70s The Greatest Directors of the 1970s  

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List Rules Vote based on each director's body of film work between 1970 and 1979

List of the top directors of the '70s. The 1970s were filled with absurd styles and monumental changes in movies, as some of the world's greatest directors began experimenting like never before. Fellini, Bergman, and Truffaut, for instance, inspired Americans like John Cassavetes and Hal Ashby to make some of their most unique and cherished films of the decade.

The top directors of the 1970s made some defining works of art during the period. For instance, Roman Polanski struck gold with Chinatown while Stanley Kubrick did the same with A Clockwork Orange. The same can be said for Robert Altman and Francis Ford Coppola, whose 1970s filmographies seem unparalleled and as if they could do no wrong. Not only was this decade the time of the two Godfather movies, but the seventies is also when director Sidney Lumet came out with his two Al Pacino spectaculars: the unforgettable '70s hits of Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon.

list ordered by

1
110 27
Francis Ford Coppola is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
age 79
The Godfather (1972)
The Conversation (1974)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Apocalypse Now (1979)

2
89 30
Martin Scorsese is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
clash1977 added age 76

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)
Taxi Driver (1976)
New York, New York (1977)

3
95 39
Stanley Kubrick is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 71 (1928-1999)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Barry Lyndon (1975)

4
58 22
Sidney Lumet is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 87 (1924-2011)
The Anderson Tapes (1971)
Child's Play (1972)
The Offence (1972)
Serpico (1973)
Lovin' Molly (1974)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Network (1976)
Equus (1977)
The Wiz (1978)

5
55 26
Robert Altman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 81 (1925-2006)
MASH (1970)
Brewster McCloud (1970)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller 1971)
Images (1972)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Thieves Like Us (1974)
California Split (1974)
Nashville (1975)
3 Women (1977)
A Wedding (1978)
Quintet (1979)
A Perfect Couple (1979)

6
45 14
Ingmar Bergman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 89 (1918-2007)
The Touch (1971)
Cries and Whispers (1972)
The Magic Flute (1975)
Face to Face (1976)
The Serpent's Egg (1977)
Autumn Sonota (1978)

7
55 25
Werner Herzog is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
age 76
Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)
Fata Morgana (1971)
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
Heart of Glass (1976)
Nosferatu the Vampire (1979)
Woyzeck (1979)

8
33 11
Ridley Scott is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dimos Dicoudis added age 81

The Duellists (1977)
Alien (1979)

9
39 18
Federico Fellini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 73 (1920-1993)
The Clowns (1970)
Roma (1972)
Amarcord (1973)
Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (1976)
Orchestra Rehearsal (1978)

10
29 15
Sergio Leone is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Mollevangsvagen added Dec. at 60 (1929-1989)

Duck, You Sucker (AKA A Fistful of Dynamite, 1971)
My Name Is Nobody (1973)
A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe (1975)

11
38 24
Hal Ashby is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 59 (1929-1988)
The Landlord (1970)
Harold and Maude (1971)
The Last Detail (1973)
Shampoo (1975)
Bound for Glory (1976)
Coming Home (1978)
Being There (1979)

12
44 26
William Friedkin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
age 83
The French Connection (1971)
The Exorcist (1973)
Sorcerer (1977)
The Brink's Job (1978)

13
43 36
Roman Polanski is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
age 85

Macbeth (1971)
What? (1972)
Chinatown (1974)
Tess (1979)
The Tenant (1976)

14
33 24
Andrei Tarkovsky is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Mollevangsvagen added Dec. at 54 (1932-1986)

Solaris (1972)
The Mirror (1975)
Stalker (1979)

15
31 23
Peter Bogdanovich is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
age 80
The Last Picture Show (1971)
What's Up, Doc? (1972)
Paper Moon (1973)
Daisy Miller (1974)
At Long Last Love (1975)
Nickelodeon (1976)
Saint Jack (1979)

16
36 31
Miloš Forman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
age 86

Taking Off (1971)
Vision of Eight (1973)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Hair (1979)

17
29 25
John Cassavetes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 60 (1929-1989)
Husbands (1970)
Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)
A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
Opening Night (1977)

18
11 9
Robert Wise is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dimos Dicoudis added Dec. at 91 (1914-2005)

The Baby Maker (1970)
The Andromeda Strain (1971)
Two People (1973)
The Hindenburg (1975)
Audrey Rose (1977)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

19
27 25
François Truffaut is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 52 (1932-1984)
The Wild Child (1970)
Bed and Board (1970)
Two English Girls (1971)
A Gorgeous Kid Like Me (1972)
Day for Night (1973)
Small Change (1976)
The Man Who Loved Women (1977)
The Green Room (1978)

20
16 18
Robert Bresson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Mollevangsvagen added Dec. at 98 (1901-1999)

Quatre nuits d'un rêveur (Four Nights of a Dreamer, 1971)
Lancelot du Lac (Lancelot of the Lake, 1974)
Le diable probablement (The Devil Probably, 1977)

21
10 10
Stuart Rosenberg is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dimos Dicoudis added Died at 80 (1927-2007)

Move (1970)
WUSA (1970)
Pocket Money (1972)
The Laughing Policeman (1973)
The Drowning Pool (1975)
The Voyage of the Damned (1976)
Love and Bullets (1979)
The Amityville Horror (1979)

22
12 11
Blake Edwards is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dimos Dicoudis added Dec. at 88 (1922-2010)

Darling Lili (1970)
Wild Rovers (1971)
The Carey Treatment (1972)
The Tamarind Seed (1974)
The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) 
Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
0 (1979)

23
16 18
Éric Rohmer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Mollevangsvagen added Dec. at 90 (1920-2010)

Love in the Afternoon (1972)
The Marquise of O... (1976)
Perceval le Gallois (1978)

24
23 21
Bob Fosse is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dec. at 60 (1927-1987)
Cabaret (1972)
Lenny (1974)
All That Jazz (1979)

25
8 11
Robert Benton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Directors of the 1970s
Dimos Dicoudis added age 86

Bad Company (1972)
The Late Show (1977)
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)