Best Movies of 1971

1.

A Clockwork Orange

6.7

Demonic gang-leader Alex goes on the spree of rape, mugging and murder with his pack of "droogs". But he's a boy who also likes Beethoven's Ninth and a bit of "the old in-out, in-out". He later finds himself at the mercy of the state and its brainwashing experiment designed to take violence off the streets.

Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1971-12-18
2.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

6.2

Eccentric candy man Willy Wonka prompts a worldwide frenzy when he announces that golden tickets hidden inside five of his delicious candy bars will admit their lucky holders into his top-secret confectionary. But does Wonka have an agenda hidden amid a world of Oompa Loompas and chocolate rivers?

Starring: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear, Denise Nickerson
Directed by: Mel Stuart
Release date: 1971-06-29
3.

The Last Picture Show

5.8

High school seniors and best friends, Sonny and Duane, live in a dying Texas town. The handsome Duane is dating local beauty, Jacy, while Sonny is having an affair with the coach's wife, Ruth. As graduation nears, both boys contemplate their futures. While Duane eyes the army and Sonny takes over a local business, each boy struggles to figure out if he can escape this dead-end town and build a better life somewhere else.

Starring: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman
Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
Release date: 1971-10-02
4.

Harold and Maude

5.6

The young Harold lives in his own world of suicide-attempts and funeral visits to avoid the misery of his current family and home environment. Harold meets an 80-year-old woman named Maude who also lives in her own world yet one in which she is having the time of her life. When the two opposites meet they realize that their differences don’t matter and they become best friends and love each other.

Starring: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner
Directed by: Hal Ashby
Release date: 1971-12-20
5.

The French Connection

5.6

Tough narcotics detective 'Popeye' Doyle is in hot pursuit of a suave French drug dealer who may be the key to a huge heroin-smuggling operation.

Starring: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi
Directed by: William Friedkin
Release date: 1971-10-09
6.

Dirty Harry

5.6

When a madman dubbed 'Scorpio' terrorizes San Francisco, hard-nosed cop, Harry Callahan – famous for his take-no-prisoners approach to law enforcement – is tasked with hunting down the psychopath. Harry eventually collars Scorpio in the process of rescuing a kidnap victim, only to see him walk on technicalities. Now, the maverick detective is determined to nail the maniac himself.

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, John Vernon, Andrew Robinson
Directed by: Don Siegel
Release date: 1971-12-21
7.

The Devils

5.5

A dramatised historical account of the rise and fall of Urbain Grandier, a 17th-century Roman Catholic priest accused of witchcraft following alleged demonic possessions of sexually repressed nuns.

Starring: Oliver Reed, Vanessa Redgrave, Dudley Sutton, Max Adrian, Gemma Jones
Directed by: Ken Russell
Release date: 1971-07-01
8.

Walkabout

5.4

Under the pretense of having a picnic, a geologist takes his teenage daughter and 6-year-old son into the Australian outback and attempts to shoot them. When he fails, he turns the gun on himself, and the two city-bred children must contend with harsh wilderness alone. They are saved by a chance encounter with an Aborigine boy who shows them how to survive, and in the process underscores the disharmony between nature and modern life.

Starring: Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg, David Gulpilil, John Meillon, Robert McDarra
Directed by: Nicolas Roeg
Release date: 1971-07-01
9.

Duel

5.4

Travelling businessman, David Mann, angers the driver of a rusty tanker whilst crossing the Californian desert. A simple trip turns deadly as Mann struggles to stay on the road while the tanker plays cat and mouse with his life.

Starring: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell, Gene Dynarski
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 1971-12-25
10.

Straw Dogs

5.4

David Sumner, a mild-mannered academic from the United States, marries Amy, an Englishwoman. In order to escape a hectic stateside lifestyle, David and his wife relocate to the small town in rural Cornwall where Amy was raised. There, David is ostracized by the brutish men of the village, including Amy's old flame, Charlie. Eventually the taunts escalate, and two of the locals rape Amy. This sexual assault awakes a shockingly violent side of David.

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T. P. McKenna, Del Henney
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Release date: 1971-12-29
11.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

5.3

A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.

Starring: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois, William Devane, John Schuck
Directed by: Robert Altman
Release date: 1971-06-24
12.

And Now for Something Completely Different

5.3

A collection of Monty Python's Flying Circus skits from the first two seasons of their British TV series.

Starring: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Carol Cleveland, Connie Booth, Lesley Judd
Directed by: Ian MacNaughton
Release date: 1971-09-28
13.

Vanishing Point

5.3

Kowalski works for a car delivery service, and takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to drive from Colorado to San Francisco. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the car there in less than 15 hours.

Starring: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Victoria Medlin, Gilda Texter
Directed by: Richard C. Sarafian
Release date: 1971-01-15
14.

Get Carter

5.2

Jack Carter is a small-time hood working in London. When word reaches him of his brothers death, he travels to Newcastle to attend the funeral. Refusing to accept the police report of suicide, Carter seeks out his brother’s friends and acquaintances to learn who murdered his sibling and why.

Starring: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne, Tony Beckley
Directed by: Mike Hodges
Release date: 1971-03-03
15.

The Andromeda Strain

5.2

When virtually all of the residents of Piedmont, New Mexico, are found dead after the return to Earth of a space satellite, the head of the US Air Force's Project Scoop declares an emergency. A group of eminent scientists led by Dr. Jeremy Stone scramble to a secure laboratory and try to first isolate the life form while determining why two people from Piedmont - an old alcoholic and a six-month-old baby - survived. The scientists methodically study the alien life form unaware that it has already mutated and presents a far greater danger in the lab, which is equipped with a nuclear self-destruct device designed to prevent the escape of dangerous biological agents..

Starring: Arthur Hill, David Wayne, James Olson, Kate Reid, Paula Kelly
Directed by: Robert Wise
Release date: 1971-03-12
16.

The Beguiled

5.1

Offbeat Civil War drama in which a wounded Yankee soldier, after finding refuge in an isolated girls' school in the South towards the end of the war, becomes the object of the young women's sexual fantasies. The soldier manipulates the situation for his own gratification, but when he refuses to completely comply with the girls' wishes, they make it very difficult for him to leave.

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris, Darleen Carr
Directed by: Don Siegel
Release date: 1971-03-31
17.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

5.1

Three children evacuated from London during World War II are forced to stay with an eccentric spinster (Eglantine Price). The children's initial fears disappear when they find out she is in fact a trainee witch.

Starring: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall, Sam Jaffe, John Ericson
Directed by: Robert Stevenson
Release date: 1971-10-07
18.

Klute

5.1

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 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.

Starring: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi, Roy Scheider, Dorothy Tristan
Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
Release date: 1971-06-21
19.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

5.1

Famous organist Anton Phibes is horribly disfigured in an automobile accident while rushing to the side of his sick wife and presumed to be dead. Once Phibes learns that his wife died on the operating table, he is convinced the doctors are responsible and begins exacting his revenge on all those involved.

Starring: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith, Terry-Thomas, Virginia North
Directed by: Robert Fuest
Release date: 1971-05-18
20.

Play Misty for Me

5.0

A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, John Larch, Donna Mills, Jack Ging
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Release date: 1971-11-03

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