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The Best Black Movies of the 1970s 

Ranker Film
Updated July 2, 2020 5.4k votes 1.3k voters 65.6k views 43 items

List Rules Vote 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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list ordered by
1
Super Fly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
2
Uptown Saturday Night is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Uptown Saturday Night Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Sidney Poitier

Released: 1974

Directed by: Sidney Poitier

Uptown Saturday Night is a 1974 comedy film written by Richard Wesley, and directed by Sidney Poitier, who also stars in this film, along with Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte. Cosby and Poitier ...more
3
Claudine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
James Earl Jones, Diahann Carroll, Adam Wade

Released: 1974

Directed by: John Berry

Claudine is a 1974 American film, produced by Third World Films and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Starring James Earl Jones, Diahann Carroll, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, it is noted for being ...more

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#120 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #474 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #34 of 54 The Best Black Romance Movies, Ranked

4
Let's Do It Again is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier, Ossie Davis

Released: 1975

Directed by: Sidney Poitier

Let's Do It Again is a 1975 film starring Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Jimmie Walker plus an all star black cast. The film, directed by Poitier, is about blue-collar workers who decide to rig ...more

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#232 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #477 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #1,165 of 1,210 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

5
The Mack is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Richard Pryor, Juanita Moore, Roger E. Mosley

Released: 1973

Directed by: Michael Campus

The Mack is a 1973 blaxploitation film starring Max Julien and Richard Pryor. Although the movie was produced during the era of such blaxploitation movies as Dolemite, its producers do not label ...more

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#200 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #565 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #65 of 93 The Best Hood Movies

6
Shaft is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Lawrence Pressman

Released: 1971

Directed by: Gordon Parks

Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. An action film with elements of film noir, Shaft tells the story of a private detective, ...more

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#192 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #238 of 591 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Foxy Brown is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Peter Brown

Released: 1974

Directed by: Jack Hill

Foxy Brown is a 1974 American blaxploitation film written and directed by Jack Hill. It stars Pam Grier as the title character, described by one character as "a whole lot of woman" who ...more

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#152 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #33 of 85 Great Movies About Furious Women Out for Revenge #46 of 71 Movies with the Most Hardcore Women

8
Cleopatra Jones is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Shelley Winters, Esther Rolle, Don Cornelius

Released: 1973

Directed by: Jack Starrett

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

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#184 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #41 of 47 The 25+ Best Movies for Black Women #62 of 71 Movies with the Most Hardcore Women

9
Across 110th Street is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Burt Young

Released: 1972

Directed by: Barry Shear

Across 110th Street is a 1972 American crime drama film starring Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, and Anthony Franciosa, and directed by Barry Shear. Commonly associated with the blaxploitation ...more
10
Coffy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Gail Davis

Released: 1973

Directed by: Jack Hill

Coffy is a 1973 blaxploitation film written and directed by American filmmaker Jack Hill. The story is about a black female vigilante played by Pam Grier. The film's tagline in advertising was ...more

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#228 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #423 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #409 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

11
A Piece of the Action is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Bill Cosby, James Earl Jones, Sidney Poitier

Released: 1977

Directed by: Sidney Poitier

A Piece of the Action is a 1977 comedy crime film starring Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. Poitier also directed the film. This was the third film pairing of Poitier and Cosby following Uptown ...more
12
Black Caesar is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Fred Williamson, Gloria Hendry, William Wellman Jr.

Released: 1973

Directed by: Larry Cohen

Black Caesar, released theatrically in the UK as Godfather of Harlem, is a 1973 American blaxploitation, crime drama film, starring Fred Williamson and Gloria Hendry. The film was written and ...more
13
They call me MISTER Tibb... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Sidney Poitier, Ed Asner, Martin Landau

Released: 1970

Directed by: Gordon Douglas

They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, stylized with emphasis on "Mister", is a 1970 film, a sequel to 1967's In the Heat of the Night. The title was taken from a line in the first film. Sidney ...more

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#256 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #24 of 26 26 Spin-Offs And Sequels To Hollywood Films You Probably Never Knew Existed #22 of 40 The Best Cop Movies of the 1970s

14
Three the Hard Way is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly

Released: 1974

Directed by: Gordon Parks, Jr.

Three the Hard Way is a 1974 action blaxploitation film starring Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, and Jim Kelly, written by Eric Bercovici and Jerrold L. Ludwig and directed by Gordon Parks, Jr. ...more
15
The Bingo Long Traveling... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Richard Pryor, James Earl Jones, Billy Dee Williams

Released: 1976

Directed by: John Badham

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings is a comedic sports film about a team of enterprising ex-Negro League baseball players in the era of racial segregation. Loosely based upon ...more

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#489 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #39 of 43 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories #43 of 88 The All-Time Best Baseball Films

16
Blacula is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Vonetta McGee, Elisha Cook, Jr.

Released: 1972

Directed by: William Crain

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Blacula is a 1972 American blaxploitation horror film produced for American International Pictures. It was directed by William Crain and stars William Marshall in the title role about an ...more

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#296 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #335 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #77 of 132 The Best '70s Horror Movies

17
Which Way Is Up? is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
bdpritchett added Richard Pryor, Margaret Avery, Paul Mooney

Released: 1977

Directed by: Michael Schultz

Which Way is Up? is a 1977 comedy film starring Richard Pryor. It was directed by Michael Schultz, and is a remake of the 1972 Italian film The Seduction of Mimi, which was written and directed ...more
18
Shaft's Big Score is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Richard Roundtree, Gordon Parks, Moses Gunn

Released: 1972

Directed by: Gordon Parks

Shaft's Big Score! is a 1972 action film directed by Gordon Parks. It is the second film in the trilogy starring Richard Roundtree as the private detective John Shaft. Ernest Tidyman once more ...more
19
Sugar Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Charles Robinson, Richard Lawson, Ed Geldart

Released: 1974

Directed by: Paul Maslansky

Sugar Hill is a 1974 horror blaxploitation zombie film released by AIP. It starred Marki Bey as the title character who uses voodoo to get revenge on the people responsible for her boyfriend's ...more
20
Truck Turner is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto, Nichelle Nichols

Released: 1974

Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan

Truck Turner is a 1974 blaxploitation film, starring Isaac Hayes and Yaphet Kotto, and directed by Jonathan Kaplan. The screenplay was written by Michael Allin, Jerry Wilkes and Oscar Williams. ...more
21
Super Fly T.N.T. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Robert Guillaume, Roscoe Lee Browne, Ron O'Neal

Released: 1973

Directed by: Ron O'Neal

Super Fly T.N.T. is a 1973 film directed, starring, and co-written by Ron O'Neal. O'Neal reprises his role of Youngblood Priest from the smash hit blaxploitation film Super Fly. The film was ...more
22
Take a Hard Ride is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef, Fred Williamson

Released: 1975

Directed by: Antonio Margheriti

Take a Hard Ride is a 1975 Italian-American Western film directed by Antonio Margheriti. It stars Lee Van Cleef, Jim Brown, Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly. Pike, a stone faced cowboy, meets up ...more
23
Melinda is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Melinda Vonetta McGee, Rosalind Cash, Calvin Lockhart

Released: 1972

Directed by: Hugh A. Robertson

Melinda is a 1972 film directed by Hugh A. Robertson.
24
Velvet Smooth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Emerson Boozer, Owen Watson, Wilfredo Roldan

Released: 1976

Directed by: Michael Fink

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Velvet Smooth is a 1976 American blaxploitation film about a crime lord who hires a female private detective to find out who's stealing his business.
25
Scream Blacula Scream is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Black Movies of the 1970s
Pam Grier, Craig T. Nelson, Michael Conrad

Released: 1973

Directed by: Bob Kelljan

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Scream Blacula Scream is a 1973 blaxploitation horror film, made under the working titles Blacula Is Beautiful and Blacula Lives Again!. This is the only sequel to the 1972 film Blacula. The ...more