Best Movies of the 70s: Top 40 Films of the 1970s, Ranked!

The 1970s was a magic period for the movie industry. From Robert Redford and Al Pacino to Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg, a whole new crop of stars and directors have become household names. America was a different place after the turmoil of the 60s, including the civil law movement, the sexual violence, and the Vietnam war, and Hollywood reflected changing culture as the film mirror. Films began to explore new terrains in which sexual roles were changing, political mistrust and subversive comedies were changing. The result was a new era in American and international cinema.

This list was compiled to classify the best movies of the decade to celebrate the movie heyday of the 1970s. All 1970s films have been compiled, which have good IMDb scores. To qualify, the movie had to be released between 1970 and 1979, and it was ranked well by IMDb. As well, we compiled 1960s movies to enjoy the classic movies of the Hollywood industry.

So, let’s round up to this list of Top 10 70’s Movies!

10. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Director:Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Released Year:1975
Runtime:91 minutes
IMDb Rating:8.2

The 1975 U.K. comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail reflects the Arthurian legend directed by Gilliam and Jones and performed in the comedy band Monty Python (Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones, and Palin). The New York Times named Monty Python and the Holy Grail, during their premiere, as “an incredibly special kind of lunatic effort,” a sentence that seems to define the British comedy film perfectly.

The movie is a parody of the legends of Holy Grail and King Arthur, written and directed by the Monty Python comedy troupe, a shock filled with laugh-off jokes, which have become permanent features of the Pop Culture Lexicon. In 2005, the cult classic became an award-winning Broadway show named “Spamalot,” slated to get a movie adaptation sometime this year.

9. Chinatown (1974)

Director:Roman Polanski
Released Year:1974
Runtime:130 minutes
IMDb Rating:8.1

Chinatown is an American neo-noir mystery film from Robert Towne’s screenplay directed by Roman Polanski, featuring Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson. The film was sparked by the California Water Wars at the beginning of the 20th century that ensured Los Angeles’ water rights in the Owens Valley, a series of strife around southern California’s water. 

In 1974 Jack Nicholson played private detective Jake Gittes in the piece by Roman Polanski in Los Angeles in the early 20th century, capturing America’s attention to a film of noir murder, intrigue, and water rights. The film won Nicholson’s fourth Oscar nomination and was a critical and commercial success. So, we ranked this movie on number nine on our list of Best 70’s movies.

8. The Last Picture Show (1971)

Director:Peter Bogdanovich
Released Year:1971
Runtime:118 minutes
IMDb Rating:8.0

The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American melodrama movie directed and co-written by Peter Bogdanovich and adapted from Larry McMurtry’s semi-autobiographical novel of 1966. For the second time, Director Peter Bogdanovich lists “The Last Photo Show,” a black-and-white high school student history with a cast of future all-stars in a small town in Texas. 

The films that were nominated for the eight Academy Prizes, including Best Picture, are all part of Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, and Randy Quaid. This was a key commercial success, with gross earnings of $29.1 million for a budget of $1.3 million.

7. Nashville (1975)

Director:Robert Altman
Released Year:1975
Runtime:160 minutes
IMDb Rating:7.7

Nashville was a comedy-drama film directed in 1975 by Robert Altman, an American satirical musical ensemble. The film is a five-day follow-up to a gala concert for a populist outsider running for President of the Replacement Party ticket. It follows several people involved in country and gospel businesses in Nashville, Tennessee. 

“Nashville” is a good example of Robert Altman’s inclination to ensemble casting and complex storylines in his paintings, with 24 main characters. The musical docudrama follows a group of people involved in the gospel and country music industry preparing for a concert to benefit an outsider of the populist presidential campaign. The film, written after the Watergate Scandal, is highly political and shows the country’s cautious attitude to all political things.

6. Star Wars (1977)

Director:George Lucas (Willow)
Released Year:1977
Runtime:121 minutes
IMDb Rating:8.6

Star Wars is an American epic media space opera franchise created in 1977 by George Lucas, which quickly became a global pop culture phenomenon. Star Wars is a worldwide media opera. The focus of Star Wars is the journey of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). He tries to release Princess Leia from the clutches of the tyrannical Galactic Empire alongside Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Guinness), smuggler Han Solo (Ford), and his companion Chewbacca (Mayhew) from the Wookiee. 

The total value of it was estimated to be US$70 billion in 2020 and is now the fifth-largest media franchise ever. “Star Wars” also burned a new trail in science fiction filmmaking as a victory for special effects. The story of an emergent world in which good and evil in space are decided has gained legions of fans, various Oscars, and a galaxy of sequels.

5. Taxi Driver (1976)

Director:Martin Scorsese
Released Year:1976
Runtime:114 minutes
IMDb Rating:8.3

The 1976 U.S. film Taxi Driver is written by Paul Schrader and stars Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks, and is directed by Martin Scorsese. The movie follows Travis Bickle, a taxi driver and veteran, and the mental state of the city in a failed and Morally bankrupt New York City after the Vietnam War. 

Cinephiles left theatres everywhere and said, “You talk to me?” after first seeing “Taxi Driver.” Robert De Niro is the star of an unstable cab driver who plots two murders that he believes will make him a hero to his two grown-up women. The second De Niro-Scorsese collaboration and the movie were included as a Best Picture nominee at the 1977 Academy Awards.

4. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Director:Francis Ford Coppola
Released Year:1979
Runtime:147 minutes
IMDb Rating:8.4

The 1979 American psychological warfare epic Apocalypse Now is filmed and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The screenplay, co-written by Coppola and John Milius with narration written by Michael Herr, is based loosely on Joseph Conrad’s 1899 Heart of Darkness, which changed from the end of the 19th century in Congo to the Vietnam War. 

The film follows a journey from the river South Vietnam to Cambodia by Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Sheen), a Renegadian Special Forces Army officer accused of murder and allegedly insane, on a secret assassination mission to Brando. Francis Ford Coppola seemed in the 1970s to make no mistake — the Apocalypse Now is a further case in point. The 1979 film adapted from “Heart of Darkness ‘ by Joseph Conrad and focuses on a rogue U.S. military officer, which updates its setting from Congo to the Vietnam War.

3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Director:Francis Ford Coppola
Released Year:1974
Runtime:202 minutes
IMDb Rating:9.0

Part II of Godfather is a 1974 American film of epic crime, produced and directed in the screenplay, together with Mario Puzo, by Francis Ford Coppola. It is also one of the biggest crime movies ever & the most popular film in the seventies. 

The sequel to the mafia, based on the book by Mario Puzo, returns in due time to show the younger Don Vito Corleone, whose role was made famous by Robert De Niro, who returned to Italy to his father, Michael (Al Pacino). The film is the rare sequel to earn the same accolades as the original, and the Coppola film has received an amazing eight academic awards, including Best Picture.

2. The Conformist (1970)

Director:Bernardo Bertolucci
Released Year:1970
Runtime:113 minutes
IMDb Rating:8.0

The Conformist is a 1970 political play by Bernardo Bertolucci, an adaptation based on the novel The Conformist by Alberto Moravia in 1951. The Conformist is a composition that has been written in Italy. Legendary movies like Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Coen Brothers frequently quote “the conformist” Bernardo Bertolucci, with its distinctive techniques, visual arrests, and unique storytelling methods, as having a significant effect on their work. 

Audiences follow a young fascist with the political thriller responsible for murdering his former professor (a party enemy). It is a story about the ease at which a morally bankrupt ideology becomes too important.

1. The Godfather (1972)

Director:Francis Ford Coppola
Released Year:1972
Runtime:175 minutes
IMDb Rating:9.2

The Godfather is an American crime movie from 1972, directed in collaboration with Marius Puzo in the 1969 bestselling novel Puzo by Francis Ford Coppola. As Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) cedes his son’s power to Al Pacino, “the Godfather” traces his family as a victim of crime in New York Corleone. The film was named Best Picture in 1973, and its impact went well beyond the season of prizes. 

The film has created its subculture with college classes, books, and more following the success of the mob film. The global budget ranged from $48 to $88 million. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and was honored by the 47th Academy Award.

So, these are all about The Best Movies of the 70s! If you want to take a glimpse of all the further 30 Ranked Movies with their respective details, then have a look below:

RankMovie NameDirectorRelease YearIMDb RatingRuntime(Minutes)
11.AlienRidley Scott19798.4117
12.The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Luis Buñuel19727.9102
13. Annie Hall Woody Allen19778.093
14. American Graffiti George Lucas19737.4110
15. The French Connection William Fiendkin19717.7140
16. Days of Heaven Terrence Malick19787.894
17. Badlands Terrence Malick19737.894
18. Le Cercle Rouge Jean-Pierre Melville19708.0140
19. Solaris Andrei Tarkovsky19728.1167
20. McCabe & Mrs. Miller Robert Altman19717.7120
21. Patton Franklin J. Schaffner19707.9172
22. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion Elio Petri19708.1115
23. Barry Lyndon Stanley Kubrick19758.1185
24. A Woman Under the Influence John Cassavetes19748.2155
25.One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Milos Forman19758.7133
26. Killer of SheepCharles Burnett19787.380
27.The Wild Child François Truffaut19707.583
28.The Man Who Would Be King John Huston19757.8129
29.Mean Streets Martin Scorsese19737.2112
30.Don’t Look Now Nicolas Roeg19737.2110
31. Tristana Luis Buñuel19707.599
32. Breaking Away Breaking Away19797.7101
33.Dirty Harry Don Siegel19717.7102
34. Jaws Steven Spielberg19758.0124
35.The Deer HunterMichael Cimino19788.1183
36.Frenzy Hitchcock Alfred 19727.4116
37.The Passenger Michelangelo Antonioni19757.6126
38.Close Encounters of the Third Kind Steven Spielberg19777.6138
39.Love and Death Woody Allen19757.785
40.The Spirit of the Beehive Víctor Erice19737.998


We compiled these data on all 1970s films to celebrate the unbelievable cinematic achievements of the decade to produce good IMDb scores. These films were released from 1970 to 1979 and left a classic memory in our hearts.

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