Best Thriller Movies of 1971
The French Connection
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.
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.
Traveling businessman David Mann angers the driver of a rusty tanker while crossing the California desert. A simple trip turns deadly, as Mann struggles to stay on the road while the tanker plays cat and mouse with his life.
Wake in Fright
Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney, but as one night stretches into several he plunges headlong into his own destruction.
Diamonds Are Forever
Diamonds are stolen only to be sold again in the international market. James Bond infiltrates a smuggling mission to find out who's guilty. The mission takes him to Las Vegas where Bond meets his archenemy Blofeld.
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.
The Andromeda Strain
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.
Jack Carter is a small-time hood working in London. When word reaches him of his brother's 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.
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.
A high-priced call girl is forced to depend on a reluctant private eye when she is stalked by a psychopath.
Play Misty for Me
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.
Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter.
In this fictional documentary, U.S. prisons are at capacity, and President Nixon declares a state of emergency. All new prisoners, most of whom are connected to the antiwar movement, are now given the choice of jail time or spending three days in Punishment Park, where they will be hunted for sport by federal authorities. The prisoners invariably choose the latter option, but learn that, between the desert heat and the brutal police officers, their chances of survival are slim.
The Omega Man
Due to an experimental vaccine, Dr. Robert Neville is the only human survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. Besides him, only a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people remain - sensitive to light, and homicidally psychotic.
10 Rillington Place
The story of British serial killer John Christie, who committed most or all of his crimes in the titular terraced house, and the miscarriage of justice involving Timothy Evans.
The Anderson Tapes
Thief Duke Anderson—just released from ten years in jail—takes up with his old girlfriend in her posh apartment block, and makes plans to rob the entire building. What he doesn't know is that his every move is being recorded on audio and video, although he is not the subject of any surveillance.
A war hero shoots and kills his business partner; an easily manipulated young divorcée is the only witness.
They Might Be Giants
Every hero has a weakness, and Sherlock Holmes' weakness was Moriarty. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve mysteries and search for Moriarty in 1970s New York City. The fact that Sherlock Holmes is a psychotic paranoid and Dr. Watson is a female psychiatrist fascinated by his case is almost beside the point.
The Grissom Gang
The Grissom Gang is a remake of the notorious 1949 British melodrama No Orchids For Miss Blandish. Kim Darby plays a 1920s-era debutante who is kidnapped and held for ransom. Her captors are the Grissoms, a family comprised of sadists and morons, and headed by Ma Barker clone Irene Dailey. One of the Grissoms, played by Scott Wilson, takes a liking to his prisoner, which results in a bloody breakdown of the family unit. Both The Grissom Gang and the original No Orchids For Miss Blandish were inspired by the best-seller by James Hadley Chase, though neither film retains Chase's original ending.
When a trio of ex-convicts led by Mattie Appleyard is released from prison, they hope to open a general store using money Mattie has saved during his 40-year sentence. This attempt is met with great resistance from a corrupt prison official and the banker who issued Mattie the check.
The Last Run
A former mob getaway driver from Chicago has retired to a peaceful life in a Portuguese fishing village. He is asked to pull off one last job - to drive a dangerous crook and his girlfriend to France.
See No Evil
In the English countryside, Sarah Rexton, recently blinded in a horse riding accident, moves in with her uncle's family and gallantly adjusts to her new condition, unaware that a killer stalks them.
The Night Visitor
An insane Swedish farmer escapes from an asylum to get revenge on his sister, her husband and others.
In 1970s London, Scotland Yard orchestrates the downfall of mob boss Vic Dakin after he crosses the line by blackmailing Members of Parliament.
A would be private eye gets mixed up in a smuggling case.
Daughters of Darkness
A newlywed couple are passing through a vacation resort. Their paths cross with a mysterious, strikingly beautiful countess and her aide.
The Blood on Satan's Claw
The accidental unearthing of Satan’s earthly remains causes the children of a 17th-century English village to slowly convert into a coven of devil worshipers.
An unstable young woman finally blows the cover of her repressive family's dark secrets when her memories where unlocked with the help of an ardent suitor.
Hands of the Ripper
A series of murders occur that mirror those committed by the Whitechapel Ripper. Through his experiments with psychoanalysis Dr Pritchard discovers a deadly violence in one of his young female patients. As he delves into the recesses of her mind he uncovers that Anna is possessed by her dead father's spirit, willing her to commit acts of gruesome savagery over which she has no control. But the most chilling revelation of all is the identity of her father: Jack the Ripper himself.
What's the Matter with Helen?
Two middle-aged women move to Hollywood, California after their sons are convicted of a notorious murder and open a dance school for children eager to tap their way to stardom.
Puppet on a Chain
Special agent Taube is on the case of a deadly heroin smuggling operation. This one is notable for an amazing power boat chase through the canals and waterways of Amsterdam
After a group of young revolutionaries break into a company's corporate headquarters and steal $5,000,000 worth of heroin to keep it off the street, they call on San Francisco Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs for assistance.
Young babysitter Amanda arrives at the Lloyd residence to spend the evening looking after their young son. Soon after the Lloyds leave, a series of frightening occurrences in the gloomy old house have Amanda's nerves on edge. The real terror begins, however, when the child's biological father appears after recently escaping from a nearby mental institution.
In Broad Daylight
A newly blind actor discovers his wife is cheating on him with his best friend and hatches a plot to murder her and frame his friend for it.
A man experiences a night-time world that is part foreboding nightmare, part sexual fantasy.
Pretty Maids All in a Row
At Oceanfront High School, female students are being targeted by an unknown serial killer. Meanwhile, a married teacher hides his flings with nubile students, and an awkward male is frustrated by the plethora of uninhibited freewheeling young girls.
When Eight Bells Toll
In a vein similar to Bond movies, a British agent Philip Calvert is on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland.
Dr. Cook's Garden
A young doctor returns to his New England home town after a long absence. He visits with the town's kindly old physician, Dr. Cook, a man he has admired since childhood. However, he soon finds out that the old doctor isn't quite what he seems to be, and the young doctor finds his life in danger.
Night of Dark Shadows
A newlywed painter and his wife move into his family's ancestral home and find themselves plagued by spirits of past residents.
Unman, Wittering and Zigo
A new schoolteacher learns that the previous teacher was killed by his students, and he fears the same fate will befall him.
Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate
Four elderly ladies with a lot of time on their hands get the idea to create a fictional "girl" for a computer dating service. However, things take a turn for the worse when their description of the "girl" attracts a psychopath.
X312 - Flight to Hell
A plane leaving the turmoil of a South American country in the midst of a revolution crash-lands in the Amazon jungle in Brazil. Among the passengers are a corrupt banker who is smuggling diamonds out of the country, a reporter, a mysterious beauty and a shady flight attendant. The survivors find themselves up against not only the dangers of the jungle itself but a band of headhunters and a gang of revolutionaries who are looking for the smuggled diamonds.
Murders in the Rue Morgue
In Paris, in the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Cesar Charron owns a theater at the Rue Morgue where he performs the play "Murders in the Rue Morgue" with his wife Madeleine Charron, who has dreadful nightmares. When there are several murders by acid of people connected to Cesar, the prime suspect of Inspector Vidocq would be Cesar's former partner Rene Marot. But Marot murdered Madeleine's mother many years ago and committed suicide immediately after.
The Failing of Raymond
On the day before she retires, a teacher discovers that a student she had flunked ten years previously is out to kill her.
The Road Builder
The dreary existence of middle-aged spinster Maura Prince takes an unexpected turn with the arrival of young handyman Billy Jarvis, but there is more to Billy than meets the eye. Based on the novel *Nest in a Fallen Tree* by Joy Cowley.
A Taste of Evil
On her way home from a stay at a mental institution after a traumatic rape, a woman realizes that someone is deliberately trying to drive her insane.
Sweet, Sweet Rachel
An ESP expert uses his powers to try to track down a psychic who uses telepathy to commit murder.
Terror in the Sky
On a transcontinental flight, the flight crew suffer from food poisoning and become incapacitated. Now it's up to one of the passengers to safely land the plane.
Five Desperate Women
Five young women vacation together at a resort on an isolated island. They are the resort's only customers and, aside from the boat captain who brought them here and the resort's handyman, Wylie, the island's only inhabitants. When one of the women is found dead, the others begin to fear the captain, who's been acting strangely. Wylie and the captain argue over the identity of the murderer, each accusing the other, and a fight erupts. Alarmed, the women attempt to leave the island, but the boat -- their only means of escape -- explodes and sinks before they can board it. Then Wylie comes to their aid, claiming to have killed the boat captain in self-defense and telling the women they're safe. But are they?
The Face of Fear
A young Iowa schoolteacher, thinking she is dying of leukemia, goes to San Francisco, where she hires a mob killer to take her life. However, she soon changes her mind, and with the help of the local police, tries to find the killer before he fulfills his part of the bargain.