70s The Best '70s Cop Movies  

Ranker Film
829 votes 244 voters 10.1k views 41 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite police films that were released in the 1970s

The best '70s cop films always involved a few key elements: action, adventure, and maybe even a little bit of that good cop/bad cop routine. If you're looking for the best 1970s police movies that feature high speed chases, rough-and-tumble shoot outs, and slapping a handcuffs on bad guys, you've come to the right place! 


We couldn't begin a conversation about ‘70s cop movies without mentioning two names: Eastwood and Pacino. Clint Eastwood stars in
Dirty Harry, an archetypal, iconic role that spawned several sequels and earned a place in the National Film Registry. Al Pacino stars in Serpico, the based-on-a-true-story tale of one NYPD cop who endeavors to root out corruption on the force. Yet another iconic film on this list is The French Connection. Starring Gene Hackman, this film contains what is regarded by many movie fans and critics as the greatest car chase scene in history.


Here, you’ll also find
The Wicker Man, notable for its bizarre, occult themes, as well as its remake, starring a manic Nicholas Cage. Vote up the best cop films from the 1970s, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section! 
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Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Andrew Robinson Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco ...more

2
50 12
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The French Connection Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film directed by William Friedkin and produced by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, and Roy Scheider. The film was ...more

3
38 7
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Serpico Al Pacino, Judd Hirsch, Abraham Murphy Serpico is a 1973 American crime drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino. Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler wrote the screenplay, adapting Peter Maas's biography of NYPD officer ...more

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29 6
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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Jerry Stiller, Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a 1974 American thriller film directed by Joseph Sargent, produced by Edgar J. Scherick, and starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam and ...more

5
28 9
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The Seven-Ups Roy Scheider, Ken Kercheval, Joe Spinell The Seven-Ups is a 1973 American dramatic thriller film produced and directed by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Roy Scheider as a crusading policeman who is the leader of The Seven-Ups, a squad of ...more

6
31 12
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Magnum Force Clint Eastwood, Suzanne Somers, Hal Holbrook Magnum Force is a 1973 American action film and the second to feature Clint Eastwood as maverick cop Harry Callahan after the 1971 film Dirty Harry. Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in the ...more

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25 8
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '70s Cop Movies
slaft added Taxi Driver Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City soon after the end of the Vietnam War, the film ...more

8
21 5
The Warriors is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '70s Cop Movies
slaft added The Warriors Mercedes Ruehl, Robert Townsend, James Remar The Warriors is a 1979 American cult thriller film directed by Walter Hill and based on Sol Yurick's 1965 novel of the same name. Like the novel, the film borrows elements from the Anabasis by ...more

9
22 6
Dog Day Afternoon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '70s Cop Movies
slaft added Dog Day Afternoon Al Pacino, Carol Kane, Charles Durning Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 American crime drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, written by Frank Pierson, and produced by Martin Bregman and Martin Elfand. The film stars Al Pacino, John Cazale, ...more

10
26 10
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The Enforcer Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Bradford Dillman The Enforcer is a 1976 American action film and the third in the Dirty Harry film series. Directed by James Fargo, it stars Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan, Tyne ...more

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23 8
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Assault on Precinct 13 Austin Stoker, Charles Cyphers, Tony Burton Assault on Precinct 13 is a 1976 American action thriller film written, directed, scored and edited by John Carpenter. It stars Austin Stoker as a police officer who defends a defunct precinct ...more

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20 6
Death Wish is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '70s Cop Movies
slaft added Death Wish Jeff Goldblum, Charles Bronson, Christopher Guest Death Wish is a 1974 American vigilante action film loosely based on the novel Death Wish by Brian Garfield. The film was directed by Michael Winner and stars Charles Bronson as a man who ...more

The Best '70s Horror Movies

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The Gauntlet Clint Eastwood, Mara Corday, Sondra Locke The Gauntlet is a 1977 American action film directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Eastwood and Sondra Locke. The film's supporting cast includes Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, and ...more

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14 4
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slaft added The Mechanic Jason Statham, Donald Sutherland, Mini Andén The Mechanic is a 2011 American action thriller film starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster. Directed by Simon West, it is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, directed by Michael Winner, ...more

15
10 4
Mr. Majestyk is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '70s Cop Movies
slaft added Mr. Majestyk Charles Bronson, Linda Cristal, Lee Purcell Mr. Majestyk is a 1974 American action film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charles Bronson. The film is from an original screenplay written by Elmore Leonard. The title character's ...more

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13 8
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Electra Glide in Blue Nick Nolte, Robert Blake, Terry Kath Electra Glide in Blue is a 1973 film starring Robert Blake as a motorcycle cop in Arizona and Billy "Green" Bush as his partner. It was produced and directed by James William Guercio. ...more

17
11 6
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McQ John Wayne, Eddie Albert, Clu Gulager McQ is a 1974 crime drama film directed by John Sturges, starring John Wayne. The film made extensive use of Seattle locations. The beach scenes were filmed on the Pacific coast at Moclips. ...more

The Worst A-List Hollywood Actors

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6 1
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Brannigan John Wayne, Richard Attenborough, Lesley-Anne Down Brannigan is a 1975 British thriller film directed by Douglas Hickox and starring John Wayne and Richard Attenborough. Set principally in London, the film is about a Chicago detective sent to ...more

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13 8
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The Onion Field James Woods, Christopher Lloyd, Ted Danson Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Onion Field is a 1979 American crime drama film directed by Harold Becker, written by Joseph Wambaugh that is based on his 1973 true crime novel of the same title. The film stars John ...more

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14 10
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French Connection II Gene Hackman, Ed Lauter, Fernando Rey Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial French Connection II is a 1975 crime drama film starring Gene Hackman and directed by John Frankenheimer. It is a fictional sequel to the initially true story of the 1971 Academy Award winning ...more

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10 6
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The Choirboys James Woods, Randy Quaid, Louis Gossett The Choirboys is a 1977 American comedy-drama film directed by Robert Aldrich, written by Christopher Knopf and Joseph Wambaugh based on Wambaugh's novel of the same title. It features an ...more

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9 5
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The Red Circle Yves Montand, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté Le Cercle Rouge is a 1970 crime film set in Paris, France. It was directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and stars Alain Delon, Andre Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté and Yves Montand. It is known ...more

The Best R-Rated Musical Drama Movies

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Across 110th Street Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Burt Young 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

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12 10
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The Wicker Man Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Edward Woodward The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy and written by Anthony Shaffer. The film stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and ...more

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9 7
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They call me MISTER Tibbs Sidney Poitier, Ed Asner, Martin Landau 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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7 5
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The Laughing Policeman Bruce Dern, Louis Gossett, Jr. The Laughing Policeman is an American police procedural film loosely based on the novel The Laughing Policeman by Sjöwall and Wahlöö. The setting of the story is transplanted from ...more

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7 6
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The Offence Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Ian Bannen The Offence is a 1972 British drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, based upon the 1968 stage play This Story of Yours by John Hopkins. It stars Sean Connery as police detective Johnson, who ...more

15 Amazing Roles Almost Played by Nicolas Cage

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Fuzz Raquel Welch, Burt Reynolds, Yul Brynner Fuzz is a 1972 film directed by Richard A. Colla.

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Freebie and the Bean James Caan, Alan Arkin, Valerie Harper Freebie and the Bean is a 1974 action-comedy film about two San Francisco police detectives who attempt to bring down a local hijacking boss. The picture, a precursor to the buddy cop film genre ...more

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5 4
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The New Centurions George C. Scott, Erik Estrada, Stacy Keach The New Centurions is a 1972 crime drama film based on the novel by policeman turned author Joseph Wambaugh. It stars George C. Scott, Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Jane Alexander, Rosalind Cash, ...more

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3 3
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Scream and Scream Again Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing Scream and Scream Again is a 1970 conspiracy-thriller / science fiction film. It marks the second teaming, after The Oblong Box, of actors Vincent Price and Christopher Lee with director Gordon ...more

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3 3
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Sweeney! John Thaw, Barry Foster, Lynda Bellingham Sweeney! is a 1977 British crime film, made as a spin-off from the television show The Sweeney which ran from 1974 to 1978. It was released on Region 2 DVD in 2007. A sequel Sweeney 2 was ...more

The Best Songs With Want in the Title

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Revenge of the Pink Panther Peter Sellers, Dyan Cannon, Robert Loggia Revenge of the Pink Panther is the sixth film in The Pink Panther film series. Released in 1978, it was the last entry released during the lifetime of Peter Sellers, who died in 1980. It is also ...more

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2 4
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Policewomen Jean Bell, Sondra Currie, Tony Young Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Policewomen is a 1974 exploitation film about a female police officer who infiltrates an all-female criminal gang. The film was written and directed by Lee Frost, and stars Sondra Currie, Tony ...more

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2 5
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Busting Elliott Gould, Robert Blake, Michael Lerner Busting is a 1974 film directed by Peter Hyams, starring Elliott Gould and Robert Blake as Los Angeles police detectives.

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1 4
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I Walk the Line Gregory Peck, Tuesday Weld, Charles Durning I Walk the Line is a 1970 film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Gregory Peck and Tuesday Weld. The film is the story of Sheriff Henry Tawes who develops a relationship with town girl ...more

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1 4
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The Seduction of Joe Tynan Meryl Streep, Alan Alda, Rip Torn The Seduction of Joe Tynan is a 1979 American political film drama directed by Jerry Schatzberg and produced by Martin Bregman. The screenplay was written by Alan Alda, who also played the title ...more

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1 4
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Top of the Heap Paula Kelly, Allen Garfield, Patrick McVey Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Top of the Heap is a 1972 American drama film directed by and starring Christopher St. John. It was entered into the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival.

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2 6
Dirty Money is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '70s Cop Movies
Dirty Money

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1 6
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Dirty O'Neil Liv Lindeland, Jeane Manson, Art Metrano Dirty O'Neil is a 1974 film directed by Leon Capetanos and Lewis Teague.

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The Squeeze Stacy Keach, Edward Fox, Stephen Boyd Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Squeeze is a 1977 British gangster thriller, directed by Michael Apted, based on a novel by Bill James. The screenplay was written by Minder creator Leon Griffiths. Largely neglected, this ...more