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43 voters

The Best '70s Disaster Movies

Updated May 3, 2019 612 votes 43 voters 1k views37 items

List RulesVote 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.

  • 1
    Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens
    30
    5

    Released1972

    Directed byIrwin 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 an...  more
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  • 2
    O. J. Simpson, Paul Newman
    26
    1

    Released1974

    Directed byIrwin 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
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  • 3
    Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes
    16
    3

    Released1976

    Directed byLarry 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 was...  more
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  • 4
    Jacqueline Bissett, Dean Martin
    17
    5

    Released1970

    Directed byHenry 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 1970s...  more
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  • 5
    Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas
    16
    5

    Released1979

    Directed byJames 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, Jack...  more
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  • 6
    Sophia Loren, O. J. Simpson
    15
    5

    Released1976

    Directed byGeorge 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 Gardner and...  more
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  • 7
    Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner
    20
    10

    Released1974

    Directed byMark 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 of Los...  more
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  • 8
    Christopher Lee, James Stewart
    14
    5

    Released1977

    Directed byJerry 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
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  • 9
    Charlton Heston, Myrna Loy
    12
    5

    Released1974

    Directed byJack 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....  more
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  • 10
    Charlton Heston, Susan Dey
    11
    6

    Released1972

    Directed byJohn 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 passengers...  more
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  • 11
    Omar Sharif, Richard Harris
    11
    5

    Released1974

    Directed byRichard 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
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  • 12
    Jackie Earle Haley, George Peppard
    7
    0

    Released1977

    Directed byJack Smight

    Damnation Alley is a 1977 post-apocalyptic film, directed by Jack Smight, loosely based on the novel of the same name by Roger Zelazny. The original music score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith and...  more
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  • 13
    Charlton Heston, Christopher Reeve
    9
    4

    Released1978

    Directed byDavid Greene

    Gray Lady Down is a 1978 disaster film by Universal Studios starring Charlton Heston, David Carradine, Stacy Keach, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, and is the feature film debut of Christopher Reeve. It is...  more
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  • 14
    Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe
    11
    6

    Released1971

    Directed byBoris 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 novel I...  more
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  • 15
    Helen Hunt, Henry Fonda
    10
    7

    Released1977

    Directed byJames 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 in...  more
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  • 16
    Stockard Channing, José Ferrer
    9
    5

    Released1976

    Directed byJames Frawley

    The Big Bus is a 1976 American comedy film starring Stockard Channing and Joseph Bologna, and directed by James Frawley. A spoof of the disaster movie genre, it follows the maiden cross-country trip...  more
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  • 17
    Bo Derek, Richard Harris
    5
    3

    Released1977

    Directed byMichael Anderson

    Orca is a 1977 horror film directed by Michael Anderson and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, starring Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, and Will Sampson. It is based on Arthur Herzog's novel of the...  more
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  • 18
    Helen Mirren, Cloris Leachman
    5
    4

    Released1979

    Directed byWilliam 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 written by...  more
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  • 19
    Ben Johnson, Ben Murphy
    5
    5

    Released1973

    Directed byDavid Lowell Rich

    Runaway!, also known as The Runaway Train, is a 1973 film made for ABC television directed by David Lowell Rich. It is an action thriller involving skiers trapped on a runaway train speeding down a...  more
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  • 20
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  • 21
    Michael Caine, Henry Fonda
    9
    13

    Released1978

    Directed byIrwin 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 cast...  more
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  • 22
    Alain Delon, Robert Wagner
    8
    11

    Released1979

    Directed byDavid 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
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  • 23
    Billy Crystal, Burgess Meredith
    4
    5

    Released1977

    Directed byDavid 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 capitalized...  more
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  • 24
    Mia Farrow, Max von Sydow
    5
    8

    Released1979

    Directed byJan 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 Troell....  more
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  • 25
    Anne Bancroft, Burgess Meredith
    7
    12

    Released1975

    Directed byRobert 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 written...  more
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