Entertainment

The Best Movies of 1972 

Ranker Film
4.5k votes 302 voters 9.1k 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.
list ordered by
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Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
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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Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty
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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#532 of 796 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #121 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing The Making Of 'Deliverance' Was Even More Horrifying Than The Film's Backwoods Locals

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John Wayne, Bruce Dern, Slim Pickens
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 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #31 of 45 The Best Western Movies of the '70s

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Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine
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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#308 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #67 of 591 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Robert Redford, Tanya Tucker, Will Geer
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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#750 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #82 of 116 The Best Native American Movies

6
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Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Nora Miao
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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#274 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #4 of 41 The Best Kung Fu Movies of the 1970s

7
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Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Sally Struthers
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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#46 of 113 The Best Mafia Films #72 of 99 Maxim's Greatest Guy Movies Ranked by Fans

8
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Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Jacqueline Bissett
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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#14 of 45 The Best Western Movies of the '70s #81 of 202 The Best Comedy Movies of the 1970s #20 of 65 The Best Paul Newman Movies

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Alfred Hitchcock, Anna Massey, Bernard Cribbins
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
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Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao
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
11
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Steve McQueen, Ida Lupino, Ben Johnson
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
12
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Barbra Streisand, Randy Quaid, Madeline Kahn
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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#861 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #326 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

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Joe Kidd
Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon
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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#66 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #29 of 45 The Best Movies Starring Clint Eastwood

14
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Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn
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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#158 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #92 of 178 The Best Mystery Movies

15
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Bill Melendez, Christopher DeFaria, Linda Ercoli
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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#206 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #3 of 16 The Best Classic Movies Streaming on Hulu #14 of 24 The Best Animated Movies Streaming on Hulu

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Klaus Kinski, Helena Rojo, Peter Berling
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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#503 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #99 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #254 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

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Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Eve Channing
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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#272 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #53 of 85 The Best Movies Based on Plays

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Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey
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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#16 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Timefeaturing The Best Cabaret Bands/Artistslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Last Tango in Paris
Marlon Brando, Jean Piere Leaud, Catherine Breillat
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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#78 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #135 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made

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Woody Allen, Burt Reynolds, Gene Wilder
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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#501 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #278 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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Woody Allen, Ingrid Bergman, Diane Keaton
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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#841 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #133 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

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Carol Lynley, Darren McGavin, Larry Linville
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
23
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Ingmar Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson
Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set at a mansion at the ...more

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#136 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #171 of 591 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Valerie Perrine, Perry King, John Dehner
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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Tales from the Crypt
Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ralph Richardson
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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#107 of 782 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #16 of 132 The Best '70s Horror Movies #149 of 502 The Scariest Movies Ever Made