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(WHNT) — 1972 wasn’t just a home to major world events like Watergate, the deadly Olympic bombings, and victory for the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl VI. This transformational year brought some of the best in modern cinema to theaters across the nation – including one regarded as the greatest film of all time.

From fantastic musicals to political thriller and iconic lines from the mouth of a mob boss, 1972 gave us exceptional films. Despite different subject matter, the films all share one thing: they turn 50 years old this year.

News 19 compiled a list of some of the most famous films from 1972, all celebrating their golden anniversary. Here are some of those picks.

The Godfather

(Original Caption) While his daughter’s wedding celebration proceeds outside, Don Corleone, played by Marlon Brando (right), discusses “family” business with his consigliori, Tom Hagen, played by Robert Duvall, in the The Godfather, an Albert S. Ruddy Production in Color by Technicolor. Undated. UPI photograph.
  • Release Date: March 24, 1972
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Markley, Richard Conte
  • Did you know? Widely regarded as one of the best films ever put on the silver screen, “The Godfather” ranked as the second greatest film of all time in the American Film Institute’s 2007 list. It’s sequel, “The Godfather Part II” ranks 32nd.


Joel Grey, left, and Liza Minnelli, center, stars of the film “Cabaret,” arrive for the premiere of the film in Paris, Sept. 9, 1972. Others are unidentified. (AP Photo)
  • Release Date: February 13, 1972
  • Director: Bob Fosse
  • Cast: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Marisa Berenson, Fritz Wepper, Joel Grey
  • Did you know? For her portrayal as Sally Bowles, Liza Minnelli won the Academy Award for Best Actress. At that time, she was the youngest winner at age 26. The film also holds the record for most Academy Awards won by a film that didn’t win Best Picture (it won eight total).

Tales from the Crypt

(Original Caption) Peter Cushing returns from the grave in “Tales From the Crypt,” 1972.
  • Release Date: March 8, 1972
  • Director: Freddie Francis
  • Cast: Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Roy Dotrice, Richard Greene, Ian Hendry, Patrick Magee, Barbara Murray, Nigel Patrick, Robin Phillips, Ralph Richardson
  • Did you know? Peter Cushing was told to “act as himself” in the film. Cushing’s character was a widower who used a ouija board to talk to his wife, and real-life wife had recently died. Cushing also wanted to be in the film so badly that he took a pay cut.

The Way of the Dragon

Fans take pictures of the statue of late martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Lee played in a series of Hong Kong films in the early 1970s, including “The Way of the Dragon,” that propelled him to stardom first in Asia, then Europe and eventually the United States. He died in 1973 at the age of 32. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
  • Release Date: December 30, 1972
  • Director: Bruce Lee
  • Cast: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, Paul Wei, Huang Chung-hsin, Tony Liu, Unicorn Chan, Chuck Norris, Malisa Longo, Robert Wall, Hwang In-shik, Jon T. Benn
  • Did you know? The film, released in the United States as “Return of the Dragon,” grossed $130 million worldwide, or a thousand times its budget of $130,000. Adjusted for inflation, that’s more than $700 million.

The Poseidon Adventure

One of the most ambitious action sequences filmed in Hollywood was staged at 20th Century Fox studios on Thursday, June 30, 1972, during filming of movie “The Poseidon Adventure.” The Poseidon is a giant luxury ocean liner that gets capsized by a monstrous wave. Scene shows injured and dead crewmen and passengers along with a number of survivors in the ship’s main saloon. (AP Photo/Wally Fong)
  • Release Date: December 12, 1972
  • Director: Ronald Neame
  • Cast: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Shelley Winters, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Jack Albertson, Pamela Sue Martin, Arthur O’Connell, Eric Shea, Leslie Nielsen, Byron Webster
  • Did you know? The film’s theme song “The Morning After,” won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song was later recorded by Maureen McGovern and went No. 1 in August 1973. It was the biggest hit of her career.

The Getaway

Actor Steve McQueen and Actress Ali MacGraw shown December 7, 1972 at a press screening of their movie “The Getaway” in Hollywood, for their movie, “The Getaway.” This movie is a crime melodrama directed by Sam Peckinpah. (AP Photo)
  • Release Date: December 13, 1972
  • Director: Sam Peckinpah
  • Cast: Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson, Al Lettieri, Sally Struthers
  • Did you know? For the film, Ali MacGraw both learned how to drive a car and fire a gun.


British movie-maker Alfred Hitchcock peers out from behind a garden fork during a visit to Pinewood Studios in Iver, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom on July 22, 1971. It was his first visit to the studios for twenty-one years. The 72-year-old master of suspense films is engaged in the making of “Frenzy” a thriller based on a series of sex murders in London. (AP Photo/Robert E. Dear)
  • Release Date: June 21, 1972
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Jon Finch, Alec McCowen, Barry Foster
  • Did you know? Alfred Hitchcock’s own daughter, Patricia, found “Frenzy” to be so disturbing that she didn’t let her own children watch it for years.

The Candidate

Robert Redford, star actor of the movie ?The Candidate?, speaks to a crowd during whistle-stop train strip from Jacksonville to Miami to promote the film, July 10, 1972 at West Palm Beach in Florida. Former Eugene McCarthy speechwriter Jeremy Larner, who wrote the script for the movie, is to the left to Redford. Redford plays the part of a candidate for the United States Senate in the movie. (AP Photo)
  • Release Date: June 29, 1972
  • Director: Michael Ritchie
  • Cast: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas
  • Did you know? “The Candidate” was released just a month before the 1972 California presidential primary. During the promotion for the film, campaign posters with Robert Redford and the slogan “McKay: The Better Way!” were displayed. “McKay” got several write-in votes in the June election.

The Man

Actor James Earl Jones poses for photographers before the Marion Anderson Award Gala at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, in Philadelphia. Jones starred as President Douglas Dillman in the 1972 film “The Man.” (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
  • Release Date: July 19, 1972
  • Director: Joseph Sargent
  • Cast: James Earl Jones, Martin Balsam, Burgess Meredith, Lew Ayres, Barbara Rush, William Windom
  • Did you know? While James Earl Jones starred as the fictional first Black (and first wholly unelected) President of the United States Douglas Dillman, the role was originally intended for Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

Actor Roddy McDowall gets his wig adjusted by an unidentified makeup artist on the set of “Planet of the Apes” in this August 1967 photo. (AP Photo)
  • Release Date: June 14, 1972
  • Director: J. Lee Thompson
  • Cast: Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalban, Natalie Trundy, Hari Rhodes
  • Did you know? Zelda, a female orangutan in the film, is the only non-chimpanzee female ape in the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, including movies and television.

Did we miss any of your favorite films from 1972? To see the full list of films that are turning 50 this year, click here.