Best Crime Movies of 1979

1.

Escape from Alcatraz

6.2
7.6/10 IMDB

Escape from Alcatraz tells the story of the only three men ever to escape from the infamous maximum security prison at Alcatraz. In 29 years, the seemingly impenetrable federal penitentiary, which housed Al Capone and "Birdman" Robert Stroud, was only broken once - by three men never heard of again.

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Roberts Blossom, Jack Thibeau, Fred Ward, Paul Benjamin, Larry Hankin, Bruce M. Fischer, Frank Ronzio, Fred Stuthman ..
Directed by: Don Siegel
Release date: 1979-01-25
2.

...And Justice for All

5.3
7.4/10 IMDB

An ethical Baltimore defense lawyer disgusted with rampant legal corruption is asked to defend a judge he despises in a rape trial. But if he doesn't do it, the judge will have him disbarred.

Starring: Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe, Christine Lahti, Lee Strasberg, Jeffrey Tambor, Sam Levene, Robert Christian, Thomas G. Waites, Larry Bryggman ..
Directed by: Norman Jewison
Release date: 1979-10-19
3.

When a Stranger Calls

4.0
6.5/10 IMDB

A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.

Starring: Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Colleen Dewhurst, Tony Beckley, Rutanya Alda, Carmen Argenziano, Kirsten Larkin, Ron O'Neal, Heetu, Rachel Roberts ..
Directed by: Fred Walton
Release date: 1979-10-26
4.

Scum

3.9
7.6/10 IMDB

This is the hard and shocking story of life in a British Borstal for young offenders. The brutal regime made no attempt to reform or improve the inmates and actively encouraged a power struggle between the 'tough' new inmate and the 'old hands'. This film is a re-make, by the same director and writer, of a 1977 BBC teleplay banned before broadcast [see Scum (1991)].

Starring: Ray Winstone, Mick Ford, Julian Firth, John Blundell, Phil Daniels, John Judd, Philip Jackson, Peter Howell, John Grillo, Ray Burdis ..
Directed by: Alan Clarke
Release date: 1979-09-12
5.

Over the Edge

3.9
7.4/10 IMDB

The music of Cheap Trick, The Cars, and The Ramones highlights this realistic tale of alienated suburban youth on the rampage. Dillon makes his screen debut in this updated, well-done "Rebel Without a Cause." Shelved for several years, the movie was finally released after Dillon made it big. Sleeper with excellent direction and dialogue.

Starring: Matt Dillon, Vincent Spano, Andy Romano, Ellen Geer, Michael Eric Kramer, Pamela Ludwig, Tom Fergus, Harry Northup, Julia Pomeroy, Tiger Thompson ..
Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan
Release date: 1979-11-02
Best Crime Movies of 1979 : Porridge
6.

Porridge

3.7
7.2/10 IMDB

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. The breakout is set for the day of a morale-raising football match between a 'celebrity' football team and the inmates of Slade. Everything is going to plan until Godber is injured on the goal post. In the ensuing confusion, Fletcher finds himself on the wrong side of the prison walls and must now try and break back into prison.

Starring: Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay, Brian Wilde, Peter Vaughan, Julian Holloway, Geoffrey Bayldon, Christopher Godwin, Barrie Rutter, Daniel Peacock ..
Directed by: Dick Clement
Release date: 1979-08-12
7.

Hardcore

3.6
7.1/10 IMDB

A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films in the porno pits of Los Angeles.

Starring: George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Season Hubley, Dick Sargent, Leonard Gaines, Dave Nichols, Gary Graham, Larry Block, Marc Alaimo, Leslie Ackerman ..
Directed by: Paul Schrader
Release date: 1979-02-09
8.

Love and Bullets

3.3
5.8/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Rod Steiger, Henry Silva, Strother Martin, Bradford Dillman, Michael V. Gazzo, Paul Koslo, Val Avery, Sam Chew Jr. ..
Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg
Release date: 1979-08-14
Best Crime Movies of 1979 : Murder by Natural Causes
9.

Murder by Natural Causes

3.2
7.7/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Hal Holbrook, Katharine Ross, Richard Anderson, Barry Bostwick, Bill Fiore, Phil Leeds, Eve McVeagh, Jeff Donnell, Victoria Carroll, Judith Marie-Bergan ..
Directed by: Robert Day
Release date: 1979-02-17
10.

80 Blocks from Tiffany's

3.1
7.7/10 IMDB

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".

Starring: Louis Gigante ..
Directed by: Gary Weis
Release date: 1979-01-01

Also check Best crime movies of 1980.

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