Sci-Fi Cinema in the 1970s

by mike_sean | created - 06 Mar 2011 | updated - 01 Mar 2015 | Public

Science fiction movies from the seventies (1970-1979), including TV movies as well as stand-alone mini-series. This list uses a fairly strict definition of science fiction, and therefore does not include most films that deal with fantasy, the supernatural, or super heroes. Films that fall more under the umbrella of horror (like a lot of zombie and pandemic films) have also been omitted.

See also: Sci-Fi Cinema in the 1950s | 1960s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

Related sci-fi list: Sci-Fi Television in the 1970s

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1. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

PG | 138 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

Roy Neary, an electric lineman, watches how his quiet and ordinary daily life turns upside down after a close encounter with a UFO.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon

Votes: 173,140 | Gross: $132.09M

2. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

G | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

46 Metascore

The sole survivor of an interplanetary rescue mission searches for the only survivor of the previous expedition. He discovers a planet ruled by apes and an underground city run by telepathic humans.

Director: Ted Post | Stars: James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison

Votes: 39,948 | Gross: $19.00M

3. Chariots of the Gods (1970)

G | 92 min | Documentary

Documentary based on the book by Erich Von Daniken concerning the ancient mysteries of the world, such as the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, ancient cave drawings, the monuments of Easter ... See full summary »

Director: Harald Reinl | Stars: Heinz-Detlev Bock, Klaus Kindler, Christian Marschall, Aleksandr Kazantsev

Votes: 1,212 | Gross: $25.95M

4. Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

M | 100 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

Thinking this will prevent war, the US government gives an impenetrable supercomputer total control over launching nuclear missiles. But what the computer does with the power is unimaginable to its creators.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark, Gordon Pinsent, William Schallert

Votes: 7,686

5. Crimes of the Future (1970)

Not Rated | 63 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

Crimes of the Future details the wanderings of Tripod (Mlodzik), sometime director of a dermatological clinic called the House of Skin, who is searching for his mentor, the mad ... See full summary »

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Ronald Mlodzik, Jon Lidolt, Tania Zolty, Paul Mulholland

Votes: 1,505

6. Hauser's Memory (1970 TV Movie)

GP | 96 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A scientist is persuaded by the government to inject himself with the brain fluid of a dying colleague in order to preserve missile-defense secrets. However, he finds that he is now torn ... See full summary »

Director: Boris Sagal | Stars: David McCallum, Susan Strasberg, Helmut Käutner, Leslie Nielsen

Votes: 89

7. I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen (1970)

95 min | Sci-Fi, Comedy

This futuristic science fiction comedy features an atomic bomb blast that causes women to grow beards and lose the ability to have children. A summit meeting is held at the United Nations, ... See full summary »

Director: Oldrich Lipský | Stars: Jirí Sovák, Jana Brejchová, Lubomír Lipský, Iva Janzurová

Votes: 408

8. Iron Bread (1970)

80 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

Add a Plot

Director: Vivian Peï

Votes: 8

9. Na komete (1970)

74 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

When a comet passes the earth very closely, it pulls a small part of North Africa with it. Carried along is a bunch of people. Among them Angelika, who just escaped from a ruthless weapon ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Zeman | Stars: Magda Vásáryová, Emil Horváth, Frantisek Filipovský, Cestmír Randa

Votes: 522

10. The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A man who has been in a coma since infancy is awakened.

Director: Alan Cooke | Stars: Terence Stamp, Robert Vaughn, Nigel Davenport, Christian Roberts

Votes: 632

11. No Blade of Grass (1970)

R | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

When a deadly virus strikes London, John Custance takes his family to hoped-for safety in Scotland.

Director: Cornel Wilde | Stars: Nigel Davenport, Jean Wallace, John Hamill, Lynne Frederick

Votes: 1,308

12. La ragazza di latta (1970)

95 min | Sci-Fi, Comedy, Fantasy

Mr. Rossi lives in a small town. He works in a large financial company and is considered to be rather original and eccentric by his colleagues because he doesn't own a car and insist on ... See full summary »

Director: Marcello Aliprandi | Stars: Roberto Antonelli, Sydne Rome, Elena Persiani, Umberto D'Orsi

Votes: 33

14. The Time to Die (1970)

80 min | Crime, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A woman witnesses a video taped murder and is marked for elimination by the killer.

Director: André Farwagi | Stars: Anna Karina, Bruno Cremer, Jean Rochefort, Billy Kearns

Votes: 105

15. The Andromeda Strain (1971)

G | 131 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

A team of top scientists work feverishly in a secret, state-of-the-art laboratory to discover what has killed the citizens of a small town and learn how this deadly contagion can be stopped.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: James Olson, Arthur Hill, David Wayne, Kate Reid

Votes: 31,386

16. The Big Mess (1971)

86 min | Sci-Fi, Comedy

Outer space in 2034 is run by greedy corporations in a rundown bureaucracy. Two astronauts, who are not very smart, make their way with shady dealings, smuggling and spaceship wrecking.

Director: Alexander Kluge | Stars: Vinzenz Sterr, Maria Sterr, Sigi Graue, Henrike Fürst

Votes: 93

17. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 714,981

18. Earth II (1971 TV Movie)

G | 100 min | Sci-Fi

When Earth II, an orbiting research space station, is menaced by a Red Chinese nuclear weapon, its 2,000 inhabitants take action to disarm and dispose of the missile without resorting to violence.

Director: Tom Gries | Stars: Gary Lockwood, Scott Hylands, Hari Rhodes, Anthony Franciosa

Votes: 283

19. Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

G | 98 min | Action, Sci-Fi

69 Metascore

The world is shocked by the appearance of three talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society, but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.

Director: Don Taylor | Stars: Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman, Natalie Trundy

Votes: 30,316 | Gross: $12.30M

20. I Love You, I Kill You (1971)

94 min | Drama

Set in the near future, Brandner's village is populated by emotionless citizens, kept in place with pills and pleasures. Once a year the wealthy people arrive to hunt in a nearby area, ... See full summary »

Director: Uwe Brandner | Stars: Rolf Becker, Hannes Fuchs, Helmut Brasch, Thomas Eckelmann

Votes: 61

21. Alien Terror (1971)

90 min | Sci-Fi, Horror

In the European village of Gudenberg in 1890, Prof. Mayer and his assistant Isabel have created a powerful ray machine. One of the powerful rays is shot into space and attracts a flying ... See full summary »

Directors: Jack Hill, Juan Ibáñez, José Luis González de León | Stars: Boris Karloff, Enrique Guzmán, Christa Linder, Maura Monti

Votes: 193

22. The Last Child (1971 TV Movie)

73 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Van Heflin As Sen. Quincy George.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey | Stars: Michael Cole, Van Heflin, Harry Guardino, Janet Margolin

Votes: 160

23. The Ωmega Man (1971)

PG | 98 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

56 Metascore

Lone survivor, doctor Robert Neville, struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race while fighting The Family, a savage luddite death cult formed by the zombie-like infected to erase the past.

Director: Boris Sagal | Stars: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo

Votes: 27,391 | Gross: $8.72M

24. Quest for Love (1971)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

After a scientific experiment goes horribly wrong during a demonstration, a scientist finds himself trapped in an alternative reality that bears some similarities to our own, but also has ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas | Stars: Joan Collins, Tom Bell, Denholm Elliott, Laurence Naismith

Votes: 461

25. THX 1138 (1971)

R | 86 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

75 Metascore

In the twenty-fifth century, a time when people have designations instead of names, a man, THX 1138, and a woman, LUH 3417, rebel against their rigidly controlled society.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie

Votes: 45,792 | Gross: $2.44M

26. The Astronaut (1972 TV Movie)

73 min | Drama

Government officials, not wanting to have the space program canceled, substitute a lookalike for an astronaut who died on a Mars mission.

Director: Robert Michael Lewis | Stars: Jackie Cooper, Monte Markham, Richard Anderson, Robert Lansing

Votes: 94

27. Between Time and Timbuktu (1972 TV Movie)

90 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

A poet-astronaut is shot through an area of space called the Chronosynclastic Infundibulum. He is duplicated into infinite copies of himself, each of whom finds himself in a bizarre ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Barzyk | Stars: 'Cousin Brucie' Morrow, Dortha Duckworth, William Hickey, Ray Goulding

Votes: 144

28. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

PG | 88 min | Action, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

In a futuristic world that has embraced ape slavery, Caesar, the son of the late simians Cornelius and Zira, surfaces after almost twenty years of hiding out from the authorities, and prepares for a slave revolt against humanity.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalban, Natalie Trundy

Votes: 28,720 | Gross: $9.81M

29. Doomsday Machine (1972)

Not Rated | 83 min | Sci-Fi

Spies discover that the Red Chinese have built a "doomsday machine" capable of destroying the surface of the Earth, and that they plan to use it within a matter of days. Meanwhile, Project ... See full summary »

Directors: Harry Hope, Lee Sholem, Herbert J. Leder | Stars: Bobby Van, Ruta Lee, Mala Powers, James Craig

Votes: 902

30. Doomwatch (1972)

PG | 92 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

The waters surrounding an island become contaminated by chemical dumping, and people who eat fish caught in those waters become deformed and violent.

Director: Peter Sasdy | Stars: Ian Bannen, Judy Geeson, John Paul, Simon Oates

Votes: 740

31. Eolomea (1972)

82 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

Eight space cargo-ships disappear without a trace within three days. And the orbit station "Margot" has suddenly fallen silent. The space council is faced with a mystery and the scientist ... See full summary »

Director: Herrmann Zschoche | Stars: Cox Habbema, Ivan Andonov, Rolf Hoppe, Vsevolod Sanaev

Votes: 464

32. Kadoyng (1972)

60 min | Fantasy, Family, Sci-Fi

An alien spaceship lands on earth, and its inhabitants decide to help a poor family.

Director: Ian Shand | Stars: Teresa Codling, Adrian Hall, David Williams, Stephen Bone

Votes: 40

33. The People (1972 TV Movie)

74 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A young woman is assigned to teach school in a secluded valley whose inhabitants appear stern, secretive and anti-pleasure. Following two children who disappear to play in the woods, she ... See full summary »

Director: John Korty | Stars: Kim Darby, William Shatner, Diane Varsi, Dan O'Herlihy

Votes: 409

34. Silent Running (1972)

G | 89 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.

Director: Douglas Trumbull | Stars: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin, Jesse Vint

Votes: 25,316

35. Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

A man named Billy Pilgrim tells the story of how he became unstuck in time and was abducted by aliens.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Michael Sacks, Ron Leibman, Eugene Roche, Sharon Gans

Votes: 11,590

36. Solaris (1972)

PG | 167 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy

Votes: 73,537

37. Z.P.G. (1972)

PG | 97 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

Concerned with population over-growth, the Earth government bans, under the penalty of death, all pregnancies but one couple decides to risk having a real baby rather than legally adopt a cyborg child.

Director: Michael Campus | Stars: Oliver Reed, Geraldine Chaplin, Don Gordon, Diane Cilento

Votes: 1,171

38. Az idö ablakai (1969)

Sci-Fi

Five social misfits undergo cryogenic suspension. When they awake in the far distant future, they find a world devastated by nuclear war. Yet they discover that each of them has some ... See full summary »

Director: Tamás Fejér | Stars: Miklós Gábor, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Ivan Andonov, Krystyna Mikolajewska

Votes: 10

39. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

G | 93 min | Action, Sci-Fi

40 Metascore

Ten years after a worldwide series of ape revolutions and a brutal nuclear war among humans, Caesar must protect survivors of both species from an insidious human cult and a militant ape faction alike.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Natalie Trundy, Severn Darden

Votes: 27,551 | Gross: $8.84M

40. The Clones (1973)

PG | 95 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A scientist discovers a plot to clone other scientists so the government can control the weather.

Directors: Lamar Card, Paul Hunt | Stars: Michael Greene, Gregory Sierra, Otis Young, Susan Hunt

Votes: 122

41. A Cold Night's Death (1973 TV Movie)

74 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Two scientists suspect that there is someone other than their research primates inhabiting their polar station.

Director: Jerrold Freedman | Stars: Robert Culp, Eli Wallach, Michael C. Gwynne, Vic Perrin

Votes: 724

42. Dr. Iven's Silence (1974)

90 min | Sci-Fi

A plane crashes over the Atlantic. Aliens save passengers and come into contact with one of the rescued scientists, Martin Ivans.

Director: Budimir Metalnikov | Stars: Sergey Bondarchuk, Zhanna Bolotova, Irina Skobtseva, Leonid Obolensky

Votes: 126

43. Fantastic Planet (1973)

PG | 72 min | Animation, Sci-Fi

On a faraway planet where blue giants rule, oppressed humanoids rebel against their machine-like leaders.

Director: René Laloux | Stars: Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Drake, Eric Baugin, Jean Topart

Votes: 21,963

44. Genesis II (1973 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 74 min | Sci-Fi

A scientist who has been preserved in suspended animation wakes up to find himself in a primitive society in the future.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey | Stars: Alex Cord, Mariette Hartley, Ted Cassidy, Percy Rodrigues

Votes: 761