Top 10 Movies Released from 1970-1980

We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion. With that being said, here are the top 10 movies released from 1970-1980. Feel free to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.

10. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes

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A farm boy from Tatooine finds himself joining the rebel alliance to fight the evil empire. This movie kicked off a franchise that remains popular among nerds of all ages still today.

Rating: PG
Director: George Lucas
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

9. Jaws (1975) 97% at Rotten Tomatoes

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A giant great white shark is terrorizing Amity Island, so a sheriff, marine biologist, and seafarer team up to hunt it down. This movie is responsible for a lot of people still being afraid of puddles and swimming pools, much less the ocean.

Rating: PG
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Roy Schneider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

8. The Deer Hunter (1978) 94% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Three factory workers from Pennsylvania enlist in the Army to fight in Vietnam. They’re captured by the Vietcong and held prisoner in a POW camp where they’re forced to play Russian roulette against each other.

Rating: R
Director: Michael Cimino
Starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale

7. American Graffiti (1973) 95% at Rotten Tomatoes

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It’s the last night of summer vacation, and all the high school kids, recent graduates, and young adults are driving up and down the main strip looking for something to get into.

Rating: PG
Director: George Lucas
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat

6. Young Frankenstein (1974) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes

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An American neurosurgeon inherits his grandfather’s castle, which includes hunchback Igor, sexy lab assistant Inga, and old housekeeper Frau Blucher. He soon discovers his grandfather’s notes and is able to reanimate the dead.

Rating: PG
Director: Mel Brooks
Starring: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman

5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) 80% at Rotten Tomatoes

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A newly engaged couple breaks down on a deserted road one rainy night. They seek refuge in the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, who turns out to be a transvestite vampire from outer space. This movie is still shown at midnight in theaters across the country.

Rating: R
Director: Jim Sharman
Starring: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick

4. Enter the Dragon (1973) 95% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Lee is recruited to spy on an Opium dealer running a martial arts tournament. It’s a fight to the death, and he’ll need all his speed, skill, stamina, and power to survive. This film is notable for being Bruce Lee’s last before his untimely death on July 20, 1973.

Rating: R
Director: Robert Clouse
Starring: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly

3. Apocalypse Now (1979) 98% at Rotten Tomatoes

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During the Vietnam War, a Green Beret Colonel has gone rogue in Cambodia. A covert operative Captain is put in charge of a small squad sent to kill him, but ends up following his path in more ways than one.

Rating: R
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall

2. The Godfather (1972) 99% at Rotten Tomatoes

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When a mob boss decides he’s too old and must pass the crime family on to his progeny, it starts an all-out mafia war. Everyone’s willing to pull whatever crime and backhanded trick is necessary to take control of the mafia.

Rating: R
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

1. Network (1976) 91% at Rotten Tomatoes

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News anchor Howard Beale is fired from his position, so on his final broadcast, he gives the speech of a lifetime. American audiences react positively, so he finds himself suddenly back on top. Success and fame threaten to push an already-unhinged man off the deep end.

Rating: R
Director: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch

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Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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