels and prequels, as well as other adaptations.
From Steven Spielberg, starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary
Jaws is a 1975 American horror-thriller directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter Benchley's 1974 novel of the same name. It stars Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife, Ellen. The film follows Brody, Hooper, and Quint as they set out to hunt down and kill a great white shark that has been terrorizing Amity Island. Along the way, they face dangerous obstacles as they try to track down the beast and eventually come face-to-face with it in a climactic showdown. Jaws quickly became a box office sensation and is considered one of the most influential films of all time. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is consistently ranked among the greatest films of all time.
From Michael Cimino, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage
The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic drama film directed by Michael Cimino, and starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep. The film follows a group of Russian-American steelworkers from Pennsylvania who go to Vietnam to fight in the Vietnam War. After the war, the friends are forever changed by their harrowing experiences. The film follows their relationship as they return home and attempt to rebuild their lives in the wake of the trauma they endured. The Deer Hunter explores the effects of war on the psyche of the soldiers, including post-traumatic stress disorder. The film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won 5, including Best Director for Cimino.
From John G. Avildsen, starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers
Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted working class Italian-American boxer working as a debt collector for a loan shark in the slums of Philadelphia. When a stroke of luck gets him a shot at the world heavyweight championship, Rocky takes a shot at both the title and the hearts of millions of people in his hometown. With the help of his trainer, Mickey Goldmill, and his girlfriend, Adrian, Rocky begins training and is soon involved in one of the most legendary battles in the history of sports. Rocky's determination and tenacity prove victorious in the end, as he goes the distance and wins the match and the hearts of the entire city of Philadelphia.
From Peter Bogdanovich, starring Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman
Paper Moon is a 1973 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal as a father and daughter conning people in the American Midwest during the Great Depression. Set in Kansas and Missouri, it is based on the novel Addie Pray by Joe David Brown. The film was acclaimed by critics, and was the first film for which Ryan O'Neal and Tatum O'Neal were nominated for an Academy Award. The film follows Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal) and his daughter Addie (Tatum O'Neal) as they travel across the Midwest during the Great Depression selling bibles and other goods to unsuspecting people. The two develop a father-daughter relationship, although Addie is not Moses' biological daughter. The two eventually encounter a con artist (Madeline Kahn) and her partner, who inspire them to become con artists themselves. The film was a critical and commercial success, receiving three Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Tatum, and winning Best Supporting Actress for Madeline Kahn. The film's success helped launch Bogdanovich into an acclaimed directing career.
From John Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper, Lady Rowlands
A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 American drama film directed by John Cassavetes and starring Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk. The film follows the story of Mabel Longhetti, a mentally unstable housewife, and her husband Nick, a construction worker. Mabel's erratic behavior leads Nick to admit her for psychiatric treatment, setting the stage for a powerful exploration of family dynamics and the pain of mental illness. The film paints an intimate portrait of a woman's struggle with her mental health, and the effects it has on the people around her. Through a series of intense scenes, Cassavetes captures Mabel's mental breakdown and her inner turmoil in a heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting story.
From Sidney Lumet, starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall
Network is a 1976 satirical drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and written by Paddy Chayefsky. The film stars Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, and William Holden. The film follows the fortunes of a fictional television news network, UBS, and its struggle against declining ratings. At the center of the film is anchorman Howard Beale (Finch), who, after being fired from his job, delivers an on-air tirade about the state of the world. His rant inspires a nation of viewers, leading to a huge surge in ratings for UBS. The station's president (Duvall) and programming chief (Holden) see this as an opportunity to make money, and begin to engineer outrageous programming to keep the ratings up. Meanwhile, the network's news division fights to maintain its journalistic credibility amidst the sensationalism. The film was a critical and commercial success, and won four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Finch, Best Actress for Dunaway, Best Supporting Actress for Beatrice Straight, and Best Original Screenplay for Chayefsky. It was also nominated for a further three Academy Awards, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest satire films of all time.
From Stanley Kubrick, starring Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger
Barry Lyndon is a 1975 period drama film written and directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. The film follows the exploits of an Irish rogue, Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal), who rises from a destitute orphan to the heights of the aristocratic class in 18th-century Europe. Along the way, he attempts to win the heart of the wealthy and beautiful Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson), and faces many trials and tribulations as he strives to become a gentleman. Barry Lyndon is a character study of a flawed yet ultimately sympathetic anti-hero, whose life is determined by the forces of ambition, vanity, and luck. Kubrick's direction, combined with the film's stunning cinematography, composer Leonard Rosenman's haunting score, and a cast of memorable characters, make Barry Lyndon a timeless classic.
From Peter Bogdanovich, starring Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson
The Last Picture Show is a 1971 drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich and based on the novel by Larry McMurtry. The film is set in the small, declining town of Anarene, Texas in 1951 and follows the lives of Sonny Crawford and Duane Jackson, two teenage boys coming of age. The film also follows the lives of their friends, including Jacy Farrow, a beautiful and naive girl, and Ruth Popper, the lonely wife of Anarene's high school basketball coach. The movie follows the characters as they face the hardships of growing up in a small, dying town and highlights their struggles with sex, love, and relationships. The title of the movie refers to the closing of the town's movie theater, which symbolizes the dying of the town. In addition to the coming-of-age story, the film also serves as a commentary on the changing nature of small towns in the 1950s. The movie was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and won 2, for Best Supporting Actor (Ben Johnson) and Best Supporting Actress (Cloris Leachman).
From Franklin J. Schaffner, starring Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon
Papillon is a 1973 film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, adapted from the bestselling autobiography by Henri Charrière. The film follows the story of Henri Charrière (played by Steve McQueen), a French safecracker known as “Papillon”, who is falsely convicted of murder in France and sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony on Devil's Island. Along with his cellmate, the eccentric counterfeiter Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), Papillon launches a daring escape plan, in which he and Dega must travel across a treacherous tropical jungle, elude the guards of the penal colony, and survive on their own in the wild. Along the way, the duo face starvation, dehydration, and the ever-present threat of recapture. Ultimately, Papillon’s incredible will to survive is tested as he makes a dangerous journey towards freedom.
From Hal Ashby, starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden
Being There is a 1979 comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby. It is based on Jerzy Kosinski's 1971 novel of the same name. The film stars Peter Sellers as Chance, a simple-minded gardener whose life takes an unexpected turn when he is forced out of his home by the death of his employer. After wandering the streets of Washington D.C., he is taken in by an influential businessman. His simple-mindedness is mistaken for wisdom and he quickly rises to become a trusted advisor to the President, despite knowing very little of the world or politics. His musings and observations are seen as profound and he is seen as a mysterious figure of potentially great power. As his influence grows, Chance must decide if he will use his newfound power for good or take advantage of it for his own gain.
From Woody Allen, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane
Annie Hall is a classic romantic comedy from director Woody Allen. The movie tells the story of a neurotic New York City comedian, Alvy Singer, and his on-again-off-again relationship with the flighty and often unpredictable Annie Hall. The film follows Alvy's journey of self-discovery as he reflects on his failed relationship with Annie and all of the other relationships that he has experienced. Through a blend of flashbacks, fantasy sequences, and conversations between Alvy and various friends, family members, and past lovers, the film paints a portrait of Alvy's life and his quest for true love. Along the way, the audience is exposed to Allen's signature brand of wit and philosophical musings on topics such as life, love, and the human condition. Ultimately, Alvy finds himself struggling to come to terms with his past and to make peace with his present.
From Franklin J. Schaffner, starring George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong
Patton is a 1970 biographical war film starring George C. Scott as United States Army General George Patton during World War II. The film follows Patton's career in North Africa and Europe, where he led successful campaigns against the German forces, ultimately earning him the nickname "Old Blood and Guts". The film follows his personal and professional life, from his personal relationships, to his intense concern for the well-being of his troops, to his rivalry with British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery. It also examines the controversial aspects of Patton's life such as his profane language, personal ambition, and his controversial comments regarding Nazi Germany. Despite its controversial subject matter, the film was a critical and commercial success, winning seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
From Alan J. Pakula, starring Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam
All the President's Men is a 1976 political thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. The film is a dramatic retelling of the Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (Redford) and Carl Bernstein's (Hoffman) investigation into the Watergate scandal that resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. After uncovering evidence of a burglary at the Watergate complex and a possible connection to the Nixon White House, Woodward and Bernstein use their journalistic skills and connections to uncover a massive political cover-up. Their investigation leads to the uncovering of the Nixon Administration's illegal activities and eventually the President's resignation. The film was a critical and commercial success and won four Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Jason Robards, who played Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee.
From Hal Ashby, starring Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack
Harold and Maude is a 1971 American romantic black comedy-drama directed by Hal Ashby and starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. The story follows the exploits of Harold Chasen (Cort), a young man obsessed with death, and his relationship with 79-year-old Maude (Gordon), a passionate, eccentric, and rebellious woman. Through their unusual friendship, Harold begins to find hope and joy in life, ultimately learning valuable lessons about life and love. Throughout the film, Harold and Maude's relationship grows, and ultimately leads to a bittersweet ending. The movie also features a memorable soundtrack composed by Cat Stevens.
From Woody Allen, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Michael Murphy
Manhattan is a 1979 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Woody Allen and starring Allen, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Michael Murphy, and Mariel Hemingway. The film follows Isaac Davis (Allen), a twice divorced neurotic New Yorker who is dating a much younger woman (Hemingway). His close friends include a television writer (Murphy) and his ex-wife (Keaton). The film follows Isaac's life as he struggles to come to terms with his relationships, his work, and his life in the city of Manhattan. He contemplates suicide and contemplates relationships with his ex-wife, his much younger girlfriend, and his closest friend, who is in love with his ex-wife. The film is a comedic yet thoughtful exploration of life in New York City, with Allen often portraying Isaac as a neurotic yet endearing character. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway) and is widely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time.
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