The Underrated 70’s

I think many movies made in the 70’s or older are super underrated and overall underappreciated. These old groovy movies are the originals that many, now popular, movies are based on in today’s theatres. This time period had hippies, suburbia, mobsters, westerners, and overall free-spirited, reckless teens. The vintage look of these movies should be cared for and appreciated for helping build improvements to the film industry as a whole. I have included some other selections that are older as well.

Netflix:

The Graduate

Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has just finished college and, back at his parents’ house, he’s trying to avoid the one question everyone keeps asking: What does he want to do with his life? An unexpected diversion crops up when he is seduced by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), a bored housewife and friend of his parents. But what begins as a fun tryst turns complicated when Benjamin falls for the one woman Mrs. Robinson demanded he stay away from, her daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross).

The Dirty Dozen

As D-Day approaches, Colonel Breed hands the roguish Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) an important assignment: He must train a team of soldiers to parachute across enemy lines and assassinate German personnel at a French chateau. The soldiers, recruited from murderers, rapists and criminals on death row, are promised commuted sentences. In spite of their history, the 12 men prove a spirited and courageous unit. Led by Major Reisman, they will exact revenge.

Animal House

When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) attempt to pledge the snooty Omega Theta Pi House, but are summarily rejected. Lowering their standards, they try at the notoriously rowdy Delta Tau Chi House, and get in. The trouble is, the college dean (John Vernon) has it in for the Deltas. He has put them on “Double Secret Probation” and secretly assigned Omega’s president (James Daughton) the task of having their charter revoked.

Monty Python and The Holy Grail

A comedic send-up of the grim circumstances of the Middle Ages as told through the story of King Arthur and framed by a modern-day murder investigation. When the mythical king of the Britons leads his knights on a quest for the Holy Grail, they face a wide array of horrors, including a persistent Black Knight, a three-headed giant, a cadre of shrubbery-challenged knights, the perilous Castle Anthrax, a killer rabbit, a house of virgins, and a handful of rude Frenchmen.

Monty Phython’s Life of Brian

Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman) is an average young Jewish man, but through a series of ridiculous events, he gains a reputation as the Messiah. When he’s not dodging his followers or being scolded by his shrill mother (Terry Jones), the hapless Brian has to contend with the pompous Pontius Pilate (Michael Palin) and acronym-obsessed members of a separatist movement. Rife with Monty Python’s signature absurdity, the tale finds Brian’s life paralleling Biblical lore, albeit with many more laughs.

Clockwork Orange

In an England of the future, Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his “Droogs” spend their nights getting high at the Korova Milkbar before embarking on “a little of the old ultraviolence,” while jauntily warbling “Singin’ in the Rain.” After he’s jailed for bludgeoning the Cat Lady to death, Alex submits to behavior modification technique to earn his freedom; he’s conditioned to abhor violence. Returned to the world defenseless, Alex becomes the victim of his prior victims.

Jaws

When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.

Dr. No

In the film that launched the James Bond saga, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) battles mysterious Dr. No, a scientific genius bent on destroying the U.S. space program. As the countdown to disaster begins, Bond must go to Jamaica, where he encounters beautiful Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), to confront a megalomaniacal villain in his massive island headquarters.

East of Eden

In this film based on John Steinbeck’s epic novel, Cal Trask (James Dean), the son of a California farmer (Raymond Massey), feels that his father cares only about his brother, Aron (Richard Davalos). When Cal embarks on a business venture to gain the favor of his dad, he finds himself dealing with his estranged mother (Jo Van Fleet), now the owner of a brothel, and tensions in the family rise even further when he begins to fall for Aron’s girlfriend, Abra (Julie Harris).

Annie Hall

Comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) examines the rise and fall of his relationship with struggling nightclub singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). Speaking directly to the audience in front of a bare background, Singer reflects briefly on his childhood and his early adult years before settling in to tell the story of how he and Annie met, fell in love, and struggled with the obstacles of modern romance, mixing surreal fantasy sequences with small moments of emotional drama.

HULU:

The Seven Year Itch

In the midst of a summer heat wave, New Yorker Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) ships his wife, Helen (Evelyn Keyes), and their son off to Maine for vacation. Left alone to work back in Manhattan, Richard encounters a gorgeous blonde model (Marilyn Monroe) who has moved into the apartment upstairs, and becomes immediately infatuated. While pondering infidelity, Richard dreams of his beautiful new neighbor — but will his fantasies about her become a reality?

Easy Rider

Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper), two Harley-riding hippies, complete a drug deal in Southern California and decide to travel cross-country in search of spiritual truth. On their journey, they experience bigotry and hatred from the inhabitants of small-town America and also meet with other travelers seeking alternative lifestyles. After a terrifying drug experience in New Orleans, the two travelers wonder if they will ever find a way to live peacefully in America.

Marathon Man

Thomas “Babe” Levy (Dustin Hoffman) is a Columbia graduate student and long-distance runner who is oblivious to the fact that his older brother, Doc (Roy Scheider), is a government agent chasing down a Nazi war criminal (Laurence Olivier) — that is, until Doc is murdered and Babe finds himself knee-deep in a tangle of stolen gems and sadistic madmen. Even his girlfriend, Elsa (Marthe Keller), becomes a suspect as everything Babe believed to be true is suddenly turned upside down.

Pony Express 

Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok join forces to establish a mail route that can get mail from Missouri, to California, in ten days. Along the way they must battle bad weather, hostile Indians and outlaws intent on robbing the mail and shutting down the entire operation.

The Thomas Crown Affair

Bored millionaire Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) concocts and executes a brilliant scheme to rob a bank without having to do any of the work himself. When Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway), an investigator for the bank’s insurance company, takes an interest in Crown, the two begin a complicated cat-and-mouse game with a romantic undertone. In an attempt to decipher Anderson’s agenda, Crown devises another robbery like his first, wondering if he can get away with the same crime twice.

Amazon Prime:

Bad News Bears

Hard-drinking, ex-minor-league hopeful Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) grumpily agrees to coach a Little League team at the behest of lawyer-councilman Bob Whitewood (Ben Piazza), who has a vendetta against the league for excluding his marginally talented son from play. After failing with his new team of misfits, Buttermaker enlists feisty and gifted pitcher Amanda Whurlitzer (Tatum O’Neal) to lead the charge — but can he find the luck and patience to whip these outcasts into shape?

Murder On The Orient Express

Having concluded a case, detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) settles into what he expects will be a relaxing journey home aboard the Orient Express. But when an unpopular billionaire is murdered en route, Poirot takes up the case, and everyone on board the famous train is a suspect. Using an avalanche blocking the tracks to his advantage, Poirot gradually realizes that many of the passengers have revenge as a motive, and he begins to home in on the culprit.

Fiddler On The Roof

Oscar-winning adaptation of the Broadway musical about life among the Jewish community of a pre-revolutionary Russian village. A poor milkman, determined to find good husbands for his five daughters, consults the traditional matchmaker – and also has a word with God.

China Town

When Los Angeles private eye J.J. “Jake” Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to investigate her husband’s activities, he believes it’s a routine infidelity case. Jake’s investigation soon becomes anything but routine when he meets the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) and realizes he was hired by an imposter. Mr. Mulwray’s sudden death sets Gittes on a tangled trail of corruption, deceit and sinister family secrets as Evelyn’s father (John Huston) becomes a suspect in the case.

Taxi Driver

Suffering from insomnia, disturbed loner Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes a job as a New York City cabbie, haunting the streets nightly, growing increasingly detached from reality as he dreams of cleaning up the filthy city. When Travis meets pretty campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), he becomes obsessed with the idea of saving the world, first plotting to assassinate a presidential candidate, then directing his attentions toward rescuing 12-year-old prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster).

The rest of these movies can be rented or purchased on Amazon Prime for around $3.99.

Carrie

Withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.

American Graffiti

On the last day of summer vacation in 1962, friends Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), Steve (Ronny Howard), Terry (Charles Martin Smith) and John (Paul Le Mat) cruise the streets of small-town California while a mysterious disc jockey (Wolfman Jack) spins classic rock’n’roll tunes. It’s the last night before their grown-up lives begin, and Steve’s high-school sweetheart, a hot-to-trot blonde, a bratty adolescent and a disappearing angel in a Thunderbird provide all the excitement they can handle.

The Godfather

Focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). When the don’s youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), he is drawn deeper into the family business.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.”

Grease

Experience the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of high school kids in the 1950s. Welcome to the singing and dancing world of “Grease,” the most successful movie musical of all time. A wholesome exchange student (Olivia Newton-John) and a leather-clad Danny (John Travolta) have a summer romance, but will it cross clique lines?

Rocky

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), when the undefeated fighter’s scheduled opponent is injured. While training with feisty former bantamweight contender Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), Rocky tentatively begins a relationship with Adrian (Talia Shire), the wallflower sister of his meat-packer pal Paulie (Burt Young).

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 

A sweet boy from a poor family dreams of finding one of five golden tickets hidden inside chocolate bar wrappers which will admit him to the eccentric and reclusive Willy Wonka’s magical factory. One after another, tickets are discovered by ghastly children – but will the lad find the last remaining one and have all his dreams come true?

The Great Gatsby

Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston) is a young man from the Midwest living modestly among the decadent mansions of 1920s Long Island. He becomes involved in the life of the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford), a rich man who throws the most lavish parties on the island. But behind Gastby’s outgoing demeanor is a lonely man who wants nothing more than to be with his old love, Daisy (Mia Farrow). She is married to the bullheaded Tom (Bruce Dern), creating a love triangle that will end in tragedy.

A Star is Born

A rock star on the decline, John Norman Howard (Kris Kristofferson) has given in to drugs and excessive drinking, and his music has suffered as a result. Wandering into a club one night, John watches singer Esther Hoffman (Barbra Streisand) perform and is smitten. The two begin dating, and soon John lets Esther take the spotlight during his concerts. However, even as Esther finds fame and success with her singing, John continues his downward spiral.

Superman

Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), young Clark (Christopher Reeve) discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).

The Exorcist

One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.

All The President’s Men

Two green reporters and rivals working for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), research the botched 1972 burglary of the Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex. With the help of a mysterious source, code-named Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook), the two reporters make a connection between the burglars and a White House staffer. Despite dire warnings about their safety, the duo follows the money all the way to the top.

Alien

In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma.

Young Frankenstein

Respected medical lecturer Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) learns that he has inherited his infamous grandfather’s estate in Transylvania. Arriving at the castle, Dr. Frankenstein soon begins to recreate his grandfather’s experiments with the help of servants Igor (Marty Feldman), Inga (Teri Garr) and the fearsome Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman). After he creates his own monster (Peter Boyle), new complications ensue with the arrival of the doctor’s fiancée, Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn).

Saturday Night Fever

Tony Manero (John Travolta) doesn’t have much going for him during the weekdays. He still lives at home and works as a paint store clerk in his Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood. But he lives for the weekends, when he and his friends go to the local disco and dance the night away. When a big dance competition is announced, he wrangles the beautiful and talented Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney) to be his partner. As the two train for the big night, they start to fall for each other as well.

Cabaret

In Berlin in 1931, American cabaret singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) meets British academic Brian Roberts (Michael York), who is finishing his university studies. Despite Brian’s confusion over his sexuality, the pair become lovers, but the arrival of the wealthy and decadent playboy Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Griem) complicates matters for them both. This love triangle plays out against the rise of the Nazi party and the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

Smokey and the Bandit 

Big Enos (Pat McCormick) wants to drink Coors at a truck show, but in 1977 it was illegal to sell Coors east of the Mississippi River without a permit. Truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) agrees to pick up the beer in Texas and drive it to Georgia within 28 hours. When Bo picks up hitchhiker Carrie (Sally Field), he attracts the attention of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). Angry that Carrie will not marry his son, Justice embarks on a high-speed chase after Bandit.

Mad Max

In a not-too-distant dystopian future, when man’s most precious resource — oil — has been depleted and the world plunged into war, famine and financial chaos, the last vestiges of the law in Australia attempt to restrain a vicious biker gang. Max (Mel Gibson), an officer with the Main Force Patrol, launches a personal vendetta against the gang when his wife (Joanne Samuel) and son are hunted down and murdered, leaving him with nothing but the instincts for survival and retribution.

Although the legendary Star Wars was created in the 70’s it is very expensive to rent. It can cost about $20 to rent on all streaming platforms. 

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