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The Best '70s Spy Movies

Updated April 19, 2021 1.3k votes 307 voters 13.0k views43 items

List RulesVote 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
    100
    21

    Diamonds Are Forever

    Sean Connery, Sammy Davis
    Diamonds Are Forever is the seventh spy film in the James Bond series by Eon Productions, and...  more
  • 2
    75
    18

    Three Days of the Condor

    Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway
    Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack...  more

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  • 3
    63
    15

    The Spy Who Loved Me

    Roger Moore, Barbara Bach
    The Spy Who Loved Me is the tenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the third to star...  more

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  • 4
    47
    18

    Live and Let Die

    Jane Seymour, Roger Moore
    This film is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series to be produced by Eon Productions,...  more
  • 5
    51
    33

    The Day of the Jackal

    Derek Jacobi, Edward Fox
    The Day of the Jackal is a 1973 Anglo-French thriller film directed by Fred Zinnemann and...  more

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  • 6
    31
    12

    The Mackintosh Man

    Paul Newman, Harry Andrews
    The Mackintosh Man is a 1973 British-American cold war spy thriller film, directed by John...  more

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  • 7
    41
    22

    The Man with the Golden Gun

    Christopher Lee, Roger Moore
    The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth spy film in the James Bond series and the second to...  more

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  • 8
    34
    16

    Scorpio

    Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon
    Scorpio is a 1973 spy film directed by Michael Winner. It stars Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon...  more
  • 9
    39
    28

    Moonraker

    Roger Moore, Lois Chiles
    Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger...  more

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  • 10
    30
    21

    Enter the Dragon

    Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan
    Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Robert Clouse;...  more

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  • 11
    23
    12

    The Eagle Has Landed

    Robert Duvall, Michael Caine
    The Eagle Has Landed is a 1976 British film directed by John Sturges and starring Michael...  more

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  • 12
    22
    12

    Telefon

    Charles Bronson, Lee Remick
    Telefon is a 1977 spy film, starring Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and Lee Remick. It was...  more

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  • 13
    19
    10

    The In-Laws

    Alan Arkin, Peter Falk
    The In-Laws is a 1979 American action-comedy film starring Alan Arkin and Peter Falk, written...  more

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  • 14
    16
    9

    The Kremlin Letter

    Orson Welles, Max von Sydow
    The Kremlin Letter is an American spy film directed by John Huston, starring Richard Boone,...  more

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  • 15
    12
    8

    Russian Roulette

    George Segal, Louise Fletcher
    Russian Roulette is a 1975 drama film directed by Lou Lombardo....  more
  • 16
    11
    9

    The Spook Who Sat by the Door

    Paula Kelly, J. A. Preston
    The Spook Who Sat by the Door is a 1973 film based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Sam...  more
  • 17
    12
    11

    The Groundstar Conspiracy

    George Peppard, Michael Sarrazin
    The Groundstar Conspiracy is a 1972 film directed by Lamont Johnson. It stars George Peppard...  more
  • 18
    12
    12

    Darling Lili

    Julie Andrews, Rock Hudson
    Darling Lili is a 1970 American musical film. The screenplay was written by William Peter...  more
  • 19
    9
    9

    Avalanche Express

    Lee Marvin, Linda Evans
    Avalanche Express is a 1979 cold war adventure thriller film produced and directed by Mark...  more
  • 20
    10
    10

    The Tamarind Seed

    Julie Andrews, Omar Sharif
    The Tamarind Seed is a 1974 American-British romantic drama film written and directed by Blake...  more
  • 21
    8
    9

    One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing

    Helen Hayes, Peter Ustinov
    One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing is a 1975 comedy film, which is set in the early 1920s, about...  more
  • 22
    8
    10

    The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe

    Mireille Darc, Jean Rochefort
    The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe is a 1972 French comedy film directed by Yves Robert,...  more
  • 23
    4
    5

    The Salzburg Connection

    Anna Karina, Udo Kier
    The Salzburg Connection is a 1972 American thriller film directed by Lee H. Katzin, starring...  more
  • 24
    7
    10

    The Thirty Nine Steps

    John Mills, Robert Powell
    The Thirty Nine Steps is a British 1978 thriller film directed by Don Sharp, with screenplay...  more
  • 25
    6
    9

    S*P*Y*S

    Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould
    S*P*Y*S is a 1974 comedy about two bumbling men who are spies and targeted for elimination by...  more