What’s Your Favorite Movie from the First Half of the 1970s?

MovieFanfare Movie Poll of the Week

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  • Steve in Sacramento

    “Chinatown” is my favorite.  Really don’t know why it’s not on this list.

  • Tito Pannaggi

    I have no doubt at all, it must be Ettore Scola’s “We All Loved Each Other So Much” / “C’eravamo tanto amati” (1974). I saw it in Paris, France where you can sit thrue one show and see it again. My friend and I saw it twice – What a film!!!

    After that I’ve tried to see all of his film. Nearly all of them were very good. He must be the best movie director of the 70s or maybe of all time!.

    • nick

       Yes, have not seen it since I saw it in the movie theaters, but what a delight that film was. Sadly not many Americans got to see it, or know of it, because of the 0 exposure to foreign movies, and how American studios have this habit of remaking great foreign films.

  • Robert

    Sacramento Steve—you got that right, pal! Who makes up these lists?

  • Marty

    The whole Godfather series may be the best ganster films ever produced but Godfather II leads the group. Unfortunately, only one vote is permitted but I would have chosen Serpico. Al Pacino, the best.

  • Cyn

    my 1st choice Godfather and yes Serpico.

  • Frankiedc

    I really enjoy these polls, but some of the choices on this one were terrible.  How could Love Story, the Poseidon Adventure and Airport even be put in the same category as The Godfather, parts I and II and A Clockwork Orange? I certainly was entertained by  two of those three, but they are definitely not in the same league  as movies made by Kubrick or Coppola. The two Mel Brooks movies were unusual choices, but at least they had merit as truly comic films. But, as I look at the poll again, I realize it is strictly subjective, not the Best but the Favorite. Even though I hated Lenny, it is a film of the time which could have been included in a list of the Best.

  • OZ ROB

    At our place we regard the 70s as a genre, the films from this era all have a similar style feel to them,is it the long credit roles ? are they all striving to be daring ? i am not quite sure exactly what it is ,,,anyway as pure early 70s, social issues, color, costumes,language,music, i will vote for other ,,           ”  Super Fly ” 1972….

  • mrshowscan

    @Frankiedc: the contest was favorite film not which was the highly artistic one of the 70s. Maybe some could be combined: favorite=artistic. I voted for Airport because I saw it in an unusual situation: a bar. My friend was showing it and I was there as support. You know what happens, You’re drinking and  the booze helps the story along + it was at the time my sister was getting married and you know how happy that occasion can be. The other films mentioned here I saw in a theater and my reactions would be different. The art of those films come through but they weren’t favorites just great movies of my youth.

  • Mayka

    A hard choice. I also liked “What’s Up Doc”, I know is not a drama, but it was a very funny and well acted movie. Also. another great one in my book is “Cabaret”. Liza was fantastic as well as the rest of the cast, but of course, “The Godfather” is the winner. 

  • Kenwal78

    So many good ones. Hard to make a choice.

  • Joyp

    I love The Last Picture Show….how come it wasn’t on the list?  Only in the seventies could we truely look back on the fifties….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PODTFFPVEUXYHXVGNS5G5FWKGI DIRK

    Of the ones listed I went with THE STING because of the Twist that got us ALL!  But really WHAT’S UP, DOC? is my Favorite of the early 70s~  Have seen it a million times! LOL Or close to it!

  • polliwogg

    Airport.  Hands down.  To this day, it’s the best disaster movie made.

  • Tracy

    Wily Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

  • Jimbo

    “Leave the gun & take the cannoli’s”, The Godfather of course.

  • Johny B.

    What!  No The Way We Were, has to be my favorite movie from the first half of the 70′s.

  • Parkerr71

    both godfather films by a mile!  then patton.

  • Joseph23006

    Once I might have gone with one of the Godfather movies, but after watching them from my own copies, I found that really didn’t care about any of these people.  Repeated watching is a test of great movies, these didn’t do it.I may dislike Patton as a person, but he has kept my interest.

    • nick

       Interesting about your liking Patton, in that in both Godfather films, and Patton, one of the screenplay writers was Francis Ford Coppola, and he did win academy awards for the screenplay.

  • Tomscats

    Hard to choose between Patton, The French Connection, and The Godfather.

  • Rufnek

    Young Frankenstein still makes me laugh, while the Godfather films have lost some luster. I never liked Patton from the get-go–an overrated movie about an overrated martinet. As for MASH, loved the book and liked the TV series, but never liked the movie.

  • richievee

    I clicked “Other” because my two favorite movies from the early 1970s would be:

    “Summer of ’42″
    “The Last Picture Show”

    • KC

      I loved both of these, too, though felt the list was great. I believe “TLPS” was around the same time as “Fiddler on the Roof” which also deserves a bit of recognition.

  • footballsux

    “the Last Picture Show” without a doubt.

  • diacad

    I checked “other”.  Paper Moon (1973) would be my pick if it were on the list.  Tatum O’Neil was (and still is) the youngest actress ever to win an Academy Award.  An absolutely brilliant film that should have been on the list.

    • Steve in Sacramento

      Great pick, love Paper Moon!

  • Markht

    Well, I chose “Young Frankenstein,” mainly I guess because it was a good solid comedy/satire and always an enjoyable romp. 
    But there were man other good films.  I could have chosen “Patton” easily.  Oh, also, “MASH,” which is another comedy….a “black comedy” but dang it a great classic.
    Lots of good choices.  Heck even “Dirty Harry” was a contender.

  • Terry

    All great movies on the list. Voted for The Godfather, but it wasn’t easy. One not on the list… Enter the Dragon; not a great film technically, but it set the standard for action movies and made Bruce Lee the worldwide icon he is to this day.

  • David

    I checked other as American Grafitti was not on the list

  • Boog

    You really have to take Godfather I and II as one paired entry … not “fair” that they compete and split the vote … the existence of the other movie makes each one better.   Granted, they are separate movies from a purest perspective … but are they really? 

    • nick

       I put the Godfather II as my favorite, and consider it one of the top 7 greatest films of all time, while I look at the first one as one of the 10 most famous American films ever. I do however have to feel only the existence of the first makes the second one better and relevant. Too bad they had to make the inferior third one. The ending of that film was especially embarrassing.

      • Wayne P.

        Ive always thought a Godfather 4 would be in order…they could pick it right up where they left off in GF3…Andy Garcia would surely be available and Joe Mantegna is only doing Criminal Minds right now but at least we wouldnt have to worry about Sofia Coppola being cast again, hopefully ;)

        • nick

           Interesting that you  felt a 4th was in order, someone back when 3 came out said the same thing to me. Three is just so bad when you compare it to 1 and two, that I wish it had never been made. Interestingly though for me, the DVD, with the Commentary by Coppola, is the most interesting commentary of the three films, in which I think he aknowledges that the film is not so good, and why.

          • Wayne P.

            Good points…the bar for GF1 and GF2 was set so high that GF3 was almost certain to fall short…I enjoyed it myself nonetheless…the cannolis near the end to get bad godfather eating his life away was pretty good salvage work and even the shoot-out on the opera hall steps wasnt half-bad, but having Pacino in the chair at the end was just too much like Brandos exit in GF1 to take!

  • StevenWells

    I second “Steve In Sacramento:” “Chinatown” (an inexplicable omission). I’d put “Cabaret” right behind it, though.

    But the list – and the submissions of others not appearing – illustrate what a rich era it was.

  • Ariel

    Little Big Man.

  • nick

    Was very surprised that The Sting (which I saw when it came out) was so high, as I kind of thought that people might not remember it as well, as they would The Exorcist, or Dirty Harry. Interesting that during this time, the Director in America kind of reigned supreme as far as artistic freedom goes.  My number one while Godfather Part II, I also have as favorites Dirty Harry, and the underated Charles Bronson film, The Mechanic.

  • Cat


  • Cat

    Am not voting till I see it on the list.

  • Maxbuda

    Guess I’m the only person in the world who thought the Godfather sucked.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GZ3UWJ4OSNZ5QLCM3DX6WI3NKU Toxic Avenger

      Not really.  I never saw the sense of glorifying criminality, murder, mayhem, drugs, prostitution and all the rest of the Mafia crap.  There is a certain low-mentality element that glories in celebrating crooks and their crimes.  Look at all those people who cheered for John Gotti every day at his trial. 

    • Fargonetoo

      No, I agree that it sucked.

  • HassoBenSoba

    Richard Lester’s “The Three Musketeers” – there’s something uniquely special about this film– its cast, the sense of camaraderie, the gorgeous Spanish countryside, and Michel Legrand’s phenomenal score. I first saw it during a real bad period in my life…and I walked out of the theater feeling Ten Feet Tall. Few films have ever had that powerful an effect on me. Of course, I returned to it often and dragged along everyone I could think of to see it; every one of them loved it. A rare, uproarious gem of a film amidst the downtrodden, nihilistic fare of the ’70′s.

    Then again, there’s always Blazing Saddles.


  • Burt

    A Clockwork Orange was really groundbreaking for the making of a movie by Kubrick. It was his next movie after 2001 A Space odyssey. Take about ground breaking movies. !!!

  • mike

    There are so many from that era that were good films.  One of my favorites not listed were “Hotel” and “Soldier Blue”.  But again, there are some many…..back when films had content and a story line.  Unlike todays films.

  • mookiewilsonThinktank

    Jaws (1975) ain’t bad.  But maybe that would fall under the 2nd half of the 70′s.

  • Ehulani822

    Hard to decide between The Sting and The Godfather; both excellent movies with fantastic actors.  Ended up picking the all-time great: The Godfather.

    • Rjr9162

       I had the same dilemma, but I chose the Sting.  Can’t go wrong with either one.

  • TrippyTrellis

    Where is “Cabaret”???? No other movie in the first half of the ’70s won more Oscars (8- same as 1970′s “Patton”). “Cabaret” was acclaimed by critics (who positively despised “Love Story” and “Airport”) and public alike. “Cabaret” just missed out winning the best movie Oscar to “The Godfather”, which only won 3.

  • Lunnaf

    “Women In Love” with Glenda Jackson and Oliver Reed….EXCELLENT!!!

    • Carolynfair5

      The film should have been named “Men In Love.”  Remember that wrestling scene in front of the fireplace?  OMG

  • Aaron

    I would add  “The Hospital(1971)” and “Death Wish(1974)”. Even “Duel(1971)” was excellent;though made for television first,it’s still a classic.

  • D Man

    This list is missing so many great films. What about Harry and Tonto, Deliverance, The Last Detail. Paper Moon, Summer of 42, American Grafitti and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

  • Kevin

    Chinatown was released in 1974 and somehow didn’t make this list.  It would be my number one.  I would also pick Tora! Tora! Tora! and Sleuth over almost any of those on the list.  And add to that The Conversation and American Graffiti.  Out of those on the list, I take The Godfather, Patton, and The Sting.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/54QMKVO7LL2VEHQSXXWQ23YKGY oobleckboy

    McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Chinatown not on the list? Hmmm.

  • Clupton

    American Graffiti

  • Andy3882901

    I would say the 3 Planet of the Apes sequels that were made in the early 70s were my favorites. Has a kid then, they were what Transformers are too my 9 year old now. There was Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. Course the first sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes was made in 1969 and the original was made in 1968, before your Poll. lol

  • mookiewilsonThinktank

    Someone mentioned Harry and Tonto.  I love that movie. 
    Chinatown would definitely be on my list.
    Also loved Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Paper Moon as well as The Paper Chase.

  • Bryankr

    I saw more than one I wanted to vote for, again! Great movies!! I voted for The Sting, i loved the idea that even though I was kept privey to all that was going on, I was still surprised at the end. Who the killer was, whomthe “feds” really were, i could go on.
    MASH I watched a lot of when it hit TV, and really enjoyed the movie, Blazing Saddles….what can I say? One of the best and funniest movies ever! The campfire scene with the can of beans? Too funny!! I still laugh when I watch it!
    Young Frankenstein….”Walk this way.” No! Like this, walk this way! ” Actually got a song started with that!

  • Wilsonbond_99

    Badlands (1973) not on your list and it’s my fave movie of all time.  Director Malick never again achieved such a perfect synthesis of hard realism, pop reverie, and propulsive narrative pace.  A road movie elevated to the level of great poetry.

  • KatLuvsFilms

    The Way We Were

  • Magman

    Movie Buffs…..What about “THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN” ??

    • gaz

      What about it ??,,, it`s ,1960 !!

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.ridgley William Ridgley

      Well, although I appreciate the cast from the 1972 version, It just doesn’t do it for me the way the original did!

  • Lew

    Sleeper !!  Woody Allen’s hilarious homage to ‘The Tramp’ and the ‘Keystone Cops’ movies of the 20′s and 30′s.

  • Decoys

    If you’re counting 1975 movies, how about “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

  • Kathryn

    The 1970′s was without a doubt the worst decade for movies ever.  For the most part, 1970′s movies were very dark and unappealing.

    • Jasonrfleming

      Have to say the 1980′s were the worst decade for film. And some of us find those very dark films very appealing.

      • Cbh

        The 70′s were in fact a rebirth for filmmaking producing classics and allowing a new fresh take on telling stories- it happened to be one of the very best.

      • eduardo

        BRAVO!!!!  See my comment above to Kathryn.  And where is “Dog Day Afternoon”?  I thought that was made in the early seventies.

    • Jay Kindervater

      What an ignorant remark!

      • Carolynfair5

        You have a great last name!

    • eduardo

      You are obviously not a movie person if you consider the list above part of the worst decade in movies.  Don’t forget, this is just the first half of the seventies.  You still have “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Rocky”. and “Network”.

  • Dar

    What about Murder on the Orient Express?

  • Iowaserfland

    Little Big Man. Chief Dan George. So many memorable lines such as , “sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn’t.”

  • pocroc

    No brainer whose on top, but I loved Blazing Saddles.  Love Story is one of the all time worst.

  • Valjean1112

    Young Frankenstein was the bright spot in a decade of dreary, dismal, depressing movies.  As the song said, “Super Dooper!”

  • Maddy

    When ever I get a chance to watch “Young Frankenstein”, I always do and no matter how many times I hear the lines, I still laugh……………..Igor kills me!! Fantastic cast of characters in this film – a real classic!!

  • Cbh

    Abby Normal… I love that scene from Young Frankenstein!!! Though it makes me wonder who else is walking around today with an Abby normal brain-

  • Paige

    How about What’s Up Doc and Cold Turkey? Those two are funny ad whitty and make me laugh every viewing. But if I have to pick off the list I go with Blazing Saddles. No one is safe and it could’t get made today. Thank goodness Mel Brooks ignored the guys in the morals office and made the movie he wanted.

  • Fargoneetoo

    I agree with Paige…. how about What’s Up Doc.   The Sting was good, but I don’t consider any of the ones you listed as great.

  • El Jay

    The Last Picture Show (1971)?

  • Dorcare

    one flew over the cuckoo’s nest…

  • Pacerdad

    I chose “The Poseidon Adventure” with “Dirty Harry” a close second.  I have never understood the appeal of “The Godfather”.  Granted, it had some great actors/actresses.  “Young Frankenstein” and one that is not on this list, but should be….”American Graffiti”.  A seminal movie.

  • FalmouthBill

    I know there is no right, or wrong answer, however the ones I remember other than Young Frankenstein are  I never Sang for my Father [70] The Last Picture Show & Klute [71] Executive Action, Day of the Jackal, & American Graffiti [73] Chinatown [74] 

  • Jay Kindervater

    Who in the world would vote for “Airport”? Or “Love Story”? Jeez!

  • Frankie

    Well. Jay, I voted for “Airport” because I love old-fashioned Grand Hotel-type flicks. Now, run & tell THAT !

    • Carolynfair5

      Aw…my mother loved ‘Airport.’  Frankie, you describe it well.  Dean Martin as a jetliner pilot.  The very thought of it…

  • Goldenjohn

    Vanishing Point anyone?

    • nick

       Interesting film, with an interesting cast.

  • Gsjclub55

    When it comes to ‘like’ it’s “Patton.”  When it comes to ‘best’ (and there are many contenders) I have to go with “Godfather II.”

  • Stldjen

    The Last Picture Show – what a mistake omitting that…

    • eduardo

      As was “Dog Day Afternoon”

  • jj

    Summer of ’42  was a great movie in 1971.

  • Doublnot

    The Man Who Would Be King

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.ridgley William Ridgley

    Boy, that was difficult to choose just one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.ridgley William Ridgley

    Well, Vanishing Point was certainly an interesting movie, and an enjoyable one, too, but I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying it’s my favorite…

  • Carolynfair5

    This was a hard one.  Wow!  Were they really making such great movies at that time, compared to the mediocre ones now?  I chose ‘Blazing Saddles’ but ‘Godfather II’ and “A Clockwork Orange” were in a class of their own.

    • eduardo

      WHAT A CHOICE!!!!!.  So many great lines from “Young Frankenstein”- abby normal; walk this way; the name is Fronkensteen, and Gene Hackman as the blind man was absolutely incredible, as was the entire cast.  George C. Scott (my favorite actor) was fabulous in “Patton”.  I can go on and on, but I would have to go with “A Clockwork Orange”.  I’m also a big Stanley Kubrick fan, and I saw the film 37 times.  This film also got me into classical music, particularly Beethoven and Rossini.

  • Tombwana

    A few big faves were missing from your list of choices, Mean Street, American Graffiti, Chinatown and Scarecrow, although there are some incredible movies listed there. Nevertheless, I’d have to pick one of these four over your options.

  • Dsucharski

     You’re comparing apples to oranges and maybe some other fruits.  You can’t compare Young Fr.; Blz Sddles; and MASH with movies like Godfather, Fr Connection and Love Story.  If you would’ve put them into categories like favorite comedy; drama; thriller, etc. that would have worked.  Then I would have chosen YF for comedy; TFC for thriller or action flick; and Serpico for drama.  The Sting is a comedy, but it also has plenty of drama as well.

    • eduardo

      Type your comment here.  I agree with you in theory, however, when it comes to the academy awards, only one picture gets to be best picture.  It’s not categorized, although maybe it should be.

      • Charles Lee

        Are you kidding?? The academy is so biased in the genres they pick. Rarely does a horror movie, not matter how well done, get picked or even nominated. Superhero movies can forget it. But I still see your point.

    • Charles Lee

      Serpico over the Godfather. HA!!!! and again I say HA!!!!!!!

  • Dog888k

    Two of Woody Allen’s best: Bananas, and Sleeper.  And my favorite–The Big Bus. 

  • Chrismellotron

    There are other early 70s flicks.  “The Devil’s Nightmare”, “Lady Frankenstein”, “Horror Rises From the Tomb”, “Don’t Go Into the Basement”, and “Aguirre: the Wrath of God”.

  • Leo Martinez

    I have no doubt that the vast majority of those that voted “Other” felt that American Graffitti was the best !!!

  • Isis


    • Charles Lee

      I would not have chose that film. While no doubt good, it does not rank as a great film

  • The Blue Carbuncle

    My wife, being Italian would vote for the first two Godfather movies. I prefer Patton for Geoge C. Scott’s performance or Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein for their brilliant comedy.

    • Charles Lee

      Patton was a superb film. It is hard to choose between Patton and the Godfather. I chose the Godfather, but it could go either way with me.

  • Dog888k

    Two 70s goofy but interesting flicks, both by Altman, are A Wedding, and Popeye. P has Shelly Duvall and Mork doing Popeye and Olive Oyl–2 roles that should impossible for living actors to perform, but SD and RW do them quite well.

    • ResslerHome

      “Popeye” was a late-1970s film.  This is an “Early-1970s” survey.  Please pay attention to the survey question before your post.

  • Dog888k

    typo booboo: should say “be’ or “have been’ impossible.

  • Dog888k

    Any list of amazing 1970s movies must include The Ruling Class. O’Toole was never better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leslie.sexton.77 Leslie Sexton

    Hard to pick just one, so I went for comedy, Young Frankenstein. Also a big fan of Dirty Harry and Patton. 

  • ResslerHome

    I chose “Airport” because it was a great ensemble cast movie, with great acting and a compelling script.  “Dirty Harry” was second on this list because of its enduring post-JFK assassination world view cynicism of the Harry Callahan character, portrayed by Clint Eastwood, and his unique approach to return some sense of honor and decency to America, even though his methods are controversial and indecent as well.  “The Godfather” and “Patton” are too easy to vote for.  Everyone loves those films, but they don’t float my boat for me. 

  • raja999

    Nearly impossible to pick just one.  I had to go with “The French Connection”.  Just a terrific movie with an incredible performance by Gene Hackman.  “Serpico” was another great flick and perhaps Al Pacino’s best performance.
    One very over-looked movie from the early 70s that should be included in this list is “10 Rillington Place” (1971).  Great role for Richard Attenborough.
    Must also include another sorely over-looked movie, “Straw Dogs” (1971), a very good psychological thriller directed by Sam Peckinpaugh, starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=184104923 Melanie Young

    I absolutely LOVE Young Frankenstein. It was brilliantly written and acted…and I loved that it was in glorious black and white….and shows that a movie doesn’t have to be in color to be good.

    • Charles Lee

      Well stated. But still the Godfather gets my vote for the best. I own both movies