Best Movies of the 1970's Decade

The  best movies of the 1970's took us to a galaxy far, far away, made us an offer we couldn't refuse, saw a man wearing his red underpants over his trousers, and a film, with a certain Bandit, based entirely on one long car chase. 'Tell me more, tell me more' I hear you say.

The 1970's will be remembered as the time when Tricky Dicky Richard Nixon was brought down by the Watergate scandal, space invaders and pong brought us a new entertainment called video games, and Mark Spitz set seven World Records and won a record seven gold medals at the 1973 Olympic games in Munich.

In cinema, the major event must be the launch of the Star Wars epic with the first film 'A New Hope'. This film hearled the continuation of the 'New Hollywood' revolution that was built on the success in the late 1960s with young film producers such as Spielberg and Lucas.



Be sure to check out my other infobarrel article with the second half to this countdown:

The Highest Grossing Films of the 1970's (part 2)

Best Sequel Ever: The Top 5 Best Movie Sequels of All Time

10. Smokey and the Bandit (1977) $127 million

Burt Reynolds, Sally Field

This film always strikes me as having an incredibly thin plot and instead devotes much of its time to being one long car chase. To surmise the little plot there is, Sheriff Buford T. Justice is the future father-in-law of reluctant bride Carrie, as she is engaged to Justice's son.

Enter 'The Bandit' played by Burt Reynolds.

The Bandit meets Carrie when he is racing against the clock to transport a shipment of Coors beer from Texarkana, TX, to Atlanta within 28 hours. The 28 hours being one of the betting parameters that the Bandit agreed to before waging $80,000 on his successful completion of it.

Soon The Bandit is not only racing to collect his big payday but also against sheriff Justice as he drives off with Carrie.

Favourite Line

Bandit: For the good old American lifestyle: For the money, for the glory, and for the fun... mostly for the money. 

Smokey and the Bandit Trailer

9. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1970) $166 Million

Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr

Roy Neary's life as an ordinary cableman is changed forever when he witnesses a UFOs flying through the night sky. When Neary tells his family about what he has seen they are sceptical at first and don't believe it's possible, even though Neary has been lightly burned by the bright lights of the alien spacecraft.

Unable to forget what he has seen and determined to find the truth Neary sets out to investigate what he really saw that evening. Neary's fanaticism soon leads him to meet like-minded individuals who also are seeking the truth about extraterrestrial being.

At the same time the military is following evidence  when hardware, seemingly stolen years before, starts reappearing again in random places.

As the two separate groups follow the clues they've discovered they soon meet at the same site. As the movies movie draws to a close we see first contact between our protagonists and the alien spaceship.

Favourite Line

Ronnie Neary: All right, everybody to bed! 
Toby Neary: No, wait! Dad said we could watch The Ten Commandments! 
Ronnie Neary: Roy, that movie is four hours long. 
Roy Neary: I said they could watch the five commandments. 

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind Theatrical Trailer

8. Superman (1978) $134 million

Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman

As a meteorite smashes through earths atmosphere and crashes in the midwest of america, little does everyone know that this isn't an ordinary meteorological phenomenon, and the the world will be a very different place because if it.

The meteor contains an  alien baby boy named Kal-El. He has been sent from his home planet of Krypton, moments before it exploded, by his father Jor-El.

As the boy grows his adoptive parents, who have named him Clark, learn that he possesses great powers of strength, speed and the ability to fly.

When Clark leaves high school he moves to Metropolis to work for the Daily Planet newspaper.

In Metropolis, Clark decides to use his powers for good and invents a crime fighting alter ego named Superman, all while keeping his true identity hidden from the world.

Everyone, however isn't fascinated by this new man of steel. Lex Luthor is a man on a mission. One that involves stolen nuclear hardware, the most ambitious real estate swindle in history, and the death of millions of innocent lives. With Lex intend on destruction and Superman fighting for 'truth, justice and the American way' their paths are on a collision course and who knows who the casualties will be?

Favourite Line

Lex Luthor: [to Otis] Do you know why the number two hundred is so vitally descriptive to both you and me? It's your weight and my I.Q. 

Superman Trailer

7. The Godfather (1972) $135 million

Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall

Set in New York in the late 1940's, there are five families that control the major crime in the city. Once of these families is the Corleones with the head being the 'Don' Vito Corleone.

The film starts with the wedding of Connie, Vito's only daughter. It is a well know fact in amongst Italians that no Sicilian can refuse a request on his daughter's wedding day. So people come from far and wide to see an audience with Don Vito in the hope that he can grant their wishes all must lie on the other side of legitimacy.

Micheal Corleone os Vito's youngest son and has just returned from a duty in the army. He is unlike his older brothers Sonny, Tom and Freddo in that he has not followed them into the family business but instead wants to make his own way in the world.

Around Christmas of that year Don Vito barely escapes an assassination  attempt after being shot multiple times. As he recuperated in hospital Michael learns of further plans to kill his father and steps in to keep his father alive.

As the Corleones seek revenge for the attempt on their father's life it becomes clear that Michael has inherited all his fathers poise and talent for running  the crime family. He is soon involved in killing a corrupt police captain and has to flee for Sicily to remain safe.

When Don Vito finally recuperate he calls a truce and Michael can return from his exile in Europe. .With the older brother Sonny having been killed in the mafia war before the truce and Freddo  not being astute enough to be a Don, Michael takes over as acting boss.

When his father dies of natural causes the other families see the Corleones as weak and come after Michael. Michael knows they an attack on his family is imminent but in saving himself and the Corleone families future, will he lose his soul in the process?


Favourite Lines

Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or                     senator.
Kay Adams:
Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed. 
Oh. Who's being naive, Kay? 

The Godfather Trailer

6. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) $141 million

John Belushi, Karen Allen and Tom Hulce

This is the classic college movie that has become the template that has been copied many times since. Set in 1962 two young college freshmen, Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman, have the usual adolescent aspirations of college life: women, drink, drugs and sex. The best way to accomplish this is through the greatest social passport available on campus-being a member of the best fraternity.

They eventually join Delta house and participate in the wild parties, road trips and general misbehaving that everyone in the fraternity takes part in.

Life would be perfect if it wasn't for a crusty old embittered dean and the pretentious fraternity  Omega house.

The characters aren't too deep and the storyline is quite predictable but is saved by the performances of the star cast including John Belushi.  

Favourite Lines

Dean Vernon Wormer: Well, well, well. Looks like somebody forgot there's a rule against alcoholic beverages in fraternities on probation!
What a tool. 
Dean Vernon Wormer:
I didn't get that, son, what was that? 
Uh, I said, "What a shame that a few bad apples have to spoil a good time for everyone by breaking the rules." 
Dean Vernon Wormer:
Put a sock in it, boy, or else you'll be outta here like shit through a goose. 

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) Trailer