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AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) This film, nominated for Best Picture, set in the summer of 1962 is a nostalgic piece with a soundtrack running throughout by artists of the day such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Fats Domino. There?s not so much a plot here, as a night in the life of four California teenagers (Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, Charles Martin Smith) on their last hurrah of the summer before one of them heads to college. Wolfman Jack appears as himself, along with a short stint by mysterious blonde in a T-bird Suzanne Somers. CARRIE (1976) Sissy Spacek, who plays shy, socially inadequate Carrie White, and Piper Laurie, as her zealot mother, were both nominated for Best Actress for their performances in this film, based on Stephen King?s first novel. Once a struggling writer, King had been unhappy with the thriller and tossed it in the trash. His wife saw its potential however and fetched it out; the rest is history. Carrie is relentlessly teased in high school. When she?s invited to her senior prom, she thinks she?s finally been accepted by her peers. A cruel prank at her expense unleashes a fury of telekinetic powers in Carrie that results in one killer prom night! DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975) In the dog days of Brooklyn?s summer of 1972, real-life Sonny Wortzik was desperate for cash to fund his lover?s sex-change operation. Al Pacino lights the screen on fire as a frenzied Sonny. The script won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. This film is like a roller coaster ride of emotions from hilarity to tragedy. The strong character studies set along side the explosive situation make this movie shine. GODFATHER: PART II (1974) Playing with a different set of family values, this sequel is often said to be even better than the first. The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director Francis Ford Coppola, and Best Supporting Actor Robert De Niro. The rise and fall of the Corleones is masterfully intertwined between scen
es of the dawn of Don Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) in Sicily and New York where the saga of the crime family begins, and scenes of Al Pacino?s Michael Corleone expanding the family business in Cuba and Vegas. Timeless themes of high hopes and dashed dreams amidst family betrayal and violence make this film more than just one crime family?s story. Another captivating performance by Al Pacino. THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977) Marsha Mason plays single mother Paula McFadden trying to raise her young daughter in New York City. Everything was going her way until she comes home one day to find her most current boyfriend, an actor, has left her a Dear Paula note and taken a job elsewhere. Enter another actor, eccentric Elliot Garfield, (Richard Dreyfuss, Oscar winner for Best Actor) and it?s just a matter of time before uncordial dislike turns to heart-felt devotion in this delightful Neil Simon romantic comedy. JAWS (1975) Hot sand isn?t the only thing nipping at your heels on Amity Island beach. A sheriff (Roy Scheider), an oceanographer (Richard Dreyfuss) and an old grizzled sea captain (Robert Shaw) team up to close those JAWS of death once and for all before anymore of the local citizens find themselves staring into the Great White abyss. The well-known theme song from this Stephen Spielberg directed fright fest nabbed the Oscar for Best Original Musical Score. Gives you reason to pause before wandering too far out on your next ocean swim. KLUTE (1971) Jane Fonda?s turn as a tough-on-the-outside yet vulnerable call girl named Bree is anything but cheesy. She scored a Best Actress Oscar for the subtlety she brings to the part. Donald Sutherland is inspired as John Klute, a small-town detective trying to solve the disappearance of a friend. His only clue is a letter his friend sent to Bree in New York City. The two develop romantic feelings for one another amidst a backdrop of danger and intrigue, as Bree is being stalked by an unhappy former cust
omer. KRAMER VS. KRAMER (1979) A custody battle over little Billy (Nominee for Best Supporting Actor Justin Henry) ensues between Ted Kramer (Best Actor Dustin Hoffman) and his wife Joanna (Best Actress Meryl Streep) after Joanna leaves her husband and son to try to find herself. The touching relationship that develops between father and son is the true discovery and is what makes this movie a keeper. THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975) While not a classic by any means, this movie never fails to send shivers down my spine as each wife in the small suburb of Stepford goes from strong, vibrant woman with her own needs to mindless robotic nymph programmed to please. Katharine Ross and Paula Prentiss are friends Joanna and Bobbie who begin to suspect evil intentions about their husbands? joining the neighborhood male-bonding club. Long before the human cloning debate, this movie was ahead of its time. Tina Louise has a small post-Gilligan?s Island role as one of the mechanical wives. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (1977) John Travolta makes disco look cool as he beats the Brooklyn heat inside a local dance club to escape his otherwise ordinary existence. Travolta (Nominee for Best Actor Oscar and Golden Globe) plays Tony Manero, hocking nails in a hardware store by day, nailing dance moves on the floor boards by night. Travolta brings a sincere earnestness to the role, as well as an arsenal of nimble dance moves. Tony falls for Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney), his snooty dance partner, as they team up to participate in a dance contest. The Brothers Gibb were nominated for Best Original Scoring of the movie and for their song "How Deep is Your Love".
I was just 10 when the 70s started, and 19 by the time it was all over. There are some memories there, believe me, as I progressed from girl to woman. Hot pants, maxi skirts, space hoppers, chopper bikes, clackers (break your knuckles, darned things), first boyfriend, first hangover, glam rock, disco, first baby, first marriage and first horror film. The 70s were, as far as I’m concerned, the greatest era of them all. I used to like going to the pictures with my mates. Like most kids, we used to be selective with regards to our ages. If it was a kids/youth film, we were under 18 and paid for a child’s ticket. If it was an adult film, we were over 18 and went to a different cinema. Nobody ever asked for ID back then and loading on the make-up did wonders. We were caught out once though. A 18 certificate was showing at our local cinema and we didn’t have enough money to pay for tickets and bus fare to the one we usually used in those situations, so we decided to chance it down the local ABC. We stood in the queue, as you did in those days, and gradually moved towards the box office (posh name for the little cubby-hole that the ticket lady sat in). Our turn arrived and my friend stepped forward. “One for The Exorcist, please”. The lady in the cubby hole eyed her up and down, looked me and a couple of other friends over and asked “Weren’t you lot here last week to see [some kids film or another]? And didn’t you pay half price?” Quick turn and leg it out of the foyer. Bugger! It was months before we dared go back there again. Anyway, onto the top 10 list. My favourite films of the 70s, as I remember them. Don’t expect them to be great films if viewed now, but they were my favourites, way back when…. !. The Exorcist – 1973 (UK release 1974) This one has to be listed first. The horror by which all ensuing horror films were judged. At the time, the special effect
s were incredible, especially the vomiting and head swivelling scenes. The crucifix scene was shocking, and the whole concept of possession was very scary. Nobody dared admit that it had scared them of course, but it sure as hell scared me! I was really quite worried about the possibility of the devil taking over my body and wanted to sleep with the lights on for weeks after seeing it. Mum wouldn’t let me leave the light on though (“you’re not paying the electric bill are you?”) and lying in my bed worrying about demons and what they could do to me just wasn’t nice at all. It’s amazing really, how something that is so unlikely to happen, can be so terrifying. There were films that were far closer to reality, like “Jaws”, but that never had anywhere close to the same effect on me as William Friedkin’s masterpiece. I’ve seen it since, and although it doesn’t give me sleepless nights anymore, it’s still a very chilling film. By the way, did you know that “Tubular Bells”, which was used as the soundtrack, was the first ever album released by Virgin records? 2. Rocky – 1976 The first episode of what eventually turned into a cinema soap. I actually didn’t want to see this, but a male friend persuaded me, and now it’s there as number 2 on my list. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Probably because I was living in an area where a lot of the boys were amateur boxers, and the idea of a lad moving up in the world, even if it was by knocking the living daylights out of somebody else, was a bit Cinderella-ish. The fact that Sylvester Stallone had a nice body didn’t have anything to do with it of course. Stallone, who was an unknown at the time, wrote the script himself and insisted on playing the leading role. I’ve seen all the sequels, but the first one remains my all time Rocky favourite. 3. Grease – 1978 <
br>Still one of my favourites today. I loved the music, I loved the attitudes, but I especially loved the clothes of the 50s. A lot of girls already held a torch for John Travolta after Saturday Night Fever, and went to see Grease for that reason alone. I didn’t go much on him really, but that didn’t matter. It was a feel good film. It was miles away from the lives we were living, and yet there were so many similarities, simply because it was based on teen culture. The boys competing to be strongest male, girls sharing secrets and worrying about whether you can get pregnant if you do it standing up. Oh, for that summer loving! It still works today because my girls love it. 4. Never Too Young To Rock - 1975 Oh dear! Does anybody other than me remember this film? It was complete garbage, but one of my favourites because The Glitterband starred in it. I was madly in love with the drummer, and anything that showed as much as a glimpse of him would’ve been good in my eyes. The Rubettes were also in it, along with Mud. The film was released on 20th May and that was the day I went to see it. Talk about eager. The last half hour or so of the film was music music music, which was good, but the acting was crap. I saw it again a few years ago and wondered how on earth I’d managed to sit through it first time round, but I know the answer. It was the 70s, I was into glam rock, and Peter Phipps was gorgeous (a term reserved for the chosen few). 5. Star Wars - 1977 What can I say? The all time sci-fi classic. If you’ve never heard of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vadar, R2D2 or C3PO, then you must’ve been living in a sci-fi world on another planet somewhere. Evidently, this film was made on shoestring but became one of the most successful films ever made. The effects were stunning and unlike anything we’d ever seen before. I mean, just compare Star Wars to the old “Lost in Space”
series that we used to watch! This film knocked us for six! 6. Saturday Night Fever – 1977 Music and dancing. Need I say more? As far as I was concerned, that was a winning combination. This film launched disco-mania, with music from the Bee Gees, Tavaras and KC & The Sunshine Band. We were all on the dance floors with one hand on a hip and the other stabbing at the air, thinking we were well cool. You had to be a bit careful though; get in the way and you could easily get a finger stabbed in your eye. This is the film that turned John Travolta into a household name. Even if you’re too young to remember, you’ll no doubt know about the white suit. Thinking about it now, he looked a bit of a plonker really, but it was good at the time. I remember wishing my local disco had a floor like in the film; lots of colourful flashing squares. All we had to boast about were some plastic palm trees. 7. Carrie – 1977 A psychological horror. I thought Sissy Spacek played her part so well in this film. She plays Carrie, a teenager who uses her telekinetic powers to take revenge on schoolmates after they humiliate her cruelly at the school prom. Carrie was pretty sad and pathetic really, but she didn’t deserve the constant taunting at school or the abuse at home. I felt sorry for her. The two scenes that I imagine most people remember are the pig’s blood at the prom scene and that final scene that still makes me jump today, even though I know what’s coming. I’ve seen a lot of Stephen King adaptations and this is definitely one of the best. Oh, and in case you don’t know, John Travolta was in this one too. He certainly put himself around in the 70s. 8. Alien - 1979 Yet another horror, this time a sci-fi version starring John Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. I thought the effects were good in this one too, and it was really quite scary even though there w
ere few really gory scenes. Mind you, the chest-bursting scene made up for it and I don’t like lots of gore anyway. The story was actually good, and there was plenty of suspense, especially at the end when the ship’s blown up. This is one that I think has honestly stood the test of time. Ok, it doesn’t have the visual impact that it would’ve had if it’d been made today, but for a film made 20 odd years ago, it’s still good. 9. Jaws – 1975 Der-dum, der-dum, der-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum. Or something along those lines. There’s a nasty shark lurking in the water and it likes to gobble up anybody who ventures into the sea for a swim. It was clever. The shark seemed quite real really, but that could be because we didn’t actually see it much. It didn’t scare me though. I still went swimming in the sea after seeing it, but it scared the living daylights out of my mum. This was the film that really put Steven Spielberg on the map and the music was so important that I don’t think the film would’ve had anywhere near the same impact without it. 10. Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory – 1972 A musical version of Roald Dahl’s famous book. I liked Charlie Bucket (or is that Bouquet?). He was a good kid. The others were brats. The factory wasn’t as good as the one I’d created in my head; the one that was in the book, but it still seemed like a lot of fun and I really wished I could visit it. There was a moral to the story too. No good comes to kids that are selfish and rude. I watched it again with my own kids, and it’s still wonderful. Gene Wilder is magnificent in the role of Willy Wonka. So that’s it. Notice that they are no Monty Python films in the list? I hated them. I was the only one who didn’t join in when a party got into “silly walks” mode. John Cleese and company did nothing
for me. I’m not that keen on horror films anymore, but I suppose I was like most teenagers and went through a phase of wanting to have the poop scared out of me. Nowadays I’d much rather wet myself. Give me a good comedy any day. ~~+~~+~~
It's often been debated just what is the best decade or time period for films anway? What criteria do we use? The late 30's and 40's are called the Golden Age. The late 40's and 50's saw the Neo-Realists strongly influence filmmakers, the late 50's brought us the French New Wave and the American cinema at the end of the 60's and through much of the 70's is often called the Platinum Age. The 1970's was one of the most exciting periods of time in Cinema, particularly American cinema. Yes, it was more exciting then the French New Wave, or the Italian Neo Realism periods because there was so much variety, experimentation, bending and breaking of the rules going on, it took audiences years to even begin to catch-up. What happened in the late 60s and early 1970s however was strongly influenced by the films of the past. Without a film like Open City there would perhaps have been no Mean Streets. The 1970's saw an explosion in the use of various cinematic expressions making its way into popular films. Many of the films weren't huge successes at the box offices when they were first released, but most were recognized by film buffs and film critics as being something quite superior. I compiled a list of 100 of my favorite films around the time the AFI was releasing their 100 Greatest Films of all Times. I had compiled lists of 25 before, but never 100. I've looked over my list in the past few years and the films and their placement on my list still seem mostly right to me. They represent 100 of my Favorite Films. Films I thoroughly enjoy watching, have watched several times, and also hold in the highest regard. In compiling this list of Best 70's films I've taken them from my larger list. At the end of my brief capsule reviews you will see this (2 - 100). That indicates on my list of 100 the film is number 2. I like lists a lot, but I also hate them. They shouldn'
t dominate popular critical thinking as much as they do. Lists can and will change. There are a few films perhaps I've never seen or one's that when I first saw them I didn't fully appreciate, but now that I'm that older and wiser (cough cough) ?.Well you get the idea. NUMBER 10 O' Lucky Man (1973, Lindsay Anderson) Malcolm McDowell stars in this continuation of the character he played in IF.....It's about the trials and tribulations, the rise and fall and rise and fall again of a coffee salesman. It features an infectious and purposefully intrusive musical score by Alan Price. Several actors have multiple roles. Don't miss it. (49 - 100) NUMBER 9 9) Mash (1970, Robert Altman) An amazing cast in a truly original and influential film which was this irrverant black comedy in which the Korean War backdrop allowed Altman and Ring Lardner (who won an Oscar for his screenplay) to make acerbic comments on Vietnam, race relations, the war between men and women and more. It of course was the basis for the hit t.v. series. (43 - 100 ) 9) McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) Re-inventing and updating the Western, this film successfully introduces us to what Altman-esque means in it's finest sense. It's a quirky film to many, a masterpiece to others. It's nothing short of a brilliant masterpiece to me. (43-100) NUMBER 8 8.) The Long Goodbye (1973, Robert Altman) Many despise what they wrongly believe is Altman's contempt for Raymond Chandler in this Chandler-esque update. It's a masterpiece of the 70's. The Camera never stops moving, the staging, pacing, script, acting, and sense of time and place is superb. The long out of print video release was a butchered pan and scan version of the film. See it in a theater or pray it will be out on DVD soon. (42 - 100 ) NUMBER 7 7) Mean Streets (1973, Martin Scor
cese) Technically adept, low budget masterpiece which put Scorcese, DeNiro, and Keitel on the map and features David and Robert Carradine. Did you know most of it was filmed in Los Angeles? (39 - 100) NUMBER 6 6) Real Life (1979, Albert Brooks) Brooks' twisted satire of documentaries like P.B.S.'s American Family (The Louds), could very well be a satire of MTV's reality series too. The comedy is clever and the underlying comments on the media, American life, the suburbs are well made. Not a masterpiece, but a film that made me laugh till I hurt and firmly established Albert Brooks, Harry Shearer (who wrote this with Brooks and Monica Johnson) and Charles Grodin 's careers. (34 - 100) NUMBER 5 5.) Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorcese) Unfortunately, the film was far more prophetic than anyone ever wanted it to be. Schrader and Scorcese's vision of obsessive loneliness in a huge unfriendly city is riveting and as disturbing and nightmarish as you allow it to be. (29-100) NUMBER 4 4) Manhattan (1979, Woody Allen) Comedic slice of life about a group of smart friends in New York City. Nearly flawless, poignant and accurate character study. It's Woody's Best film. An extremely self-confident and 'honest' work. I'll do A long review of this one soon. (18-100) NUMBER 3 3) The Conversation (1974, F.F. Coppola) Disturbing film which makes many points regarding privacy and personal responsibility as a surveillance expert makes the mistake of getting involved in a case. Gene Hackman, supporting cast , direction and script are brilliant. (15 - 100) NUMBER 2 2) Godfather Part 2 ( 1974, F.F. Coppola) Impossible as it seems, Coppola topped his Godfather with this Almost perfect epic of an extremely dysfunctional family. Al Pacino delivers one of the finest film acting performance
you'll ever see. Rich in period detail, it spans two separate stories in a presentation that was bold and assured. (9 - 100) And my favorite movie of the 1970's will come as no surprise for most film buffs. NUMBER 1 1) China Town (1974- Roman Polanski) Director Polanski took Robert Towne's brilliant screenplay, improved what would have been a compromised ending and re-invented noir. As perfect as a film can be. It however is a complex and calculated film that assumes the audience is intelligent and will enjoy its intellectual and emotional complexities. (2 - 100) THE TOP ALTERNATE CHOICES WOULD BE : 11) Five Easy Pieces (1970, Bob Rafelson) A brilliant performance by Nicholson highlights this character study of a dreamer, musician who has grown bitter and cynical trying to ignore his artistic ambitions. He tries to communicate with his dying father and face his own fears of failure and mortality. Uncompromising, unflinching, 70's era, makes few concessions to the audience to be better liked-although the wonderful toast/chicken salad scene is here. (70 - 100) 12) Last Picture Show (1971, Peter Bogdanovich) Nostalgic, but never sentimental slice of life character study, beautifully acted, photographed , scripted and directed. A once in a lifetime cast most of whom were never better than they are in this film. It will haunt you. (76 - 100) 13) Cries and Whispers (1972, Ingmar Bergman) A film which devastated me. It left me an emotional wreck for weeks afterward. As a woman slowly dies, three women care for her. Her two sisters can't bear to watch her die or face death. One is promiscuous, one is repressed. Unforgettable use of color (lots of reds), and imagery and the camera dwells on the meaningless, adding tremendous meaning to what transpires. A brilliant, difficult film. (Lars Von Trier touches upon the powe
r of the film with his recent Dancer in the Dark). (77 -100) 14) Harold and Maude (1971, Hal Ashby) This cult film classic, is at times screamingly funny and full of heart, soul and poetry. A product of and from the 70's. It's messages are now obvious and awkward but it doesn't diminish the comedy or the optimism of the film. A quirky masterpiece featuring definitive performances by Bud Court, Ruth Gordon and an innovative, risky and successful use of Cat Stevens' music (some original for the film). Definitely not for all tastes. (78 - 100) 15) Straw Dogs (1972, Sam Peckinpah) An uncompromising film which builds, until you want it to explode in an orgy of violence and when it does you hate yourself for asking for it. A still controversial masterpiece. Dustin Hoffman and Susan George star. (81 - 100 ) 16) A Clockwork Orange (1971, Stanley Kubrick) A disturbing, at times funny, often brutal, sadistic and misogynyistic film based on the controversial book by Anthony Burgess and featuring another brilliant, and fearless Malcolm McDowell performance. Only recently officially released in the UK. Brilliantly conceived and executed from start to finish. (83 - 100) 17) Gimme Shelter (1970, David and Albert Maysles) The Stones try to perform their best songs at the peak of their performing career. But this is Altamount, the infamous rock concert in which The Hell's Angels were hired as security guards and all hell literally broke loose. As the films end, you know you've seen part of one of the best performances by a consumate showman (Jagger), but you will be haunted and disturbed by what's occurred during the concert and how it's affected the performers, and the audiences. The Summer of Love's (1967) good vibrations were definitely over with Altamount and Kent State. (87 - 100) 18) Annie Hall (1977, Woody Allen) Witty, warm, incredibly influen
tial semi-autobiographical love story. It may over-use clever gimmicks but it's funny and one of Woody's finest. (90 - 100 ) 19) The Conformist (1971, Bernardo Bertolucci) Fully restored in 1994, this classic, disturbing and tense character study concerns a man (during the 1930's) who represses his homosexual desires, works for the Italian Fascists as a member of its secret service and slowly becomes capable of murder. (93- 100) 20- TIE) Satyricon (1970, Frederico Fellini) It's an overindulgent, mess of a film full of Fellini's latter trademarks and penchant for bizzarre characters. It's set in a decadent Ancient Rome that only Fellini could do justice to. You'll be baffled by it, hate it, or be fascinated with it's tone, attitude and feel. Yes the music sounds a lot like the score used in The Godfather--same composer. (96-100) 20 - TIE) El Topo (1970, Jodorowsky) Filmed over a course of nearly three years, the filmmakers twice were stranded for weeks without supplies and without money. This film was started in 1964/65, completed and originally set for release in 1967/68, it predates The Wild Bunch, Easy Rider and other 60's landmarks.... It was a true labor of love to finish the film. And then the film was banned in several countries. What does it mean? It's often brutal, sadistic and extremely gory. It's first half is an allegorical journey through most of the Eastern religions via a mysterious almost Christlike gunslinger. Midway through the film the tone changes and it becomes a blasphemous re-telling of the new testament. It was the film that first began the midnight movie phenomona in the U.S. It's been out of circulation and nearly impossible to see for more 25 years because of a personal dispute between the producer and Jodorowsky. The feud continues as legal action was taken to preven Jodorowsky from using Sons of El Topo as the title for a sequ
el he was filming in 1999. There's nothing else like El Topo. For many that's a darn good thing. (99 - 100 ) Hopefully, I've reminded you of some great films you haven't seen for a while and perhaps have mentioned a few that you will make a point of trying to find and watch. Enjoy. Christopher Jarmick,is the author of The Glass Cocoon with Serena F. Holder a critically acclaimed, steamy suspense thriller. Original portions of this review Copyright© Christopher J. Jarmick 2001. The above work is protected by international copyright law.
It's hard for me to look at that decade seriously. My impression of it is based on my mother and movies from that time period.. well Here's my top 10 of the 70s. 10. The Godfather. Yes I'm the 2% of people who like the first one better. It's very emotional engaging and has lots of memorable characters and a great plot. Sunny rules. Acting is top notch. and of course gave tons of room for parody to enjoy years later. Love the whole 'full circle' plot of Al Pacino's character not wanting anything to do with the mafia to become the Godfather himself. 9. Enter The Dragon. Bruce Lee being bruce lee. Amazingly quick and intense. Another movie where it's flaws adds to the charm.. including it's stereotypical characters. The fight scenes are awesome and it's just a lot of fun. There is this one kick that would kill any stunt man... YOU WILL KNOW IT WHEN YOU SEE IT(final fight). 8. Apocalypse Now. Very interesting and deep movie. I wouldn't say this is a movie about Vietnam.. it's more a odyssey that takes place in Vietnam. It's not about soldiers and their fighting the enemy. It's about the changing of good people when put in strange situations. The directing is amazing. It is captivating and different. 7. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. This movie is great. Jack Nicholson gives one of his best performances in this frequently hilarious, interesting, deep look at mental illness and how we view them. 6. Rocky- who doens't like this movie. Great tale of triump and is very entertaining. The drama is well acted and the boxing matches are powerful and thrilling. Great story with a good twist ending. 5. The Exorcist- Scared the hell out of me. Great makeup, original, and very freaky. Nuff said. 4. Star Wars- started it all. Some of the most memorable characters in movie history. fun. 3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail- Eccentric, hilariou
s, quotable, fun, original, and it never gets old. The black knight, dennis the peasant, the needless cat killing throughout the film, the lame but it works ending, great dialogue, and it's something you'll never forget. 2. JAWS- it never ever gets old. Watch it all the time. Fun, suspenseful, and great directing. what else is there to say. 1. Clockwork Orange - . Clockwork Orange - The best movie I've ever seen. Dark, comical, and important. The first half hour is well known for the mischief Alex and his droogs get into. Filled with a fantastic fight sequence, and even a bit of a sing a long part as he gives surprise visit to an unsuspecting old man and his wife. you'll be Singing in the Rain when you see this. The rest of the movie is filled with social commentary about human nature and science trying to correct it. Many points are well demonstrated and many are subtle and takes a couple viewings to get everything. Alex's unique slang that he and his droogs use is brilliant, the use of classical music is brilliant, the movie's concepts are masterfully shown by my favorite director ever. Stanley Kubrick brings sophistication to the most taudry subjects and this is his Masterpiece. "Brilliant. A tour de force of extraordinary images, music, words, and feelings." Vincent Canby, THE NEW YORK TIMES. there you have it... easy on the hatemail please :)
Aaaahhh the 70s. Platforms, flares, curly perms and a bizarre sounding guitar which always started playing whenever the 'hip' guys were walking down the street. I was never there of course, well briefly, but its without a doubt that this era certainly brought us some of the finest movies ever produced. There is something about a movie made in the 70s which is just so much more cool than those made in any other era either since or before - and at the same time so excruciatingly kitsch. You've just gotta love 'em. Well, maybe not, but this is my top ten, not placed in any particular order, and, no doubt, probably not limiting itself to 10 either. In fact, if I avoid drawing up a top 100 it'll be damn miracle, but here goes nothing... 1) Grease Hehehe...yes I know what you are thinking, but Hey! Is this or is it not one of the most popular and enduring movies ever made? Sure it is...you know it makes sense. I'm sure Grease goes without introduction, but for all those aliens, cave-dwellers, people who have spent the last 30 years studying cannibalistic tribes in some rainforest out there...this is for you... The plot behind Grease is basically superfluous to the overall grand scheme of things. It is a musical set in Rydell High, exploring the ins and outs of young love, mainly between the two lead characters of Danny(John Travolta) and Sandy(Olivia Newton-John). They had a summer romance and she is keen to carry it on but he can't be seen to be too interested or risk losing his macho image in the eyes of his friends. Effectively there are two groups, the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies, one all male, the other al female, who play off against each other as the movie clumsily explorers teenage romance and growing up in general. OK, even I'm struggling to find something good to say about his movie, as to be honest, the acting is poor(apart from Stockard Channing as Rizzo), the plot is weak and
the songs not exactly earth-shattering - yet at the same time it has an odd magnetic appeal to it. I think I must have seen it at least 15 times, probably more and whilst I never actually go out of my way to see it, if its on television, I'll probably watch it again. It has that kind of lasting appeal...despite its general air of naffness :o) and its not very 70s...being based in the 50s, but one that is... 2) Bullit I just had to include one Steve McQueen movie in there somewhere, and this would be a worthy member of any list. It is also the perfect example of a 70s cop movie for a number of reasons. OK, so the plot is nothing special, basically Steve McQueen plays the title character of Bullit - a good but unorthodox cop whose task it is to protect a Mafia informant from hoodlums before the court case comes up. What is special about this movie though is the breathless chase scenes which are still yet to be bettered in any movie to have followed despite many trying to imitate. The dizzying climax features an elongated chase up and down the streets, hills and sidealleys of San Francisco, all screaming tyres, near misses and perfectly placed stacks of cardboard boxes - superb. All the chase scenes were filmed using handheld cameras, without technical trickery which lends an enormous sense of realism and urgency to the proceedings - none of this film for 5 seconds and then cut malarkey here, these are real perfectly choreographed scenes, pumped full of adrenaline and trust me, you can almost smell the burning rubber. McQueen is the typical anti-hero cop figure popularised by Bogart in previous years but widely copied during the 70s and as far as I am concerned carries the role off to perfection. In a sadly short career, this is easily his best movie in my opinion and well worth the look if you haven't seen it already. 3) Taxi Driver The movie which announced the arrival of two of Hollywood brightest shining stars -
Martin Scorcese and Robert De Niro. Taxi Driver won the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival and received award nominations left right and centre after its release. It is a deeply disturbing character study of a Vietnam veteran who having returned from the war sees nothing but scum around him on the streets. THIS is what he fought for? He is an insomniac and spends the night driving his taxi around the filth ridden streets of New York City, most of the movie being seen through his windshield. When not driving his cab, and still unable to sleep, he spends his time in his squalid apartment or in the porno theatre to waste the hours away. Alienated from society he prophesises that one day the rain will come and cleanse the city streets of the dregs of humanity who reside there - the only glimmer of hope in De Niro's personal hell is his obsession with Betsy(Cybil Shepard) but he blows his chances with her by taking her on a date to the porno theatre - the only place he knows. So he develops a new obsession, to rescue a 12 year old prostitute(Jodie Foster) from her pimp(Harvey Keitel) and turns himself into his own metaphor...the big rain that will cleanse the streets, with bloody consequences. The imagery in this movie is astounding. Scorcese portrays New York City by night as a literal hell on earth, smoking drains, bright flashing neon lights, noise, glare and decaying humanity everywhere. It is a deeply paranoid view of modern day life, aided and abetted by Bernard Hermann's score and dark, grainy cinematography coupled with De Niro's superb performance. We watch fascinated and terrified as he slowly becomes increasingly alienated before finally snapping in the final much maligned scene which Scorcese still claims is a cleansing ritual which exonerates De Niro's character...rather than a stomach churning bloodbath, horrifying in its technical excellence. Every character here excels him/herself. Other than De Niro, Jodie Foster is s
imply superb as a prostitute, wise well beyond her years and yet still youthfully innocent and Harvey Keitel perfectly cast(is that a compliment?) in the role of sleazy pimp Sport. Excellent, excellent movie, can't recommend it highly enough. Go beg/borrow/steal a copy right now. 4) The Deer Hunter Yes, OK its another Robert De Niro movie and yes I am a fan, but at the same time this is certainly NOT just a vehicle for his considerable talents. The Deer Hunter is an extremely powerful movie based around the lives of three friends, Mike(Robert De Niro), Nick(Christopher Walken), and Steven(John Savage) and their experiences of Vietnam and that which it has on a small industrial community from which they came. The first section of the movie is where the movie gains its title. It introduces the characters, their lives and loved ones and draws you into their relationships. The friends go on a hunting trip up into the mountains, Steven gets married, we see wives, girlfriends, families and the camaraderie between them...and then the film cuts violently to Vietnam and the heat of the action where the three friends are held captive with others, forced to play Russian Roulette whilst the Viet Cong bet on the outcome. Mentally and physically scarred by their individual ordeals the third act, as it were, focuses upon their return to their interrupted lives back home. Steven is embittered and disabled, Nick has decided to stay in Vietnam and sends money back to Steven without explanation and Mike decides it is time to bring him home where he belongs. The Deer Hunter never questions America's involvement in the Vietnam, and has been accused of being overtly racist towards the Vietnamese people in general, yet it remains an effective and deeply emotional study of the fortunes of three friends whose lives are torn apart by the conflict. Enormously effective and brutally memorable, it picked up a best Picture Oscar and scores of awards at the time
and has remained an enduring classic ever since. De Niro is superb although I think he is outshone by Walken who is magnificent here, with Savage also putting in an excellent performance, although he is certainly the weak link and virtually ignored in the third section. I love the sheer gut wrenching tension in this movie - you really can't beat the Russian roulette scenes for that - and the enormous emotional power generated on Mike's discovery of Nick back in Saigon and how he is making the money to send to Steven. An absolute classic. 5) Alien The classic sci-fi shocker which really needs no introduction. Ridley Scott's classic may play more like a haunted house in outer space than its nightmarish sequel Aliens, but in terms of suspense, it is hard to beat. Yes, it certainly owes a lot to the 1950s classic The Thing(later remade by John Carpenter which is an awesome movie) but in terms of bringing the genre forward and some classic scenes(indigestion will never feel the same again) it can not be beaten. For those who somehow do not know, the story goes a little like this. The crew of the intergalactic mining vessel Nostromo are prematurely called out of hyper-sleep by a distress signal emanating from an unknown planet. Forced to respond they detour and have a look around, finding a vast alien vessel which appears to be deserted apart from a clutch of strange looking eggs, one of which promptly bursts open, its inhabitant attaching itself to the face of one of the crew and refusing to let go - they take him back to quarantine and within a few days it dies and falls off and the unfortunate crew member appears to be OK again. That is until over dinner, it turns out that he has become host to some stomach dwelling parasite which, now fully incubated decides to make and appearance in a horrific chest bursting scene which has become cinematic folk lore. It scuttles off, cute little critter - nasty looking teeth and the crew decide to hunt
it down...but its growing and furthermore, it turns out that their meeting wasn't exactly an accident either, but that the greedy money grabbing space corps for which they work hope to capture and breed the things... Later to spawn 3 sequels, one far better in my opinion, the others good but not that good, Alien is one of the scariest movies out there. Nailbiting suspense, excellent special effects and one of the damn scariest, evil, nasty creatures ever to hit the screen make this one movie you just have to see. 6) Jaws The movie which single-handedly marked the rebirth of the 50s monster movie and revolutionised summer blockbusters. Stephen Spielberg's big rubber shark had people afraid to go into the water for years and had them flocking to the movie theatres instead. Following on from the supremely suspenseful Duel, Jaws takes this suspense to a new level and grips you by the throat right from the outrageously horrific opening scene to the immensely claustrophobic ending. Amity Island is experiencing a number of viscous shark attacks but fearing for the tourist industry the local mayor tries to keep it quiet. Eventually the frequency of these attacks, by a 28ft great white shark calls for action and can no longer be kept quiet. In steps police chief Martin Brody(RoyScheider), marine biologist Matt Hooper(Richard Dreyfuss) and Captain Ahab...no sorry, I mean shark hunter Quint(Robert Shaw) to track down and kill the beast. Utilising the same virtually 'unseen' enemy which was so effective in the movie Duel which launched his career, Spielberg creates a nerve jangling nightmare, pitting man against shark in its natural element, effectively shattering the macho image which proliferated contemporary cinema. Jaws is a superb movie which has become and remains an integral part of popular culture, by preying on a common fear held globally - i.e. the perils which lurk below the sea. 7) Star Wars Trilogy &qu
ot;Along time ago, in a galaxy far far away.." Ok, so its three movies and not one, but its my list so shaddupppp! I love Star Wars, watching it so many times as a kid I must have driven my parents to distraction. Again for those who are either very young, or spent their lives in a cave, its only the biggest science fiction movie ever made, featuring some of the most spectacular visuals and true outer space adventure that others have tried to recreate and miserably failed...Battlestar Gallactica? Pah! Buck Rogers? Double Pah! and I'm surprised Lucas didn't sue for the number of his ideas 'borrowed' by that movie. I was a little kiddy when this came out and I had all the spin-off figures, spaceships etc...lol. It was just great. Oh yes..the story..ahem... Luke(Mark Hamill) yearns for a life of adventure in the space academy, living at the moment on a dusty planet with his uncle who refuses to let him leave because he wants help with the harvest. The galaxy has come under the control of the evil Emperor, spearheaded by the fearsome Death Star, a seemingly indestructible spherical spaceship capable of destroying planets. This is controlled by Grand Moff Tarkin(Christopher Lee) and his henchman Dark Vader(David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones) and is the key to the power of the Emperor. As such, the rebel forces need its destruction if they stand any hope of returning the galaxy to fair rule. Princess Leia(Carrie Fisher) obtains the plans for the craft and hides them in a droid(R2D2), jettisoning both it and its translator(CP30) into space in an escape pod with instructions to hunt out Obi-Wan Kenobe(Alec Guiness). However, their first port of call happens to be Luke's farm and he follows to be met by Ben Kenobe - a jedi master who teaches him 'the force' and he gets all the adventure he can handle in joining the battle again the Emperor... Yes, I know its a brief summation and there are hoards of nooks, cra
nnies and complications in this movie which could be explored but I refuse to on the basis that you should watch and see them for yourself. Far more than just a simple space movie, there are elements borrowed from all over the place - from the previous 40 years of cinema here, an observation which Lucas freely admits to - and indeed revels in. The special effects at the time were fantastic, and they still look pretty good now, although nowhere near AS good of course. An absolutely stunning movie with great visuals, fantastic characters(how many camp robots can you think of), and a terrific musical score and overall sense of adventure. 8) Picnic At Hanging Rock I love this movie. I am still completely in the dark as to what the outcome of it is, but its gloriously atmospheric. Peter Weir was basically the only Australian director to receive any kind of critical acclaim in the 1970s producing such 'classics' as The Cars That Ate Paris and The Last Wave and then this retread of a true life mystery from the 1900s. As the title would suggest, it tells the story of 4 girls and their teacher from a boarding school in Victoria who go for a picnic at hanging rock. One of the girls goes to sleep and awakes to find that the others have disappeared, leaving behind their footwear, perhaps to climb higher up the rock. They never return and the police are called in but do not find a trace of them either. Soon an Englishman gets involved, deciding to conduct his own investigation with some extremely interesting but highly inconclusive results... OK, its very arty and mystical, with a possibly supernatural slant, although you'll never know because it keeps everything highly underexplained which will either intrigue or infuriate. The movie is dominated by a barely controlled sexual hysteria and gets deeply overheated and generally confusing in parts but its a brilliant movie nonetheless. It shows the boarding school collapsing from the inside o
ut as the ambiguity of the disappearance gnaws away at staff and students but we asked to accept that the mystery is to be seen in terms of something beyond that which we are capable of understanding. Think that’s a cop out? Fully understand. Can deal with it? Excellent! Great movie for you here then. Enjoy! 9) A Clockwork Orange Oh? Have I mentioned before that I like this movie? Hehehe...only about 5 times so far of dooyoo but hey what the hell. I do, and its one of the best movies of the 70s as far as I am concerned so you'll just have to humour me again here. A Clockwork Orange is Stanley Kubrik's infamous cover of Anthony Burgess' book by the same name. Originally given a self-imposed ban by Kubrik, but now on general release following his death, it is a nightmarish vision of a crime and punishment in a future world. Its certainly not pretty by any standards. Malcolm Macdowell's character and his fellow 'droogs', delighting in a bit of the old ultraviolence in their quest for kicks, beating, raping, murdering their chosen victim for no other reason than the pursuit of fun. The movie is really in two halves. The first part devoted to showing Macdowell and his cronies at their worst, the second a damning indictment of the equally repugnant punishment inflicted upon perpetrators. Alex, is subjected to a horrific brainwashing technique to reprogram him out of commiting violent action...and then released to society. Enormously scathing of society in general and asking more questions than the Spanish inquisition, this is a fascinating movie which is sure to provoke argument and debate after its end. It looks a little dated but the message remains the same and Mcdowell's performance is easily the best of his career. Excellent, excellent movie, well worth a couple of hours of your time - if you can stomach the violence that is. 10) The Exorcist Yes, I know - self-indulgence. Perhaps
there are a number of movies which could have come before this on the list, especially look at it now, but I am a big fan of horror movies, so it goes in. Tough, if you don't like it basically :o) William Blatty's movie is based along the lines of an a true story of demonic possession in 1943. It tells the story of how a child(Linda Blair) becomes progressively under the control of a demonic force and her parents struggle to stop it - with the aid of Father Merrin(Max Von Sydow). Back in 1973, no doubt the special effects would have been pretty darn scary, but today they look good, but we've seen it all before. Where this movie succeeds is in terms of just how damn disturbing it is. No, its not going to frighten the pants off you anymore, but nobody who watches with an open mind can leave without feeling more than a little perturbed by the experience. For that it is excellent, and one of the very few horror movies which actually achieves that effect. Many have tried to copy - none have succeeded to anywhere near the same extent. And those which nearly made it... Dirty Harry Klute China Town Superman The Godfather Midnight Express One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest Rocky Horror Picture Show Deliverance The Stepford Wives(no I hate the movie, but I was ordered to include it...geez women!)
The 70s………. Star Wars…Yes I know I keep going on about it but it’s the best! Spielbergs space opera will probably never be beaten as a cinema experience. But as with most of his films it nearly didnt happen as it turned out because the director wanted to cast Richard Dreyfuss as Han Solo after working with him in Jaws.Martin Scorcese a friend of Lucas new Ford was the right man for Solo and as Harrison was a jobbing actor and carpenter at the time in the mid 70s he invited Harrison to fix his grand office door whilst meeting with Lucas.After a chat he was invited to audition. Legend has it that the two up for the part shared a drink or two in a Beverly Hills motel with Dreyfuss and a prototype R2D2 being hurled out the window into the pool as Ford get fed up with the obnoxious up start. Great films usually become after adversity, as is the case with Staw Wars, truly magnificent. 2) One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest…. Jack Nicholsons Oscar winning performance as a petty crook interned in a nut house to get off from along prison sentence and the subsequent one-man rebellion against his strict regime and matron. You can’t help but get behind our Jack as he and his inmates begin to kick back against the regressive rules and regimentation. Nicholson acts his socks off as he did all the way through the 70s to put in a star performance with unforgettable moments. Great movie. 3) Jaws..Spielberg is back with his first blockbuster after the creditable Duel.The filming for this was a night mare as it went horrendously over budget as the mechanical shark corroded with salt .At one point a real Great White shark being bated jumped out at Roy Schnider nearly toppling into the water of which he has an intense phobia to in real life. The unforgettable music really sets the movie off with one of the scariest openings ever to a movie. Chief Brodie (Schnieder) as the head policeman at the resort of Amnity Island has to k
eep the tourist coming while the beast is out there. The performance he gives is quite clever, as he’s not a macho type ready to head out with a machine gun but a caring father who’s scared stiff of the shark and his responsibility. When a child dies the action hots up as the hunt begins. Great lines from Robert Shaw like”Your going to need a bigger boat”as the shark rears up and those moment s that remove you from your chair and skin as you watch the flick on the big screen make this the most memorable sea horror ever on celluloid. 4) Rocky…Stallone grunts and groans his way onto the bigscreen in this boxing classic off local boy makes good with a world title shot against brash Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) . But much to Creeds discomfort the local bum begins to shape up and the fight is on for real. Amazingly Stallone has an IQ of 143 and he almost had to produced and directed the film himself with little or no money from the studio. The boxing scenes are as dramatic as can be and a lot of the punches apparently landed on the actors during filming given it even more authenticity which was sadly lost in the sequel. The setting is moody to grim and the love interest grows with sophistication through the later quintet of films. Not only is it a dreamers film but it’s the American dream personified as Rocky Balboa achieves his dignity by staying on his feet at the end of round twelve. A classic sports flick. 5) The China Syndrome…Jack Lemon is his usual nervy self as the operations manager at a dodgy decrepit Neuclar Power station that’s in need of some serious repair. The bosses’ wont let him shut it down as the financial loss will be too much so he battles to get the truth out. Cleverly set just after the three mile incident in America the film induces series paranoia through out building nicely to the climax. Jayne Fonda almost steals the show as a gritty TV reporter coaxing
the truth from Lemon to the networks as on hand as it all goes pair shape during the first series vibration which eventually leads to a hostage situation so Lemon can stop the generator being turned on. Gripping stuff with the two leads in top form. 6) The Godfather…. Marlon Brando at his supreme eye popping, gravel voiced, wheezing best as he leads The Corleone family through the trials and tribulations of turbulent Mafia times. Part of the most critically acclaimed trilogy ever with all three movies picking up Oscars. Anyone who’s anyone in the Italian American acting fraternity turns in a cameo as the bodies pile up and the pasta is consumed in Smokey rooms and restaurants. The mood orchestral music adds to the sumptuous experience and if this doesn’t entertain you as cinema experience then nothing will. 7) Airport 75…Nothing gripped the seventies more than this series of airline crash movies which kicked of with Airport and progressed to the ghastly Concorde one wear it sunk to the bottom of the sea. As a kid in the cinema this stuff was high drama and really exciting as the 747 slowly falls apart when in collision with a light aircraft near the cockpit. Can the injured pilots keep the giant in the sky. Can the snow bound runway be cleared in time…. Dramatic airborne adventure that bought about the Airplane classic comedy movies. 8) Dark Star…A fascinating sci-fi film about a deep space vehicle and crew who blow up collapsing stars to create energy with “intelligent “ smart bombs. On this mission the bomb questions his mission parameters and refuse to leave the ship and creates a show down as it questions its masters and its very own existence resulting in an intriguing stand off in the deepest of dark space. A highly intricate and intelligent film that received little or no acclaim at the time. If it’s on BBC2 late at night tape it, as it’s a classic. 9Deliverance..Famous
for its memorable scene in the woods with the pig grunting country boys getting frisky with Burt Reynolds and his boating buddies out for the weekend for a soft of rafting and all together different sort of male bonding they weren’t looking for. The Forrest and mountain panoramas are stunning as the frantic hunters fight to stay alive in the back woods of America.Burt Reynolds never did a better film and every time you see it you get the creeps. The haunting forests really add to the atmosphere and you stay with the chase on the edge of your seat as the nerves are slowly shredded. Their coming…… 10) The French Connection…Unforgettable chase scenes and shoot outs dominate this fast paced action packed thriller as detective Gene Hackaman chases down his man. It’s atmospheric, gritty, violent, and uncompromising all the way through to its Oscar nomination. The car chases through the tight streets and underpasses where done for real and adhock sometimes during filming to get the right feel. Amazingly no one was killed or injured with the Star and director in the said car. Awesome stuff.
I think most of the best American films (with a few exceptions like 'Bonnie and Clyde') were made in the Seventies. Blame Nixon, blame Vietnam, blame the movie brats like Scorsese and De Palma, but this was a time when Hollywood got all adult and intelligent. Shame it didn't last... IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER 1) Taxi Driver Bernard Herrman's jazzy, sleazy score, a superbly acute and witty script by Paul Schrader, grand, operative direction from Scorsese and the electricity of Robert De Niro pretty much in his prime: this is cinema. With New York as an annex of Hell, Travis Bickle as an insane avenging angel, and the world collapsing in front of our eyes at the end, this is a superb evocation of 70s paranoia and unease. 2) The Parallax View By no means as paranoid as it might seem, this is one of a trio of masterful conspiracy movies that Alan J. Pakula made in the seventies (along with 'Klute' and 'All The President's Men'), describing an America where the whole political system is run by plots, conspiracies and cold men in suits. Says everything you need to know about the assassination of JFK and the plots of Nixon in one streamlined, absolutely gripping thriller. Superb performance from Warren Beatty, dynamite ending which will leave you numb. 3)Network Where 'Parallax' is focused and controlled, 'Network' is enraged, confused and incoherent. It's an old man's film, written by a hugely respected TV scriptwriter who obviously despises the way TV is going, and seeing conspirators and psychos at every turn. A Patty Hearst-style kidnapping is exploited for the ratings, a lunatic newsreader is manipulated to deliver a fundamentalist message, and cynicism rules the airwaves. It's enough to give you a headache, but it's everything that 'Natural Born Killers' wanted to be and wasn't, and the message of 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm no
t going to take it any more' will stay with you. 4) Chinatown 'Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown'. Had Sharon Tate not been murdered, this film would have had a happy ending, but Polanski couldn't see a world where the good guys win, and so you get this deeply unhappy, immensely stylish film noir. It's about the way in which money and power can do anything, triumph over anything (and reflects real LA history to a frightening degree). Nicholson is superb, Dunaway at her best and John Huston the personification of evil. Virtually every attempt at film noir since has been a pale imitation. 5) Annie Hall It's a toss-up between this and 'Manhattan' - this is funnier, and 'Manhattan' is more beautiful, and both were made in Woody Allen's heyday. The difference between this and rough little movies like 'Take the Money and Run' is astonishing; stylish, assured, painfully funny and astonishingly autobigraphical, this is a superb film, with Allen's best performance and Keaton amazingly willing to go along with it. Fab Chris Walken cameo, and my favourite Allen sight gag: Annie's bigot Grandma seeing Alvy as an orthodox jew. 6) Dawn of the Dead Not destined to be shown in a double bill with 'Annie Hall', this is probably not as good as either of the other films in the 'Dead' series, but it is still a superb, almost Swiftian satire on a society gradually consumed by its own consumer attitudes. Excellent performances, brilliant editing and direction, and more than enough gore to keep the horror fans happy. The only slapstick splatter movie worth its salt. 7) The Brood A real contrast to 'Dawn of the Dead', this is just terrifying, both as a monster movie, and as a brittle assault on family values. Reflecting on his ugly divorce, Cronenberg's tale of a woman trained to make her rage into solid, violent creatures who act out her anger is
a morbid and bleak assessment of where family break-ups can lead. It's also a damned scary piece of work with a superb performance from Samantha Eggar as the brood's mother, and Oliver Reed surprisingly sharp as the doctor who taught her how to externalise her anger. Should be required viewing for anyone who believed the more optimistic view of divorce presented by that other seventies classic 'Kramer versus Kramer'. 8) The Towering Inferno The rich bastards crowding onto the breecher's buoy and sending it toppling down is a perfect example of the deep and appealling cynicism which dominates this cheesy masterpiece. Some of it (the wheelbarrow full of cement which blocks the stairs, the dismal wrinkly romance) is just cack, and it does have all the hallmarks of a big mechanical Hollywood production. But the effects are excellent, the big cast (Newman, McQueen, Dunaway, Holden) is classy and there's much fun to be had at the endless disasters. Moreover, Robert Vaughn and Richard Chamberlain embody everything that was wrong with seventies America - evil scheming suits, lying and covering everything up. 9) Dirty Harry A reactionary slice of right-wing propaganda? A subtle deconstruction of vigilante law and order? 'Dirty Harry' is very devious, as you could read it either way. Callaghan is a law-breaking cop whose violence lets the villain out to do more killing, but the film equally glorifies violence and demonises hippies. Make your mind up in style though, as Eastwood's presence, brilliant location filming and a sassy score make this widescreen crime classic a real challenge to left and right-wing viewers. 10) Don't Look Now From start to finish, the only Nicolas Roeg movie that really works, his kaleidoscopic style and fleshy concerns melding perfectly in a tale of ghosts and memories intermixed. A bereaved couple take their dwindling marriage to wintry Venice, he to be be taunted by th
e belief that his dead daughter is with them, she to be haunted by visions of funerals. Gorgeous and menacing in equal measure, this is a masterpiece and the ending is, literally, a killer. So, no 'Nashville', no 'Obsession', no 'Exorcist', no 'Raging Bull', no 'Deliverance'... I could easily have picked ten other movies, but this list should at least indicate how good the seventies were.
My favourite movies from the 70's, most of which are from the early part of the decade, for some reason. They are not in any particular order: 1. The last picture show (1971) - directed by Peter Bogdonavich, it's black and white, lauded as the best film since Citizen Kane by some. It's detailed, and lovingly filmed. early appearances by Cybill Shepherd and Jeff Bridges. 2. American Graffiti (1973) - more American nostalgia, from George Lucas this time. Richard Dreyfuss is obviously too old to play a high school kid, but I still love to watch it, and all the music (doo wop and rock 'n' roll sounds great too). 3. Rocky horror picture show (1975) - science fiction, double feature? Brad and Janet? you know the rest. 4. Picnic at hanging rock (1975) - hypnotic Australian movie, about sexual wakening / repression, very evocative classical piano concerto music. 5. Alien (1979) - I like all the Alien films, but this one's the best. 6. Don't look now (1973) - one of the most frightening films I've ever scene, without being an out-and-out horror film (and it has one of the most erotic love scenes, too). 7. A clockwork orange (1971) - incomparable cult movie, valuable source for rock bands searching for a name. 8. Taxi Driver (1976) - directed by Martin Scorsese, it's still shockingly violent, but Robert de Niro is superb. 9. That'll be the day (1973) - not Oscar material, I know, but I love this tale of teenage rebellion and early Brit pop (and I mean 50s an 60s). David Esex looks good, Ringo Starr does the acting, and there are appearances from Billy Fury and Keith Moon. 10. One flew over the cuckoo's nest (1975) - Jack Nicholson in a very powerful story based in a mental institution.:
.... we can only be in the trashy 70s top ten. I have a bit of a thing about the 70s especially its satorial side and feel that some unsung heros of 70s bad taste should be brought to light. The films themselves range from the excellent to the utter rubbish (see star rating) and their inclusion in the 70s trashy top ten is by no means any reflection on their quality as films!!! It is purely a reflection on the fashions that deserve to stay shrouded in the mists of time. In true 70s Miss World fashion the winners will be announced in reverse order: 10. Deliverance ***** We kick off with a film that introduced us to 'hillbilly chic' - big baggy trousers, floppy hats, and old shirts and that all in unwashed! I also included this for Jon Voigts very dodgy moustache! 9. Convoy *** Dates back to when Truckers and CB radios were the 'in' thing. Picked for Kris Kristoferson's bushy hair and beard as well as his choice of flared jeans and patches. Pipped Deliverance to the number nine spot because of Ali Mcgraw's choice of outfits which ranged from the trashy to the very tacky! 8. Carrie **** Some of this top ten feature some artists more that once. This particular film features a 70s satorial icon - Mr John Travolta. It made number 8 spot for the wrap around sandals, the gypsy print skirts and some of those ghastly prom dresses. Mr Travolta himself glows in his Jacksons style tight tops and flares. 7. Towering Inferno * This film really has it all: OJ Simpson, 3 piece white/pale suits, bad Charlie's Angel style hair and glitzy dresses. The clothing unfortunately is probably the best thing about the film! 6. Shaft ***** Now for me Shaft IS the epitomy of 1970s chic. What Shaft wore everybody wanted. Still got included here for some rather dodgy looking suits and the HAIR -what more can I say. The film by the way is a classic! 5. Tommy *** Enter Mr Elton John in the b
iggest platforms ever seen on this planet, wearing a spangly, shiny all in one jumpsuit and some of his most ridiculous glasses and gyrating widely singing 'pinball wizard'. For that particular moment alone, this film is worthy of it's number 5 spot in the Top Ten 4. Jubilee *** Again another future pop star having a bad hair day. This film is all about punk and Ms. Toyah Wilcox shows us punk at its worst. Gravity defying brightly coloured hair, wild over the top make-up, lots of shredded and ripped clothes, lots of clashing colours! Outstanding 3. Rocky Horror Picture Show ***** I don't believe that there is anyone left on the planet who has not seen this particular gem. This made number 3 for 3 reasons, Frank N Furter (those high high high heels, bushy hair, OTT make-up, and suspenders), Magenta (big hair, slutty make-up) and Columbia (sparkly costume, 30s retro make-up). This is a fashion diamond and I am sure it inspired the 'heroin chic' of the late 90s! 2.Saturday Night Fever **** Here he is again look - Mr J. Travolta - only this time he is surrounded by girls in disco outfits looking like the proverbial 70s lounge lizard. He features in a perfect example of 70s pulling gear - a white 3 piece suit, with the shirt open to reveal what can only be a chest wig and wearing the all important gold medallion. The extras fared no better in there spangly sequin tops and soooooo tight trousers. It was a very close call between this and the number one but it just got pipped at the post by... 1. Car Wash ** The first ever disco film to be set at a car wash of all places. This film has ALL the elements of 70s fashion in them. An afro hairstyle that must have taken over 20 years to grow, Jackson 5 style suits and dance routines, women in shiny platform boots and skimpy tops, cuban heels, Red Indian platts...... This film is a 70s fashion dream and a deserved winner! I would now like to than
k my agent for all his help without whom none of this would be possible. I put my trust in God and he came through for me - Thank you, amen and good night!