List of American films of 1972

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A list of American films released in 1972.

Cabaret won 8 Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Actress. The Godfather won the Academy Award for Best Picture.


Title Director Cast Genre Note
1776 Peter H. Hunt William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Donald Madden, Ken Howard, John Cullum, Ron Holgate, Blythe Danner Musical Columbia; adapted from stage musical
Across 110th Street Barry Shear Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Tony Franciosa Crime drama United Artists
Another Nice Mess Bob Einstein Rich Little, Herb Voland Comedy
Avanti! Billy Wilder Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, Clive Revill Comedy based on Samuel A. Taylor play
Bad Company Robert Benton Jeff Bridges, Barry Brown Western Paramount
Ben Phil Karlson Meredith Baxter, Joseph Campanella Horror sequel to Willard
Behind the Green Door Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell Marilyn Chambers, Johnnie Keyes Adult
Beware! The Blob Larry Hagman Robert Walker Jr., Dick Van Patten Sci-fi
The Big Bird Cage Jack Hill Pam Grier, Anitra Ford, Sid Haig Exploitation New World
Black Rage Chris Robinson Ted Cassidy, Phyllis Robinson Drama
Blacula William Crain William Marshall, Vonetta McGee Horror based on Dracula
Bluebeard Edward Dmytryk Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Joey Heatherton, Virna Lisi, Nathalie Delon Thriller Cinerama Releasing Corporation
Bone Larry Cohen Yaphet Kotto, Andrew Duggan, Joyce Van Patten Crime drama
Boxcar Bertha Martin Scorsese Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, Barry Primus, John Carradine, Bernie Casey Drama American International
Buck and the Preacher Sidney Poitier Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee Western Columbia
Butterflies Are Free Milton Katselas Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert, Eileen Heckart, Paul Michael Glaser Comedy Oscar for Heckart
Cabaret Bob Fosse Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York Musical Allied Artists; Oscars for Fosse and Minnelli; 8 total
The Candidate Michael Ritchie Robert Redford, Melvyn Douglas, Peter Boyle Drama Warner Bros.; Oscar for screenplay
The Carey Treatment Blake Edwards James Coburn, Jennifer O'Neill Mystery based on novel by Michael Crichton
Chato's Land Michael Winner Charles Bronson, Jack Palance, James Whitmore, Richard Basehart, Ralph Waite, Simon Oakland Western United Artists
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things Bob Clark Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches Horror
Child's Play Sidney Lumet James Mason, Robert Preston, Beau Bridges Mystery Paramount
Cisco Pike Bill L. Norton Kris Kristofferson, Gene Hackman, Karen Black, Harry Dean Stanton Drama Sony Pictures
Come Back, Charleston Blue Mark Warren Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques Comedy sequel to Cotton Comes to Harlem
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes J. Lee Thompson Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalbán, Hari Rhodes Science fiction 3rd sequel to Planet of the Apes
Cool Breeze Barry Pollack Thalmus Rasulala, Judy Pace Crime MGM
A Cop Jean-Pierre Melville Richard Crenna, Catherine Deneuve Crime Allied Artists
Corky Leonard Horn Robert Blake, Charlotte Rampling, Patrick O'Neal, Christopher Connelly Action MGM
The Cowboys Mark Rydell John Wayne, Bruce Dern, Roscoe Lee Browne, Robert Carradine, A Martinez Western Warner Bros.; became TV series
The Culpepper Cattle Co. Dick Richards Gary Grimes, Billy Green Bush, Luke Askew, Bo Hopkins Western 20th Century Fox


Title Director Cast Genre Note
Deep Throat Gerard Damiano Linda Lovelace, Harry Reems Adult
Deliverance John Boorman Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox Drama James Dickey novel; 3 Oscar nominations
Dirty Little Billy Stan Dragoti Michael J. Pollard, Lee Purcell Western Columbia
The Doberman Gang Byron Chudnow Julie Parrish, Hal Reed Crime, Action inspired 2 sequels
Dr. Phibes Rises Again Robert Fuest Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Robert Quarry, Beryl Reid, Fiona Lewis, Terry-Thomas Horror A.I.P.; sequel to The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Dynamite Chicken Ernest Pintoff Richard Pryor, Al Goldstein Comedy
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds Paul Newman Joanne Woodward Drama based on a play by Paul Zindel
Elvis on Tour Pierre Adidge, Robert Abel Elvis Presley Documentary MGM; won Golden Globe for Best Documentary
Endless Night Sidney Gilliat Hayley Mills, Britt Eklund Mystery based on a book by Agatha Christie
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) Woody Allen Woody Allen, Gene Wilder, Burt Reynolds, Tony Randall, Louise Lasser, Lynn Redgrave, Heather MacRae, Lou Jacobi, Regis Philbin Comedy based on a book by David Reuben
Fat City John Huston Jeff Bridges, Stacy Keach, Susan Tyrrell Drama based on a novel by Leonard Gardner
Fillmore Richard T. Heffron Santana, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane Documentary Concert film
The Final Comedown Oscar Williams Billy Dee Williams, Celia Kaye blaxploitation
Five Summer Stories Greg MacGillivray Eddie Aikau Documentary
Fritz the Cat Ralph Bakshi Skip Hinnant Animated, Adult first animated film Rated X
Frogs George McCowan Ray Milland, Sam Elliott Horror AIP
Fuzz Richard A. Colla Burt Reynolds, Raquel Welch, Yul Brynner, Jack Weston, Tom Skerritt Action comedy United Artists
Get to Know Your Rabbit Brian De Palma Tom Smothers, Katharine Ross, Orson Welles Comedy Warner Bros.
The Getaway Sam Peckinpah Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Al Lettieri, Ben Johnson, Sally Struthers, Jack Dodson, Bo Hopkins, Dub Taylor, Slim Pickens Crime drama based on a novel by Jim Thompson; remade in 1994
The Godfather Francis Ford Coppola Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, John Cazale, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Richard Castellano, Richard Conte, Sterling Hayden, Al Lettieri, Gianni Russo, Abe Vigoda, John Marley, Alex Rocco, Al Martino Crime drama Paramount; won 3 Oscars; top-grossing film of 1972; based on novel by Mario Puzo
Grave of the Vampire John Hayes William Smith, Lyn Peters Horror
The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid Philip Kaufman Cliff Robertson, Robert Duvall Western Universal


Title Director Cast Genre Note
Hammer Bruce D. Clark Fred Williamson, Bernie Hamilton, Vonetta McGee Action United Artists
Hammersmith Is Out Peter Ustinov Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Ustinov Comedy Cinerama Corp.
The Heartbreak Kid Elaine May Charles Grodin, Cybill Shepherd, Jeannie Berlin, Eddie Albert, Audra Lindley Comedy script by Neil Simon; 2 Oscar nominations; remade in 2007
Heat Paul Morrissey Joe Dallesandro, Sylvia Miles Drama produced by Andy Warhol
Hickey & Boggs Robert Culp Bill Cosby, Robert Culp Crime United Artists
Hit Man George Armitage Bernie Casey, Pam Grier Crime MGM
The Hot Rock Peter Yates Robert Redford, George Segal, Zero Mostel Crime William Goldman script; from book by Donald Westlake
Images Robert Altman Susannah York, René Auberjonois Thriller Columbia
J.W. Coop Cliff Robertson Cliff Robertson, Geraldine Page Western Columbia
Jeremiah Johnson Sydney Pollack Robert Redford, Will Geer Western Warner Bros.
Joe Kidd John Sturges Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon Western Universal; script by Elmore Leonard
Journey Back to Oz Hal Sutherland Milton Berle, Herschel Bernardi, Margaret Hamilton Animation based on Oz book
Junior Bonner Sam Peckinpah Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Joe Don Baker, Barbara Leigh, Ben Johnson Western Cinerama Releasing Corp.
Kansas City Bomber Jerrold Freedman Raquel Welch, Kevin McCarthy Drama MGM
The King of Marvin Gardens Bob Rafelson Jack Nicholson, Ellen Burstyn, Bruce Dern Drama Columbia
Lady Sings the Blues Sidney J. Furie Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor Biography story of Billie Holiday; 5 Oscar nominations
The Last House on the Left Wes Craven Sandra Cassel, David A. Hess Horror
Last of the Red Hot Lovers Gene Saks Alan Arkin, Sally Kellerman, Paula Prentiss Comedy Paramount; based on Neil Simon play
Left Hand of Gemini Ian McShane, Richard Egan Sci-fi
The Legend of Boggy Creek Charles B. Pierce William Stumpp Mystery
The Legend of Nigger Charley aka Legend of Black Charley Martin Goldman Fred Williamson, D'Urville Martin Western Paramount
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean John Huston Paul Newman, Anthony Perkins, Victoria Principal, Jacqueline Bisset, John Huston, Ava Gardner Western, Biography Oscar, Golden Globe for Song
Limbo Mark Robson Kathleen Nolan, Kate Jackson, Stuart Margolin Drama
Los Amigos Paolo Cavara Anthony Quinn, Franco Nero, Pamela Tiffin Western MGM
The Magnificent Seven Ride George McGowan Lee Van Cleef, George Kennedy, Stefanie Powers Western third sequel to The Magnificent Seven
The Man Joseph Sargent James Earl Jones, Martin Balsam, Barbara Rush Drama script by Rod Serling
Man of La Mancha Arthur Hiller Peter O'Toole, Sophia Loren, James Coco Musical based on Dale Wasserman play; 2 Golden Globes
The Mechanic Michael Winner Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent Action United Artists; remade in 2011
Melinda Hugh A. Robertson Calvin Lockhart, Vonetta McGee Drama MGM


Title Director Cast Genre Note
Napoleon and Samantha Bernard McEveety Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster Adventure Disney
Necromancy Bert I. Gordon Orson Welles, Lee Purcell Horror
The New Centurions Richard Fleischer George C. Scott, Stacy Keach Crime drama based on a novel by Joseph Wambaugh
Night of the Lepus William F. Claxton Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh Horror MGM
Now You See Him, Now You Don't Robert Butler Kurt Russell, Joe Flynn Sci-fi, Comedy Disney
The Offence Sidney Lumet Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant Drama United Artists
One Is a Lonely Number Mel Stuart Trish Van Devere, Monte Markham, Janet Leigh Drama MGM
The Other Robert Mulligan Uta Hagen, Diana Muldaur, John Ritter Horror 20th Century Fox; from Tom Tryon novel
Painters Painting Emile de Antonio Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning Documentary
Pancho Villa Eugenio Martin Telly Savalas, Clint Walker, Chuck Connors Western filmed in Spain
Payday Daryl Duke Rip Torn, Ahna Capri Drama Cinerama Releasing
Pete 'n' Tillie Martin Ritt Walter Matthau, Carol Burnett, Geraldine Page Comedy, Drama Universal; 2 Oscar nominations
Pink Flamingos John Waters Divine Comedy cult film
Play It Again, Sam Herbert Ross Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Susan Anspach Comedy Paramount; based on Allen's play
Play It as It Lays Frank Perry Tuesday Weld, Anthony Perkins, Adam Roarke Drama Universal; from Joan Didion novel
Pocket Money Stuart Rosenberg Paul Newman, Lee Marvin Western, Comedy Terrence Malick script
Pope Joan Michael Anderson Liv Ullmann, Olivia de Havilland Drama Columbia
Portnoy's Complaint Ernest Lehman Richard Benjamin, Karen Black, Lee Grant Comedy, Drama Warner Bros.; from novel by Philip Roth
The Poseidon Adventure Ronald Neame Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Stella Stevens, Roddy McDowall, Carol Lynley, Pamela Sue Martin, Red Buttons, Jack Albertson Disaster film, Adventure based on Paul Gallico novel; won 2 Oscars
The Possession of Joel Delaney Waris Hussein Shirley MacLaine, Perry King, Michael Hordern Horror Paramount
Prime Cut Michael Ritchie Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Sissy Spacek, Angel Tompkins Drama, Action National General
Private Parts Paul Bartel Stanley Livingston Horror
Rage George C. Scott George C. Scott, Martin Sheen Drama Warner Bros.
Red Sun Terence Young Charles Bronson, Ursula Andress Western National General
A Reflection of Fear William A. Fraker Robert Shaw, Sondra Locke, Sally Kellerman Drama Columbia
The Revengers Daniel Mann William Holden, Ernest Borgnine Western National General
The Salzburg Connection Lee H. Katzin Barry Newman, Anna Karina, Klaus Maria Brandauer Thriller 20th Century Fox
Savages James Ivory Susan Blakely, Sam Waterston Comedy
Shaft's Big Score Gordon Parks Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn Crime drama sequel to Shaft
Silent Running Douglas Trumbull Bruce Dern, Ron Rifkin Sci-fi Universal
Sitting Target Douglas Hickox Oliver Reed, Jill St. John Drama MGM
Skyjacked John Guillermin Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, James Brolin, Jeanne Crain, Walter Pidgeon, Roosevelt Grier, Leslie Uggams Disaster film MGM; Crain's final film
Slaughter Jack Starrett Jim Brown, Rip Torn, Stella Stevens Crime drama A.I.P.; followed by 1973 sequel
Slaughterhouse-Five George Roy Hill Michael Sacks, Valerie Perrine Sci-fi, Drama from Kurt Vonnegut novel
Snoopy, Come Home Bill Meléndez Voices of Chad Webber, Robin Kohn, Hilary Momberger, Johanna Baer Animated sequel to A Boy Named Charlie Brown
Snowball Express Norman Tokar Nancy Olson, Dean Jones Family Disney
Sounder Martin Ritt Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks Drama 4 Oscar nominations; based on novel
Stigma David E. Durston Philip Michael Thomas Drama
The Summertime Killer Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi Olivia Hussey, Christopher Mitchum, Karl Malden Crime drama
Super Fly Gordon Parks Junior Ron O'Neal, Julius Harris Crime drama Curtis Mayfield score


Title Director Cast Genre Note
They Only Kill Their Masters James Goldstone James Garner. Katharine Ross Mystery MGM
The Thing with Two Heads Lee Frost Ray Milland, Roosevelt Grier Sci-fi AIP
Thumb Tripping Quentin Masters Bruce Dern, Meg Foster Drama Avco Embassy
To Find a Man Buzz Kulik Pamela Sue Martin, Darren O'Connor, Tom Bosley Drama Columbia
Tomorrow Joseph Anthony Robert Duvall, Peter Masterson Drama Horton Foote script
Travels with My Aunt George Cukor Maggie Smith, Louis Gossett Jr. Comedy based on novel by Graham Greene
Treasure Island Hal Sutherland Richard Dawson, Davy Jones, Dal McKennon Adventure animated; based on the novel
Treasure Island John Hough Orson Welles, Lionel Stander, Walter Slezak Adventure live-action; based on the novel
Trouble Man Ivan Dixon Robert Hooks, Paula Kelly Crime drama Marvin Gaye score
Ulzana's Raid Robert Aldrich Burt Lancaster, Bruce Davison, Richard Jaeckel Western Universal
Up the Sandbox Irvin Kershner Barbra Streisand Comedy based on Anne Roiphe novel
The Visitors Elia Kazan Patrick McVey, Patricia Joyce, James Woods Drama Woods' first film
The War Between Men and Women Melville Shavelson Jack Lemmon, Barbara Harris Comedy National General
What's Up, Doc? Peter Bogdanovich Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn Comedy Kahn's first film
When the Legends Die Stuart Millar Richard Widmark, Frederic Forrest Drama 20th Century Fox
Winter Soldier Barbara Kopple John Kerry Documentary
The Woman Hunter Bernard L. Kowalski Barbara Eden, Robert Vaughn Mystery made for TV
The Wrath of God Ralph Nelson Robert Mitchum, Frank Langella, Rita Hayworth Western Hayworth's final film
You'll Like My Mother Lamont Johnson Patty Duke, Rosemary Murphy Horror Universal

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