Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My Top Ten Movies of the 70s

10. All the President’s Men (1976)

President’s Men is a truly solid film full of intrigue and investigation. Redford and Hoffman are great as always and the realist atmosphere set by director Alan Pakula is unique and refreshing.

9. The Godfather Part 2 (1974)

Many people claim that Godfather 2 is better than the original. I disagree, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a brilliantly directed and acted movie. This story deals with Micheal’s further spiral into darkness which contrasts with flashbacks of his father’s rise to power. I prefer the flashbacks, though the two work together brilliantly.

8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Thinking about it now, Close Encounters is really a unique movie. its quite unorthodox as it doesn’t really have an antagonist and there’s no real conflict which needs to be resolved near the end. That’s not to say there isn’t conflict in the story, but it doesn’t play out like usual. This movie is really about the wonder and awe of discovery, and the final moments especially creates exactly that.

7. The Exorcist (1973)

In my opinion, the greatest of all horror movies. A haunting film which moves beyond jumpy surprises and reaches deep into the psychological and theological fears of the audience.

6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Zany, unorthodox, and completely silly, this is one of film history’s comedic giants. With humour both subtle and in-your-face, Monty Python have delivered a hilarious masterpiece which millions have flocked to and quote as often as possible. Definitely one of the greatest comedies of all time.

5. Alien (1979)

Alien is a sci-fi horror which masters simplicity. Ridley Scott nailed the tone and atmosphere of this film perfectly. It is simple and effective in the way it isolates its characters in an unknown situation against a creature of unknown origins and abilities. The set and art direction is beautiful and the creature design is creepy and wonderful. The suspense hits just the right notes at just the right moments and gives us a masterpiece of both the genres it belongs too.

4. Apocalypse Now (1979)

You know that the 70s was a great decade for movies when such a brilliant film as Apocalypse Now is only number 4 on the list. Apocalypse Now is a study of the madness of war and uses Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” as its guide. There are brilliant performances all around and amazing camera work. Coppola is able to really drag us into this increasingly chaotic and insane world and achieves a level of mastery which has been hard to come by since.

3. Jaws (1975)

Hollywood’s first blockbuster and the movie that brought Steven Spielberg into the limelight. Jaws is a thriller of Hitchcockian levels but also works as just really great drama. The heart of this film is the three men in the boat, bonding together while hunting the great white menace. Fantastic storytelling the whole way through.

2. The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather is almost a perfect movie. Everything is done to the highest level of excellence; directing, writing, acting, pacing, cinematography, music, everything. It is captivating drama full of great scenes like the restaurant scene, the baptism finale, and pretty much any scene with James Caan’s Sonny. Movie-making at its greatest.

1. Star Wars (1977)

This shouldn’t come as a shock for anyone who knows me. Star Wars is the defining movie of my cinematic tastes. It is full of fantasy, legend, great characters, great locations, everything I could ever want in a story. The legacy of Star Wars is hard to argue against as it has been the defining film of the last thirty-odd years. This is the movie which made me love movies, and I know that I’m not alone in this statement.

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3 Responses to “My Top Ten Movies of the 70s”

  1. I am really glad that I decided to take the time and read this list, as I now realize that I must had a lot of films to my too see list! I have only seen 4 films on this list, those being The Godfather, All the Presidents Men, Star Wars and Monty Python.

  2. You haven’t seen Jaws? That is a must-see. I suggest you go and rent it. Today, if possible.

  3. Yeah, I don’t know how anybody could really argue with you on these picks. They are all pretty much standard classics for the 70’s. Personally I would liked put Annie Hall up there and switch places Star Wars and Apocalypse Now… other than that… couldn’t agree more.


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