The Greatest Movies of the 1970s - Cool History Facts

The Greatest Movies of the 1970s


Movies are a great way to let loose while indoors. They’re perfect for a night of relaxing and simply offer entertainment.

Although 1970 opened with Hollywood experiencing a financial and artistic depression, the decade became a creative high point in the US film industry. Restriction that had been placed earlier on language, adult content and sexuality and violence had loosened up and these elements became more widespread. The hippie movement, civil rights movement, free love, the growth of rock n’ roll, changing gender roles and drug use clearly had a great impact.

The counter-culture of the time had influenced Holly wood to be freer and be ready to take more risks and to be willing to experiment with alternative, young film makers as old Hollywood professionals and old-style moguls died out and a new generation cropped up.

The 1970s showcased a great deal of new actors and actresses whose careers were on the rise increasing their aesthetic quality. Seventies movies really went all out without holding back featuring basically all forms of subject matter.

The seventies movies really worked on our imagination by featuring films featured in another galaxy, mafia films and even mental asylum films. Some of the best movies of all time probably came from this era.

Some of these epic movies include:

  • 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

The Godfather was without a doubt the movie of the year-in 1972 and possibly of the decade too. It was one of the highest grossing movies at the time. Considering the time of its release there was a lot of public outcry over too much violence being showcased in movies, it was ironic how popular The Godfather was, playing on how fickle Americans mindset on “values” was.

In late 1971, An Orange Clock and Straw Dogs were both released, which meant that 1972 began with a lot of banter over the amount of violence in films. The irony was in the fact that Americans went all out and spent $125 million in the movies watching a film that was basically a three hour testimony over the glories of gangster Dom.

It did not stop there; the MPAA deemed the film unacceptable for anyone under the age of 17.

1972 with its versatility in content and clearly not frazzled over controversy saw the introduction of another first: cartoon porn. Fritz the Cat broke new ground as the first X-rated cartoon of all time. “Black films” as they were called back then were a trend started in 1971 and gathered more force in 1972. These “black films” were directed, written and predominantly acted by African Americans.

Some of the most notable “black films” featured from that decade were:

  • Buck and the Preacher
  • Super Fly
  • Sounder
  • Lady Sings the Blues
  • Blacula

In 1972 also came along a growing interest in experimental and innovative films, which honestly, had zero or little hope of commercial success. Some good examples of these films are: Slaughter House Five, Images and The King of Marvin Gardens.

The auteur was also becoming more and more popular. These are films where the view that the director is the supreme artist behind the film, and for most part, the star of the film too. A good example of this would be Alfred Hitchcock.

These films intensified the ever increasing need of aesthetics, because it is from this point that films start looking a whole lot better, with diversified subject matter, and races too.

Featured Image Source: Movie: A Clockwork Orange Copyright: Polaris Productions, 1971 Distributed by: Warner Bros.