Natural Disasters

The Best '70s Disaster Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated May 3, 2019 144 votes 18 voters 37 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite disaster movies that were released between 1970 - 1979.

These are the best disaster movies from the ‘70s. Disaster films can impact the whole world a select group of people such as on an ocean liner or in a city. These disaster films from the 1970s are edge-of-your-seat thrill rides that still hold up today and are certainly fun to watch. With famous actors such as Sean Connery in Meteor and Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure, 1970s disaster movies are some of the most exciting and memorable films in the genre. This list includes man-made disasters like The China Syndrome and natural disaster movies like Avalanche.

Other great disaster movies from the nineteen-seventies include films such as Earthquake and The Hindenburg.

Now it’s time to determine the greatest ‘70s disaster movies. Vote up the good 1970s disaster movies to make sure that the right film makes its way to the top of the list. Don’t see your favorite ‘70s disaster movie? Feel free to add it to the list.

list ordered by
1
The Towering Inferno is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
O. J. Simpson, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway

Released: 1974

Directed by: Irwin Allen, John Guillermin

The Towering Inferno is a 1974 American action drama disaster film produced by Irwin Allen featuring an all-star cast led by Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. The picture was directed by John ...more
2
The Poseidon Adventure ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine

Released: 1972

Directed by: Irwin Allen, Ronald Neame

The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American action-adventure disaster film, directed by Ronald Neame, produced by Irwin Allen, and based on Paul Gallico's novel of the same name. The film features ...more
3
Earthquake is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Victoria Principal

Released: 1974

Directed by: Mark Robson

Earthquake is a 1974 American ensemble disaster film directed and produced by Mark Robson. The plot concerns the struggle for survival after a catastrophic earthquake destroys most of the city ...more
4
Rollercoaster is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Rollercoaster Helen Hunt, Henry Fonda, Steve Guttenberg

Released: 1977

Directed by: James Goldstone

Rollercoaster is a 1977 disaster-suspense film starring George Segal, Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda and Timothy Bottoms, and directed by James Goldstone. It was one of the few films to be shown ...more
5
Airport is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Jacqueline Bissett, Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster

Released: 1970

Directed by: Henry Hathaway, George Seaton

Airport is a 1970 American drama film starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin, directed and written by George Seaton, and based on Arthur Hailey's 1968 novel of the same name. It originated the ...more
6
The Omega Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Eric Laneuville

Released: 1971

Directed by: Boris Sagal

The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 ...more
7
The Cassandra Crossing ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Sophia Loren, O. J. Simpson, Martin Sheen

Released: 1976

Directed by: George P. Cosmatos

The Cassandra Crossing is a 1976 British disaster/thriller film directed by George Pan Cosmatos and starring Richard Harris, Sophia Loren, Martin Sheen, Burt Lancaster, Lee Strasberg, Ava ...more
8
The China Syndrome is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Jack Lemmon

Released: 1979

Directed by: James Bridges

The China Syndrome is a 1979 American thriller film that tells the story of a television reporter and her cameraman who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. It stars Jane Fonda, ...more
9
The Swarm is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Michael Caine, Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland

Released: 1978

Directed by: Irwin Allen

The Swarm is a 1978 science fiction monster horror film about a killer bee invasion of Texas. It was adapted from a novel of the same name by Arthur Herzog. The director was Irwin Allen, and the ...more
10
The Hindenburg is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Anne Bancroft, Burgess Meredith, George C. Scott

Released: 1975

Directed by: Robert Wise

The Hindenburg is a 1975 American Technicolor film based on the disaster of the German airship Hindenburg. The film stars George C. Scott. It was produced and directed by Robert Wise, and was ...more
11
Avalanche is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Mia Farrow, Rock Hudson, Robert Forster

Released: 1978

Directed by: Corey Allen

Avalanche is a 1978 American disaster film, directed by Corey Allen and starring Rock Hudson, Robert Forster, Mia Farrow and Jeanette Nolan. The taglines for the film included "A Winter ...more
12
Bullet Train is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Sonny Chiba, Tetsurō Tamba, Kei Yamamoto

Released: 1975

Directed by: Junya Sato

Super Express bullet train to explode if it starts to travel below 80 km/h -- the source of inspiration for the movie "Speed". The film was later shortened and reissued internationally ...more
13
The Concorde...Airport '... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Alain Delon, Robert Wagner, George Kennedy

Released: 1979

Directed by: David Lowell Rich

The Concorde ... Airport '79 is a 1979 American disaster film. The film was the fourth and final installment of the Airport series. Panned by critics, the film also flopped at the box office. ...more
14
Fire! is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Fire!
15
Two-Minute Warning is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands

Released: 1976

Directed by: Larry Peerce

Two-Minute Warning is a 1976 disaster film directed by Larry Peerce and starring Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Martin Balsam, Beau Bridges, Jack Klugman, Gena Rowlands, and David Janssen. It ...more
16
Airport 1975 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Charlton Heston, Myrna Loy, Linda Blair

Released: 1974

Directed by: Jack Smight

Airport 1975 is a 1974 disaster film and the first sequel to the successful 1970 film Airport. It stars Charlton Heston and Karen Black and is directed by Jack Smight.
17
Skyjacked is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Charlton Heston, Susan Dey, James Brolin

Released: 1972

Directed by: John Guillermin

Skyjacked is a 1972 disaster film, directed by John Guillermin. The film stars Charlton Heston, James Brolin, and Yvette Mimieux, along with an all-star cast primarily playing the roles of ...more
18
SST: Death Flight is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Billy Crystal, Burgess Meredith, Tina Louise

Released: 1977

Directed by: David Lowell Rich

SST Death Flight is a 1977 made-for-television film, directed by David Lowell Rich. Produced by ABC Circle Films, the film featured an all-star ensemble television cast. SST Death Flight ...more
19
Juggernaut is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Omar Sharif, Richard Harris, Ian Holm

Released: 1974

Directed by: Richard Lester

Juggernaut is a 1974 British crime suspense film starring Richard Harris, Omar Sharif and Anthony Hopkins. The film, which was directed by Richard Lester, was largely shot on location on the TS ...more
20
Hurricane is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Mia Farrow, Max von Sydow, Jason Robards Jr.

Released: 1979

Directed by: Jan Troell

Hurricane is a 1979 romance and adventure film featuring Mia Farrow, Jason Robards and impressive special effects, produced by Dino De Laurentiis and Lorenzo Semple, Jr., and directed by Jan ...more
21
Beyond the Poseidon Adve... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Sally Field, Michael Caine, Mark Harmon

Released: 1979

Directed by: Irwin Allen

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure is a 1979 American disaster film, a sequel to the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure. It was directed by Irwin Allen and starred Michael Caine and Sally Field. The ...more
22
Flood! is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Barbara Hershey, Leif Garrett, Gloria Stuart

Released: 1976

Directed by: Earl Bellamy

Flood! is a 1976 American TV film directed by Earl Bellamy.
23
Airport '77 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Christopher Lee, James Stewart, Olivia de Havilland

Released: 1977

Directed by: Jerry Jameson

Airport '77 is a 1977 disaster film and third movie in the Airport franchise. The film stars a number of veteran actors, including Jack Lemmon, James Stewart, Joseph Cotten, Christopher Lee and ...more
24
S.O.S. Titanic is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Helen Mirren, Cloris Leachman, Ian Holm

Released: 1979

Directed by: William Hale

S.O.S. Titanic is a 1979 television movie that depicts the doomed 1912 voyage from the perspective of three distinct groups of passengers in First, Second, and Third Class. The script was ...more
25
Meteor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '70s Disaster Movies
Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Henry Fonda

Released: 1979

Directed by: Ronald Neame

Meteor is a 1979 science fiction Technicolor disaster film in which scientists detect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth and struggle with international politics in their efforts to ...more