Weird History

The Most Famous Film That Took Place The Year You Were Born 

Mike McGranaghan
March 27, 2020 94.7k views 31 items

What is the most famous film set during the year you were born? This list, which stretches from 1970 through 2000, will tell you. A number of factors went into determining this, including critical assessment, box office performance, and how influential the movie has been. Some of these movies were sensations right out of the gate, while others required the benefit of time to reveal themselves as classics. In most cases, there were several notable examples from each individual year that could have been cited, but only the ones that made the biggest impact were selected.

The genres represented in this collection of period movies by year vary considerably. There are comedies and dramas, horror films, and family features. Some of the movies are set in the same year in which they were made, while others recreated the fashion and look of a decade or more beforehand.

Hopefully you have already seen the biggest movie set in the year of your birth. If not, you'll have a great viewing recommendation. Check out all the films from the other years, too, because there's not a dud to be found among them.

Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Famous Film That Took Place The Year You Were Born
Photo: Warner Bros.

Clint Eastwood played cop "Dirty" Harry Callahan in this hard-boiled action thriller. The film played into the reactionary politics of 1970, a time when a more conservative ideology - led by Richard Nixon, among others - was struggling to quash the more liberal counterculture vibe that sprang up in the late '60s. Dirty Harry rang a bell with audiences of all political viewpoints and went on to spawn four sequels. Harry Callahan remains Eastwood's signature role.

Actors: Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Andrew Robinson, John Vernon, Max Gail, + more

Released: 1971

Directed by: Don Siegel

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The Conjuring is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Famous Film That Took Place The Year You Were Born
Photo: Warner Bros.

The Conjuring is based on an actual case investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren, two noted paranormal experts. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga play the Warrens, who attempt to rid a farmhouse from the entity that's terrorizing the family living there. The real family lived in the haunted home from 1971-80, but the movie compresses events to take place entirely in 1971. So popular was The Conjuring that it spun off an entire "cinematic universe" that includes The Conjuring 2, three Annabelle features, and The Nun.

Actors: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, + more

Released: 2013

Directed by: James Wan

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All the President's Men ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Famous Film That Took Place The Year You Were Born
Photo: Warner Bros.

On June 1, 1972, five men broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, located in the Watergate offices, setting off one of the biggest political scandals in American history. The incident and the investigation that followed are the subject of Alan J. Pakula's All the President's Men. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play, respectively, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the journalists who exposed the whole affair, bringing down Richard Nixon in the process. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning four, and is widely considered a classic political drama. 

Actors: Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Gerald Ford, Meredith Baxter, + more

Released: 1976

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

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X-Men: Days of Future Pa... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Famous Film That Took Place The Year You Were Born
Photo: 20th Century Fox

X-Men: Days of Future Past was inspired by one of the most influential and beloved storylines in the Marvel comics series. In the film, Wolverine is sent back in time to 1973 in order to stop Mystique from carrying out an assassination. Thanks in part to its cool time-travel plot and mixture of both original and new cast members, this installment is currently the third highest-grossing X-Men movie, having earned $233 million domestically. 

Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Michael Fassbender, + more

Released: 2014

Directed by: Bryan Singer

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