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The Best Black Movies of the 1970s

Updated January 27, 2021 6.4k votes 1.4k voters 72.2k views84 items

List RulesVote up your favorite African American films that were released in the 1970s.

When you think about the best '70s Black movies, you think about the man who would risk his neck for his brother man. The one and only Shaft is just one of the films on this list of 1970s Black movies. The '70s saw the birth of blaxploitation, so this list is chock full of classics of the genre, including Foxy Brown and The Mack. These 1970s African American movies are wildly different, though, covering comedy, drama, action, and even horror.

What are some of the top 70s Black movies? Let's Do It Again has to appear on any list of the best 1970s African American films. This 1975 release starred the duo of Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. Uptown Saturday Night is acomedy you can dig, while They Call Me Mr. Tibbs, Blacula, and Super Fly are also good examples on this list of '70s Black movies.

The order of this '70s Black movies list depends on your votes, so vote up the best, vote down the worst, and add any movies we may have missed. If you're a blaxploitation expert, rerank the entire list as your comprehensive guide to 1070s Black cinema.

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  • Let's Do It Again1
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    Let's Do It Again

    Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier

    Released1975

    Directed bySidney Poitier

    Let's Do It Again is a 1975 film starring Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Jimmie Walker plus an...  more
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    #90 of 144 The Funniest Black Movies Ever Made#39 of 125 The All-Time Greatest Boxing Movies Ever Made

  • Uptown Saturday Night2
    324
    43

    Uptown Saturday Night

    Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor

    Released1974

    Directed bySidney Poitier

    Uptown Saturday Night is a 1974 comedy film written by Richard Wesley, and directed by Sidney...  more
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    #969 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#97 of 175 The Best Comedy Movies Of The 1970s

  • Claudine3
    311
    45

    Claudine

    James Earl Jones, Diahann Carroll

    Released1974

    Directed byJohn Berry

    Claudine is a 1974 American film, produced by Third World Films and distributed by 20th...  more
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  • Super Fly4
    334
    54

    Super Fly

    Ron O'Neal, Carl Lee

    Released1972

    Directed byGordon Parks Jr.

    Super Fly is a 1972 American blaxploitation crime drama film directed by Gordon Parks Jr. An...  more
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  • The Mack5
    277
    47

    The Mack

    Richard Pryor, Juanita Moore

    Released1973

    Directed byMichael Campus

    The Mack is a 1973 blaxploitation film starring Max Julien and Richard Pryor. Although the...  more
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    #59 of 159 The Best Hood Movies#16 of 37 The Best Richard Pryor Movies

  • Foxy Brown6
    219
    27

    Foxy Brown

    Pam Grier, Sid Haig

    Released1974

    Directed byJack Hill

    Foxy Brown is a 1974 American blaxploitation film written and directed by Jack Hill. It stars...  more
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  • Cleopatra Jones7
    206
    25

    Cleopatra Jones

    Shelley Winters, Esther Rolle

    Released1973

    Directed byJack Starrett

    Cleopatra Jones is a 1973 blaxploitation action film starring Tamara Dobson....  more
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    #31 of 130 The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women#64 of 73 Movies with the Most Hardcore Women

  • Shaft8
    256
    57

    Shaft

    Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn

    Released1971

    Directed byGordon Parks

    Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by...  more
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  • Coffy9
    174
    20

    Coffy

    Pam Grier, Sid Haig

    Released1973

    Directed byJack Hill

    Coffy is a 1973 blaxploitation film written and directed by American filmmaker Jack Hill. The...  more
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  • Across 110th Street10
    182
    28

    Across 110th Street

    Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto

    Released1972

    Directed byBarry Shear

    Across 110th Street is a 1972 American crime drama film starring Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto,...  more
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    #152 of 247 The Best Whodunit Movies#37 of 85 The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops

  • Three the Hard Way11
    160
    18

    Three the Hard Way

    Jim Brown, Fred Williamson

    Released1974

    Directed byGordon Parks, Jr.

    Three the Hard Way is a 1974 action blaxploitation film starring Fred Williamson, Jim Brown,...  more
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  • Black Caesar12
    171
    26

    Black Caesar

    Fred Williamson, Gloria Hendry

    Released1973

    Directed byLarry Cohen

    Black Caesar, released theatrically in the UK as Godfather of Harlem, is a 1973 American...  more
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  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs13
    160
    21

    They Call Me Mister Tibbs

    Sidney Poitier, Ed Asner

    Released1970

    Directed byGordon Douglas

    They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, stylized with emphasis on "Mister", is a 1970 film, a sequel to...  more
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  • A Piece of the Action14
    171
    28

    A Piece of the Action

    Bill Cosby, James Earl Jones

    Released1977

    Directed bySidney Poitier

    A Piece of the Action is a 1977 comedy crime film starring Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby....  more
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    #493 of 553 The Best '70s Movies#365 of 661 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings15
    143
    22

    Released1976

    Directed byJohn Badham

    The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings is a comedic sports film about a team of...  more
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  • Which Way Is Up?16
    116
    18

    Which Way Is Up?

    Richard Pryor, Margaret Avery

    Released1977

    Directed byMichael Schultz

    Which Way is Up? is a 1977 comedy film starring Richard Pryor. It was directed by Michael...  more
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  • Truck Turner17
    107
    22

    Truck Turner

    Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto

    Released1974

    Directed byJonathan Kaplan

    Truck Turner is a 1974 blaxploitation film, starring Isaac Hayes and Yaphet Kotto, and...  more
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  • Blacula18
    115
    28

    Blacula

    Vonetta McGee, Elisha Cook

    Released1972

    Directed byWilliam Crain

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
    Blacula is a 1972 American blaxploitation horror film produced for American International...  more
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    #77 of 111 The Best '70s Horror Movies#148 of 182 The Best Monster Movies

  • Sugar Hill19
    109
    24

    Sugar Hill

    Charles Robinson, Richard Lawson

    Released1974

    Directed byPaul Maslansky

    Sugar Hill is a 1974 horror blaxploitation zombie film released by AIP. It starred Marki Bey...  more
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    #10 of 30 The Best Black Horror Movies#11 of 16 The Best 70s Zombie Movies

  • Super Fly T.N.T.20
    98
    24

    Super Fly T.N.T.

    Robert Guillaume, Roscoe Lee Browne

    Released1973

    Directed byRon O'Neal

    Super Fly T.N.T. is a 1973 film directed, starring, and co-written by Ron O'Neal. O'Neal...  more
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  • Take a Hard Ride21
    87
    22

    Take a Hard Ride

    Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef

    Released1975

    Directed byAntonio Margheriti

    Take a Hard Ride is a 1975 Italian-American Western film directed by Antonio Margheriti. It...  more
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    #47 of 164 The Best Spaghetti Western Movies#6 of 15 The Best Black Western Movies

  • Velvet Smooth22
    81
    19

    Velvet Smooth

    Emerson Boozer, Owen Watson

    Released1976

    Directed byMichael Fink

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    Velvet Smooth is a 1976 American blaxploitation film about a crime lord who hires a female...  more
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  • Shaft's Big Score23
    106
    43

    Shaft's Big Score

    Richard Roundtree, Gordon Parks

    Released1972

    Directed byGordon Parks

    Shaft's Big Score! is a 1972 action film directed by Gordon Parks. It is the second film in...  more
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  • The Education of Sonny Carson24
    76
    21

    The Education of Sonny Carson

    Mary Alice, Paul Benjamin

    Released1974

    Directed byMichael Campus

    The Education of Sonny Carson is a 1974 film based on the best-selling autobiography of Sonny...  more
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  • Melinda25
    95
    36

    Melinda

    Vonetta McGee, Rosalind Cash

    Released1972

    Directed byHugh A. Robertson

    Melinda is a 1972 film directed by Hugh A. Robertson....
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