Entertainment
390 voters

The Best Movies of 1972

Updated September 24, 2019 6.7k votes 390 voters 12.2k views118 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.
Photo:
...more
  • 1
    178
    50

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis 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 control of...  more

    More The Godfather 

    How 'The Godfather' Became An American Classic Even Though It Was 'Nightmarish' Behind The Scenes#18 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • 2
    132
    59

    The Cowboys

    John Wayne, Bruce Dern

    Released1972

    Directed byMark 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

    More The Cowboys 

    #325 of 451 The Best Movies For Guys#519 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time

  • 3
    147
    85

    Deliverance

    Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight

    Released1972

    Directed byJohn 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 feature...  more

    More Deliverance 

    The Making Of 'Deliverance' Was Even More Horrifying Than The Film's Backwoods Locals#520 of 727 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 4
    102
    53

    Jeremiah Johnson

    Robert Redford, Tanya Tucker

    Released1972

    Directed bySydney 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 have been...  more

    More Jeremiah Johnson 

    #503 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#77 of 111 The Best Native American Movies

  • 5
    82
    41

    The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

    Paul Newman, Ava Gardner

    Released1972

    Directed byJohn 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, self-appointed...  more

    More The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean 

    #86 of 401 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#11 of 44 The Best Western Movies of the '70s

  • 6
    76
    40

    Joe Kidd

    Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall

    Released1972

    Directed byJohn 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 wealthy...  more

    More 

    #27 of 45 The Best Movies Starring Clint Eastwood#25 of 71 The Best Clint Eastwood Movies

  • 7
    62
    27

    The Night Stalker

    Carol Lynley, Darren McGavin

    Released1972

    Directed byJohn 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 Las...  more
  • 8
    62
    31

    Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

    Ricardo Montalbán, Roddy McDowall

    Released1972

    Directed byJ. Lee Thompson

    Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is a 1972 science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson. It is the fourth of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs....  more

    More Conquest of the Planet of the Apes 

    #125 of 178 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies#74 of 100 The 95+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

  • 9
    91
    67

    The Poseidon Adventure

    Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens

    Released1972

    Directed byIrwin 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 an...  more

    More The Poseidon Adventure 

    #678 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#655 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 10
    50
    29

    The Magnificent Seven Ride

    Gary Busey, Stefanie Powers

    Released1972

    Directed byGeorge McCowan

    The Magnificent Seven Ride is a 1972 western film and is the third and last sequel of the 1960 western, The Magnificent Seven. It stars Lee Van Cleef as Chris Adams, succeeding Yul Brynner and George...  more

    More The Magnificent Seven Ride 

    #115 of 140 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time#96 of 164 The Best Spaghetti Western Movies

  • 11
    80
    62

    Fist of Fury

    Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan

    Released1972

    Directed byLo 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 after...  more

    More Fist of Fury 

    #269 of 552 The Best '70s Movies#155 of 627 The Greatest Action Movies Of All Time

  • 12
    44
    24

    Chato's Land

    Charles Bronson, Jack Palance

    Released1972

    Directed byMichael Winner

    Chato's Land is a 1972 western Technicolor film directed by Michael Winner, starring Charles Bronson and Jack Palance. It falls more closely into the revisionist Western genre, which was at its...  more
  • 13
    40
    21

    Napoleon and Samantha

    Jodie Foster, Michael Douglas

    Released1972

    Directed byBernard McEveety

    Napoleon and Samantha is a 1972 American adventure drama film directed by Bernard McEveety and written by Stewart Raffill. Filmed in and around John Day, Oregon, it stars Michael Douglas, Johnny...  more
  • 14
    62
    52

    The Mechanic

    Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent

    Released1972

    Directed byMichael 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

    More The Mechanic 

    #10 of 125 The Best Assassin Movies#9 of 91 The Best Charles Bronson Movies

  • 15
    49
    37

    Snoopy, Come Home

    Bill Melendez, Christopher DeFaria

    Released1972

    Directed byBill 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 the Peanuts...  more

    More Snoopy, Come Home 

    #293 of 537 The Best Animated Films Ever#6 of 29 The Best Classic Movies Streaming On Hulu

  • 16
    68
    63

    Return of the Dragon

    Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris

    Released1972

    Directed byBruce 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 directorial...  more
  • 17
    38
    28

    Treasure Island

    Orson Welles, Maria Rohm

    Released1972

    Directed byAndrea Bianchi, Antonio Margheriti, John Hough

    Treasure Island is a 1972 adventure film, based on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. The film stars Orson Welles as Long John Silver, Walter Slezak as Squire Trelawney, Rik...  more
  • 18
    39
    30

    Boxcar Bertha

    Martin Scorsese, David Carradine

    Released1972

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Boxcar Bertha is a 1972 American film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a loose adaptation of Sister of the Road, an autobiographical account of Bertha Thompson written by Ben L. Reitman. It was...  more
  • 19
    32
    24

    Godzilla vs. Gigan

    Haruo Nakajima, Yuriko Hishimi

    Released1972

    Directed byJun Fukuda

    Godzilla vs. Gigan, released in Japan as Chikyū Kogeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gigan, is a 1972 Japanese Kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Jun Fukuda with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, the...  more
  • 20
    33
    27

    Pocket Money

    Paul Newman, Lee Marvin

    Released1972

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

    Pocket Money is a 1972 film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, from a screenplay written by Terrence Malick and based on the novel Jim Kane by Joseph P. Brown. The movie stars Paul Newman and Lee Marvin...  more
  • 21
    56
    57

    What's Up, Doc?

    Barbra Streisand, Randy Quaid

    Released1972

    Directed byPeter 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 role....  more

    More What's Up, Doc? 

    #583 of 783 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#366 of 1,141 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • 22
    30
    25

    The Offence

    Sean Connery, Trevor Howard

    Released1972

    Directed bySidney Lumet

    The Offence is a 1972 British drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, based upon the 1968 stage play This Story of Yours by John Hopkins. It stars Sean Connery as police detective Johnson, who kills...  more

    More The Offence 

    #42 of 73 The Very Best Sean Connery Movies#29 of 40 The Best Cop Movies of the 1970s

  • 23
    51
    53

    The Getaway

    Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw

    Released1972

    Directed bySam 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

    More The Getaway 

    #57 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time#65 of 130 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made

  • 24
    23
    20

    Four Flies on Grey Velvet

    Bud Spencer, Jean-Pierre Marielle

    Released1971

    Directed byDario Argento

    Four Flies on Grey Velvet is a 1971 Italian giallo film written and directed by Dario Argento. The film is the third in director Argento's "Animal Trilogy", which started with The Bird with the...  more
  • 25
    44
    49

    Aguirre, the Wrath of God

    Klaus Kinski, Helena Rojo

    Released1972

    Directed byWerner 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 was...  more

    More Aguirre, the Wrath of God 

    #428 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#134 of 197 The Best Adventure Movies