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The Best '70s Sci-Fi Movies  

Ranker Film
5k votes 499 voters 14.6k views 52 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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Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more

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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

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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

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#10 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #8 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
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Ricardo Wang added 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

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#124 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #73 of 118 The Very Best Movie Franchises #78 of 569 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

5
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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

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#29 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #21 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Moviesfeaturing 20 Things You Didn't Know About the Mad Max Movies

6
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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

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#148 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #79 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #36 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

7
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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

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#19 of 569 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #111 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #139 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

8
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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

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9
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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

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10
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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

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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

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#41 of 569 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #183 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #24 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

12
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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

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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

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14
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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

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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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#83 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies #399 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #185 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

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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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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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#111 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #754 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #52 of 107 The Best Third Films In A Movie Series

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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

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#122 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #199 of 569 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #199 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

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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

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#125 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #884 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #205 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

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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. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike, who tries to ...more

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#108 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #170 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #39 of 202 The Best Zombie Horror Films

21
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Sylvester Stallone, David Carradine, Mary Woronov
This film 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 the ...more

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#90 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies #759 of 1,204 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #337 of 547 The Greatest Movies for Guys

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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
23
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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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#356 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #98 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies #861 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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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 which had first ...more

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#53 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies #87 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies #127 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

25
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but chickens double d added 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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