Entertainment

The Best Movies of 1979  

Ranker Film
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List of the best movies of 1979, with movie trailers when available. In 1979 films like Apocalypse Now had us quoting memorable lines like "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." These top movies of 1979 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 1979. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1979 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1979 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

The list you're viewing is made up of movies like Apocalypse Now and Alien.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1979?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1979?"

1979 was a great year for movies, especially for Trekies as Star Trek: The Motion Picture made it's debut. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1979 aren't just one persons opinion.
list ordered by
1
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Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall
Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic adventure war film set during the Vietnam War. Produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall. ...more
2
Alien is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more
3
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Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover, Patrick McGoohan
Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American prison film, directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood. It is based on true events. It dramatizes possibly the only successful escape attempt ...more
4
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Sylvester Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Roberto Durán
Rocky II is a 1979 American sports drama film directed by Sylvester Stallone, and the second film in the series. Rocky (Stallone) struggles in family life after his bout with Apollo Creed (Carl ...more
5
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George Harrison, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film starring and written by the comedy group Monty Python, and directed by Jones. It tells the story of Brian ...more
6
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Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley
Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller, produced by Byron Kennedy and starring Mel Gibson. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by ...more
7
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Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Rob Reiner
The Jerk is a 1979 American comedy film directed by Carl Reiner and written by Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, and Michael Elias. This was Martin's first starring role in a feature film. The film ...more
8
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Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, JoBeth Williams
Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 American drama film adapted by Robert Benton from the novel by Avery Corman, and directed by Benton. The film tells the story of a married couple's divorce and its ...more
9
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Shirley MacLaine, Peter Sellers, Jack Warden
Being There is a 1979 American comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby. Adapted from the 1970 novella by Jerzy Kosinski, the screenplay was written by Kosinski and the uncredited Robert C. ...more
10
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Mercedes Ruehl, Robert Townsend, James Remar
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
11
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Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor
The Muppet Movie is a 1979 American-British musical road comedy film and the first of a series of live-action feature films starring Jim Henson's Muppets. Directed by James Frawley, the film's ...more
12
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William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei
Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a 1979 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the first film based on Star Trek, the first Star Trek film to star the original cast ...more
13
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Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley, Daniel Stern
Breaking Away is a 1979 American coming of age comedy-drama film that follows a group of four male teenagers in Bloomington, Indiana, who have recently graduated from high school. It stars ...more
14
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Meryl Streep, Woody Allen, Diane Keaton
Manhattan is a 1979 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Woody Allen and produced by Charles H. Joffe. The screenplay was written by Allen and Marshall Brickman. Allen co-stars as a ...more
15
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Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Jack Lemmon
The China Syndrome is a 1979 American thriller film that tells the story of a television reporter and her cameraman who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. It stars Jane Fonda, ...more
16
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Al Pacino, Craig T. Nelson, Jeffrey Tambor
...And Justice for All is a 1979 courtroom drama film, directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe, and Lee Strasberg. Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Lahti, Craig ...more
17
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Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Stan Shaw
The Great Santini is a 1979 film directed by Lewis John Carlino, written by Lewis John Carlino and Herman Raucher, and based on the 1976 novel of the same name by Pat Conroy. The film stars ...more
18
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Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Richard Kiel
Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The third and final film in the series to be directed by ...more
19
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Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Pat Hingle
Norma Rae is a 1979 American drama film about a factory worker from a small town in North Carolina who becomes involved in the labor union activities at the textile factory where she works. The ...more
20
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Bill Murray, Kristine DeBell, Matt Craven
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
21
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Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Hoyt Axton
The Black Stallion is a 1979 American film based on the 1941 classic children's novel The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. It tells the story of Alec Ramsay, who is shipwrecked on a deserted ...more
22
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James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger
The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American supernatural horror film, directed by Stuart Rosenberg, based on Jay Anson's bestselling 1977 novel of the same name. It is the first film in the ...more
23
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Julie Andrews, Bo Derek, Dudley Moore
10 is a 1979 romantic comedy film directed, produced and written by Blake Edwards, and starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, Robert Webber, Dee Wallace, and Bo Derek, in her first major film ...more
24
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Harrison Ford, Gene Wilder, William Smith
The Frisco Kid is a 1979 movie directed by Robert Aldrich. The movie is a Western comedy featuring Gene Wilder as Avram Belinski, a Polish rabbi who is traveling to San Francisco, and Harrison ...more
25
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Corey Feldman, Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen
Time After Time is a 1979 American science fiction film starring Malcolm McDowell, David Warner and Mary Steenburgen. It was the directing debut of screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, whose screenplay ...more