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The Best '70s Spy Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated October 1, 2019 1k votes 277 voters 10.6k views 43 items

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

In a way, the espionage genre did not develop much from the ‘60s to the ‘70s. Like their predecessors, the best '70s spy movies are a mix of American grit, British suave, and Cold War realpolitik. With Cold War fears lessening slightly compared to the previous decade, spy movies still often focused on Russian defectors, nuclear annihilation, and East German intrigue.


Many of the greatest ‘70s spy movies feature everyone’s favorite MI6 operative, James Bond. Portrayed by Roger Moore, Bond had a big decade, appearing in five films including The Man with the Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me, later to be parodied by Mike Meyers in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. American filmmakers took on the espionage genre as well, a choice example being Three Days of the Condor. Directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford as a CIA agent who doesn’t know who to trust, the film garnered critical acclaim and remains a spy movie classic.


Vote up the best '70s spy movies, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

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1
The Spy Who Loved Me is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Caroline Munro

Released: 1977

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

The Spy Who Loved Me is the tenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the third to star Roger Moore as the fictional secret agent James Bond. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert and the ...more

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2
Three Days of the Condor... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow

Released: 1975

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, and Max von Sydow. The screenplay by ...more

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3
Live and Let Die is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Jane Seymour, Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto

Released: 1973

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

This film is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series to be produced by Eon Productions, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Produced by Albert R. ...more

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4
The Day of the Jackal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Derek Jacobi, Edward Fox, Donald Sinden

Released: 1973

Directed by: Fred Zinnemann

The Day of the Jackal is a 1973 Anglo-French thriller film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Edward Fox and Michael Lonsdale. Based on the 1971 novel The Day of the Jackal by Frederick ...more

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5
Diamonds Are Forever is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Sean Connery, Sammy Davis, Jr.

Released: 1971

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

Diamonds Are Forever is the seventh spy film in the James Bond series by Eon Productions, and the sixth and final Eon film to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film is ...more

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6
The Man with the Golden ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Christopher Lee, Roger Moore, Britt Ekland

Released: 1974

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth spy film in the James Bond series and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. A loose adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of ...more

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7
Moonraker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Richard Kiel

Released: 1979

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The third and final film in the series to be directed by ...more

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8
Scorpio is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield

Released: 1973

Directed by: Michael Winner

Scorpio is a 1973 spy film directed by Michael Winner. It stars Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Paul Scofield.
9
Enter the Dragon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung

Released: 1973

Directed by: Robert Clouse

Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Robert Clouse; starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. The film was released on 26 July 1973 in Hong Kong. He was ...more

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10
The Mackintosh Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Paul Newman, Harry Andrews, Dominique Sanda

Released: 1973

Directed by: John Huston

The Mackintosh Man is a 1973 British-American cold war spy thriller film, directed by John Huston and starring Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda and James Mason.

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11
The Eagle Has Landed is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland

Released: 1976

Directed by: John Sturges

The Eagle Has Landed is a 1976 British film directed by John Sturges and starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall. Based on the novel The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins, the ...more

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12
Telefon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Charles Bronson, Lee Remick, Donald Pleasence

Released: 1977

Directed by: Don Siegel

Telefon is a 1977 spy film, starring Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and Lee Remick. It was directed by Don Siegel. The film is based on a 1975 novel about mind control, by Walter Wager.

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13
The In-Laws is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Alan Arkin, Peter Falk, Ed Begley

Released: 1979

Directed by: Arthur Hiller

The In-Laws is a 1979 American action-comedy film starring Alan Arkin and Peter Falk, written by Andrew Bergman and directed by Arthur Hiller. The film was remade in 2003, with Michael Douglas, ...more

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14
The Kremlin Letter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Orson Welles, Max von Sydow, George Sanders

Released: 1970

Directed by: John Huston

The Kremlin Letter is an American spy film directed by John Huston, starring Richard Boone, Orson Welles, Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Patrick O'Neal and George Sanders. It was released in ...more

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15
The Groundstar Conspirac... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
The Groundstar Conspiracy George Peppard, Michael Sarrazin, James Olson

Released: 1972

Directed by: Lamont Johnson

The Groundstar Conspiracy is a 1972 film directed by Lamont Johnson. It stars George Peppard and Michael Sarrazin. Douglas Heyes' screenplay was adapted very freely from L. P. Davies' 1968 ...more
16
Avalanche Express is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Lee Marvin, Linda Evans, Robert Shaw

Released: 1979

Directed by: Mark Robson, Monte Hellman

Avalanche Express is a 1979 cold war adventure thriller film produced and directed by Mark Robson, about the struggle over a defecting Russian general. It starred Lee Marvin, Robert Shaw, ...more

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17
The Black Windmill is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence, John Vernon

Released: 1974

Directed by: Don Siegel

The Black Windmill is a 1974 British spy thriller directed by Don Siegel and starring Michael Caine, John Vernon, Janet Suzman and Donald Pleasence. It was produced by Richard D. Zanuck and ...more

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18
The Tall Blond Man with ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Mireille Darc, Jean Rochefort, Bernard Blier

Released: 1972

Directed by: Yves Robert

The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe is a 1972 French comedy film directed by Yves Robert, written by Francis Veber, starring Pierre Richard, Jean Rochefort and Bernard Blier. The film's ...more
19
Russian Roulette is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
George Segal, Louise Fletcher, Denholm Elliott

Released: 1975

Directed by: Lou Lombardo

Russian Roulette is a 1975 drama film directed by Lou Lombardo.
20
The Thirty Nine Steps is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
John Mills, Robert Powell, Timothy West

Released: 1978

Directed by: Don Sharp

The Thirty Nine Steps is a British 1978 thriller film directed by Don Sharp, with screenplay by British playwright, Michael Robson, based on the novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. It ...more
21
The Spook Who Sat by the... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Paula Kelly, J. A. Preston, Jack Aaron

Released: 1973

Directed by: Ivan Dixon

The Spook Who Sat by the Door is a 1973 film based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Sam Greenlee. It is both a satire of the civil rights struggle in the United States of the late 1960s and ...more
22
Le Magnifique is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Jacqueline Bissett, Jean-Paul Belmondo

Released: 1973

Directed by: Philippe de Broca

Le Magnifique is a French movie released in 1973, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Le Magnifique is a slapstick spoof of B-series espionage movies and novels.

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23
The Salzburg Connection ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Anna Karina, Udo Kier, Barry Newman

Released: 1972

Directed by: Lee H. Katzin

The Salzburg Connection is a 1972 American thriller film directed by Lee H. Katzin, starring Barry Newman and Anna Karina. It is based on a novel by Helen MacInnes.
24
Puppet on a Chain is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Puppet on a Chain Barbara Parkins, Alexander Knox, Sven-Bertil Taube

Released: 1971

Directed by: Don Sharp, Geoffrey Reeve

Puppet on a Chain is a 1971 British thriller film directed by Geoffrey Reeve and starring Sven-Bertil Taube, Barbara Parkins and Alexander Knox. It is based on the novel Puppet on a Chain by ...more
25
One of Our Dinosaurs Is ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Helen Hayes, Peter Ustinov, Jon Pertwee

Released: 1975

Directed by: Robert Stevenson

One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing is a 1975 comedy film, which is set in the early 1920s, about the theft of a dinosaur skeleton from the Natural History Museum. The film was produced by Walt ...more