Best Movies of 1970

1.

The Aristocats

5.9

When Madame Adelaide Bonfamille leaves her fortune to Duchess and her children—Bonfamille’s beloved family of cats—the butler plots to steal the money and kidnaps the legatees, leaving them out on a country road. All seems lost until the wily Thomas O’Malley Cat and his jazz-playing alley cats come to the aristocats’ rescue.

Starring: Phil Harris, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers, Eva Gabor, Paul Winchell
Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman
Release date: 1970-12-23
2.

Woodstock

5.7

An intimate look at the Woodstock Music & Art Festival held in Bethel, NY in 1969, from preparation through cleanup, with historic access to insiders, blistering concert footage, and portraits of the concertgoers; negative and positive aspects are shown, from drug use by performers to naked fans sliding in the mud, from the collapse of the fences by the unexpected hordes to the surreal arrival of National Guard helicopters with food and medical assistance for the impromptu city of 500,000.

Starring: Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Ten Years After
Directed by: Michael Wadleigh
Release date: 1970-03-26
3.

Patton

5.6

"Patton" tells the tale of General George S. Patton, famous tank commander of World War II. The film begins with patton's career in North Africa and progresses through the invasion of Germany and the fall of the Third Reich. Side plots also speak of Patton's numerous faults such his temper and habit towards insubordination.

Starring: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong, Carey Loftin
Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner
Release date: 1970-01-25
4.

Little Big Man

5.5

Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Indians and fighting with General Custer.

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam, Richard Mulligan
Directed by: Arthur Penn
Release date: 1970-12-14
5.

Kelly's Heroes

5.5

A misfit group of World War II American soldiers goes AWOL to rob a bank behind German lines.

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor, Donald Sutherland
Directed by: Brian G. Hutton
Release date: 1970-06-22
6.

M*A*S*H

5.3

The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and high jinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

Starring: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall
Directed by: Robert Altman
Release date: 1970-01-24
7.

Tora! Tora! Tora!

5.3

In the summer of 1941, the United States and Japan seem on the brink of war after constant embargos and failed diplomacy come to no end. "Tora! Tora! Tora!", named after the code words use by the lead Japanese pilot to indicate they had surprised the Americans, covers the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which plunged America into the Second World War.

Starring: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Joseph Cotten, Tatsuya Mihashi, E.G. Marshall
Directed by: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda
Release date: 1970-01-26
8.

Five Easy Pieces

5.3

A drop-out from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil-rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest.

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Susan Anspach, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush, William Challee
Directed by: Bob Rafelson
Release date: 1970-09-12
9.

Zabriskie Point

5.2

An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who's helping a property developer build a village in the Los Angeles desert) and dropout Mark (who's wanted by the authorities for allegedly killing a policeman during a student riot)...

Starring: Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Paul Fix, G. D. Spradlin, Bill Garaway
Directed by: Michelangelo Antonioni
Release date: 1970-02-09
10.

Catch-22

5.2

A bombardier in World War II tries desperately to escape the insanity of the war. However, sometimes insanity is the only sane way to cope with a crazy situation. Catch-22 is a parody of a "military mentality" and of a bureaucratic society in general.

Starring: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford
Directed by: Mike Nichols
Release date: 1970-06-24
11.

Two Mules for Sister Sara

5.0

Hogan, on his way to do some reconnaissance for a future mission to capture a French fort, encounters Sister Sara, a nun in trouble. Before he knows it, Hogan is accompanying Sister Sara in the dangerous frontier while she seeks to achieve a hidden goal.

Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Clint Eastwood, Alberto Morin, John Kelly, Enrique Lucero
Directed by: Don Siegel
Release date: 1970-06-14
12.

Love Story

4.9

Harvard Law student Oliver Barrett IV and music student Jennifer Cavilleri share a chemistry they cannot deny - and a love they cannot ignore. Despite their opposite backgrounds, the young couple put their hearts on the line for each other. When they marry, Oliver's wealthy father threatens to disown him. Jenny tries to reconcile the Barrett men, but to no avail.

Starring: Ali MacGraw, Ryan O'Neal, John Marley, Ray Milland, Russell Nype
Directed by: Arthur Hiller
Release date: 1970-12-16
13.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

4.5

Astronaut Brent is sent to rescue Taylor but crash lands on the Planet of the Apes, just like Taylor did in the original film. Taylor has disappeared into the Forbidden Zone so Brent and Nova try to follow and find him. He discovers a cult of humans that fear the Apes' latest military movements and finds himself in the middle. Tension mounts to a climactic battle between ape and man deep in the bowels of the planet.

Starring: James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison, Charlton Heston
Directed by: Ted Post
Release date: 1970-05-01
14.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

4.2
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On his deathbed, King Henry VIII recalls how he wooed and wed his six wives - and disposed of five of them - in a bid to secure the succession to the throne with a male heir. Despite his many marriages and the crowded court, Henry remains essentially lonely.
Release date: 1970-01-01
15.

Elvis: That's the Way It Is

4.1

This 1970 concert documentary captures Elvis Presley midway through a fateful transition, seeking to reclaim his musical primacy after a decade of self-imposed exile from concert stages. Sidelined by his big-screen career, eclipsed by rock's mid-'60s transformations, the King had begun his return two years earlier with the relatively lean attack of his fabled network television appearance, '68 Comeback Special. Now the Memphis legend was poised to reposition his performing profile by pursuing the top rungs of headliner status in Las Vegas, a career choice that seems even more ephemeral in hindsight than it already did at the time. Elvis: That's the Way It Is follows the show's genesis from rehearsal to stage, with the performance footage that provides its inevitable climax shot over six nights. The rehearsal footage, expanded for this special edition, offers further proof that Presley's band was simply superb...

Starring: Elvis Presley, James Burton, John Wilkinson, Jerry Scheff, Glen D. Hardin
Directed by: Denis Sanders
Release date: 1970-11-11
16.

The Beatles: Let It Be

4.0

Documentary film about The Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be in January 1969. The film features an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last performance in public. Released just after the album, it was the final original Beatles release. This film has not been commercially available since the 1980s.

Starring: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
Directed by: Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Release date: 1970-05-13
17.

Waterloo

4.0

After defeating France and imprisoning Napoleon on Elba, ending two decades of war, Europe is shocked to find Napoleon has escaped and has caused the French Army to defect from the King back to him. The best of the British generals, the Duke of Wellington, beat Napolean's best generals in Spain and Portugal, but now must beat Napoleon himself with an Anglo Allied army.

Starring: Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles, Jack Hawkins, Virginia McKenna
Directed by: Sergey Bondarchuk
Release date: 1970-10-26
18.

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

4.0
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A postman, S.D. Kluger, decides to answer some of the most common questions about Santa Claus, and tells us about a small baby named Kris who is raised by a family of elf toymakers named Kringle. When Kris grew up, he wanted to deliver toys to the children of Sombertown. But its Mayor is too mean to let that happen. And to make things worse, the Winter Warlock who lives between the Kringles and Sombertown, but Kris manages to melt the Warlock's heart and deliver his toys.
Starring: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, Paul Frees, Robie Lester
Directed by: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Release date: 1970-12-14
19.

The Ballad of Cable Hogue

3.9

Double-crossed and left without water in the desert, Cable Hogue is saved when he finds a spring. It is in just the right spot for a much needed rest stop on the local stagecoach line, and Hogue uses this to his advantage. He builds a house and makes money off the stagecoach passengers. Hildy, a prostitute from the nearest town, moves in with him. Hogue has everything going his way until the advent of the automobile ends the era of the stagecoach.

Starring: Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner, Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Release date: 1970-05-13
20.

I Never Sang for My Father

3.9

Hackman plays a New York professor who wants a change in his life, and plans to get married to his girlfriend and move to California. His mother understands his need to get away, but warns him that moving so far away could be hard on his father. Just before the wedding, the mother dies. Hackman's sister (who has been disowned by their father for marrying a Jewish man) advises him to live his own life, and not let himself be controlled by their father.

Starring: Gene Hackman, Melvyn Douglas, Dorothy Stickney, Estelle Parsons, Elizabeth Hubbard
Directed by: Gilbert Cates
Release date: 1970-10-18

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