MOVIES OF THE SEVENTIES - Movies that defined a Decade

by DukeEman | created - 16 Mar 2012 | updated - 21 Mar 2012 | Public

A list of movies that defined the Seventies, a decade where risks were taken, independent cinema came alive and box office giants were created. This list of movies is taken from the book, MOVIES OF THE SEVENTIES. There are articles on countries (not just Hollywood), directors, actors and even genres that were popular in that decade. In between there are in-depth reviews of these films. Believe it or not, there were no reviews on Jaws or Star Wars! And what about NASHVILLE, TAXI DRIVER and most importantly, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE?!

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1. The Conformist (1970)

R | 113 min | Drama

100 Metascore

A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin, Enzo Tarascio

Votes: 24,613

The Conformist is a story about me and Godard... I'm Marcello and I make fascists movies and I want to kill Godard who's a revolutionary... and makes revolutionary movies and is my teacher - Bernardo Bertolucci

2. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime.

Director: Elio Petri | Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio, Orazio Orlando

Votes: 8,159 | Gross: $0.05M

The film is dominated by a performance of operatic paranoia from Gian Maria Volonte - Neil Sinyard

3. 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: 136,220 | Gross: $35.90M

Remains not only the first, but far and away the best of the bunch (vigilante films) - John Russell Taylor

4. The Last Picture Show (1971)

R | 118 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

In 1951, a group of high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both culturally and economically.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson

Votes: 39,347 | Gross: $29.13M

Bogdanovich's film is, in the Chekhovian sense, a comedy of empty lives where the characters occasionally go to ludicrous lengths to assert the fact that their existence is notable and their actions of importance - Derek Prouse

5. Walkabout (1971)

GP | 100 min | Adventure, Drama

85 Metascore

Two city-bred siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback, where they learn to survive with the aid of an Aboriginal boy on his "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg, John Meillon

Votes: 21,547

The Aborigine and the girl 30,000 years apart... together

6. WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971)

Not Rated | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A homage to the work of psychologist Wilhelm Reich, matched with a story about a Yugoslavian girl's affair with a Russian skater. Sexual repression, social systems and the orgone theory are explored.

Director: Dusan Makavejev | Stars: Milena Dravic, Ivica Vidovic, Jagoda Kaloper, Tuli Kupferberg

Votes: 4,295

I see the cinema as a guerilla operation - Dusan Makavejev (director)

7. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Del Negro

Votes: 48,840

It has the surface of an adventure film, but it is a very personal film. For me it is alive - Werner Herzog

8. 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: 1,511,325 | Gross: $134.97M

What separates The Godfather from previous gangster films is the amount of money spent on it, for the money is translated into artistic values on the screen - Alan Lovell

9. Last Tango in Paris (1972)

NC-17 | 129 min | Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi, Giovanna Galletti

Votes: 46,865 | Gross: $36.14M

It is not an erotic film, merely a film about eroticism - Bernardo Bertolucci

10. Amarcord (1973)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama

A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia

Votes: 37,078

It is clear enough in Fellini's work as a whole that fact and fancy are never far apart - Jonathan Rosenbaum

11. Mean Streets (1973)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

96 Metascore

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

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

Votes: 92,026 | Gross: $3.13M

It was Scorsese's memory of Sixties Rock 'n' Roll with its revolutionary power to influence people's lives and behaviour that made Mean Streets such an exciting proposition for Taplin (producer) and Warner Brothers - Martyn Auty

12. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Not Rated | 92 min | Drama, Romance

An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Barbara Valentin, Irm Hermann

Votes: 17,312

The roots of fascist and racist prejudices are located in sexual jealousy - an aspect of intolerance that is certainly evoked, among others, to even more subtle effect in Fear Eats The Soul - Derek Prouse

13. Sunday Too Far Away (1975)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama

A hard-drinking but hard-working gun shearer leads a group of Outback sheep herders into striking after wealthy landowners attempt to drive them from their territory.

Director: Ken Hannam | Stars: Jack Thompson, Max Cullen, Robert Bruning, Jerry Thomas

Votes: 623

The film that did more than any other to put Australia on the international map - Tim Pulleine

14. The American Friend (1977)

Not Rated | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

79 Metascore

Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer, Gérard Blain

Votes: 12,621

Wim Wenders is fascinated with roads, journeys, uprooting, with the sense of identity that is attached to having a place to go home to - David Roper

15. 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: 173,862 | Gross: $132.09M

The effectiveness of Close Encounters lies in our ability to believe that beyond the stars superior powers are benevolent and caring - Stephen Woolley

16. The Lacemaker (1977)

R | 107 min | Drama, Romance

A reserved young woman moves into an apartment with a young student she met while on vacation.

Director: Claude Goretta | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Yves Beneyton, Florence Giorgetti, Annemarie Düringer

Votes: 2,135

Skilfully explores some divisive elements in civilised society that normally receive scant attention - Allen Eyles

17. Rough Treatment (1978)

131 min | Drama

A famous Polish journalist presents a problem for the powers-that-be when he displays his full political skill and knowledge on a television show featuring questions and answers on a world ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Ewa Dalkowska, Andrzej Seweryn, Krystyna Janda

Votes: 494

(aka Rough Treatment) Director, Andrzej Wajda, leads his hero on an eventually fatal odyssey through the spiritual wilderness that is Poland in the late Seventies - David Robinson

18. Superman (1978)

PG | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

80 Metascore

An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando

Votes: 152,607 | Gross: $134.22M

A masterpiece of Seventies science fiction, which relies heavily on the fantastic effects but boasts at least one great acting performance... from Christopher Reeve - Stephen Woolley

19. 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: 572,038 | Gross: $83.47M

It's a film to despair at. It is a film about going beyond the limits, and its prevailing message is its title - Graham Fuller

20. The Tin Drum (1979)

R | 142 min | Drama, War

63 Metascore

In 1924, Oskar Matzerath is born in the Free City of Danzig. At age three, he falls down a flight of stairs and stops growing. In 1939, World War II breaks out.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach

Votes: 21,140

There can be no doubt that David Bennent's portrayal of Oskar is unique - Martyn Auty

21. The Warriors (1979)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

65 Metascore

In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler

Votes: 88,669 | Gross: $22.49M

Rarely has the expertise of violent combat been so gracefully composed - Chris Peachment

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