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The Best Black Movies of the 1970s

Updated July 13, 2020 6.5k votes 1.4k voters 68.9k views43 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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  • 1
    Uptown Saturday Night
    320
    40

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    Let's Do It Again
    304
    36

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #105 of 176 The Best Comedy Movies Of The 1970s#46 of 117 The All-Time Greatest Boxing Movies Ever Made

  • 3
    Shaft
    262
    25

    Shaft

    Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn

    Released1971

    Directed byGordon Parks

    Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #687 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#160 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 4
    Super Fly
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  • 5
    Claudine
    318
    49

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 6
    The Mack
    285
    49

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 7
    Foxy Brown
    225
    29

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #38 of 85 Great Movies About Furious Women Out for Revenge#46 of 70 The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked

  • 8
    Cleopatra Jones
    209
    26

    Cleopatra Jones

    Shelley Winters, Esther Rolle

    Released1973

    Directed byJack Starrett

    Cleopatra Jones is a 1973 blaxploitation action film starring Tamara Dobson.Amazon buy button

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    #19 of 47 The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women#65 of 73 Movies with the Most Hardcore Women

  • 9
    Coffy
    180
    21

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #466 of 554 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies#47 of 50 The Very Best Movies About Life in the Ghetto

  • 10
    Three the Hard Way
    167
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    Across 110th Street
    188
    29

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    Black Caesar
    179
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    They Call Me Mister Tibbs
    168
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    A Piece of the Action
    177
    29

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 15
    Which Way Is Up?
    122
    9

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
    148
    24

    Released1976

    Directed byJohn Badham

    The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings is a comedic sports film about a team of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #38 of 42 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories#93 of 172 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

  • 17
    Shaft's Big Score
    111
    21

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    Blacula
    119
    28

    Blacula

    Vonetta McGee, Elisha Cook

    Released1972

    Directed byWilliam Crain

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    #75 of 111 The Best '70s Horror Movies#118 of 182 The Best Monster Movies

  • 19
    Truck Turner
    111
    24

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    Sugar Hill
    114
    27

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    Super Fly T.N.T.
    102
    25

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 22
    Take a Hard Ride
    89
    24

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    Velvet Smooth
    83
    20

    Velvet Smooth

    Emerson Boozer, Owen Watson

    Released1976

    Directed byMichael Fink

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  • 24
    Melinda
    97
    38

    Melinda

    Vonetta McGee, Rosalind Cash

    Released1972

    Directed byHugh A. Robertson

    Melinda is a 1972 film directed by Hugh A. Robertson.Amazon buy button
  • 25
    The Education of Sonny Carson
    77
    22

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button