Great 70s movies that have stood the test of time

Taxi Driver, Jodie Foster

I had a reunion with a much-loved pair of flared jeans the other day while having a wardrobe spring clean. They're not from the 70s - I was a kid then so I'd never fit into those. No, these were my going out trousers in the early noughties, but they're just a bit too flared to get away with today.

Given the opportunity (these days it's fancy dress parties only), I love to wear flares and platforms. I love these 70s throwbacks but sadly I just haven't the confidence to indulge in them while 80s chic is so now.

With music it's much easier (with the help of headphones) to dip into my 70s tastes without being judged - I'm a glutton for 70s disco, adore retro cheese (anybody else love The Hustle as much as I do?) and can't imagine a world without Abba.

Yes, I do have my fair share of 1970s pleasures, but I have to admit that there are also many features of that decade I'm happy to leave behind -chest-hair framed gold medallions, the male 70s 'do', big patterned polyester drapes, and slang phrases such as 'can you dig it.'

As for films, well, there are plenty I'd prefer to avoid from this era. Take The Black Hole - a bad film, the easter egg was better, Xanadu - great song, dreadful movie. Jesus Christ Superstar - like watching paint dry while listening to a washing machine with a trapped coin in it.

And, take those 70s movies such as The Golden Voyage of Sinbad or Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger with their then amazing special effects by Ray Harryhausen. Revisit them now with today's CGI-accustomed eyes and the special effects are no longer that special. In fact, unlike some of the pointless remakes of recent years, these films have been begging for 21st century makeovers, cue Clash of the Titans out this week. Finally that 1981 version can retire to the cult and kitsch shelf for good.

Nevertheless, despite the movie dinosaurs, there are plenty of 1970s films that have managed to stand the test of time. They may give away their origins by showcasing the glorious way in which a flared trouser flatters a leg of any shape of size, but when it comes to entertaining the audience with their various tales, they're timeless

So, I've drawn up a list of my favourites. Note that these are only films that are set in the 70s (or its equivalent). I've not included any period films or futuristic dramas from the decade.

Annie Hall, Diane Keaton, Woody Allen

Tastes, fashions,  and trappings change over time but witty dialogue is ageless.

The Stepford Wives

It was not a good idea to try and jolly up this 70s chiller with that 2004 remake starring Nicole Kidman. The original still works briliantly since the obediant stay-at-home wife is not yet a thing of the past. Now, where can I get my hands on lovely curtains like those?


If a giant killer shark were to show up today, I'm sure the technology would exist to track and control it. It's a tale therefore that wouldn't quite stand up in a contemporary setting, but  see it as a period thriller and it's just as powerful as it ever was. The sequels are great too, and remember - Jaws 3 in 3D  was groundbreaking. Stephen King adaptation about the vulnerable schoolgirl with telekinetic powers shocks just as much today as it did 30-odd years ago. There was a 1999 sequel and a terrible TV movie remake in 2002.

The Omen

Was there any point to the noughties remake of this movie, besides the 06/06/06 release date?

Don’t Look Now

This supernatural thriller starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland is a classic and has one of the scariest movie endings ever.

The Wicker Man

Britt Ekland's landlord's daughter gets Edward Woodward's virginal cop all of a fluster in this creepy movie. The people behind that dreadful remake starring Nicolas Cage decided that a 21st century cop could never be a virgin so they rewrote the story and ruined it.

The fashion, music, lingo are all so 70s in this movie starring Faye Dunaway, but its suspense thriller plot is timeless.

Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis

A 70s classic  and that Michael Myers white mask is now iconic.

Dawn of the Dead

This cult zombie classic has spawned numerous homages and spoofs.

The Poseidon Adventure

One of the best disaster movie ever made?

Taxi Driver, Jodie Foster, Robert De Niro

Jodie Foster proved her talents at a tender age with this infamous drama co-starring Robert De Niro. There's currently talk of a sequel... Stephen Spielberg movie debut about a motorist pursued by sadistic truck driver.

The Omen is showing on Sky Movies Modern Great on 1st April at 11.45pm

Jaws is showing on Sky Movies Modern Greats on 3rd April at 8pm

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