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The Best '70s Spy Movies

Updated October 1, 2019 1.2k votes 295 voters 12.0k 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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  • Three Days of the Condor1
    74
    18

    Three Days of the Condor

    Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway

    Released1975

    Directed bySydney Pollack

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  • The Spy Who Loved Me2
    63
    16

    The Spy Who Loved Me

    Roger Moore, Barbara Bach

    Released1977

    Directed byLewis Gilbert

    The Spy Who Loved Me is the tenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the third to star...  more
  • The Day of the Jackal3
    52
    16

    The Day of the Jackal

    Derek Jacobi, Edward Fox

    Released1973

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

    The Day of the Jackal is a 1973 Anglo-French thriller film directed by Fred Zinnemann and...  more
  • Live and Let Die4
    48
    19

    Live and Let Die

    Jane Seymour, Roger Moore

    Released1973

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    This film is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series to be produced by Eon Productions,...  more
  • Diamonds Are Forever5
    40
    20

    Diamonds Are Forever

    Sean Connery, Sammy Davis

    Released1971

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    Diamonds Are Forever is the seventh spy film in the James Bond series by Eon Productions, and...  more
  • Scorpio6
    34
    15

    Scorpio

    Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon

    Released1973

    Directed byMichael Winner

    Scorpio is a 1973 spy film directed by Michael Winner. It stars Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon...  more
  • The Man with the Golden Gun7
    40
    22

    The Man with the Golden Gun

    Christopher Lee, Roger Moore

    Released1974

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth spy film in the James Bond series and the second to...  more
  • The Mackintosh Man8
    31
    13

    The Mackintosh Man

    Paul Newman, Harry Andrews

    Released1973

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The Mackintosh Man is a 1973 British-American cold war spy thriller film, directed by John...  more
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  • Moonraker9
    40
    30

    Moonraker

    Roger Moore, Lois Chiles

    Released1979

    Directed byLewis Gilbert

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

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  • Enter the Dragon10
    31
    20

    Enter the Dragon

    Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan

    Released1973

    Directed byRobert Clouse

    Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Robert Clouse;...  more
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  • The Eagle Has Landed11
    21
    12

    The Eagle Has Landed

    Robert Duvall, Michael Caine

    Released1976

    Directed byJohn Sturges

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

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  • Telefon12
    21
    13

    Telefon

    Charles Bronson, Lee Remick

    Released1977

    Directed byDon Siegel

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

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  • The In-Laws13
    19
    11

    The In-Laws

    Alan Arkin, Peter Falk

    Released1979

    Directed byArthur Hiller

    The In-Laws is a 1979 American action-comedy film starring Alan Arkin and Peter Falk, written...  more
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  • The Thirty Nine Steps14
    17
    9

    The Thirty Nine Steps

    John Mills, Robert Powell

    Released1978

    Directed byDon Sharp

    The Thirty Nine Steps is a British 1978 thriller film directed by Don Sharp, with screenplay...  more
  • Puppet on a Chain15
    17
    10

    Puppet on a Chain

    Barbara Parkins, Alexander Knox

    Released1971

    Directed byDon Sharp, Geoffrey Reeve

    Puppet on a Chain is a 1971 British thriller film directed by Geoffrey Reeve and starring...  more
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  • The Kremlin Letter16
    15
    10

    The Kremlin Letter

    Orson Welles, Max von Sydow

    Released1970

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The Kremlin Letter is an American spy film directed by John Huston, starring Richard Boone,...  more

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  • The Spook Who Sat by the Door17
    11
    8

    The Spook Who Sat by the Door

    Paula Kelly, J. A. Preston

    Released1973

    Directed byIvan Dixon

    The Spook Who Sat by the Door is a 1973 film based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Sam...  more
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  • Darling Lili18
    13
    11

    Darling Lili

    Julie Andrews, Rock Hudson

    Released1970

    Directed byBlake Edwards

    Darling Lili is a 1970 American musical film. The screenplay was written by William Peter...  more
  • The Tamarind Seed19
    11
    9

    The Tamarind Seed

    Julie Andrews, Omar Sharif

    Released1974

    Directed byBlake Edwards

    The Tamarind Seed is a 1974 American-British romantic drama film written and directed by Blake...  more
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  • The Salzburg Connection20
    8
    6

    The Salzburg Connection

    Anna Karina, Udo Kier

    Released1972

    Directed byLee H. Katzin

    The Salzburg Connection is a 1972 American thriller film directed by Lee H. Katzin, starring...  more
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  • One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing21
    8
    8

    One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing

    Helen Hayes, Peter Ustinov

    Released1975

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing is a 1975 comedy film, which is set in the early 1920s, about...  more
  • Le Magnifique22
    7
    6

    Le Magnifique

    Jacqueline Bissett, Jean-Paul Belmondo

    Released1973

    Directed byPhilippe de Broca

    Le Magnifique is a French movie released in 1973, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Paul...  more
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  • The Groundstar Conspiracy23
    10
    11

    The Groundstar Conspiracy

    George Peppard, Michael Sarrazin

    Released1972

    Directed byLamont Johnson

    The Groundstar Conspiracy is a 1972 film directed by Lamont Johnson. It stars George Peppard...  more
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  • The Black Windmill24
    9
    10

    The Black Windmill

    Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence

    Released1974

    Directed byDon Siegel

    The Black Windmill is a 1974 British spy thriller directed by Don Siegel and starring Michael...  more

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  • Avalanche Express25
    8
    9

    Avalanche Express

    Lee Marvin, Linda Evans

    Released1979

    Directed byMark Robson, Monte Hellman

    Avalanche Express is a 1979 cold war adventure thriller film produced and directed by Mark...  more