Best Films of the 70s

Create lists of the best, worst, favorites, etc... and request or share recommendations with other users. Add your Top 10 lists here!

Best Films of the 70s

Postby wpqx » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:04 am

Figured we can start up with another decade here. I've tried limiting myself to the 5-star films, although a future runner's-up list might be included later.

Husbands (US - John Cassavetes)
Patton (US - Franklin Schaffner)
Gimme Shelter (US - Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Mitchell Zwerin)
Catch-22 (US - Mike Nichols)
Hospital (US - Frederick Wiseman)
The Conformist (France/Italy/West Germany - Bernardo Bertolucci)
Little Big Man (US - Arthur Penn)
Woodstock (US - Michael Wadleigh)
Joe (US - John G. Avildsen)

Szerelem aka Love (Hungary - Kroly Makk)
A Clockwork Orange (UK - Stanley Kubrick)
Harold and Maude (US - Hal Ashby)
The Sorrow and the Pity (West Germany/France/Switzerland - Marcel Ophuls)
Macbeth (UK - Roman Polanski)
Punishment Park (US - Peter Watkins)
Johnny Got His Gun (US - Dalton Trumbo)

Solaris (USSR - Andrei Tarkovsky)
Whats Up Doc? (US - Peter Bogdanovich)
The Godfather (US - Francis Ford Coppola)
The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (West Germany - Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (US - J. Lee Thompson)
Last Tango in Paris (Italy/France - Bernardo Bertolucci)
Aguirre the Wrath of God (West Germany/Peru - Werner Herzog)
The Getaway (US - Sam Peckinpah)
The Winter Soldier (US - Winterfilm Collective)

Enter the Dragon (US - Robert Clouse)
The Exorcist (US - William Friedkin)
The Long Goodbye (US - Robert Altman)
Mean Streets (US - Martin Scorsese)
Paper Moon (US - Peter Bogdanovich)
O Lucky Man! (UK - Lindsay Anderson)
Juvenile Court (US - Frederick Wiseman)
Scenes From a Marriage (Sweden - Ingmar Bergman)
The Mother and the Whore (France - Jean Eustache)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (UK - Terry Gilliam/Terry Jones)
The Godfather Part II (US - Francis Ford Coppola)
Chinatown (US - Roman Polanski)
Hearts and Minds (US - Peter Davies)
Young Frankenstein (US - Mel Brooks)
Blazing Saddles (US - Mel Brooks)
The Phantom of Liberty (France/Italy - Luis Bunuel)
A Woman Under the Influence (US - John Cassavettes)
The Mirror (USSR - Andrei Tarkovsky)
Distant Thunder (India - Satyajit Ray)
Celine and Julie Go Boating (France - Jacques Rivette)

Nashville (US - Robert Altman)
Falsche Bewegung akaFalse Movement (West Germany - Wim Wenders)
Shivers (Canada - David Cronenberg)
Xala (Senegal - Ousmane Sembene)
The Passenger (Italy/Spain - Michelangelo Antonioni)
The Middleman (India - Satyajit Ray)
Numro Deux (France - Jean-Luc Godard/Anne-Marie Miville)
The Travelling Players (Greece - Theo Angelopoulos)

All the Presidents Men (US - Alan J. Pakula)
Harlan County USA (US - Barbara Kopple)
Taxi Driver (US - Martin Scorsese)
In the Realm of the Senses (France/Japan - Nagisa Oshima)
Network (US - Sydney Lumet)
The Last Supper (Cuba - Toms Gutirrez Alea)
The Man Who Fell to Earth (UK - Nicholas Roeg)
Rocky (US - John G. Avilsden)
Family Plot (US - Alfred Hitchcock)
Meat (US - Frederick Wiseman)

Star Wars (US - George Lucas)
Annie Hall (US - Woody Allen)
Eraserhead (US - David Lynch)
Saturday Night Fever (US - John Badham)
Roots (US - Marvin J. Chomsky, David Greene, Gilbert Moses, John Erman)
Hitler, a Film From Germany (West Germany/France/UK - Hans-Jrgen Syberberg)

Dawn of the Dead (US - George A. Romero)
Pennies From Heaven (UK - Piers Haggard)
Interiors (US - Woody Allen)
The Deer Hunter (US - Michael Cimeno)
Perceval (France - Eric Rohmer)

Apocalypse Now (US - Francis Ford Coppola)
Monty Pythons Life of Brian (UK - Terry Jones)
All That Jazz (US - Bob Fosse)
Quadrophenia (UK - Franc Roddam)
Real Life (US - Albert Brooks)

There are definitely a few "bubbling under" contenders, notably Autumn Sonata, Halloween, Manhattan, Nosferatu, Alien, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Providence, Carrie, Dog Day Afternoon, Cabaret, and it goes on like this.

Although 1979 might seem underrepresented, two of those films would probably be in my top 20, and Quadrophenia somewhere in my top 50.

* Edit for Husbands

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby A » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:43 pm

So, we've started another one...
Was wondering which decade would be next. I was hoping for the 60s, but the 70s have some damn fine films as well.
As usual, only the "creme de la creme" will be listed by me, (with 2 or 3 exceptions...), but as opinions differ, I'm sure you'll be surprised by some choices. The list will be updated regularly.
"Possible Contenders" list also follows as usual.

And boy, have I seen little from your list wpqx... Seems like I've missed a lot.

El Topo The Mole (Alejandro Jodorowsky / Mexico)
Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson / USA)
Iko shashvi mgalobeli Lived Once a Song-Thrush (Otar Iosseliani / Soviet Union)
Pane, vy jste vdova! You Are a Widow, Sir (Václav Vorlícek / Czechoslovakia)
Rote Sonne Red Sun (Rudolf Thome / West Germany)
Tokyo senso sengo hiwa The Man Who Left His Will on Film (Nagisa Oshima / Japan)
Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni / USA)

A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick / UK)
Blanche (Walerian Borowczyk / France)
Il Decameron The Decameron (Pier Paolo Pasolini / Italy, France, West Germany)
Morte a Venezia Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti / Italy)
Rdece Klasje Red Wheat (Zivojin Pavlovic / Yugoslavia)
San duk bei dao New One-Armed Swordsman (Cheh Chang / Hong Kong)
Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman / USA)

Das Unheil Havoc (Peter Fleischmann / West Germany, France)
Händler der vier Jahreszeiten The Merchant of Four Seasons (Rainer Werner Fassbinder / West Germany)
Joshuu 701-g: Sasori Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (Shinya Ito / Japan)
Snoopy Come Home (Bill Melendez / USA)
Solyaris Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky / Soviet Union)

Deux hommes dans la ville Two Men in Town (José Giovanni / France, Italy)
Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Shunya Ito / Japan)
La maman et la putain The Mother and the !%%++ (Jean Eustache / France)
Shurayukihime Lady Snowblood (Toshiya Fujita / Japan)
Yek Etefagh sadeh A simple event (Sohreb Shahid Saless / Iran)
Ying chun ge zhi Fengbo The Fate of Lee Khan (King Hu / Hong Kong, Taiwan)

Chinatown (Roman Polanski / USA)
Lacombe Lucien (Louis Malle / France, West Germany, Italy)
Les doigts dans la tte Touched in the Head (Jacques Doillon / France)
Mes petites amoureuses (Jean Eustache / France)
Milano odia: la polizia non pu sparare Almost Human (Umberto Lenzi / Italy)

Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick / UK)
Dzieje grzechu Story of a Sin (Walerian Borowczyk / Poland)
La bête The Beast (Walerian Borowczyk / France)
Malá morská víla The little Mermaid (Karel Kachyna / Czechoslovakia)
Meikyu-tan (Shuji Terayama / Japan)
Örökbefogadás Adoption (Márta Mészáros / Hungary)
Professione: reporter The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni / Italy, France, USA, Spain)
Profondo rosso Deep Red (Dario Argento / Italy)
Zerkalo The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky / Soviet Union)

1900 (Bernardo Bertolucci / Italy, France, West Germany)
Cra cuervos Raise Ravens (Carlos Saura / Spain)
L'innocente The Innocent (Luchino Visconti / Italy, France)
Mad Dog Morgan (Philippe Mora / Australia)
Sal o le 120 giornate di Sodoma Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini / Italy)
The Missouri Breaks (Arthur Penn / USA)
Voskhozhdeniye Ascent (Larisa Shepitko / Soviet Union)

Fingers (James Toback / USA)
Issunbushi o kijutsu suru kokoromi (Shuji Terayama / Japan)
Kage no eiga - nito onna (Shuji Terayama / Japan)
Keshigomu (Shuji Terayama / Japan)
Maldoror no uta (Shuji Terayama / Japan)
Shoken-ki (Shuji Terayama / Japan)
Suspiria (Dario Argento / Italy)
The Rescuers (John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Art Stevens / USA)
Une sale histoire A Dirty Story (Jean Eustache / France)
Zwischen zwei Kriegen Between two Wars (Harun Farocki / West Germany)

Dawn of the Dead [Dario Argento's European Cut] (George A. Romero / USA, Italy)
L`albero degli zoccoli The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi / Italy, France)
Maternale Mother and Daughter (Giovanna Gagliardo / Italy)

Alien (Ridley Scott / UK)
Inferno (Dario Argento / Italy)
La drôlesse The Hussy (Jacques Doillon / France)
Mad Max (George Miller / Australia)
Manhattan (Woody Allen / USA)
Nacionalna klasa do 785 ccm National Class Category Up to 785 ccm (Goran Markovic / Yugoslavia)
Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky / Soviet Union)

by country:

Italy: 12
Japan: 10
USA: 10
France: 9
Soviet Union: 5
West Germany: 4
UK: 3
Australia: 2
Czechoslovakia: 2
Hong Kong: 2
Yugoslavia: 2
Hungary: 1
Iran: 1
Mexico: 1
Poland: 1
Spain: 1


Total: 66

*some of the more recent additions are Vaclav Vorlicek's delightful comedy of manners "Pane, vy jste vdova!" ( You Are a Widow, Sir / 1970), and Goan Markovic's bitter-sweet "Nacionalna klasa do 785 ccm" (National Class Category Up to 785 ccm / 1979), a laconic examnation of Yugoslav society and mentality at the end of the 70s.
Before that, I included Nagisa Oshima's wonderful "The Man Who Left His Will on Film" (1970) as well as George Romero's fantastic Dawn of the Dead (1978) as edited by Dario Argento, which I recently re-watched at the cinema, and also Argento's elusive Inferno (1979). Another revelation was the screening of Shunya Ito's marvellous third Sasori film (1973) at our cinema. Pure Magic.

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby A » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:44 pm

Possible candidates for the list, which I need to see again:

Little Big Man (Arthur Penn / USA / 1970)
Strategia del ragno The Spider's Stratagem (Bernardo Betrolucci / Italy / 1970)

Bananas (Woody Allen / USA / 1971)

The Getaway (Sam Peckinpah / USA / 1972)

Contes immoraux Immoral Tales (Walerian Borowczyk / France / 1974)
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola / USA / 1974)

Love and Death (Woody Allen / USA / 1975)
Montana Sacra The Holy Mountain (Alejandro Jodorowsky / Mexico, USA)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman / USA / 1975)
Pastorali Pastorale (Otar Iosseliani / Soviet Union / 1975)
Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese / USA / 1975)

Barocco (André Téchiné / France / 1976)
Spokoj The Calm (Krzysztof Kieslowski / Poland / 1976)

Eraserhead (David Lynch / USA / 1977)
One Way Boogie Woogie (James Benning / USA, Canada / 1977)
Star Wars (George Lucas / USA / 1977)

Die Ehe der Maria Braun The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder / West Germany)
Halloween (John Carpenter / USA / 1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman / USA / 1978)
Watership Down (Martin Rosen / UK, Canada / 1978)

Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola / USA / 1979)

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby wpqx » Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:47 pm

Forgot about Little Big Man, also debated putting Fosse's Lenny, which is damn close to a 5 star film for me. I was thinking earlier just how damn good an actor Dustin Hoffman is (because of Death of a Salesman actually).

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby A » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:10 pm

Haven't seen Death of a Salesman, but I agree that Hoffman can be great - I mean not just great, but outstanding, you know what I mean. Last witnessed his talents while catching the ending of Rain Man on TV...
Have you seen The Marathon Man? I'm really not as well informed, when it comes to american films from the 70s.
Nothing by Bob Fosse yet, either.

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby wpqx » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:43 am

Yeah I saw and enjoyed Marathon Man, it would be one of my "bubbling under" films. Found it a little more captivating than some of Schlessinger's other films (particularly the self important Sunday, Bloody Sunday). Speaking of the two, I would still say Midnight Cowboy was his finest hour.

The Death of a Salesman was a made for TV stage play directed by Volker Schlondorff (@#%$ the spelling), and he played Willy Lohman, quite well to boot.

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby A » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:19 pm

For a german, Schlondorff poses no problems, but as I was thinking of an american. Oh my god I've heard about this film, and it was also on german TV, but as I don't watch dubbed versions if I can avoid it ... I always wanted to see it because of Malkovich. I enjoy watching him when he was younger (e.g. Places in the Heart).
Also I haven't seen anything by Schlesinger, yet.
But some scenes with Jon Voigt I once caught on TV from Midnight Cowboy were beautiful.
I like Hoffman in American Buffallo, I just recalled. His chemistry with Dennis Franz is amazing. And I like these stage play adaptations were you just observe the actors acting (A Streetcar named Desire, Glengarry Glen Ross,etc.). I simply love watching good actors, even if the film itself isn't anything special.

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby jcdavies » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:13 pm

Claire's Knee
The Conformist
The Sorrow and the Pity
Five Easy Pieces
Valerie and her Week of Wonders
Little Big Man
The Red Circle
The Ear

Le Souffle au Coeur
King Lear

Aguirre Wrath of God
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Home from the Sea

Spirit of the Beehive
The Mother and the Whore
The Wicker Man
The Day of the Jackal
The World at War
Don't Look Now

Celine and Julie go Boating
Alice in the Cities
The Godfather 2
The Phantom of Liberty
Edvard Munch

The Passenger
Hearts and Minds
Barry Lyndon
Picnic at Hanging Rock

Kings of the Road
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Ai no Corrida
The Ascent

Unfinished Piece for Player Piano

The Deer Hunter
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Tree of the Wooden Clogs

Apocalypse Now
Tale of Tales
The Life of Brian

to see: The Travelling Players, Manila in the Claws of Neon, Still Life, Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting...

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby wpqx » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:53 pm

Surprised both of you included The Ascent on your list considering its so rarely watched in the US. I liked the film, but I think I've just seen too many WWII films to really be affected by it. I also forgot about The Travelling Players which easily would make my list (behold the powers of editing)

Re: Best Films of the 70s

Postby A » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:13 am

I first saw The Ascent (1976) in a filmclub in Slovenia on the big screen - in fact I only saw the last twenty to ten minutes. And it was one of the most marvellous experiences I have ever had in relation to movies. The close-ups of the executed people's faces... I think this will stay with me forever. After that, I had to find a copy of the film to watch the whole of it. My expectations were of course much too high, and I was disappointed after watching the complete movie. Mix these two reactions, and you probably get a more "objective" impression. That's why I included it, though I'd like to see it again.

Speaking of watching too many WWII films...
Something similar happened to me years ago when I first saw "Ivan's Childhood" (1962). I just didn't like it because I was "overfed" with this period.


Return to Lists and Recommendations

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest