Classic Science Fiction Movies

1970s Science Fiction

The 1970s science fiction movies, with such notable exceptions as "Star Wars," "Alien" and a few others, predominantly fall into the sub-genre of "future life" films that tell about strange happenings here on Earth. Of course, "Star Wars" is unquestionably the most significant movie of this decade. But I was again unable to cut my list down to only ten, so, here are my picks as the "Top 12" science fiction movies of the 1970s.

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Colossus: The Forbin Project
(1970 - 100 min) ****

Plot: A superintelligent computer overrides the commands of its human creators in an effort to achieve global control.

Eric Braeden
Susan Clark
Directed by Joseph Sargant

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The Andromeda Strain
(1971 - 130 min) ***

Plot: A group of scientists fight against the clock to contain and destroy a lethal virus from outer space.

Arthur Hill
David Wayne
James Olson
Kate Reid
Paula Kelly
Directed by Robert Wise

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Silent Running
(1972 - 90 min) ****

Plot: An astronaut is charged with protecting the Earth's last surviving flora and fauna, until he gets orders to destroy the spaceships that carry this precious cargo.

Bruce Dern
Cliff Potts
Ron Rifkin
Jesse Vint
Directed by Douglas Trumbull

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(1973 - 90 min) ***

Plot: A futuristic amusement park allows visitors to take part in various historical scenarios, but things go wrong when an android gunslinger malfunctions and goes on a shooting rampage.

Richard Benjamin
Yul Brenner
James Brolin
Norman Bartold
Alan Oppenheimer
Victoria Shaw
Dick Van Patten
Directed by Michael Crichton


  • Futureworld (1976 - 104 min) ***

    Movie Clip

    The Land That Time Forgot
    (1975 - 90 min) ***

    Plot: A submarine surfaces near the South Pole and discovers a prehistoric oasis of dinosaurs and ape men. (Based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs.)

    Doug McClure
    John McEnery
    Susan Penhaligon
    Directed by Kevin Connor


  • The People That Time Forgot (1977 - 90 min) ***

    Movie Clip

    At the Earth's Core
    (1976 - 90 min) ***

    Plot: Victorian scientists travel to the center of the Earth, which they find is inhabited by dinosaurs and protohumans. (Based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs.)

    Doug McClure
    Peter Cushing
    Caroline Munro
    Directed by Kevin Connor

    Movie Clip

    Logan's Run
    (1976 - 119 min) ****

    Plot: A cop on a future Earth charged with tracking down "runners" who try to escape the supposedly perfect human civilization himself becomes a runner. (Led to a short-lived TV series of the same name.)

    Michael York
    Jenny Agutter
    Richard Jordan
    Peter Ustinov
    Farrah Fawcett-Majors
    Directed by Michael Anderson

    Movie Clip

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    (1977 - 135 min) *****

    Plot: An ordinary man is mysteriously drawn to a desert mountain to witness mankind's first contact with space aliens.

    Richard Dreyfuss
    Melinda Dillon
    Teri Garr
    Francois Truffaut
    Directed by Steven Spielberg

    Movie Clip

    Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope
    (1977 - 121 min) *****

    Plot: With the help of two androids, a space pirate, and a Jedi Knight, a young man fights to save a universe and a princess from the evil Empire.

    Mark Hamill
    Harrison Ford
    Carrie Fisher
    Peter Cushing
    Alex Guinness
    Directed by George Lucas


  • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980 - 124 min) *****
  • Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983 - 132 min) *****


  • Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999 - 133 min) ****
  • Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002 - 142 min) ****
  • Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005 - 140 min) ****

    Movie Clip

    (1979 - 116 min) ****

    Plot: Investigating a crashed alien spacecraft, a deep space crew comes face-to-face with the "mother" of all evil space creatures.

    Sigourney Weaver
    Tom Skerritt
    John Hurt
    Ian Holm
    Harry Dean Stanton
    Directed by Ridley Scott


  • Aliens (1986 - 138 min) ****
  • Alien3 (1992 - 115 min) ***
  • Alien Resurrection (1997 - 108 min) **

    Movie Clip

    The Black Hole
    (1979 - 97 min) ***

    Plot: A space ship is sent to stop a mad scientist intent on flying his mammoth space vessel into a black hole.

    Maximillian Schell
    Anthony Perkins
    Robert Forster
    Joseph Bottoms
    Yvette Mimieux
    Ernest Borgnine
    Directed by Gary Nelson

    Movie Clip

    (1979 - 105 min) **

    Plot: The story of how a group of people deal with the ultimate threat to Earth -- a meteor strike. (A forerunner to "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon.")

    Sean Connery
    Natalie Wood
    Karl Malden
    Brian Keith
    Henry Fonda
    Directed by Ronald Nearne

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    Last Updated: October 8, 2009