Movies in the 1970s


Movies in the 1970s really pushed the envelope. Any and all subject matters were covered. In addition to the increase in aesthetic quality, the 1970s also showcased many great rising actors and actresses.


Some of the best movies of all-time are from the ’70s. From mafia films to mental asylum films to films in another galaxy, the seventies stretched our imaginations beyond their limits.

The beginning of the decade brought the passing of Larry Fine (Larry from The Three Stooges). 1970 film Trog was Joan Crawford’s final film. The next year, Stanley Kubrick’s legendary A Clockwork Orange hit theaters with great success, despite it’s extremely bizarre and violent depictions.

In 1972, Marlon Brando mesmerized audiences with his performance in The Godfather. His role was so well received he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, an award he ultimately refused. Why did Marlon Brando decline the Academy Award? Instead of giving an acceptance speech, Brando let an Native American woman named Sacheen Littlefeather speak to the audience to bring awareness to the poor treatment of Native Americans in film. Just two years later, The Godfather Part II won the 1974 Academy Award for Best Picture.

Blazing Saddles is considered by many to be the best comedy to come out of the 1970s. It was undeniably one of the most successful.

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In 1975, Jaws, Rocky Horror Picture Show and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest dominated theaters. Cuckoo’s Nest did so well, it made a clean sweep at the Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay (Adapted.)

The following year Sylvester Stallone surprised audiences with his unexpected box office smash Rocky.

The first Star Wars movie came out in 1977. Most people weren’t sure what to make of it at first, but one thing is sure: they loved it. It was the #1 movie in 1977, the same year John Travolta danced his way to stardom in the popular disco-flick Saturday Night Fever. Travolta didn’t rest on his success, delivering another knockout performance in the huge hit Grease just one year later.

The late seventies rounded out the decade with great films such as The Jerk, Kramer vs. Kramer and Apocalypse Now.

What were some of the most popular movies from the 1970s?

  • The Godfather
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Apocalypse Now
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Taxi Driver
  • Rocky
  • American Graffiti
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Top 10 Movies in 1970

What were the most popular movies in 1970?

  1. Love Story
  2. Airport
  3. MASH
  4. Patton
  5. Woodstock
  6. The Aristocats
  7. Little Big Man
  8. Ryan’s Daughter
  9. Tora! Tora! Tora!
  10. Chariots of the Gods

Who won the 1970 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Patton
Best Director: Franklin J. Schaffner – Patton
Best Actress: Glenda Jackson – Women in Love
Best Actor: George C. Scott – Patton

Top 10 Movies in 1971

What were the most popular movies in 1971?

  1. Fiddler on the Roof
  2. The French Connection
  3. Diamonds Are Forever
  4. Dirty Harry
  5. Billy Jack
  6. Summer of ’42
  7. The Last Picture Show
  8. Carnal Knowledge
  9. A Clockwork Orange
  10. Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Who won the 1971 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: The French Connection
Best Director: William Friedkin – The French Connection
Best Actress: Jane Fonda – Klute
Best Actor: Gene Hackman – The French Connection

Top 10 Movies in 1972

What were the most popular movies in 1972?

  1. The Godfather
  2. The Poseidon Adventure
  3. What’s Up, Doc?
  4. Behind the Green Door
  5. Deliverance
  6. Jeremiah Johnson
  7. Cabaret
  8. The Getaway
  9. Fritz the Cat
  10. The Legend of Boggy Creek

Who won the 1972 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: The Godfather
Best Director: Bob Fosse – Cabaret
Best Actress: Liza Minnelli – Cabaret
Best Actor: Marlon Brando – The Godfather

In 1972, the movie of the year (and probably the decade) was The Godfather. At the time it was one of the highest grossing movies of all time. Considering all of the public outcry against violence in movies, the popularity of The Godfather made for ironic commentary on American attitudes and “values.”

The year began with angry protests against the violence of A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs, both released in late 1971. At the same time, Americans paid well over $125 million to watch a three-hour testimony to the glories of gangsterdom.

Meanwhile, the MPAA deemed the film unacceptable for anyone under the age of 17.

1972 also saw the introduction of another first: cartoon porn. Fritz the Cat broke new ground as the first X-rated cartoon of all time.

A trend that began in 1971 that gathered more force in 1972 were “Black Films,” as they were called back then, films directed and written and acted primarily by African Americans.

Some of the more notable “Black Films”: Buck and the Preacher, Superfly, Sounder, Lady Sings the Blues and Blacula.

1972 brought a growing interest in experimental and innovative films that had little hope of commercial success. Films like Slaughterhouse Five, Images, and The King of Marvin Gardens are good examples.

The auteur was becoming more and more popular. That is, the view that the director is the supreme artist behind the film and, for the most part, is the star. Alfred Hitchcock is a good example of this.

Ultimately, many of these films demonstrate the ever-increasing importance of aesthetics. Films really start looking a whole lot better at this point.

Top 10 Movies in 1973

What were the most popular movies in 1973?

  1. The Sting
  2. The Exorcist
  3. American Graffiti
  4. Papillon
  5. The Way We Were
  6. Magnum Force
  7. Last Tango in Paris
  8. Live and Let Die
  9. Robin Hood
  10. Paper Moon

Who won the 1973 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: The Sting
Best Director: George Roy Hill – The Sting
Best Actress: Glenda Jackson – A Touch of Class
Best Actor: Jack Lemmon – Save the Tiger

Top 10 Movies in 1974

What were the most popular movies in 1974?

  1. Blazing Saddles
  2. The Towering Inferno
  3. The Trial of Billy Jack
  4. Young Frankenstein
  5. Earthquake
  6. The Godfather Part II
  7. Airport 1975
  8. The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams
  9. The Longest Yard
  10. Benji

Who won the 1974 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: The Godfather Part II
Best Director: Francis Ford Coppola – The Godfather: Part II
Best Actress: Ellen Burstyn – Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
Best Actor: Art Carney – Harry and Tonto

Top 10 Movies in 1975

What were the most popular movies in 1975?

  1. Jaws
  2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  4. Dog Day Afternoon
  5. Shampoo
  6. The Return of the Pink Panther
  7. Funny Lady
  8. The Apple Dumpling Gang
  9. Aloha, Bobby and Rose
  10. The Other Side of the Mountain

Who won the 1975 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Best Director: Miloš Forman – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Best Actress: Louise Fletcher – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Best Actor: Jack Nicholson – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Top 10 Movies in 1976

What were the most popular movies in 1976?

  1. Rocky
  2. To Fly!
  3. A Star Is Born
  4. All the President’s Men
  5. The Omen
  6. In Search of Noah’s Ark
  7. King Kong
  8. Silver Streak
  9. The Enforcer
  10. Midway

Who won the 1976 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Rocky
Best Director: John G. Avildsen – Rocky
Best Actress: Faye Dunaway – Network
Best Actor: Peter Finch – Network

Top 10 Movies in 1977

What were the most popular movies in 1977?

  1. Star Wars
  2. Smokey and the Bandit
  3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  4. The Goodbye Girl
  5. Saturday Night Fever
  6. Oh, God!
  7. A Bridge Too Far
  8. The Deep
  9. The Spy Who Loved Me
  10. Annie Hall

Who won the 1977 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Annie Hall
Best Director: Woody Allen – Annie Hall
Best Actress: Diane Keaton – Annie Hall
Best Actor: Richard Dreyfuss – The Goodbye Girl

Top 10 Movies in 1978

What were the most popular movies in 1978?

  1. Grease
  2. Superman
  3. National Lampoon’s Animal House
  4. Every Which Way but Loose
  5. Heaven Can Wait
  6. Hooper
  7. Jaws 2
  8. Revenge of the Pink Panther
  9. The Deer Hunter
  10. Halloween

Who won the 1978 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: The Deer Hunter
Best Director: Michael Cimino – The Deer Hunter
Best Actress: Jane Fonda – Coming Home
Best Actor: Jon Voight – Coming Home

Top 10 Movies in 1979

What were the most popular movies in 1979?

  1. Kramer vs. Kramer
  2. The Amityville Horror
  3. Rocky II
  4. Apocalypse Now
  5. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  6. Alien
  7. 10
  8. The Jerk
  9. Moonraker
  10. The Muppet Movie

Who won the 1979 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Kramer vs. Kramer
Best Director: Robert Benton – Kramer vs. Kramer
Best Actress: Sally Field – Norma Rae
Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman – Kramer vs. Kramer


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