Best Drama Movies of 1974

1.

Chinatown

6.6
8.2/10 IMDB

Private eye Jake Gittes lives off of the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-World War II Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together.

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Roman Polanski, Diane Ladd, Roy Jenson, Richard Bakalyan, James Hong ..
Directed by: Roman Polanski
Release date: 1974-06-20
2.

A Woman Under the Influence

5.8
8.2/10 IMDB

Mabel Longhetti, desperate and lonely, is married to a Los Angeles municipal construction worker, Nick. 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 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.

Starring: Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands, Fred Draper, Lady Rowlands, Katherine Cassavetes, Matthew Charles Laborteaux, Matthew Cassel, Christina Grisanti, O.G. Dunn, Mario Gallo ..
Directed by: John Cassavetes
Release date: 1974-09-19
3.

The Conversation

5.6
7.8/10 IMDB

Surveillance expert Harry Caul is hired by a mysterious client's brusque aide to tail a young couple. Tracking the pair through San Francisco's Union Square, Caul and his associate Stan 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.

Starring: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford, Teri Garr, Allen Garfield, Elizabeth MacRae, Robert Duvall, Michael Higgins ..
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Release date: 1974-04-07
4.

Lenny

5.4
7.6/10 IMDB

The story of acerbic 1960s comic Lenny Bruce, whose groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style and social commentary was often deemed by the Establisment as too obscene for the public.

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Jan Miner, Stanley Beck, Frankie Man, Rashel Novikoff, Guy Rennie, Michele Yonge, Kathryn Witt, Ted Sorel ..
Directed by: Bob Fosse
Release date: 1974-11-10
5.

Murder on the Orient Express

5.3
7.3/10 IMDB

In 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.

Starring: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anthony Perkins ..
Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Release date: 1974-11-22
6.

The Front Page

5.2
7.3/10 IMDB

A journalist suffering from burn-out wants to finally say goodbye to his office – but his boss doesn’t like the idea one bit.

Starring: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon, Vincent Gardenia, David Wayne, Allen Garfield, Austin Pendleton, Charles Durning, Herb Edelman, Martin Gabel ..
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Release date: 1974-12-01
7.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

5.2
7.5/10 IMDB

An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

Starring: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernández, Kris Kristofferson, Chano Urueta, Donnie Fritts, Jorge Russek ..
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Release date: 1974-08-07
8.

The Towering Inferno

5.1
7.0/10 IMDB

At the opening party of a colossal—but poorly constructed—office building, a massive fire breaks out, threatening to destroy the tower and everyone in it.

Starring: Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Jennifer Jones, O.J. Simpson, Robert Vaughn ..
Directed by: John Guillermin
Release date: 1974-12-14
9.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

5.1
7.3/10 IMDB

After her husband dies, Alice and her son, Tommy, leave their small New Mexico town for California, where Alice hopes to make a new life for herself as a singer. Money problems force them to settle in Arizona instead, where Alice takes a job as waitress in a small diner.

Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Alfred Lutter, Harvey Keitel, Diane Ladd, Lelia Goldoni, Billy Green Bush, Jodie Foster, Valerie Curtin, Vic Tayback ..
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Release date: 1974-12-09
10.

The Longest Yard

5.0
7.1/10 IMDB

In this rough-and-tumble yarn, actually filmed on-location at the Georgia State Prision, the cons are the heroes and the guards are the heavies. Eddie Albert is the sadistic warden who'll gladly make any sacrifice to push his guards' semi-pro football team to a national championship.

Starring: Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter, Bernadette Peters, Michael Conrad, Mike Henry, James Hampton, Richard Kiel, John Steadman, Harry Caesar ..
Directed by: Robert Aldrich
Release date: 1974-08-21

Also check Best drama movies of 1975.

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