vote on everything
437 voters

The Best Movies of 1979

Updated September 4, 2020 8.5k votes 437 voters 15.6k views120 items

List RulesOnly movies released in theaters in 1979.

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.
  • 1
    Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 1979


    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt


    Directed byRidley Scott

    Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the... more on Wikipedia

    More Alien 

    50 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About AlienThe Best 1950s Alien Movies

  • 2
    Escape from Alcatraz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Escape from Alcatraz

    Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover


    Directed byDon Siegel

    Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American prison film, directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint... more on Wikipedia

    More Escape from Alcatraz 

    #124 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#9 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

  • 3
    Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Apocalypse Now

    Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford


    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic adventure war film set during the Vietnam War. Produced... more on Wikipedia

    More Apocalypse Now 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Marlon Brando In 'Apocalypse Now'15 Stories From The Wild Life Of David Hackworth, Who Inspired Two 'Apocalypse Now' Characters

  • 4
    Rocky II is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Rocky II

    Sylvester Stallone, Burgess Meredith


    Directed bySylvester Stallone

    Rocky II is a 1979 American sports drama film directed by Sylvester Stallone, and the second... more on Wikipedia

    More Rocky II 

    #672 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#30 of 172 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

  • 5
    The Warriors is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    The Warriors

    Mercedes Ruehl, Robert Townsend


    Directed byWalter Hill

    The Warriors is a 1979 American cult thriller film directed by Walter Hill and based on Sol... more on Wikipedia

    More The Warriors 

    #61 of 63 Movies Set in Brooklyn#136 of 149 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 6
    Mad Max is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Mad Max

    Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne


    Directed byGeorge Miller

    Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller, produced by... more on Wikipedia

    More Mad Max 

    Things You Didn't Know About The 'Mad Max' Movies#118 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 7
    Moonraker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1979


    Roger Moore, Lois Chiles


    Directed byLewis Gilbert

    Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger... more on Wikipedia

    More Moonraker 

    #211 of 225 The Worst Sequels Of All Time#319 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • 8
    The Jerk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    The Jerk

    Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters


    Directed byCarl Reiner

    The Jerk is a 1979 American comedy film directed by Carl Reiner and written by Steve Martin,... more on Wikipedia

    More The Jerk 

    #262 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies#89 of 554 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

  • 9
    Meatballs is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 1979


    Bill Murray, Kristine DeBell


    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Meatballs is a 1979 Canadian comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman. It is noted for Bill... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    The Muppet Movie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    The Muppet Movie

    Steve Martin, Mel Brooks


    Directed byJames Frawley

    The Muppet Movie is a 1979 American-British musical road comedy film and the first of a series... more on Wikipedia

    More The Muppet Movie 

    #239 of 366 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#134 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

  • 11
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy


    Directed byRobert Wise

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a 1979 American science fiction film released by Paramount... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    The Black Stallion is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    The Black Stallion

    Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr


    Directed byCarroll Ballard

    The Black Stallion is a 1979 American film based on the 1941 classic children's novel The... more on Wikipedia

    More The Black Stallion 

    #69 of 76 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels#209 of 317 The Best Movies For Kids

  • 13
    Life of Brian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Life of Brian

    George Harrison, John Cleese


    Directed byTerry Jones

    Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    ...And Justice for All is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    ...And Justice for All

    Al Pacino, Craig T. Nelson


    Directed byNorman Jewison

    ...And Justice for All is a 1979 courtroom drama film, directed by Norman Jewison, and... more on Wikipedia

    More ...And Justice for All 

    #39 of 46 Famous Movie Monologues#17 of 27 Actual Lawyers Explain Which Legal Movies They Like The Best

  • 15
    Kramer vs. Kramer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Kramer vs. Kramer

    Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman


    Directed byRobert Benton

    Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 American drama film adapted by Robert Benton from the novel by... more on Wikipedia

    More Kramer vs. Kramer 

    #43 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#21 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • 16
    The Great Santini is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    The Great Santini

    Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner


    Directed byLewis John Carlino

    The Great Santini is a 1979 film directed by Lewis John Carlino, written by Lewis John Carlino... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Salem's Lot

    David Soul, Bonnie Bedelia


    Directed byTobe Hooper

    Salem's Lot is a 1979 American television adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen... more on Wikipedia

    More Salem's Lot 

    #47 of 721 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#4 of 20 The Scariest Kids In The Stephen King Cinematic Universe, Ranked

  • 18
    Breaking Away is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Breaking Away

    Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley


    Directed byPeter Yates

    Breaking Away is a 1979 American coming of age comedy-drama film that follows a group of four... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Norma Rae is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Norma Rae

    Sally Field, Beau Bridges


    Directed byMartin Ritt

    Norma Rae is a 1979 American drama film about a factory worker from a small town in North... more on Wikipedia

    More Norma Rae 

    #401 of 457 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time#2 of 15 VHS Covers That Sold A Totally Different Movie

  • 20
    Being There is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Being There

    Shirley MacLaine, Peter Sellers


    Directed byHal Ashby

    Being There is a 1979 American comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby. Adapted from the 1970... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    The China Syndrome is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    The China Syndrome

    Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas


    Directed byJames Bridges

    The China Syndrome is a 1979 American thriller film that tells the story of a television... more on Wikipedia

    More The China Syndrome 

    #167 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#69 of 404 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

  • 22
    10 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 1979


    Julie Andrews, Bo Derek


    Directed byBlake Edwards

    10 is a 1979 romantic comedy film directed, produced and written by Blake Edwards, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Time After Time is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    Time After Time

    Corey Feldman, Malcolm McDowell


    Directed byNicholas Meyer

    Time After Time is a 1979 American science fiction film starring Malcolm McDowell, David... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides  is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 1979


    Directed byVincent McEveety

    The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again is a 1979 sequel to the 1975 American family film The... more on Wikipedia

    More The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again 

    #23 of 97 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies#42 of 106 The Best Kids Movies Of The 1970s

  • 25
    The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Mov is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 1979

    The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie

    Mel Blanc, Nicolai Shutorov


    Directed byChuck Jones

    The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie is a 1979 Looney Tunes film with a compilation of classic... more on Wikipedia

    More The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie 

    #282 of 572 The Best Animated Films Ever#305 of 507 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

FilmsFilmEntertainmenttop 100