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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.
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  • 1
    Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    179
    65

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

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

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  • 2
    Escape from Alcatraz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    127
    50

    Escape from Alcatraz

    Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover

    Released1979

    Directed byDon Siegel

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

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  • 3
    Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    175
    75

    Apocalypse Now

    Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford

    Released1979

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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

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  • 4
    Rocky II is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    136
    66

    Rocky II

    Sylvester Stallone, Burgess Meredith

    Released1979

    Directed bySylvester Stallone

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

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  • 5
    The Warriors is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    115
    59

    The Warriors

    Mercedes Ruehl, Robert Townsend

    Released1979

    Directed byWalter Hill

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

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  • 6
    Mad Max is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    146
    81

    Mad Max

    Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne

    Released1979

    Directed byGeorge Miller

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

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  • 7
    Moonraker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    104
    49

    Moonraker

    Roger Moore, Lois Chiles

    Released1979

    Directed byLewis Gilbert

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

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  • 8
    The Jerk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    127
    72

    The Jerk

    Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters

    Released1979

    Directed byCarl Reiner

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

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  • 9
    Meatballs is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    91
    47

    Meatballs

    Bill Murray, Kristine DeBell

    Released1979

    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
    100
    74

    The Muppet Movie

    Steve Martin, Mel Brooks

    Released1979

    Directed byJames Frawley

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

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  • 11
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    106
    65

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Released1979

    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
    74
    35

    The Black Stallion

    Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr

    Released1979

    Directed byCarroll Ballard

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

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  • 13
    Life of Brian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    111
    58

    Life of Brian

    George Harrison, John Cleese

    Released1979

    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
    82
    59

    ...And Justice for All

    Al Pacino, Craig T. Nelson

    Released1979

    Directed byNorman Jewison

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

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  • 15
    Kramer vs. Kramer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    90
    73

    Kramer vs. Kramer

    Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1979

    Directed byRobert Benton

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

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  • 16
    The Great Santini is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    91
    48

    The Great Santini

    Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner

    Released1979

    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
    66
    42

    Salem's Lot

    David Soul, Bonnie Bedelia

    Released1979

    Directed byTobe Hooper

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

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  • 18
    Breaking Away is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    76
    55

    Breaking Away

    Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley

    Released1979

    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
    73
    53

    Norma Rae

    Sally Field, Beau Bridges

    Released1979

    Directed byMartin Ritt

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

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  • 20
    Being There is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    80
    64

    Being There

    Shirley MacLaine, Peter Sellers

    Released1979

    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
    74
    59

    The China Syndrome

    Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas

    Released1979

    Directed byJames Bridges

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

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  • 22
    10 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    67
    56

    10

    Julie Andrews, Bo Derek

    Released1979

    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
    57
    41

    Time After Time

    Corey Feldman, Malcolm McDowell

    Released1979

    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
    36
    24

    Released1979

    Directed byVincent McEveety

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

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  • 25
    The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Mov is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 1979
    48
    33

    The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie

    Mel Blanc, Nicolai Shutorov

    Released1979

    Directed byChuck Jones

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

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