The Five Best Suspense Movies of the 70s
In the 70s, the thriller was something that felt natural because many movies used this method to keep the audience guessing and build the momentum that would allow the movie to propel itself forward. In many ways, suspense is just another building block of any movie that allows it to further entertain audiences and create a big reveal at the right time. Thrillers are fun mainly because they make you wait to see what’s going to happen and most people seem to want to know right away and have it all planned out for them.
With a good thriller movie, you’ll literally be sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next moment to happen, for that person to come into the movie that will make sense of everything, and for the action to burst off for the growing suspense finally makes sense. These films aren’t always the fastest in cinema, but the accumulation of them tends to make people think ahead and try to guess what will bring the whole movie together and how long they have to wait.
Here are our picks for the five best thrillers of the 70s:
5. The French Connection
The inclusion of drugs and crime in a movie usually increases the suspense enough, but the addition of a rule-breaking cop is another hallmark that grabs audiences’ attention and makes it a great movie. Doyle was one of those tough movie cops you knew was going to either grab his man or get fired from the force for being too over the top in his methods. The only thing that stopped that from happening was that sometimes his hunches paid off and before criminals could start using the excuse of being traumatized by the police, he was known to get results.
4. Straw dogs
If you think Straw Dogs is a very messed up movie, you’re not alone. The content alone is something out of the stuff of nightmares and the suspense is enough to put anyone off when it comes to thinking how far someone can be pushed until their tendencies more violent burst. David is a more or less shy and peaceful man until those who try to break into his home to carry out their violence push him a little too far. Then it becomes a game of who can last the longest and who is willing to go the furthest to survive. In fact, you could almost say he’s not even concerned about his wife at one point, he’s just trying to survive.
When it comes to twists, these movies have them in spades. It was one of the films that helped make Jack Nicholson’s career and is still remembered to this day, but despite being one of those not easily remembered, it’s also one that deserves to be on this list. The story is the kind that lets you really get into the characters and wonder what’s in store for you next, especially since you can’t help but appreciate all of Nicholson’s take on the role.
2. Play Misty for me
There’s something inherently disturbing about bullies, and it’s not just the fact that they can and do become possessive, obsessive, and even violent. It’s the fact that their break from reality is something they don’t even stop to think about in their onward flight into madness. Such individuals sometimes make the lives of those they snag a living nightmare and can affect everyone around them in downright frightening ways. People like that are more than just ticking time bombs, they’re more like explosives surrounded by a cloud of poisonous gas that will cause fallout whenever they decide to leave.
It shouldn’t even be necessary to mention why this movie is on this list. Sure, there are plenty of other lists, but the suspense quotient in this movie is absolutely intense. From the musical score to the idea of being out on the water when a man-eater wanders around, it’s enough to give many people a serious case of feistiness. Just thinking about being in the natural environment of something that mindlessly kills and doesn’t bother to think about who it’s slaughtering is enough to give even the most hardened movie fan pause. If you recall, this movie created widespread panic when it was released, as it was believed for a while after that the sharks were continuously out to get people in no matter what.
The best thrillers are the ones that have you hanging on to your seat, biting your nails, and making your heart race until something finally happens.