What makes a movie beautiful? From a powerful story to impressive shots, cinema has many elements and is one of the most complex forms of art.
Keeping in mind how complex it is to call a movie “beautiful” – but this time considering the visuals of the film a bit more than the other elements – here is a selection of the most beautiful movies from the 1970s.
As always, many things interfere in the choice of the movies that are in this article, but memory and personal preferences are, as usual, the main factors. If you think any other movie should be on this list, please leave it as a recommendation in the comments section below.
The movies on this list are not ranked.
So, here are 10 amazing films from the 1970s:
10. Suspiria (1977; dir. Dario Argento)
This is truly one of the most visually amazing films and one of the best horror movies ever made.
Directed by Dario Argento, “Suspiria” follows the story of a girl who attends a very prestigious ballet academy in Germany. But when a series of murders start, she will realize something very sinister is happening in that place.
Impressive shots, amazing cinematography by Luciano Tovoli, and production design by Giuseppe Bassan help to create the somber and threatening atmosphere of this film.
Definitely a movie that every cinephile should check out.
9. Kings of the Road (1976; dir. Wim Wenders)
The two reasons why this is not Wim Wenders’ best film are 1.) “Paris, Texas” (1984) and 2.) “Wings of Desire” (1987), but it does not mean “Kings of the Road” is anything less than a masterpiece.
This road movie tells the story of a projection-equipment mechanic who travels in order to visit theatres. On the road, he meets a man whose marriage has just ended and they decide to travel together.
With strong performances from Rüdiger Vogler and Hanns Zischler, and intriguing black-and-white cinematography by Robby Müller and Martin Schäfer, “Kings of the Road” is one of the best movies in Wenders’ filmography and a film that should without a doubt should be watched.
8. The Last Picture Show (1971; dir. Peter Bogdanovich)
Adapted from the novel written by Larry McMurtry, “The Last Picture Show” has astonishing black-and-white cinematography by Robert Surtees, and is probably the best film directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
The movie follows the story of a group of high school students during the 1950s, living in an isolated town that is culturally and economically dying.
With great performances by Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman, Ben Johnson and Jeff Bridges, “The Last Picture Show” is a film with a powerful script that is truly able to make even the smallest nuances count. The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards, with Cloris Leachman winning for Best Supporting Actress and Ben Johnson winning for Best Supporting Actor.
7. Apocalypse Now (1979; dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
This masterpiece directed by Francis Ford Coppola is one of the best movies ever made.
With astonishing cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (that will appear once again on this list), “Apocalypse Now” follows the story of a captain who is sent on a mission to murder a renegade colonel in Cambodia.
Adapted from the novel “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, “Apocalypse Now” is a visually stunning film (and also amazing in terms of acting, editing, sound design, directing, production design and many other elements) that every cinephile should definitely check out.
6. The Conformist (1970; dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)
“The Conformist” is one of the most visually stunning films of all time.
One of the best works from director of photography Vittorio Storaro, “The Conformist” has an amazing production design and a great performance by Jean-Louis Trintignant.
The movie follows the story of a man who becomes a fascist and travels abroad in order to assassinate a political dissident who was once his teacher.
With many great locations and usage of lighting, “The Conformist” is truly a visually stunning film.