Best Crime Movies of 1979
Escape From Alcatraz
San Francisco Bay, January 18, 1960. Frank Lee Morris is transferred to Alcatraz, a maximum security prison located on a rocky island. Although no one has ever managed to escape from there, Frank and other inmates begin to carefully prepare an escape plan.
Powerful, uncompromising drama about two boys' struggle for survival in the nightmare world of Britain's notorious Borstal Reformatory. [This is the feature film version Alan Clarke made after the BBC banned the original before its scheduled TV broadcast (see Scum (1977)].
...And Justice for All
An ethical Baltimore defense lawyer disgusted with rampant legal corruption is forced to defend a judge he despises in a rape trial under the threat of being disbarred.
A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in search for his runaway teenage daughter who’s making porno films in the pits of Los Angeles.
When a Stranger Calls
A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.
Over the Edge
With only a recreation center to distract them, most of the teenagers in the drab-planned community of New Granada have turned to drugs and delinquency. Carl (Michael Kramer), the son of a town councilman, is an exception, but he can't seem to help falling in with a charismatic and troubled classmate, Richie (Matt Dillon). Soon after, a trigger-happy sheriff (Harry Northrup) shoots Richie, and sole witness Carl has to go on the run, eventually inciting a dramatic teenage riot.
Times are hard for habitual guest of Her Majesty Norman Stanley Fletcher. The new prison officer, Beale, makes MacKay look soft and what's more, an escape plan is hatching from the cell of prison godfather Grouty and Fletcher wants no part of it.
Going in Style
Three senior citizens in their 70s who live together are slowly decaying in endless days with nothing to do but feed the birds. One of them comes up with an idea - rob a bank. They certainly could use the money if they get away with it and if they are caught, what could happen to three old men?
The North Avenue Irregulars
When crooks set up operations in a traditional town, a minister and a group of church ladies are willing to do anything, no matter how wacky, to get them out.
The Onion Field
An LA police officer is murdered in the onion fields outside of Bakersfield. However, legal loopholes could keep his kidnappers from receiving justice, and his partner is haunted by overwhelming survivor's guilt.
Murder by Decree
Sherlock Holmes is drawn into the case of Jack the Ripper who is killing prostitutes in London's East End. Assisted by Dr. Watson, and using information provided by a renowned psychic, Robert Lees, Holmes finds that the murders may have its roots in a Royal indiscretion and that a cover-up is being managed by politicians at the highest level, all of whom happen to be Masons.
The Lady in Red
A farm girl's life turns upside down after being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She moves to Chicago and becomes trapped in a vicious cycle of prostitution and crime.
Murder by Natural Causes
Allison, the unfaithful wife of a famous mentalist with a heart problem, together with her lover tries to kill him by scaring him to death, but the whole thing goes downhill when it turns out that he knew about it all along.
In the 1940s, a young couple moves into a remote house near a small town in Louisiana. The house has a history of violence that seems to be repeating itself…
Love and Bullets
Charles Bronson is out for revenge in this action drama. Jackie Pruit (Jill Ireland) is the girlfriend of notorious gangster Joe Bomposa (Rod Steiger). When it looks as if Jackie's life is being threatened by Bomposa's goons, the FBI moves in to protect her, in hopes that she'll have incriminating evidence that the Bureau can use against Bomposa in court. Veteran agent Charlie Congers (Bronson) is assigned to watch over Jackie, and while it soon becomes obvious that she knows almost nothing about Bomposa that would be of any use to the FBI, he also falls in love with her. However, Bomposa decides that it would be a lot more convenient to have Jackie out of the way, and he orders her to be executed. Bomposa's henchmen manage to slip through FBI security and murder her, but now they have to answer to the angry and vengeful Congers.
80 Blocks from Tiffany's
This 1979 documentary depicts the daily life of gangs in the South Bronx. It deals primarily with two African American and Puerto Rican gangs known as the "Savage Skulls" and the "Savage Nomads".
The Golden Gate Murders
An elderly, venerable priest goes over the side of the Golden Gate Bridge and everyone except his nurse, Sister Benecia, believes that it was suicide. Sister Benecia finally manages to convince the police department to assign a detective, the cynical, irascible Paul Silver, to investigate. The "Mad Nun" and the "Mad Cop" become a formidable investigative team -- and much, much more.
Friendships, Secrets and Lies
Six former sorority sisters are suspected of murder when a baby's skeleton is found in the ruins of the sorority house.
A hitchhiker named Martel Gordone gets in a fight with two bikers over a prostitute, and one of the bikers is killed. Gordone is arrested and sent to prison, where he joins the prison's boxing team in an effort to secure an early parole and to establish his dominance over the prison's toughest gang.
Retired cop and celebrity DJ Tucker Williams (aka The Disco Godfather) takes to the streets as a dangerous hallucinogenic drug called Angel Dust begins to take hold of the neighborhood.
A Sense of Freedom
The true story of Jimmy Boyle, who was reputed to be Scotland's most violent man.
A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
An American ex-con who is trying to go straight is persuaded to be the inside man for an audacious bank job in central London.
A Force of One
Karate champion Matt Logan is enlisted by the police to train officers in self-defense after narcotics agents are killed by an assailant using the martial arts.
Don Vincenzo is a well respected boss from Naples, but he protects people from other criminals, like gypsies, loan sharks and Don Bufalo...but as they say in Naples, a Mammasantissima either ends in jail or inside a grave.
The Concorde Affair
A reporter tries to stop the crash of an aircraft after uncovering an airline's plot to save their business by sabotaging Concorde flights and have them decommissioned.
She's Dressed to Kill
A fashion designer gives a private showing at her mansion over a weekend, but someone starts killing off the models.
A Man, a Woman and a Bank
Two novice thieves are plotting to rob a bank in Vancouver. A photographer snaps a shot of one thief as he is carrying the bank building's blueprints. The would-be thief then begins a relationship with the photographer and attempts to retrieve the photos. Meanwhile, the thieves' plot consists of this: one man will enter the bank building after dark, while the other man sits in a van and uses a computer to unlock the building's doors. The final step involves transporting the cash to a freight ship waiting on the docks, for transportation to a money launderer in Macau.
When her father is murdered, Elizabeth Roffe, a pharmaceutical company heiress, becomes the next target of an unknown killer amid the international jet set. The investigation leads to one of Elizabeth's family members to be the culprit.
Mike Catton was once a world-renowned construction foreman (at least in the construction world), but an accident left him with a serious fear of heights. Unable to climb the big skyscrapers while under construction, he retired and became a truck driver. But when an old friend needs him to help put up a building, and when the old friend gets harassed and threatened by an Evil Corporate Type, he comes out of retirement and assembles the creme de la creme of the construction world. Together, they race against time to finish the building while the Evil Corporate Type tries to stop them.
The Prize Fighter
"Bags" the boxer (funnyman Tim Conway) and his manager, Shake (Don Knotts), are quite a pair: One is a dim bulb, and the other has a mean streak. Times are tough and they must save their gym, so they line up some moneymaking fights. But when Bags and Shake discover that the bouts have been rigged, they end up with their backs to the wall and must fight back -- literally.
Commissario Paolo Ferro (Maurizio Merli) stars as a (typical) tough cop again. This time he returns to the city of Milan to go after a murder corporation. Acampora (Mario Merola) is believed to be the prime suspect although he later proves to be one of the mafia's targets. As if all that wasn't enough, Paolo has to face his own nephew who seems to be involved in all sorts of dirty business.
A model and a private eye help a New York insurance investigator on a deadly case in Acapulco.
Naples... The Camorra Challenges, the City Hits Back
Italian crime movie from 1979 directed by Alfonso Brescia.
When a high school senior is dumped by her boyfriend, her grades fall drastically...to avoid failing, she begins seducing her male teachers. Thus begins her downward spiral into drug addiction and prostitution, and ultimately assassinations for a kingpin mob boss.
A demented prison doctor performs gruesome shock therapy experiments on inmates.
A life of a driver Stephan Chekmenev turns out to be very lucky: healthy children, loving wife, solid loghouse. But once his fellow-villager perishes in a forest. And Chekmenev, considering himself to be the one to blame, in expectation of an imminent retribution, tries to understand: why and when did he, once having so many friends, become so indifferent towards other peoples lives.
A sexually frustrated young man kills hookers.
The Paradise Connection
A top Chicago lawyer goes to Hawaii to locate his missing son who abandoned a promising law career and has become involved in drug smuggling.
Dr. Edmund Bickleigh is a man who is very careful and very determined. And he is especially determined to not get caught committing the perfect murder of his wife. In the end he succeeds but then finds circumstances are "agin him".
Vito gets out of jail after serving ten years and tries to find out who killed his younger brother.
A rock band is on the brink of super-stardom. Until now they've juggled their music career with cocaine smuggling. The musicians and their manager wish to sever ties with organized-crime, leave the drug world behind and concentrate on music. They are coerced into doing one last job for the Mob. They lose the $2 million of cocaine and find themselves marked men unless they can fulfill their obligations.
A group of teenagers drive out into the desert in search of sex, beer, and general good times. When their van breaks down, they find a group of prospectors who welcome the kids and offer them a place to stay until they can get help. It soon becomes evident, however, that there is more to these prospectors than they claim, and soon the teens are fleeing for their lives.
Lee Cantrell, a young San Francisco attorney by day, at night becomes a samurai warrior, and battles a crazed multi-millionaire who is planning to destroy the city with an earthquake machine.
The Great American Girl Robbery
A busload containing three cheerleading teams from three different schools who are heading to compete against each other is hijacked by terrorists and the girls are kidnapped.
Evidence of Power
When criminology student Tom Richardson returns home to Hyland for the summer break, he is shocked to learn of a series of horrible deaths and mutilations.
Joe and Michael, 13-year-old Brits, become separated from their class outing, stranded on a small island, and captured by armed men.
Woman is kidnaped by hitman who discovers that he is the target of another hitman.
The Kirlian Witness
A woman communicates with a houseplant that was the only witness to a recent murder.
The Ordeal of Patty Hearst
The story of the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst by members of a radical guerrilla organisation, as seen by the FBI agent in charge of her case.
Express to Terror
A gambling addict, mobsters, movie producers and others are plagued with murder while aboard a high-speed rail train. This pilot episode for the short-lived "Supertrain" series (which lasted just 9 episodes) was released to home video as a independent feature.