The Best Films of the 1970’s

I present to you, the top ten films of what I consider the best era in film: the 1970’s.



10. “The Last Detail” – 1973 . Dir. Hal Ashby

With Jack Nicholson, Otis Young and Randy Quaid.

This film showcases Hal Ashby’s finest film and Jack Nicholson’s second best performance.


9. “The Man Who Would Be King” – 1975. Dir. John Huston.

With Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer

Putting “Wall Street” aside, this is the finest film that deals with greed and self consumption along with a great core cast.


8. “Badlands” – 1973. Dir. Terrence Malick

With Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek and Warren Oates.

I can’t say enough how wonderful this film is. It’s Malick’s finest as well as the smallest of his films.


7. “Network” – 1976. Dir Sidney Lumet.

With Peter Finch, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall and Ned Beatty.

Nothing can prepare you for this film. It’s as epic as epic gets.


6. “Taxi Driver” – 1976. Dir. Martin Scorsese

With Robert DeNiro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, Albert Brooks, Martin Scorsese and Harvey Keitel

Gosh…which movie is Scorsese’s actual masterpiece? It’s insanely hard to tell. None the less – “Taxi Driver” is astounding.


5. “The Offense” – 1974. Dir. Sidney Lumet

With Sean Connery, Ian Bannen and Trevor Howard

This is Lumet’s masterpiece. It’s not on Blu-Ray or even DVD and its extremely hard to find; but worth it.


4. “The Godfather, Part II” – 1974. Dir. Francis Ford Coppola

With Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, John Cazale, Lee Strasberg, Diane Keaton, Harry Dean Stanton and James Caan (yes James Caan).

This is the best sequel ever made, along with being one of the few films ever made that is superior to its original, and that is say a lot.


3. “Five Easy Pieces” – 1970. Dir. Bob Raffelson

With Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Susan Anspach and Billy Green Bush.

This is Nicholson’s finest performance hands down, along with the finest character study ever filmed. Bob Raffelson is the most important filmmaker ever (not the best – there is a difference).


2. “Apocalypse Now” – 1979. Dir. Francis Ford Coppola

With Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Lawrence Fishburn, Sam Bottoms, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford, Albert Hall, Frederic Forrest, Dennis Hopper and Scott Glenn

The greatest accident of a film that ever, ever happened, this film is Coppola’s masterpiece and the greatest epic ever filmed.


1. “All That Jazz” – 1979. Dir. Bob Fosse

With Roy Scheider, Ann Renking, Leland Palmer, Cliff Gorman, Ben Vereen and Jessica Lange

This is the finest film ever made.


Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

9 thoughts on “The Best Films of the 1970’s”

  1. I have seen 4 of those again. The Godfather II, Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver and of course, Badlands. All truly excellent movies which makes want to see the other six even more! Where should I start Frank? 😉

  2. I’ve seen five of the above. The Last Detail has been in the $5 bin, but I never looked closely enough to see it was Jack Nicholson on the front. A rental for sure.

  3. I’ve seen 6 of these.

    You must be rubbing off on me because I’ve been watching a lot of films from this era lately… most recent viewings include Lenny, McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Three Days of the Condor.

  4. I’m so glad you put Five Easy Pieces up there. Surely underrated, and it works so well, and that one scene where he’s playing the piano, just gets to me so much. Great list!

    1. I know…making these decades lists are so hard and I put in a lot of time and effort of making what I think is a fullproof list. But I did have “The Empire Strikes Back” in the top tier of my best of the 1980s list if that makes up for anything.

  5. good choices…being from this era – sort of – i keep revisiting films of this decade and i recently figured out what they have in common..a sense of INTEGRITY.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s