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The runners up: 26-100

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The Tin Drum

#100. "The Tin Drum" (1979)
  • Smart Rating: 90.77
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: David Bennent, Angela Winkler, Mario Adorf
Oskar Matzerath (David Bennent) is a very unusual boy. Refusing to leave the womb until promised a tin drum by his mother, Agnes (Angela Winkler), Oskar is reluctant to enter a world he sees as filled with hypocrisy and injustice, and vows on his third birthday to never grow up. Miraculously, he gets his wish. As the Nazis rise to power in Danzig, Oskar wills himself to remain a child, beating his tin drum incessantly and screaming in protest at the chaos surrounding him.

#99. "Blazing Saddles" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 90.82
  • Genre: Comedy, Western
  • Starring: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn

In this satirical take on Westerns, crafty railroad worker Bart (Cleavon Little) becomes the first black sheriff of Rock Ridge, a frontier town about to be destroyed in order to make way for a new railroad. Initially, the people of Rock Ridge harbor a racial bias toward their new leader. However, they warm to him after realizing that Bart and his perpetually drunk gunfighter friend (Gene Wilder) are the only defense against a wave of thugs sent to rid the town of its population.

#98. "Sorcerer" (1977)

  • Smart Rating: 90.91
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Starring: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal

In the small South American town of Porvenir, four men on the run from the law are offered $10,000 and legal citizenship if they will transport a shipment of dangerously unstable nitroglycerin to an oil well 200 miles away. Led by Jackie Scanlon (Roy Scheider), the men set off on a hazardous journey, during which they must contend with dangerously rocky roads, unstable bridges and attacks from local guerillas. The four fight for their lives as they struggle to complete their dangerous quest.

#97. "Autumn Sonata" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 91.05
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman

After a seven-year absence, Charlotte Andergast (Ingrid Bergman) travels to Sweden to reunite with her daughter Eva (Liv Ullmann). The pair have a troubled relationship: Charlotte sacrificed the responsibilities of motherhood for a career as a classical pianist. Over an emotional night, the pair reopen the wounds of the past. Charlotte gets another shock when she finds out that her mentally impaired daughter, Helena (Lena Nyman), is out of the asylum and living with Eva.

#96. "Life of Brian" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 91.09
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman) is an average young Jewish man, but through a series of ridiculous events, he gains a reputation as the Messiah. When he's not dodging his followers or being scolded by his shrill mother (Terry Jones), the hapless Brian has to contend with the pompous Pontius Pilate (Michael Palin) and acronym-obsessed members of a separatist movement. Rife with Monty Python's signature absurdity, the tale finds Brian's life paralleling Biblical lore, albeit with many more laughs.

#95. "The Girl With the Red Scarf" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 91.15
  • Genre: Drama, romance
  • Starring: Turkan Soray, Kadir Inanir, Ahmet Mekin

Asya leaves her husband and falls in love with Cemsit. Her life is happy again until her husband shows up one day looking for her.

#94. "The Parallax View" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 91.2
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Starring: Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss, William Daniels

After a presidential candidate is assassinated, political reporter Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) begins to suspect that the mysterious Parallax Corporation may be involved. As he investigates, others who share his suspicions start turning up dead, including his editor, Bill Rintels (Hume Cronyn). Eventually, Frady uncovers a conspiracy bigger than anyone expected and must race to prevent the corporation's next big hit as this political thriller plays out in an explosive game of cat and mouse.

#93. "The Muppet Movie" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 91.2
  • Genre: Children, comedy
  • Starring: Charles Durning, Austin Pendleton, Steve Martin

After Kermit the Frog decides to pursue a movie career, he starts his cross-country trip from Florida to California. Along the way, he meets and befriends Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and rock musicians Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. When Kermit is offered a job by Doc Hopper (Charles Durning) to advertise the fried frog legs at his restaurant chain, Kermit turns Hopper down. However, Hopper refuses to relent and pursues Kermit and his companions to a final showdown.

#92. "Hair" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 91.2
  • Genre: Musical
  • Starring: John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo

In New York City for the first time while on his way to enlist in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Oklahoma farm hand Claude Hooper Bukowski (John Savage) meets up with a freewheeling group of Central Park hippies led by the irrepressible George Berger (Treat Williams). When the unlikely friends meet upper-middle-class debutante Sheila Franklin (Beverly D'Angelo), sparks fly between the country boy and the city girl, and Berger's troupe attempts to keep the young lovers together.

#91. "The Outlaw Josey Wales" (1976)

  • Smart Rating: 91.23
  • Genre: Western
  • Starring: Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke

Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) watches helplessly as his wife and child are murdered by Union men led by Capt. Terrill (Bill McKinney). Seeking revenge, Wales joins the Confederate Army. He refuses to surrender when the war ends, but his fellow soldiers go to hand over their weapons -- and are massacred by Terrill. Wales guns down some of Terrill's men and flees to Texas, where he tries to make a new life for himself, but the bounty on his head endangers him and his new surrogate family.

#90. "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 91.26
  • Genre: Horror, thriller
  • Starring: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Allen Danziger

When Sally (Marilyn Burns) hears that her grandfather's grave may have been vandalized, she and her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), set out with their friends to investigate. After a detour to their family's old farmhouse, they discover a group of crazed, murderous outcasts living next door. As the group is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), who wears a mask of human skin, the survivors must do everything they can to escape.

#89. "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 91.48
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Katherine Cassavetes

Mabel Longhetti (Gena Rowlands), desperate and lonely, is married to a Los Angeles municipal construction worker, Nick (Peter Falk). Increasingly unstable --

especially in the company of others -- she craves happiness. But her extremely volatile behavior convinces Nick that she poses a danger to their family, and he decides to commit her to an institution for six months. Alone with a trio of kids to raise on his own, he awaits her return, which holds more than a few surprises.

#88. "Little Big Man" (1970)

  • Smart Rating: 91.52
  • Genre: Western
  • Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George

When a curious oral historian (William Hickey) turns up to hear the life story of 121-year-old Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman), he can scarcely believe his ears. Crabb tells of having been rescued and raised by the Cheyenne, of working as a snake oil salesman, as a gunslinger and as a mule skinner under Gen. Custer (Richard Mulligan). As if those weren't astonishing enough, he also claims to be the only white survivor of the infamous Battle of the Little Bighorn.

#87. "Carrie" (1976)

  • Smart Rating: 91.54
  • Genre: Horror
  • Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, William Katt

In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.

#86. "Watership Down" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 91.65
  • Genre: Children, adventure, animated
  • Starring: John Hurt, Richard Briers, Michael Graham-Cox

When a young rabbit named Fiver (Richard Briers) has a prophetic vision that the end of his warren is near, he persuades seven other rabbits to leave with him in search of a new home. Several obstacles impede their progress, including predators, a rat-filled cemetery and a speeding river. Upon arriving at their final destination, a hill dubbed Watership Down, the rabbits find that their journey is still far from over. Realistically drawn, this British animated film carries an emotional weight.

#85. "M*A*S*H" (1970)

  • Smart Rating: 91.9
  • Genre: Comedy, war
  • Starring: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman

Based on the novel by Richard Hooker, "M*A*S*H" follows a group of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital officers at they perform surgery and pass the time just miles from the front lines of the Korean conflict. Led by Capts. Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland) and Trapper John McIntyre (Elliott Gould), they add to the chaos and hilarity of the situation.

#84. "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 91.91
  • Genre: Romance, drama
  • Starring: Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Barbara Valentin

Emmi Kurowski (Brigitte Mira), a cleaning lady, is lonely in her old age. Her husband died years ago, and her grown children offer little companionship. One night she goes to a bar frequented by Arab immigrants and strikes up a friendship with middle-aged mechanic Ali (El Hedi ben Salem). Their relationship soon develops into something more, and Emmi's family and neighbors criticize their spontaneous marriage. Soon Emmi and Ali are forced to confront their own insecurities about their future.

#83. "Five Easy Pieces" (1970)

  • Smart Rating: 91.91
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Susan Anspach

Rejecting his cultured upper-class background as a classical pianist, Robert Dupea (Jack Nicholson) opts for a blue-collar existence, working in a California oil field and spending time with his waitress girlfriend, Rayette (Karen Black). But when Robert discovers that his father is gravely ill, he wants to reunite with his estranged family in the state of Washington. He and Rayette take a road trip that brings the two paths of his life to an uncomfortable intersection.

#82. "Duel" (1971)

  • Smart Rating: 91.91
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Starring: Dennis Weaver, Tim Herbert, Charles Seel

David Mann (Dennis Weaver), a mild-mannered electronics salesman, is driving cross-country on a two-lane highway when he encounters an old oil tanker driven by an unseen driver who seems to enjoy annoying him with dangerous antics on the road. Unable to escape the demonic big rig, David finds himself in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the monstrous truck. When the pursuit escalates to deadly levels, David must summon his inner warrior and turn the tables on his tormentor.

#81. "Rocky" (1976)

  • Smart Rating: 92.01
  • Genre: Drama, action
  • Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), when the undefeated fighter's scheduled opponent is injured. While training with feisty former bantamweight contender Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), Rocky tentatively begins a relationship with Adrian (Talia Shire), the wallflower sister of his meat-packer pal Paulie (Burt Young).

#80. "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 92.09
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Starring: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam

Having concluded a case, detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) settles into what he expects will be a relaxing journey home aboard the Orient Express. But when an unpopular billionaire is murdered en route, Poirot takes up the case, and everyone on board the famous train is a suspect. Using an avalanche blocking the tracks to his advantage, Poirot gradually realizes that many of the passengers have revenge as a motive, and he begins to home in on the culprit.

#79. "Scenes From a Marriage" (1973)

  • Smart Rating: 92.2
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Bibi Andersson

Johan (Erland Josephson) and Marianne (Liv Ullmann) are married and seem to have it all. Their happiness, however, is a façade for a troubled relationship, which becomes even rockier when Johan admits that he's having an affair. Before long, the spouses separate and move towards finalizing their divorce, but they make attempts at reconciling. Even as they pursue other relationships, Johan and Marianne realize that they have a significant bond, but also many issues that hinder that connection.

#78. "Klute" (1971)

  • Smart Rating: 92.2
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Starring: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Roy Scheider

This acclaimed thriller stars Jane Fonda as Bree Daniel, a New York City call girl who becomes enmeshed in an investigation into the disappearance of a business executive. Detective John Klute (Donald Sutherland) is hired to follow Daniel, and eventually begins a romance with her, but it appears that he hasn't been the only person on her trail. When it becomes clear that Daniel is being targeted, it's up to her and Klute to figure out who is after her before it's too late.

#77. "All That Jazz" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 92.2
  • Genre: Drama, musical
  • Starring: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking

When he is not planning for his upcoming stage musical or working on his Hollywood film, choreographer/director Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) is popping pills and sleeping with a seemingly endless line of women. The physical and mental stress begins to take a toll on the ragged perfectionist. Soon, he must decide whether or not his non-stop work schedule and hedonistic lifestyle are worth risking his life. The film is a semi-autobiographical tale written and directed by the legendary Bob Fosse.

#76. "The Mirror" (1975)

  • Smart Rating: 92.2
  • Genre: Drama, biography
  • Starring: Margarita Terekhova, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko

Using a nonlinear structure interlaced with dreams and flashbacks, director Andrei Tarkovsky creates a stream-of-consciousness meditation on war, memory and time that draws heavily on events from his own life. Tarkovsky's film alter ego is Alexei (Ignat Daniltsev), a dying man in his 40s whose commonplace interactions with his wife (Margarita Terekhova) and children summon up a host of memories, ranging from his parents' divorce to his time on the battlefields of World War II.

#75. "Stalker" (1979)


  • Smart Rating: 92.49
  • Genre: Science fiction, crime drama, adventure
  • Starring: Aleksandr Kajdanovsky, Nikolay Grinko, Anatoliy Solonitsyn

In an unnamed country at an unspecified time, there is a fiercely protected post-apocalyptic wasteland known as The Zone. An illegal guide (Aleksandr Kajdanovsky), whose mutant child suggests unspeakable horrors within The Zone, leads a writer (Anatoliy Solonitsyn) and a scientist (Nikolay Grinko) into the heart of the devastation in search of a mythical place known only as The Room. Anyone who enters The Room will supposedly have any of his earthly desires immediately fulfilled.

#74. "Suspiria" (1977)

  • Smart Rating: 92.5
  • Genre: Horror
  • Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Joan Bennett

Suzy (Jessica Harper) travels to Germany to attend ballet school. When she arrives, late on a stormy night, no one lets her in, and she sees Pat (Eva Axén), another student, fleeing from the school. When Pat reaches her apartment, she is murdered. The next day, Suzy is admitted to her new school, but has a difficult time settling in. She hears noises, and often feels ill. As more people die, Suzy uncovers the terrifying secret history of the place.

#73. "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 92.61
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Justin Henry

On the same day Manhattan advertising executive Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) lands the biggest account of his career, he learns that his wife, Joanna (Meryl Streep), is leaving him and their young son, Billy (Justin Henry). Forced to raise his son alone, Ted loses his job but gains a stronger relationship with the child with the help of another single parent, Margaret (Jane Alexander). When Joanna returns to claim custody of Billy, the ensuing court battle takes a toll on everyone concerned.

#72. "Dersu Uzala" (1975)

  • Smart Rating: 92.63
  • Genre: Adventure, drama
  • Starring: Maxim Munzuk, Yuri Solomin, Vladimir Klemrna

"Dersu Uzala" is epic in form yet intimate in scope. Set in the forests of Eastern Siberia at the turn of the century, it is a portrait of the friendship that grows between an aging hunter and a Russian surveyor. A romantic hymn to nature and the human spirit, it boasts a performance by Maxim Munzuk as the wise and wizened old man of the Taiga.

#71. "Deliverance" (1972)

  • Smart Rating: 92.63
  • Genre: Adventure, drama
  • Starring: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty

Four city-dwelling friends (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) decide to get away from their jobs, wives and kids for a week of canoeing in rural Georgia. When the men arrive, they are not welcomed by the backwoods locals, who stalk the vacationers and savagely attack them in the woods. Reeling from the ambush, the friends attempt to return home but are surrounded by dangerous rapids and pursued by a madman. Soon, their canoe trip turns into a fight for survival.

#70. "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 92.69
  • Genre: Thriller, action, crime drama
  • Starring: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam

In New York City, a criminal gang led by the ruthless "Mr. Blue" (Robert Shaw) hijacks a subway car and threatens to start shooting one passenger per minute unless they receive a million dollars in cash from the city within an hour. On the other end of the line, crusty veteran transit policeman Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau) has his hands full dealing with the mayor's office and his hotheaded fellow cops, while also trying to deliver the ransom before the deadline expires.

#69. "Le Cercle Rouge" (1970)

  • Smart Rating: 92.72
  • Genre: Crime drama
  • Starring: Yves Montand, Alain Delon, Bourvil

When French criminal Corey (Alain Delon) gets released from prison, he resolves to never return. He is quickly pulled back into the underworld, however, after a chance encounter with escaped murderer Vogel (Gian Maria Volonte). Along with former policeman and current alcoholic Jansen (Yves Montand), they plot an intricate jewel heist. All the while, quirky Police Commissioner Mattei (Bourvil), who was the one to lose custody of Vogel, is determined to find him.

#68. "Nosferatu" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 92.77
  • Genre: Horror
  • Starring: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz

Jonathan Harker is sent away to Count Dracula's castle to sell him a house in Virna, where he lives. But Count Dracula is a vampire, an undead ghoul living off men's blood. Inspired by a photograph of Lucy Harker, Jonathan's wife, Dracula moves to Virna, bringing with him death and plague. "Nosferatu" is an unusually contemplative version of Dracula, in which the vampire bears the cross of not being able to get old and die.

#67. "Fiddler on the Roof" (1971)

  • Smart Rating: 92.77
  • Genre: Musical
  • Starring: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey

A lavishly produced and critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the international stage sensation tells the life-affirming story of Tevye (Topol), a poor milkman whose love, pride and faith help him face the oppression of turn-of-the century czarist Russia.

#66. "Papillon" (1973)

  • Smart Rating: 92.77
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Starring: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory

Convicted murderer Henri Charriere (Steve McQueen), known as "Papillon" for his butterfly chest tattoo, is transported to French Guiana to serve his sentence in a work camp. Determined to escape, Papillon forms an unlikely relationship with the frail but notorious forger Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), who reluctantly joins in the attempt. Despite the harshness of solitary confinement, brutal conditions and constant threats of betrayal, Papillon leads a desperate escape off the island.

#65. "Sleeper" (1973)

  • Smart Rating: 92.92
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, John Beck

After health store owner Miles Monroe (Woody Allen) dies during a routine surgery, his family has him cryogenically frozen. He awakens 200 years later, revived by a group of underground radicals who oppose the oppressive regime in power. Once the police arrive to arrest the group, Miles flees, disguised as a robot. He meets Luna Schlosser (Diane Keaton), and they gradually fall in love. When Miles is later captured by the authorities, Luna seeks out the rebels to help rescue him.

#64. "The Tenant" (1976)

  • Smart Rating: 93.06
  • Genre: Horror
  • Starring: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas

In Paris, isolated Eastern European émigré Trelkovsky (Roman Polanski) rents an apartment in a spooky old building whose inhabitants regard him with suspicion and even outright hostility. When he learns that the apartment's previous tenant, a beautiful woman, tried to commit suicide by jumping out the window, Trelkovsky begins to identify with her in increasingly disturbing ways. Then, to make matters even worse, he reaches the conclusion that his new neighbors are plotting to kill him.

#63. "The Last Waltz" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 93.07
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Starring: Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters

Seventeen years after joining forces as the backing band for rockabilly cult hero Ronnie Hawkins, Canadian roots rockers The Band call it quits with a lavish farewell show at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom on Nov. 25, 1976. Filmed by Martin Scorsese, this documentary features standout performances by rock legends such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell and Muddy Waters, as well as interviews tracing the group's history and discussing road life.

#62. "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 93.18
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: John Belushi, Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland

When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) attempt to pledge the snooty Omega Theta Pi House, but are summarily rejected. Lowering their standards, they try at the notoriously rowdy Delta Tau Chi House, and get in. The trouble is, the college dean (John Vernon) has it in for the Deltas. He has put them on "double secret probation" and secretly assigned Omega's president (James Daughton) the task of having their charter revoked.

#61. "Nashville" (1975)

  • Smart Rating: 93.2
  • Genre: Comedy drama, musical
  • Starring: Keith Carradine, Lily Tomlin, Karen Black

In this acclaimed Robert Altman drama, the lives of numerous people in the Tennessee capital intersect in unpredictable ways. Delbert Reese (Ned Beatty) is a lawyer and political organizer who is having difficulties in his marriage to Linnea (Lily Tomlin), a gospel vocalist. Other performers heavily featured in this renowned ensemble production include country singers Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakley) and Connie White (Karen Black), who are rivals in the city's thriving music scene.

#60. "What's Up, Doc?" (1972)

  • Smart Rating: 93.35
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn

Two researchers have come to San Francisco to compete for a research grant in music. The man seems a bit distracted, and that was before he met a strange woman who has devoted her life to confusing and embarrassing him. At the same time, a woman has her jewels stolen and a government whistle blower arrives with his stolen top secret papers.

#59. "Mean Streets" (1973)

  • Smart Rating: 93.35
  • Genre: Crime drama
  • Starring: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Richard Romanus

"Mean Streets" offers a slice of street life in Little Italy among lower echelon Mafiosos, unbalanced punks and petty criminals. A small-time hood gets in over his head with a vicious loan shark. In an attempt to free himself from the dangers of his debt, he gets help from a friend who is also involved in criminal activities.

#58. "Deep Red" (1975)

  • Smart Rating: 93.49
  • Genre: Horror, thriller, mystery
  • Starring: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia

A psychic medium (Macha Méril) is brutally murdered, and musician Marcus Daly (David Hemmings) feels a need to solve the case, since he was the one who discovered the body. Working with him is reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi), who hopes for a big scoop by solving the case. When one of Marcus's own friends ends up murdered at the hands of the same killer, the resourceful pair realize they must work fast to uncover the murderer's identity or they might serve as the maniac's next victims.

#57. "The Shootist" (1976)

  • Smart Rating: 93.54
  • Genre: Western
  • Starring: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, James Stewart

J.B. Books (John Wayne, in his final film role) is an aging gunfighter diagnosed with cancer who comes to Nevada at the turn of the 20th century. Renting a room from widowed Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall) and her son Gillom (Ron Howard), Books is confronted by several people of questionable motives, including a man seeking to avenge his brother's death and a few who are looking to profit from Books' notoriety. Not wanting to die a quiet, painful death, Books devises a plan to go out with a bang.

#56. "Halloween" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 93.6
  • Genre: Holiday, horror, thriller
  • Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis

On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on Oct. 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith's Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

#55. "Harold and Maude" (1971)

  • Smart Rating: 93.63
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Bud Cort, Ruth Gordon, Cyril Cusack

This cult classic pairs Bud Cort as a deadpan, disillusioned 20-year-old obsessed with suicide and a lovable Ruth Gordon as a fun-loving 80-year-old eccentric. They meet at a funeral, and develop a taboo romantic relationship, in which they explore the tired theme of the meaning of life with a fresh perspective.

#54. "Breaking Away" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 93.71
  • Genre: Comedy drama
  • Starring: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern

Dave (Dennis Christopher) and his working-class friends Cyril (Daniel Stern), Moocher (Jackie Earle Haley) and Mike (Dennis Quaid) spend their post-high school days in Bloomington, Indiana, sparring with snooty students from the local university, chasing girls and -- in Dave's case --

dreaming of competitive bicycle racing. The four friends face opposition from all corners as they decide to make Dave's dreams come true in the university's annual bicycle endurance race.

#53. "The Deer Hunter" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 93.74
  • Genre: War, drama
  • Starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage

In 1968, Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage), lifelong friends from a working-class Pennsylvania steel town, prepare to ship out overseas following Steven's elaborate wedding and one final group hunting trip. In Vietnam, their dreams of military honor are quickly shattered by the inhumanities of war; even those who survive are haunted by the experience, as is Nick's hometown sweetheart, Linda (Meryl Streep).

#52. "Superman: The Movie" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 93.75
  • Genre: Adventure, science fiction, action, fantasy
  • Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando

Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), young Clark (Christopher Reeve) discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).

#51. "Cabaret" (1972)

  • Smart Rating: 93.77
  • Genre: Musical
  • Starring: Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York

In Berlin, in 1931, American cabaret singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) meets British academic Brian Roberts (Michael York), who is finishing his university studies. Despite Brian's confusion over his sexuality, the pair become lovers, but the arrival of the wealthy and decadent playboy Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Griem) complicates matters for them both. This love triangle plays out against the rise of the Nazi party and the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

#50. "Serpico" (1973)


  • Smart Rating: 93.77
  • Genre: Crime drama, biography
  • Starring: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe

Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) is an idealistic New York City cop who refuses to take bribes, unlike the rest of the force. His actions get Frank shunned by the other officers, and often placed in dangerous situations by his partners. When his superiors ignore Frank's accusations of corruption, he decides to go public with the allegations. Although this causes the Knapp Commission to investigate his claims, Frank has also placed a target on himself. The film is based on a true story.

#49. "The Phantom of Liberty" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 93.78
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Jean-Claude Brialy, Monica Vitti, Milena Vukotic

This Surrealist Spanish film, with a title referencing the Communist Manifesto, strings together short incidents based on the life of director Luis Buñuel. Presented as chance encounters, these loosely related, intersecting situations -- all without a consistent protagonist -- reach from the 19th century to the 1970s. Touching briefly on subjects such as execution, pedophilia, incest and sex, the film features an array of characters, including a sick father and incompetent police officers.

#48. "A Clockwork Orange" (1971)

  • Smart Rating: 93.88
  • Genre: Science fiction, drama
  • Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates

In an England of the future, Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his "Droogs" spend their nights getting high at the Korova Milkbar before embarking on "a little of the old ultraviolence," while jauntily warbling "Singin' in the Rain." After he's jailed for bludgeoning the Cat Lady to death, Alex submits to behavior modification technique to earn his freedom, and he's conditioned to abhor violence. Returned to the world defenseless, Alex becomes the victim of his prior victims.

#47. "Midnight Express" (1978)

  1. Smart Rating: 93.92
  2. Genre: Drama, biography
  3. Starring: Brad Davis, Randy Quaid, John Hurt

Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) is a young American caught by Turkish police while attempting to smuggle hash out of Istanbul. He's tried and sent to prison for four years, where he endures all manner of privation and abuse. As he finishes up his time, he's shocked to learn that the Turkish High Court has added a further 30 years to his sentence. He is now thoroughly demoralized, and his life in prison grows increasingly unbearable until he concludes that escape is his only option.

#46. "American Graffiti" (1973)

  • Smart Rating: 93.99
  • Genre: Comedy drama
  • Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Ronny Howard, Paul Le Mat

On the last day of summer vacation in 1962, friends Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), Steve (Ronny Howard), Terry (Charles Martin Smith) and John (Paul Le Mat) cruise the streets of small-town California while a mysterious disc jockey (Wolfman Jack) spins classic rock'n'roll tunes. It's the last night before their grown-up lives begin, and Steve's high school sweetheart, a hot-to-trot blonde, a bratty adolescent and a disappearing angel in a Thunderbird provide all the excitement they can handle.

#45. "Cries and Whispers" (1972)

  • Smart Rating: 94.06
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Liv Ullmann, Harriet Andersson, Ingrid Thulin

As Agnes (Harriet Andersson) slowly dies of cancer, her sisters are so deeply immersed in their own psychic pains that they can't offer her the support she needs. Maria (Liv Ullmann) is wracked with guilt at her husband's suicide, caused by his discovery of her extramarital affair. The self-loathing, suicidal Karin (Ingrid Thulin) seems to regard her sister with revulsion. Only Anna (Kari Sylwan), the deeply religious maid who lost her young child, seems able to offer Agnes solace and empathy.

#44. "Amarcord" (1973)

  • Smart Rating: 94.06
  • Genre: Comedy drama
  • Starring: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio

In an Italian seaside town, young Titta (Bruno Zanin) gets into trouble with his friends and watches various local eccentrics as they engage in often absurd behavior. Frequently clashing with his stern father (Armando Brancia) and defended by his doting mother (Pupella Maggio), Titta witnesses the actions of a wide range of characters, from his extended family to Fascist loyalists to sensual women, with certain moments shifting into fantastical scenarios.

#43. "The Exorcist" (1973)

  • Smart Rating: 94.26
  • Genre: Horror
  • Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow

One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd -- levitating, speaking in tongues -- her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.

#42. "Dawn of the Dead" (1978)

  • Smart Rating: 94.32
  • Genre: Horror
  • Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree, Gaylen Ross

As hordes of zombies swarm over the U.S., the terrified populace tries everything in their power to escape the attack of the undead, but neither cities nor the countryside prove safe. In Pennsylvania, radio-station employee Stephen (David Emge) and his girlfriend, Francine (Gaylen Ross), escape in the station helicopter, accompanied by two renegade SWAT members, Roger and Pete. The group retreats to the haven of an enclosed shopping center to make what could be humanity's last stand.

#41. "Lenny" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 94.35
  • Genre: Biography
  • Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Jan Miner

Controversial comedian Lenny Bruce (Dustin Hoffman) begins his career telling bad jokes to bored audiences in the 1950s, but can't repress his desire to unleash edgier material. When he does, he begins a one-man campaign to break down social hypocrisy, and his groundbreaking stage act propels him to cult-hero status. When authorities ban Lenny's act for obscenity, he begins a downward spiral of drugs, sex and debt, aided by his bombshell wife, a stripper named Honey (Valerie Perrine).

#40. "Dirty Harry" (1971)

  • Smart Rating: 94.47
  • Genre: Action, thriller, crime drama
  • Starring: Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni

Cop Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) attempts to track down a psychopathic rooftop killer before a kidnapped girl dies. When he is found, Harry abuses the murderer's civil rights, putting him back on the streets. Upon his release, he hijacks a school bus, and Harry must go after him again. The only way to stop this vicious killer is in cold blood.

#39. "Every Man for Himself and God Against All" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 94.49
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Bruno S., Brigitte Mira, Walter Ladengast

When Kaspar Hauser (Bruno S.), a young German man, is suddenly released from an existence of inexplicable confinement, he is forced into regular society. Barely capable of communicating, Hauser is exploited in a circus sideshow until he is taken under the wing of the kindhearted Professor Daumer (Walter Ladengast), who slowly helps him acclimate to conventional life, even teaching him to read and write. Despite his best efforts, however, Hauser may not be able to escape the horrors of his past.

Note: This film is also known as "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser."

#38. "The Man Who Would Be King" (1975)

  • Smart Rating: 94.49
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Starring: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer

Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, this adventure film follows the exploits of Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine) and Danny Dravot (Sean Connery), English military officers stationed in India. Tired of life as soldiers, the two travel to the isolated land of Kafiristan, where they are ultimately embraced by the people and revered as rulers. After a series of misunderstandings, the natives come to believe that Dravot is a god, but he and Carnehan can't keep up their deception forever.

#37. "All the President's Men" (1976)

  • Smart Rating: 94.49
  • Genre: Docudrama
  • Starring: Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Warden

Two green reporters and rivals working for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), research the botched 1972 burglary of the Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex. With the help of a mysterious source, code-named Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook), the two reporters make a connection between the burglars and a White House staffer. Despite dire warnings about their safety, the duo follows the money all the way to the top.

#36. "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975)

  • Smart Rating: 94.49
  • Genre: Crime drama
  • Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning

When inexperienced criminal Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) leads a bank robbery in Brooklyn, things quickly go wrong, and a hostage situation develops. As Sonny and his accomplice, Sal Naturile (John Cazale), try desperately to remain in control, a media circus develops and the FBI arrives, creating even more tension. Gradually, Sonny's surprising motivations behind the robbery are revealed, and his standoff with law enforcement moves toward its inevitable end.

#35. "Young Frankenstein" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 94.64
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman

Respected medical lecturer Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) learns that he has inherited his infamous grandfather's estate in Transylvania. Arriving at the castle, Dr. Frankenstein soon begins to recreate his grandfather's experiments with the help of servants Igor (Marty Feldman), Inga (Teri Garr) and the fearsome Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman). After he creates his own monster (Peter Boyle), new complications ensue with the arrival of the doctor's fiancée, Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn).

#34. "Paper Moon" (1973)

  • Smart Rating: 94.78
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn

Real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neal team up as slick con-artists Moses Pray and Addie Loggins in 1930s Kansas. When "Moze" is unexpectedly saddled with getting the nine-year-old Addie to relatives in Missouri after the death of her mother, his attempt to dupe her out of her money backfires, and he's forced to take her on as a partner. Swindling their way through farm country, the pair is nearly done in by a burlesque dancer (Madeline Kahn) and an angry bootlegger.

#33. "Sleuth" (1972)

  • Smart Rating: 94.78
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine

Based on the renowned play by Anthony Shaffer, this mystery finds Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier), a wealthy author of detective novels and game aficionado, facing off against his wife's lover, Milo Tindle (Michael Caine), a middle-class hair salon-owner. When Wyke, who is seemingly content to split from his wife strikes an unusual deal with Tindle, it sets into motion a fierce game of one-upmanship between the two, with the stakes growing increasingly higher.

#32. "Love and Death" (1975)

  • Smart Rating: 94.92
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Frank Adu

In Woody Allen's comic take on 19th-century Russian philosophical novels and the Soviet-era epic films made from them, Boris (Woody Allen) is a simple Russian villager who pines from afar for his beautiful cousin Sonja (Diane Keaton). Forced against his will into joining the Russian army during the Napoleonic Wars, the cowardly Boris accidentally becomes a military hero. But when his beloved Sonja comes to him with a dangerous patriotic scheme, Boris debates his desires and beliefs.

#31. "Being There" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 94.92
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden

Simple-minded Chance (Peter Sellers), a gardener who has resided in the Washington, D.C., townhouse of his wealthy employer for his entire life and been educated only by television, is forced to vacate his home when his boss dies. While wandering the streets, he encounters business mogul Ben Rand (Melvyn Douglas), who assumes Chance to be a fellow upper-class gentleman. Soon Chance is ushered into high society, and his unaffected gardening wisdom makes him the talk of the town.

#30. "The Conversation" (1974)

  • Smart Rating: 94.93
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Starring: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Frederic Forrest

Surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) is hired by a mysterious client's brusque aide (Harrison Ford) to tail a young couple, Mark (Frederic Forrest) and Ann (Cindy Williams). Tracking the pair through San Francisco's Union Square, Caul and his associate Stan (John Cazale) manage to record a cryptic conversation between them. Tormented by memories of a previous case that ended badly, Caul becomes obsessed with the resulting tape, trying to determine if the couple are in danger.

#29. "Manhattan" (1979)

  • Smart Rating: 94.97
  • Genre: Comedy drama
  • Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway

Director Woody Allen's love letter to New York City stars Allen as frustrated television writer Isaac Davis, a twice-divorced malcontent facing middle age alone after his wife, Jill (Meryl Streep), leaves him for a woman. Isaac is dating fresh-faced Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), a high school girl he knows is wrong for him, and begins to wonder if he and brainy writer Mary (Diane Keaton), the mistress of his best friend, Yale (Michael Murphy), might make a better couple.

#28. "Network" (1976)

  • Smart Rating: 95.04
  • Genre: Comedy drama
  • Starring: Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, William Holden

In this lauded satire, veteran news anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) discovers that he's being put out to pasture, and he's none too happy about it. After threatening to shoot himself on live television, instead he launches into an angry televised rant, which turns out to be a huge ratings boost for the UBS network. This stunt allows ambitious producer Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) to develop even more outrageous programming, a concept that she takes to unsettling extremes.

#27. "That Obscure Object of Desire" (1977)

  • Smart Rating: 95.05
  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Ángela Molina

After dumping a bucket of water on a beautiful young woman from the window of a train car, wealthy Frenchman Mathieu (Fernando Rey) regales his fellow passengers with the story of the dysfunctional relationship between himself and the young woman in question, a fiery 19-year-old flamenco dancer named Conchita (played alternately by Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina). What follows is a tale of cruelty, depravity and lies -- the very building blocks of love.

#26. "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" (1972)

  • Smart Rating: 95.07
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Starring: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo

Don Lope de Aguirre (Klaus Kinski), a ruthless Spanish conquistador, vies for power while part of an expedition in Peru to find El Dorado, the mythical seven cities of gold. Accompanied by his daughter, Flores (Cecilia Rivera), Aguirre faces off against his superior, Don Pedro de Ursua (Ruy Guerra), and grows increasingly volatile after seizing control of the group. As Aguirre presses deeper into the Amazonian jungle, he descends further into madness.

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