Al's Top Rated Films: 1970–1979

by pounds-alan | created - 4 months ago | updated - 1 day ago | Public

IN PROGRESS: These are my favorite movies from the 1970s that I have seen so far. I haven't seen a ton since I'm an 80s baby, but I will continue to add them to the list as I watch them.

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1. 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: 145,161 | Gross: $86.30M

I'm a big Mel Brooks fan, and this is my favorite Mel Brooks movie, and apparently, of the entire 1970s. So unique and well done. Gene Wilder & Marty Feldman are fantastic, as is the rest of the cast.

2. Rocky (1976)

PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport

70 Metascore

A small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavyweight 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: 527,144 | Gross: $117.24M

The original and best film in the Rocky franchise, in my opinion. John G. Avildsen did everything right here. My favorite boxing movie, if not sports movie in general.

3. Blazing Saddles (1974)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Western

73 Metascore

In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman

Votes: 127,691 | Gross: $119.50M

Another Mel Brooks movie! My favorite behind Young Frankenstein, and it comes with bigger laughs. You couldn't make this movie today. One of the funniest movies ever made.

4. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)

R | 109 min | Comedy

79 Metascore

At a 1962 college, Dean Vernon Wormer is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but those troublemakers have other plans for him.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst

Votes: 113,212 | Gross: $0.20M

Up there with my favorite coming of age comedies. Hilarious with a superb story by Harold Ramis.

5. 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: 1,248,575 | Gross: $322.74M

I'm not a mega Star Wars fan, but I love the original trilogy. Obviously one of the popular movies of all time. Love it!

6. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

87 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: 236,165 | Gross: $47.00M

Likely my favorite horror movie of all time. John Carpenter creates that suspense with a first person camera shot and a chilling soundtrack. Riveting. Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis are great.

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

R | 133 min | Drama

84 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, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco

Votes: 931,636 | Gross: $112.00M

Powerful and emotional. Jack Nicholson at his best. As well as Louise Fletcher playing the evil Nurse Ratched.

8. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, 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: 548,977 | Gross: $260.00M

One of the best thriller/horror films of its kind. Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss are all excellent. Classic.

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: 739,209 | Gross: $28.26M

One of my favorite Martin Scorsese films, and a great early role for Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster. Great film.

10. Carrie (1976)

R | 98 min | Horror

85 Metascore

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta

Votes: 170,467 | Gross: $33.80M

Excellent story by Stephen King. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie are both incredible in their roles. Up there with my favorite horror films.

11. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

Three amateur bank robbers plan to hold up a bank. A nice simple robbery: Walk in, take the money, and run. Unfortunately, the supposedly uncomplicated heist suddenly becomes a bizarre nightmare as everything that could go wrong does.

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

Votes: 239,079 | Gross: $50.00M

Perhaps my favorite film with Al Pacino, that features some of his finest acting, in my opinion. Superb story.

12. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

PG | 91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

91 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: 506,791 | Gross: $1.23M

One of the funniest movies of all time. I was a little older before I was fully able to appreciate this brand of humor. Superbly done all around.

13. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

78 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas fall victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

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

Votes: 139,948 | Gross: $30.86M

Easily one of the scariest movies of all time in my opinion. The scenes with Leatherface are horrific, and Marilyn Burns has to be one of the most terrifying screamers of all time. Classic for the genre.

14. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

An organized crime dynasty's aging patriarch transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

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

Votes: 1,653,692 | Gross: $134.97M

15. 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: 1,150,395 | Gross: $57.30M

16. Rocky II (1979)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Sport

61 Metascore

Rocky struggles in family life after his bout with Apollo Creed, while the embarrassed champ insistently goads him to accept a challenge for a rematch.

Director: Sylvester Stallone | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers

Votes: 194,956 | Gross: $6.39M

17. 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: 187,558 | Gross: $132.09M

18. 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: 123,236 | Gross: $53.27M

19. Being There (1979)

PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama

83 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: 66,764 | Gross: $30.18M

20. 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: 244,941 | Gross: $159.60M

21. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

67 Metascore

A poor but hopeful boy seeks one of the five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Votes: 181,221 | Gross: $4.00M

22. Up in Smoke (1978)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Music

57 Metascore

Two stoners unknowingly smuggle a van - made entirely of marijuana - from Mexico to L.A., with incompetent Sgt. Stedenko on their trail.

Directors: Lou Adler, Tommy Chong | Stars: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Strother Martin, Edie Adams

Votes: 36,560 | Gross: $44.36M

23. Barry Lyndon (1975)

PG | 185 min | Adventure, Drama, History

89 Metascore

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 153,031

24. 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: 801,159 | Gross: $78.90M

25. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | 127 min | Horror, Thriller

71 Metascore

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross

Votes: 112,707 | Gross: $5.10M

26. Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

G | 97 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

60 Metascore

Two mysterious orphan children have extraordinary powers and are chased by a scheming millionaire. But where do these kids really call home?

Director: John Hough | Stars: Eddie Albert, Ray Milland, Donald Pleasence, Kim Richards

Votes: 9,466 | Gross: $20.00M

27. 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: 316,170 | Gross: $48.98M

28. 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: 372,660 | Gross: $20.05M

29. 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: 366,234 | Gross: $232.91M

30. 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: 299,705 | Gross: $8.49M

31. Little Big Man (1970)

PG-13 | 139 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

63 Metascore

Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Native Americans and fighting with General Custer.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam

Votes: 33,221 | Gross: $31.56M

32. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

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

77 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: 768,514 | Gross: $6.21M

33. Silver Streak (1976)

PG | 114 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

41 Metascore

On a long-distance train trip, a man finds romance but also finds himself in danger of being killed, or at least pushed off the train.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Jill Clayburgh, Patrick McGoohan

Votes: 18,101

34. 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: 616,125 | Gross: $83.47M

35. High Anxiety (1977)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller

55 Metascore

A psychiatrist with intense acrophobia (fear of heights) goes to work for a mental institution run by doctors who appear to be crazier than their patients, and have secrets that they are willing to commit murder to keep.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman

Votes: 20,235 | Gross: $31.06M

36. Slap Shot (1977)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

61 Metascore

A failing ice hockey team finds success with outrageously violent hockey goonery.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Strother Martin, Jennifer Warren

Votes: 34,689 | Gross: $28.00M

37. Mean Streets (1973)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

96 Metascore

A small-time hood tries to keep the peace between his friend Johnny and Johnny's creditors.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson

Votes: 101,979 | Gross: $3.13M

38. Frenzy (1972)

R | 116 min | Thriller

92 Metascore

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: 42,130 | Gross: $12.60M

39. The Longest Yard (1974)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A sadistic warden asks a former pro quarterback, now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on (and get pummeled by) the guards.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter, Michael Conrad

Votes: 17,372 | Gross: $7.13M

40. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

PG | 112 min | Action, Biography, Crime

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: 123,883 | Gross: $43.00M

41. The Jerk (1979)

R | 94 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

A simpleminded, sheltered country boy suddenly decides to leave his family home to experience life in the big city, where his naivete is both his best friend and his worst enemy.

Director: Carl Reiner | Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams, Mabel King

Votes: 53,707 | Gross: $73.69M

42. Black Christmas (1974)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon

Votes: 35,073 | Gross: $4.05M

43. Robin Hood (1973)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

57 Metascore

The story of the legendary British outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals.

Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman, David Hand | Stars: Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 117,579 | Gross: $32.06M

44. Breaking Away (1979)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

91 Metascore

A small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley

Votes: 21,950 | Gross: $16.42M

45. Network (1976)

R | 121 min | Drama

83 Metascore

A television network cynically exploits a deranged