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The Best Movies of 1972 

Ranker Film
Updated September 24, 2019 4.8k votes 310 voters 9.5k views 118 items

List of the best movies of 1972, with movie trailers when available. 1972 saw the debut of many legendary actors, including Steve Martin and Samuel L. Jackson. These top movies of 1972 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 1972. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1972 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1972 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

This list contains movies like The Godfather and Deliverance.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1972?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1972?"

1972 was a great year for movies, since a lot of classic films were released in 1972. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1972 aren't just one persons opinion.
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1
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Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

Released: 1972

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of an organized crime dynasty transfers ...more

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2
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Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty

Released: 1972

Directed by: John Boorman

Deliverance is a 1972 American dramatic thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman, and starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, with the latter two making their ...more

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3
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John Wayne, Bruce Dern, Slim Pickens

Released: 1972

Directed by: Mark Rydell

The Cowboys is a 1972 Western motion picture starring John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, Colleen Dewhurst and Bruce Dern. Robert Carradine made his film debut with fellow child actor ...more

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#43 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #32 of 45 The Best Western Movies of the '70s

4
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Robert Redford, Tanya Tucker, Will Geer

Released: 1972

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

Jeremiah Johnson is a 1972 western film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford as the title character and Will Geer as "Bear Claw" Chris Lapp. The film has been said to ...more

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5
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Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine

Released: 1972

Directed by: Irwin Allen, Ronald Neame

The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American action-adventure disaster film, directed by Ronald Neame, produced by Irwin Allen, and based on Paul Gallico's novel of the same name. The film features ...more

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6
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Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Nora Miao

Released: 1972

Directed by: Lo Wei

Fist of Fury, also known as The Chinese Connection and The Iron Hand in the United States, is a 1972 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Lo Wei, starring Bruce Lee in his second major role ...more

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7
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Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Jacqueline Bissett

Released: 1972

Directed by: John Huston

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean is a 1972 American western film written by John Milius, directed by John Huston, and starring Paul Newman. It was loosely based on the real-life, ...more

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8
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Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao

Released: 1972

Directed by: Bruce Lee

Way of the Dragon is a 1972 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film written, produced and directed by Bruce Lee, who also stars in the lead role. This was Bruce Lee's only completed ...more
9
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Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Sally Struthers

Released: 1972

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah

The Getaway is a 1972 American action film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw. The film is based on the Jim Thompson novel of the same name, with the screenplay ...more

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10
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Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn

Released: 1972

Directed by: Michael Winner

The Mechanic is a 1972 American action-thriller film directed by Michael Winner. It stars Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. The film is noted for its opening. There is no dialogue for the ...more

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#154 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #90 of 181 The Best Mystery Movies

11
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Joe Kidd Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon

Released: 1972

Directed by: John Sturges

Joe Kidd is a 1972 American western film starring Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall, written by Elmore Leonard and directed by John Sturges. The film is about an ex-bounty hunter hired by a ...more

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12
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Barbra Streisand, Randy Quaid, Madeline Kahn

Released: 1972

Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich

What's Up, Doc? is a 1972 screwball comedy film released by Warner Bros., directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, and Madeline Kahn in her first feature film ...more

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13
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Woody Allen, Burt Reynolds, Gene Wilder

Released: 1972

Directed by: Woody Allen

This film is a comedy film that is Woody Allen's fourth film as director. It consists of a series of short sequences. The film was an early smash for Allen, grossing over $18 million in North ...more

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14
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Alfred Hitchcock, Anna Massey, Bernard Cribbins

Released: 1972

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Frenzy is a 1972 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay by Anthony Shaffer was based on the novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by Arthur La Bern. The ...more
15
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Steve McQueen, Ida Lupino, Ben Johnson

Released: 1972

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah

Junior Bonner is a 1972 film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Steve McQueen, Joe Don Baker, Robert Preston and Ida Lupino. The film focuses on a veteran rodeo rider as he returns to his ...more
16
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Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey

Released: 1972

Directed by: Bob Fosse

Cabaret is a 1972 musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous ...more

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17
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Woody Allen, Ingrid Bergman, Diane Keaton

Released: 1972

Directed by: Herbert Ross

Play It Again, Sam is a 1972 film written by and starring Woody Allen, based on his 1969 Broadway play. The film was directed by Herbert Ross, which is unusual, in that Allen usually directs his ...more

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#846 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #133 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

18
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Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Eve Channing

Released: 1972

Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Sleuth is a 1972 mystery thriller film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The screenplay by British playwright Anthony Shaffer was based on his 1970 Tony Award-winning play Sleuth. The film stars ...more

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19
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Klaus Kinski, Helena Rojo, Peter Berling

Released: 1972

Directed by: Werner Herzog

Aguirre, the Wrath of God, known in the UK as Aguirre, Wrath of God, is a 1972 West German epic film written and directed by Werner Herzog. Klaus Kinski stars in the title role. The soundtrack ...more

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20
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Dimos Dicoudis added Bill Melendez, Christopher DeFaria, Linda Ercoli

Released: 1972

Directed by: Bill Melendez

Snoopy, Come Home! is a 1972 animated musical film, released by National General Pictures, produced by Cinema Center Films and Lee Mendelson Films, directed by Bill Meléndez, and based on ...more

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21
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Carol Lynley, Darren McGavin, Larry Linville

Released: 1972

Directed by: John Llewellyn Moxey

The Night Stalker is a made for television movie which aired on ABC on January 11, 1972. In it an investigative reporter, played by Darren McGavin, comes to suspect that a serial killer in the ...more
22
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Valerie Perrine, Perry King, John Dehner

Released: 1972

Directed by: George Roy Hill

Slaughterhouse-Five is a 1972 film based on Kurt Vonnegut's novel of the same name about a writer who tells a story in random order of how he was a soldier in WW2 and was taken by aliens. The ...more

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23
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Bruce Dern, Ron Rifkin, Joseph Campanella

Released: 1972

Directed by: Douglas Trumbull

Silent Running is a 1972 environmentally-themed American science fiction film starring Bruce Dern, featuring Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin and Jesse Vint. It was directed by Douglas Trumbull, who had ...more

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24
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Tales from the Crypt Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ralph Richardson

Released: 1972

Directed by: Freddie Francis

Tales from the Crypt is a 1972 British horror film, directed by Freddie Francis. It is an anthology film consisting of five separate segments, based on stories from EC Comics. Only two of the ...more

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25
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Last Tango in Paris Marlon Brando, Jean Piere Leaud, Catherine Breillat

Released: 1972

Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci

Last Tango in Paris is a 1972 Franco-Italian romantic drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci which portrays a recent American widower who begins an anonymous relationship with a young ...more

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