18 Must-See Movies from the ’70s That Deserve More Love

The ’70s are often hailed as the second golden age of cinema, a time when filmmakers pushed boundaries and explored new storytelling techniques. However, many incredible movies flew under the radar. Here are 18 movies from the ’70s that deserve more recognition and are definitely worth your time.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a standout noir thriller from the ’70s, showcasing Robert Mitchum in one of his finest roles. As Eddie Coyle, a small-time gangster trying to avoid prison by becoming an informant, Mitchum captures the desperation and complexity of his character in a world where loyalty is scarce.

Blue Collar (1978)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

Blue Collar marks Paul Schrader’s directorial debut, a gritty look into the lives of factory workers. Starring Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, and Yaphet Kotto as disgruntled auto workers who decide to rob their union, the film dives deep into themes of corruption, brotherhood, and the breakdown of the American dream.

Scarecrow (1973)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Al Pacino gives one of the best performances of his career in this Jerry Schatzberg-directed road movie. Scarecrow follows two men, an ex-con and a former sailor, who partner up and develop an unlikely bond as they journey to Pittsburgh.

The Conversation (1974)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

In this psychological thriller, a surveillance expert faces an ethical dilemma upon discovering a potential murder plot on the couple he’s been hired to spy on. The Conversation stuns, not only with its gripping suspense but also with its amazing sound production.

Hester Street (1975)

Photo Credit: Midwest Films

The 1970s and prior decades weren’t exactly a great period for female filmmakers in the industry. However, Joan Micklin Silver was one of the few who was able to break the mold. Particularly notable is her Oscar-nominated film Hester Street, which tackles the challenges faced by an immigrant Jewish family in the U.S.

Remember My Name (1978)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

Starring Geraldine Chaplin, Anthony Perkins, Moses Gunn, and Berry Berenson, Remember My Name tells the story of Emily, a woman who has been recently released from prison. Emily arrives in town to start a new life but oddly begins to stalk and terrorize a young couple.

Hardcore (1979)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

The latter part of the ‘70s saw the release of this crime drama directed by Paul Schrader. The film explores the theme of fatherly love and protection, telling the story of Van Dorn, a man on a mission to rescue his daughter from people he believes to be sex traffickers.

Images (1972)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

Blending the genres of psychological drama and horror, Images is a film that is as disturbing as it is thrilling. The movie is centered around the character of Cathryn, a children’s author whose sanity declines rapidly as she experiences strange hallucinations and apparitions that cause her to question her reality.

Sorcerer (1977)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

In Sorcerer, four outcasts have been hired to transport a set of volatile dynamites over several miles. While the film did not receive a lot of positive reviews upon its release, it is now considered an overlooked masterpiece by critics, and director William Friedkin regards it as one of his favorite works.

The Long Goodbye (1973)

Photo Credit: United Artists

Based on Raymond Chandler’s 1953 novel of the same name, The Long Goodbye is a satisfying mystery movie that also manages to impress with its humor. The film follows a private investigator who finds himself at the center of a case involving betrayal, deceit, and murder.

Girlfriends (1978)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

In Girlfriends, viewers ride along as a small-time photographer navigates dealing with abandonment and living alone after her best friend and roommate gets married and leaves. The film has been praised by critics for the way it captures the complexities of female friendships.

The Landlord (1970)

Photo Credit: United Artists

Hal Ashby made her directorial debut with this 1970 comedy-drama about a privileged white man who buys a tenement with the intention to evict its occupants but changes his mind after growing fond of its low-income residents.

Fat City (1972)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

This gritty drama delves into the lives of two boxers, offering a raw and unvarnished look at their dreams, struggles, and disappointments. The film’s authentic portrayal of ambition and the harsh realities of their chosen path gives it a unique place in the landscape of ‘70s cinema.

The Day of the Jackal (1973)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Another underrated film from the ‘70s, The Day of the Jackal is a political thriller based on Frederick Forsyth’s novel of the same name. The Fred Zinnemann-directed film revolves around a professional assassin, known as ‘Jackal,’ who’s been hired to kill the French president.

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Photo Credit: Faces International Films.

Gena Rowlands delivers a tour de force performance in this emotionally charged drama, depicting a woman grappling with mental illness. The film’s raw intensity and poignant portrayal of familial dynamics make it one of the hidden gems of its time.

Mikey and Nicky (1976)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Thanks to various technical problems and tensions between director Elaine May and the studio, Mikey and Nicky had a delayed release and ultimately bombed at the box office. The movie is, however, viewed favorably by modern critics, often praised for its improvisational energy and its authentic examination of toxic masculinity.

The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Al Pacino’s compelling performance drives this gritty drama, providing an unflinching glimpse into the lives of heroin addicts in New York City. The film’s portrayal of addiction, desperation, and love amid turmoil captures a raw slice of urban life rarely explored on screen.

The Last Detail (1973)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

This comedy-drama explores the journey of two Navy men who develop a friendship with the young prisoner they’ve been tasked to escort. With superb performances from the cast and its great dialogue, The Last Detail remains a compelling and overlooked entry in 70s cinema.

Up Next: 15 Forgotten Disney Movies No One Talks About Anymore

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

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15 FORGOTTEN DISNEY MOVIES NO ONE TALKS ABOUT ANYMORE

The 16 Greatest Classic Hollywood Actors of All Time

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

The Golden Age of Hollywood was an exceptional era for cinema, delivering countless classics and introducing the world to numerous legendary actors. Here, I’m going to explore 16 of these remarkable actors who made an undeniable impact on the film industry as they lit up the silver screen.

THE 16 GREATEST CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD ACTORS OF ALL TIME

19 Movies With Endings So Wild, We’re Still Arguing About Them

Image Credit: Warner Bros

Movies are supposed to wrap things up nicely, giving us that satisfying end to the stories we’ve been glued to for a couple of hours. But then there are those movies that just love to mess with our heads, leaving us with more questions than answers as the credits roll. Let’s dive into 20 films that kept us up at night, debating their wild endings.

19 MOVIES WITH ENDINGS SO WILD, WE’RE STILL ARGUING ABOUT THEM