My Gritty Dozen 1970’s NYC Crime Films

This list is a result of recently reading author David Gordon’s article on Crime Reads. Like David, I grew up and lived in New York during its grittiest down and dirty days.  It’s a bit ironic that during New York’s ugliest days some of the best films set in the city were made during that time. I was already a movie freak, and while I liked a wide variety of movies I found myself attracted to crime films at a very young age. Two of the earliest I remember seeing on the big screen were Al Capone and Baby Face Nelson. While most parents took their under ten years of age kids to only Disney films, my folks took me to more adult movies too including gangster films.

Without further ado, here are my favorite crimes films from the 1970’s.


The Panic in Needle Park (1971)


Dog Day Afternoon (1975) 

Dog Day

Mean Streets (1973)


Taxi Driver (1976)


Klute (1971)


Shaft (1971)


The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (!974) 


The French Connection (1971)


Serpico (1973)


Across 110th Street (1972)


Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)


Death Wish (1974)



Originally posted at John Greco Author. 

5 comments on “My Gritty Dozen 1970’s NYC Crime Films

  1. The Lady Eve says:

    What a collection of great films from a great city…at a “dirty, gritty” time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lawlor Lee says:

    I am obviously somewhat older than you are but I remember my mom, and sometimes my dad, also didn’t confine me to the Disney stuff (which I never much cared for anyway). Whatever was available, noir, crime, drama, comedy, westerns, anything and everything that was available at the two second run theaters that offered double features. I feel I owe then my undying and profound gratitude.


  3. John Charet says:

    Great post 🙂 As I implied when you posted this blog entry on your other one – it truly was a remarkable decade for films like this set in NY. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. madame says:

    wonderful collection of films….have seen them all …


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