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The Best '70s Sci-Fi Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated November 5, 2019 5.3k votes 525 voters 15.2k 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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1
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Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1977

Directed by: George Lucas

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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The Best Blasters in the 'Star Wars' Saga, Ranked #2 of 591 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
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Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

Released: 1979

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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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50 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Alien #5 of 591 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
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Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

Released: 1977

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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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#20 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #167 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
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Ricardo Wang added Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore

Released: 1968

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

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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#206 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #11 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings #68 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

5
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Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov, Jenny Agutter

Released: 1976

Directed by: Michael Anderson

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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#55 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #499 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #196 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

6
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Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley

Released: 1979

Directed by: George Miller

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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Things You Didn't Know About The 'Mad Max' Movies #30 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #366 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

7
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Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

Released: 1978

Directed by: Richard Donner

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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Bizarre Facts Most People Don't Know About Christopher Reeve's 'Superman' #37 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #31 of 188 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made

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William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

Released: 1979

Directed by: Robert Wise

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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#99 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #1,263 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #107 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

9
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Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

Released: 1971

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

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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Kubrick And Codpieces: Behind The Scenes Of 'A Clockwork Orange' #19 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #595 of 853 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

10
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Yul Brynner, James Brolin, Dick Van Patten

Released: 1973

Directed by: Michael Crichton

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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#129 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #74 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #416 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

11
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Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Dick Van Patten

Released: 1973

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

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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#73 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #1,033 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #68 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

12
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Paula Kelly, David Wayne, Arthur Hill

Released: 1971

Directed by: Robert Wise

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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#10 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #97 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #38 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

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Robert Duvall, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1978

Directed by: Philip Kaufman

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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#44 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #79 of 853 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #5 of 45 The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made

14
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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

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#189 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #17 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #32 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

15
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Ricardo Montalbán, Roddy McDowall, Sal Mineo

Released: 1971

Directed by: Don Taylor

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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#721 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #60 of 107 The Best Third Films In A Movie Series #139 of 164 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

16
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Bruce Dern, Ron Rifkin, Joseph Campanella

Released: 1972

Directed by: Douglas Trumbull

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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#909 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #373 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #16 of 19 If Someone Tells You They've Seen These Sci-Fi Movies, They're Probably Lying To You

17
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Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Sid Haig

Released: 1971

Directed by: George Lucas

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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#182 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #371 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #12 of 19 If Someone Tells You They've Seen These Sci-Fi Movies, They're Probably Lying To You

18
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Ernest Borgnine, Anthony Perkins, Yvette Mimieux

Released: 1979

Directed by: Gary Nelson

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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#198 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #138 of 143 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #209 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

19
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The Island of Dr. Moreau Burt Lancaster, Barbara Carrera, Michael York

Released: 1977

Directed by: Don Taylor

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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20
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James Caan, Maud Adams, Ralph Richardson

Released: 1975

Directed by: Norman Jewison

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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#143 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #267 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #79 of 161 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

21
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Sylvester Stallone, David Carradine, Mary Woronov

Released: 1975

Directed by: Paul Bartel

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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22
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Corey Feldman, Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen

Released: 1979

Directed by: Nicholas Meyer

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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#200 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #1,464 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #146 of 164 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

23
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Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister

Released: 1979

Directed by: Don Coscarelli

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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#155 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #92 of 853 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #23 of 204 The Best Zombie Horror Films

24
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but chickens double d added Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Ray Milland

Released: 1975

Directed by: John Hough

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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25
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Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Linda Harrison

Released: 1970

Directed by: Ted Post

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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#771 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #117 of 181 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #118 of 161 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies