Best Movies of 1979

1.

Apocalypse Now

6.8

At the height of the Vietnam war, Captain Benjamin Willard is sent on a dangerous mission that, officially, "does not exist, nor will it ever exist." His goal is to locate - and eliminate - a mysterious Green Beret Colonel named Walter Kurtz, who has been leading his personal army on illegal guerrilla missions into enemy territory.

Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Release date: 1979-08-15
2.

Alien

6.7

During its return to the earth, commercial spaceship Nostromo intercepts a distress signal from a distant planet. When a three-member team of the crew discovers a chamber containing thousands of eggs on the planet, a creature inside one of the eggs attacks an explorer. The entire crew is unaware of the impending nightmare set to descend upon them when the alien parasite planted inside its unfortunate host is birthed.

Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Release date: 1979-05-25
3.

Life of Brian

6.5

Brian Cohen is an average young Jewish man, but through a series of ridiculous events, he gains a reputation as the Messiah. When he's not dodging his followers or being scolded by his shrill mother, the hapless Brian has to contend with the pompous Pontius Pilate and acronym-obsessed members of a separatist movement. Rife with Monty Python's signature absurdity, the tale finds Brian's life paralleling Biblical lore, albeit with many more laughs.

Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones
Directed by: Terry Jones
Release date: 1979-08-17
4.

Rocky II

5.9

After Rocky goes the distance with champ Apollo Creed, both try to put the fight behind them and move on. Rocky settles down with Adrian but can't put his life together outside the ring, while Creed seeks a rematch to restore his reputation. Soon enough, the "Master of Disaster" and the "Italian Stallion" are set on a collision course for a climactic battle that is brutal and unforgettable.

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith
Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
Release date: 1979-06-15
5.

Being There

5.7

A simple-minded gardener named Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television.

Starring: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart
Directed by: Hal Ashby
Release date: 1979-12-19
6.

Manhattan

5.7

The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.

Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep
Directed by: Woody Allen
Release date: 1979-04-25
7.

Mad Max

5.6

In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.

Starring: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns
Directed by: George Miller
Release date: 1979-04-12
8.

Kramer vs. Kramer

5.6

Ted Kramer is a career man for whom his work comes before his family. His wife Joanna cannot take this anymore, so she decides to leave him. Ted is now faced with the tasks of housekeeping and taking care of himself and their young son Billy.

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry, Howard Duff
Directed by: Robert Benton
Release date: 1979-12-18
9.

The Warriors

5.5

Prominent gang leader Cyrus calls a meeting of New York's gangs to set aside their turf wars and take over the city. At the meeting, a rival leader kills Cyrus, but a Coney Island gang called the Warriors is wrongly blamed for Cyrus' death. Before you know it, the cops and every gangbanger in town is hot on the Warriors' trail.

Starring: Michael Beck, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly, Dorsey Wright, David Harris
Directed by: Walter Hill
Release date: 1979-02-08
10.

Escape from Alcatraz

5.5

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
Directed by: Don Siegel
Release date: 1979-06-22
11.

Hair

5.3

"Hair" is a 1979 musical war comedy-drama film adaptation of the 1968 Broadway musical "Hair: An American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" about a Vietnam War draftee, Claude, who meets and befriends a tribe of long-haired hippies on his way to the army induction center. Claude heads to New York upon receiving his draft notice, leaving the family ranch in Oklahoma. He arrives in New York where he is rapidly indoctrinated into the youth subculture before reporting in for boot camp.

Starring: John Savage, Treat Williams, Annie Golden, Beverly D'Angelo, Dorsey Wright
Directed by: Miloš Forman
Release date: 1979-03-14
12.

The China Syndrome

5.3

While doing a series of reports on alternative energy sources, opportunistic reporter Kimberly Wells witnesses an accident at a nuclear power plant. Wells is determined to publicize the incident, but soon finds herself entangled in a sinister conspiracy to keep the full impact of the incident a secret.

Starring: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Scott Brady, James Hampton
Directed by: James Bridges
Release date: 1979-03-16
13.

...And Justice for All

5.3

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
Directed by: Norman Jewison
Release date: 1979-10-19
14.

The Jerk

5.2

After discovering he's not really black like the rest of his family, likable dimwit Navin Johnson runs off on a hilarious misadventure in this comedy classic that takes him from rags to riches and back to rags again. The slaphappy jerk strikes it rich, but life in the fast lane isn't all it's cracked up to be and, in the end, all that really matters to Johnson is his true love.

Starring: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams, Mabel King, Richard Ward
Directed by: Carl Reiner
Release date: 1979-12-14
15.

Tess

5.1

A strong-willed peasant girl is sent by her father to the estate of some local aristocrats to capitalize on a rumor that their families are from the same line. This fateful visit commences an epic narrative of sex, class, betrayal, and revenge.

Starring: Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson, John Collin, Sylvia Coleridge
Directed by: Roman Polański
Release date: 1979-10-06
16.

Time After Time

5.0

The Wildest Chase Of The Century! London 1893 is home to a killer with a macabre nickname... and also to a visionary genius who would write The Time Machine. But what if H.G. Wells' invention wasn't fiction? And what if Jack the Ripper escaped capture fleeing his own time to take refuge in ours - with Wells himself in pursuit?

Starring: Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen, Charles Cioffi, Kent Williams
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer
Release date: 1979-08-31
17.

The Brood

4.9

A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, while a series of brutal attacks committed by a brood of mutant children coincides with the husband's investigation.

Starring: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, Henry Beckman, Nuala Fitzgerald
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Release date: 1979-05-25
18.

Phantasm

4.9

A young boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a mysterious arsenal of terrible weapons with him.

Starring: Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Kathy Lester
Directed by: Don Coscarelli
Release date: 1979-05-03
19.

Breaking Away

4.9

Dave, nineteen, has just graduated high school, with his 3 friends, The comical Cyril, the warm hearted but short-tempered Moocher, and the athletic, spiteful but good-hearted Mike. Now, Dave enjoys racing bikes and hopes to race the Italians one day, and even takes up the Italian culture, much to his friends and parents annoyance.

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley, Dennis Christopher, Barbara Barrie
Directed by: Peter Yates
Release date: 1979-05-24
20.

Salem's Lot

4.7

Vampires are invading a small New England town. It's up to a novelist and a young horror fan to save it.

Release date: 1979-11-17

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