Total Nerd The Best '70s Sci-Fi Movies  

Ranker Film
3.2k votes 329 voters 9.6k views 51 items

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

Star Wars is probably the most well known 1970s science fiction movie, but don't count out the other strong contenders on this best '70s sci-fi movies list. This is the decade that also gave us the original Alien, A Clockwork Orange, and Westworld. Vote up the greatest 1970s sci-fi movies, and feel free to add any films we may have missed!

This list of 1970s science-fiction films reveals that the decade featured a trend of smart movies tackling social issues. Soylent Green and Logan's Run both depict overbearing governments that take population control to appalling extremes. Then you have A Clockwork Orange (a film that's still shocking even by today's standards), which is the ultimate movie about the extremes a government will go to to control its unruly citizens. Should these films get a higher ranking as the top '70s sci-fi movies for their audacity to take on important issues with such brazen material?

Of course, not all the '70s sci-fi movies are classics. In fact, for every Star Wars, there are multiple cheesy '70s sci-fi films. Reading up on the genre, you'll quickly notice that there aren't many '70s science fiction movies that are simply good - they're either great or terrible.  What will end up as number one on this list of the top 1970s science fiction films? The outcome is in your hands!
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Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

2
114 21
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Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

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83 33
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film, written and directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, ...more

4
70 28
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Ricardo Wang added Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston. Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, and James ...more

5
79 43
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Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve Superman is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and stars Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, ...more

6
76 41
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Mad Max Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller, produced by Byron Kennedy and starring Mel Gibson. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by ...more

7
70 40
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Star Trek: The Motion Picture William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a 1979 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the first film based on Star Trek, the first Star Trek film to star the original cast ...more

8
68 41
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Logan's Run Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov, Jenny Agutter Logan's Run is a 1976 American science fiction film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov. ...more

9
46 23
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers Robert Duvall, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1978 science fiction thriller directed by Philip Kaufman, and starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. ...more

10
68 45
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A Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

11
54 34
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Westworld Yul Brynner, James Brolin, Dick Van Patten Westworld is a 1973 science fiction western-thriller film written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton and produced by Paul Lazarus III about amusement park robots that become evil after a ...more

12
56 36
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Soylent Green Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Dick Van Patten Soylent Green is a 1973 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, and, in his final film, Edward G. Robinson. The film ...more

The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

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The Andromeda Strain Paula Kelly, David Wayne, Arthur Hill The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science fiction film produced and directed by Robert Wise. Based on Michael Crichton's 1969 novel of the same name and adapted by Nelson Gidding, the film ...more

14
42 31
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The Omega Man Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Eric Laneuville 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

15
47 37
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Escape from the Planet of the Apes Ricardo Montalbán, Roddy McDowall, Sal Mineo Escape from the Planet of the Apes is a 1971 science fiction film directed by Don Taylor and written by Paul Dehn. It stars Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman and Ricardo ...more

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but chickens double d added Escape to Witch Mountain Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Ray Milland Escape to Witch Mountain is a 1975 film based on the novel Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions, released by Buena Vista Distribution Company and ...more

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Rollerball James Caan, Maud Adams, Ralph Richardson Rollerball is a 1975 dystopian sports action science fiction film, which Norman Jewison directed from a screenplay dramatized by William Harrison, who adapted his own short story, "Roller ...more

The Best Space Movies

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The Island of Dr. Moreau Burt Lancaster, Barbara Carrera, Michael York The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1977 science fiction film, and is the second English-language adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel of the same name, a story of a scientist who attempts to convert ...more

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Battle for the Planet of the Apes John Huston, John Landis, Roddy McDowall Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a 1973 science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson. It is the fifth and final entry in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. ...more

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The Black Hole Ernest Borgnine, Anthony Perkins, Yvette Mimieux The Black Hole is a 1979 American science fiction film directed by Gary Nelson and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film stars Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette ...more

21
30 28
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Solaris Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet Solaris is a 1972 Russian science fiction art film adaptation of Polish author Stanisław Lem's novel Solaris. The film was co-written and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The film is a meditative ...more

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Muttley Dastardly added The Land That Time Forgot Doug McClure, Keith Barron The Land That Time Forgot is a 1975 fantasy/adventure film based upon the 1924 novel The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The screenplay was written by Michael Moorcock. The film ...more

The Best Fantasy & Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Instant

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Death Race 2000 Sylvester Stallone, David Carradine, Mary Woronov Death Race 2000 is a 1975 cult action film directed by Paul Bartel, and starring David Carradine, Simone Griffeth and Sylvester Stallone. The film takes place in a dystopian American society in ...more

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Muttley Dastardly added Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla Akihiko Hirata, Shin Kishida, Kenji Sahara Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, is a 1974 Japanese science fiction kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Jun Fukuda and featuring special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, the film starred Gorō ...more

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THX 1138 Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Sid Haig THX 1138 is a 1971 science fiction film directed by George Lucas in his feature directorial debut. The film was produced by Francis Ford Coppola and written by Lucas and Walter Murch. It stars ...more

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Silent Running Bruce Dern, Ron Rifkin, Joseph Campanella Silent Running is a 1972 environmentally-themed American science fiction film starring Bruce Dern, featuring Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin and Jesse Vint. It was directed by Douglas Trumbull, who had ...more

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Phantasm Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, co-produced, and edited by Don Coscarelli. It introduces the Tall Man, a supernatural and malevolent undertaker who turns ...more

The Most Rewatchable Movies

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but chickens double d added Fantastic Planet Hubert de Lapparent, Jean Topart, Yves Barsacq Fantastic Planet is a 1973 cutout stop motion science fiction allegorical film directed by René Laloux, production designed by Roland Topor, written by both of them and animated at ...more

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The Stepford Wives Tina Louise, Mary Stuart Masterson, Katharine Ross The Stepford Wives is a 1975 science fiction–thriller film based on the 1972 Ira Levin novel of the same name. It was directed by Bryan Forbes with a screenplay by William Goldman, and stars ...more

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Beneath the Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Linda Harrison Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a 1970 American science fiction film directed by Ted Post and written by Paul Dehn. It is the second of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series ...more

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Capricorn One O. J. Simpson, James Brolin, Elliott Gould Capricorn One is a 1978 government conspiracy thriller film about a Mars landing hoax. It was written and directed by Peter Hyams and produced by Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment. It stars Elliott ...more

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Time After Time Corey Feldman, Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen Time After Time is a 1979 American science fiction film starring Malcolm McDowell, David Warner and Mary Steenburgen. It was the directing debut of screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, whose screenplay ...more

The Best '30s Sci-Fi Movies

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The Man Who Fell to Earth David Bowie, Rip Torn, Buck Henry The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1976 British science fiction film directed by Nicolas Roeg. The film is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, about an extraterrestrial who ...more

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Wizards Mark Hamill, Ralph Bakshi, David Proval Wizards is a 1977 American animated post-apocalyptic science fantasy film about the battle between two wizards, one representing the forces of magic and one representing the forces of industrial ...more

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Zardoz Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, John Boorman Zardoz is a 1974 science fiction movie written, produced, and directed by John Boorman. It stars Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, and Sara Kestelman. Zardoz was Connery's second post-James Bond ...more

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Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Ricardo Montalbán, Roddy McDowall, Don Murray Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is a 1972 science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson. It is the fourth of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. ...more

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Dark Star Dan O'Bannon, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm Dark Star is a 1974 American comic science fiction motion picture directed, co-written, produced and scored by John Carpenter, and co-written by, edited by and starring Dan O'Bannon.

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Damnation Alley Jackie Earle Haley, George Peppard, Jan-Michael Vincent 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 ...more

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13 24
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Godzilla vs. Hedorah Haruo Nakajima, Toshio Shiba, Hiroyuki Kawase Godzilla vs. Hedorah is a 1971 Japanese science fiction kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Yoshimitsu Banno and featuring special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, the film starred Akira ...more

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12 23
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The Brood Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle The Brood is a 1979 Canadian science fiction horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg, starring Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, and Art Hindle. The film depicts a series of murders ...more

41
12 23
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Futureworld Peter Fonda, Yul Brynner, Blythe Danner Futureworld is a 1976 American science fiction thriller film directed by Richard T. Heffron and written by Mayo Simon and George Schenck. It is a sequel to the 1973 Michael Crichton film ...more

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11 22
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Muttley Dastardly added The People That Time Forgot Doug McClure, Patrick Wayne, David Prowse The People That Time Forgot is a 1977 fantasy/adventure film based on the novel The People That Time Forgot and Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was produced by Britain's Amicus ...more

The Best '80s Sci-Fi Movies

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Colossus: The Forbin Project Marion Ross, Eric Braeden, William Schallert Colossus: The Forbin Project is a 1970 American science fiction thriller film from Universal Pictures, produced by Stanley Chase, directed by Joseph Sargent, and starring Eric Braeden, Susan ...more

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Sleeper Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, John Beck Sleeper is a 1973 futuristic comic science fiction film, written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman, and directed by Allen. The plot involves the adventures of the owner of a health food store ...more

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8 23
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Phase IV Michael Murphy, Nigel Davenport, David Healy Phase IV is a 1974 American science fiction film. It is the only feature-length film directed by graphic designer and filmmaker Saul Bass. It starred Michael Murphy, Nigel Davenport and Lynne ...more

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7 24
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The Terminal Man George Segal, Jill Clayburgh, Donald Moffat The Terminal Man is a 1974 film directed by Mike Hodges, based on the 1972 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. It stars George Segal. The story centers on the immediate dangers of mind ...more

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7 24
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At the Earth's Core Caroline Munro, Peter Cushing, Doug McClure At the Earth's Core is a 1976 fantasy-science fiction film produced by Britain's Amicus Productions. It was directed by Kevin Connor and starred Peter Cushing, Caroline Munro, Philippa Herring ...more

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5 21
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Muttley Dastardly added Warlords of Atlantis Cyd Charisse, Doug McClure, Peter Gilmore Warlords of Atlantis is a 1978 British science fiction/fantasy film about a trip to the lost world of Atlantis. The movie was directed by Kevin Connor from a screen play by Brian Hayles. It was ...more

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5 24
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No Blade of Grass Jean Wallace, Nigel Davenport, Patrick Holt No Blade of Grass is a 1970 British-American apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Cornel Wilde and starring Nigel Davenport, Jean Wallace and John Hamill. It is an adaptation of the ...more

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3 25
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Z.P.G. Oliver Reed, Geraldine Chaplin, Diane Cilento Z.P.G. is a 1972 British dystopian science fiction film starring Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chaplin and directed by Michael Campus. It is inspired by the non-fiction best-selling book The ...more