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The Best Movies of 1971

Updated September 24, 2019 9.7k votes 444 voters 10.3k views120 items

List of the best movies of 1971, with movie trailers when available. Academy Award winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis made his big screen debut in Sunday Bloody Sunday in 1971. These top movies of 1971 are listed by popularity, so the movies with the most votes are at the top. This list consists of all different movie genres, but each film was released in 1971. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1971 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1971 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

This list is made up of a variety of movies, including A Clockwork Orange and The French Connection.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1971?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1971?"

1971 was a great year for movies, since a lot of classic films were released in 1971. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1971 aren't just one persons opinion.
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  • 1
    Big Jake
    142
    65

    Big Jake

    John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara

    Released1971

    Directed byGeorge Sherman

    Big Jake is a 1971 Western film directed by George Sherman, written by Harry Julian Fink and... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Brian's Song
    122
    53

    Brian's Song

    Dick Butkus, James Caan

    Released1971

    Directed byBuzz Kulik

    Brian's Song is a 1971 ABC Movie of the Week that recounts the details of the life of Brian... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Dirty Harry
    151
    77

    Dirty Harry

    Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel

    Released1971

    Directed byDon Siegel

    Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Support Your Local Gunfighter
    114
    52

    Support Your Local Gunfighter

    James Garner, Suzanne Pleshette

    Released1971

    Directed byBurt Kennedy

    Support Your Local Gunfighter is a 1971 comic western film starring James Garner, directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Billy Jack
    94
    37

    Billy Jack

    Tom Laughlin, Howard Hesseman

    Released1971

    Directed byTom Laughlin

    Billy Jack is a 1971 action/drama independent film; the second of four films centering on a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Lawman
    81
    28

    Lawman

    Robert Duvall, Burt Lancaster

    Released1971

    Directed byMichael Winner

    Lawman is a 1971 American Western film starring Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Lee J. Cobb, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Escape from the Planet of the Apes
    100
    47

    Escape from the Planet of the Apes

    Ricardo Montalbán, Roddy McDowall

    Released1971

    Directed byDon Taylor

    Escape from the Planet of the Apes is a 1971 science fiction film directed by Don Taylor and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Diamonds Are Forever
    118
    68

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 9
    The Barefoot Executive
    73
    29

    The Barefoot Executive

    Kurt Russell, John Ritter

    Released1971

    Directed byRobert Butler

    The Barefoot Executive is a live-action Walt Disney Productions film released by Buena Vista... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Harold and Maude
    94
    51

    Harold and Maude

    Ruth Gordon, Tom Skerritt

    Released1971

    Directed byHal Ashby

    Harold and Maude is a 1971 American romantic dark comedy directed by Hal Ashby and released by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Omega Man
    107
    63

    The Omega Man

    Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe

    Released1971

    Directed byBoris Sagal

    The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    The French Connection
    145
    102

    The French Connection

    Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider

    Released1971

    Directed byWilliam Friedkin

    The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film directed by William Friedkin... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
    149
    112

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson

    Released1971

    Directed byMel Stuart

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Play Misty for Me
    107
    72

    Play Misty for Me

    Clint Eastwood, Donna Mills

    Released1971

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Play Misty for Me is a 1971 American psychological thriller film, directed by and starring... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    A Clockwork Orange
    165
    135

    A Clockwork Orange

    Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke

    Released1971

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Beguiled
    76
    50

    The Beguiled

    Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page

    Released1971

    Directed byDon Siegel

    The Beguiled is a 1971 American drama film directed by Don Siegel, starring Clint Eastwood and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Get Carter
    87
    63

    Get Carter

    Michael Caine, Britt Ekland

    Released1971

    Directed byMike Hodges

    Get Carter is a 1971 British film directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine, Ian... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Black Beauty
    62
    44

    Black Beauty

    Maria Rohm, Patrick Mower

    Released1971

    Directed byJames Hill

    Black Beauty is a 1971 British drama film, based on the Anna Sewell novel of the same name.... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Duel
    104
    94

    Duel

    Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott

    Released1971

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Duel is a 1971 television thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Richard... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Red Sun
    40
    24

    Red Sun

    Ursula Andress, Charles Bronson

    Released1971

    Directed byTerence Young

    Red Sun aka Soleil rouge is a Western film with an international cast. It stars U.S.-born... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    The Last Picture Show
    96
    100

    The Last Picture Show

    Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd

    Released1971

    Directed byPeter Bogdanovich

    The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Fiddler on the Roof
    81
    89

    Fiddler on the Roof

    Paul Michael Glaser, Chaim Topol

    Released1971

    Directed byNorman Jewison

    Fiddler on the Roof is a 1971 American musical comedy-drama film produced and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Cold Turkey
    31
    28

    Cold Turkey

    Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart

    Released1971

    Directed byNorman Lear

    Cold Turkey is a 1971 satirical comedy film. It stars Dick Van Dyke plus a long list of... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    The Last Movie
    32
    30

    The Last Movie

    Dennis Hopper, Kris Kristofferson

    Released1971

    Directed byDennis Hopper

    The Last Movie is a 1971 drama film from Universal Pictures. It was written by Stewart Stern... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    The Abominable Dr. Phibes
    55
    60

    The Abominable Dr. Phibes

    Vincent Price, Caroline Munro

    Released1971

    Directed byRobert Fuest

    The Abominable Dr. Phibes is a 1971 British horror film starring Vincent Price and American... more on Wikipedia