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The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s 

Ranker Film
Updated April 27, 2020 3.5k votes 808 voters 45.4k views 53 items

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

The greatest ‘70s teen movies are a blend of romance, comedy, and sometimes serious drama. Many of the coming-of-age tales featured on this list went on to garner critical acclaim and large cult followings.

 On this list, you will find Meatballs, the Ivan Reitman-directed comedy featuring Bill Murray in his first starring role. Other teen comedies of the 1970s include Animal House, as well as the musical comedy Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as ‘50s high school-ers.

Several teenage horror flicks made their way onto this list as well. Carrie, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, portrays a troubled high school student who exacts her revenge on the classmates that shunned her. 

Vote up the best teen movies from the 1970s below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

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1
Grease is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

Released: 1978

Directed by: Randal Kleiser

Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy-drama film directed by Randal Kleiser and produced by Paramount Pictures. It is based on Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs' 1971 musical of the same ...more

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2
American Graffiti is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Suzanne Somers

Released: 1973

Directed by: George Lucas

American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming of age comedy-drama film directed and co-written by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin ...more

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#213 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #367 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #128 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

3
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

Released: 1976

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more

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4
National Lampoon's Anima... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Kevin Bacon, John Belushi, Donald Sutherland

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Landis

National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The film was a direct spinoff from National Lampoon magazine. It is about a misfit group of fraternity ...more

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5
Saturday Night Fever is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
John Travolta, Fran Drescher, Denny Dillon

Released: 1977

Directed by: John Badham

Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 American drama film directed by John Badham. It stars John Travolta as Tony Manero, a working-class young man who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a ...more

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6
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Carpenter

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her ...more

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7
Meatballs is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Bill Murray, Kristine DeBell, Matt Craven

Released: 1979

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Meatballs is a 1979 Canadian comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman. It is noted for Bill Murray's first film appearance in a starring role and for launching Reitman into a distinguished career of ...more

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8
The Warriors is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Mercedes Ruehl, Robert Townsend, James Remar

Released: 1979

Directed by: Walter Hill

The Warriors is a 1979 American cult thriller film directed by Walter Hill and based on Sol Yurick's 1965 novel of the same name. Like the novel, the film borrows elements from the Anabasis by ...more

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9
Over the Edge is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Matt Dillon, Vincent Spano, Harry Northup

Released: 1979

Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan

Over the Edge is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan released in May 1979. Due to the negative publicity surrounding a wave of recent youth gang films such as The Warriors and ...more

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10
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Connor Reis added 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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11
The Texas Chain Saw Mass... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Connor Reis added Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal

Released: 1974

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

This movie is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar ...more

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12
The Lords of Flatbush is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler, Susan Blakely

Released: 1974

Directed by: Martin Davidson, Stephen F. Verona

The Lords of Flatbush is a 1974 American drama film about street teenagers in leather jackets from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Directed by Martin Davidson and Stephen ...more

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13
The Last House on the Le... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Connor Reis added Martin Kove, Steve Miner, Fred J. Lincoln

Released: 1972

Directed by: Wes Craven

The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish ...more

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14
The Wanderers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Karen Allen, Olympia Dukakis, Ken Wahl

Released: 1979

Directed by: Philip Kaufman

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Wanderers is a 1979 drama film about gangs and the greaser subculture, based on the novel "The Wanderers" by Richard Price. It marks the sixth feature film directed by American

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15
Love Story is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Tommy Lee Jones, Ray Milland, Ryan O'Neal

Released: 1970

Directed by: Arthur Hiller

Love Story is a 1970 romantic drama film written by Erich Segal, who also authored the best-selling novel of the same name. It was directed by Arthur Hiller and starred Ryan O'Neal, Ali MacGraw, ...more

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16
Freaky Friday is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Connor Reis added Jodie Foster, Dick Van Patten, John Astin

Released: 1976

Directed by: Gary Nelson

Freaky Friday is a 1976 American fantasy comedy film directed by Gary Nelson and starring Barbara Harris as Ellen Andrews, Jodie Foster as her daughter Annabel, and John Astin as her husband, ...more

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17
Quadrophenia is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Sting, Ray Winstone, Timothy Spall

Released: 1979

Directed by: Franc Roddam

Quadrophenia is a 1979 British film, loosely based on the 1973 rock opera of the same name by The Who. The film stars Phil Daniels as Jimmy, a 1960s Mod, supported by Leslie Ash, Toyah and, ...more

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18
Cooley High is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Garrett Morris, Glynn Turman, Steven Williams

Released: 1975

Directed by: Michael Schultz

Cooley High is a 1975 American film based upon the real high school located on the near north side of Chicago, produced and released by American International Pictures and written by Eric Monte. ...more

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19
Harold and Maude is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Connor Reis added Ruth Gordon, Tom Skerritt, Bud Cort

Released: 1971

Directed by: Hal Ashby

Harold and Maude is a 1971 American romantic dark comedy directed by Hal Ashby and released by Paramount Pictures. It incorporates elements of dark humor and existentialist drama, with a plot ...more

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20
Skatetown, U.S.A. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Patrick Swayze, Maureen McCormick, Scott Baio

Released: 1979

Directed by: William A. Levey

Skatetown, U.S.A. is a 1979 American comedic feature film produced to capitalize on the short-lived fad of roller disco. The film features many TV stars from the 1960s and 1970s, among them ...more

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21
The Little Girl Who Live... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Connor Reis added Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith

Released: 1976

Directed by: Nicolas Gessner

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is a 1976 Canadian-French film directed by Nicolas Gessner and starring Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, and Scott Jacoby. It was ...more

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22
Corvette Summer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Ian McKellen, Mark Hamill, Danny Bonaduce

Released: 1978

Directed by: Matthew Robbins

Corvette Summer is an American film, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1978 starring Mark Hamill and Annie Potts. It tells the story of a lonely, car-obsessed California teenager.

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23
More American Graffiti ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Mackenzie Phillips

Released: 1979

Directed by: Bill L. Norton

More American Graffiti is a 1979 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Bill L. Norton. It is a sequel to George Lucas's 1973 film American Graffiti. Whereas the first film followed ...more

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24
The Last Picture Show is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Connor Reis added Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman

Released: 1971

Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich

The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted from a semi-autobiographical 1966 novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry. Set in a small town in ...more

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25
Malibu Beach is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Teen Movies of the 1970s
Bruce Kimball, James Daughton, Kim Lankford

Released: 1978

Directed by: Robert J. Rosenthal

Malibu Beach is 1978 comedy film written by Celia Susan Cotelo and Robert J. Rosenthal and directed by Robert J. Rosenthal.