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Why I Think the 70s was the Best Decade in Film


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The 70s had everything from the blizzard to amazing. Even when the decade started off slow with Patton ('70) it ended with a high note with Apocalypse Now ('79). The Slasher Genre evolved with Black Christmas ('74), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ('74), and let's not forget the classic Halloween ('78).  We got breakthrough comedies like MASH ('70), What's Up Doc? ('72), Sleeper ('73), Young Frankenstein ('74), Blazing Saddles ('74), Monty Python and The Holy Grail ('75), The Pink Panther Strikes Again ('76), Slapshot ('77), and The College Comedy Animal House ('78). The 70s was also dominated by the New Hollywood Movement in America which started in the late 60s. This paved the way for more gritty and realistic films like Taxi Driver ('76), Deliverance ('72), Dog Day Afternoon ('75), and Saturday Night Fever ('77). The Middle of the Decade brought us the first blockbuster in the form of Jaws ('75). Later in the Decade we would get amazing blockbusters like Stars Wars ('77) [which would turn into its own impact on the film industry] and the space horror Alien ('79). These are only examples of why the 70s was the best decade in film .

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My top 1970s Neo Noir

Darker Than Amber (1970)

Shaft  (1971)

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)

Across 110th Street (1971)

The Getaway (1971)

Get Carter (1971)

Hickey & Boggs (1972)

Fat City (1972)

Trick Baby (1972)

Fleshpot on 42nd Street (1973)

Forced Entry (1973)

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

The Long Goodbye (1973)

The Mad Bomber (1973)

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

The Nickel Ride (1974)

Chinatown (1974)

Death Wish (1974)

Lenny (1974)

Road Movie (1974)

The Psychic Killer (1975)

The Drowning Pool (1975)

Farewell My Lovely (1975)

Night Moves (1975)

Seven Beauties (1975)

Taxi Driver (1976)

The Killer Inside Me (1976)

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

Mikey and Nicky (1976)

Bad (1977)

The Late Show (1977)

The Big Sleep (1978)

 

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19 hours ago, TheOneandOnlyCritic2000 said:

The 70s had everything from the blizzard to amazing.

Uh, each decade has a notable blizzard. They come approx every 11 years due to sun activity and 2021's winter is the 11th year - like we need anything else.

Although I'm not a fan of those you've listed, I'm discovering many really enjoyable films made in the 70's. (and some 80's movies too)

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My top ten favorites of the decade:

The Boys In The Band (1970)

The Mind Of Mr Soames (1970)

Dirty Harry (1971)

Bless The Beasts & Children (1971)

Sleuth (1972)

Deliverance (1972)

Butterflies Are Free (1972)

The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Jaws (1975)

Taxi Driver (1976)

I liked the early years of the decade best. I saw Star Wars but not a big fan. The later years of the decade had some good ones, but none that I really thought were great. 

 

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I don't agree with the OP that the 1970s was the best decade for film, although it was certainly a very good decade (what decade wasn't?). The lists provided so far include many films that, IMHO, are quite mediocre, or at any rate not qualifying the '70s for the distinction of "best decade."  I guess a few of my favorite films from the 1970s include Harold and Maude, The Deer Hunter, Wise Blood, Nashville, Annie Hall, The Day of the Locust, A Clockwork Orange, Don't Look Now, Celine and Julie Go Boating, The Story of Adele H., and a few others. It was a particularly good decade for foreign films.

But I think in terms of the modern era of movies, the 1960s, 80s, and 90s were better.

 

 

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1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

Uh, each decade has a notable blizzard. They come approx every 11 years due to sun activity and 2021's winter is the 11th year - like we need anything else.

Although I'm not a fan of those you've listed, I'm discovering many really enjoyable films made in the 70's. (and some 80's movies too)

I meant to say bizzare 

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I was born in 1978 and for years I almost bragged about the fact that I had no interest in films of the 1970's- the 30's, the 40's, the 50's, the 80's and 90's was where my interests lie (I'm still not into movies made between 1965-69)...and then, as I got older, and realized I had sucked the Marrow from the bone of my most beloved decades and decided to dive HEADFIRST INTO THE 1970'S, and damned if I have not been MISSING OUT all these years.

The 1970's are what I call "the spaghetti decade"- in that filmmakers were THROWING EVERYTHING AT THE WALL AND SEEING WHAT STUCK.

the DARING and AUDACITY doesn't always work, but when it does: OH WOW!

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MY FAVES OF THE 70'S (LORD KNOWS I AM FORGETTING SOME):

DOG DAY AFTERNOON

CHINATOWN

JUGGERNAUT (1974)

THE DAY OF THE LOCUST (although I've only seen it once!)

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

THE WICKER MAN

JAWS

THE LONG GOODBYE

THE BOY FRIEND

KEN RUSSELL'S THE DEVILS (this film will EFF YOU UP FOR LIFE!)

CABARET

MURDER BY DEATH

THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING

THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1, 2, 3

HAROLD AND MAUDE

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I'd also agree that the '70's might not have been the best decade for movies, but certainly, there were many good ones.  Some overlooked-----

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

LITTLE BIG MAN

WOODSTOCK

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST

SUPERMAN

AMERICAN GRAFFITI

ROCKY

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

JEREMIAH JOHNSON

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

THE SILENT PARTNER

BOUND FOR GLORY

BREAKING AWAY

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX(But Were Afraid To Ask)

And a few of those oddball comedy anthology flicks:

THE GROOVE TUBE

KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE

CAN I DO IT TILL I NEED GLASSES? 

And like others here I know there's several I likely missed.  And everybody else here already listed many of the others I like.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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there are too many versions of close encounters.

the one with the good ole boy huckster and his dog and the gas mask is the one I prefer.

the dialogue is hilarious...

"you're gonna be mighty sorry if you don't have one of these early warning systems such as a dog or a gas mask...

why even my dog has a gas mask and anyone of you is worth more than a dog."

:D

Yarn | Why, even my dog has a gas mask. ~ Close Encounters of the Third  Kind (1977) | Video clips by quotes, clip |  2da973db-eab8-440d-bd77-82eee80f0bfd | ç´

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Although it's not my favorite decade, I may as well jump in here with my list of 1970's favorites (in order of release):

Patton

Five Easy Pieces

The Last Picture Show

Klute

Cabaret

Jeremiah Johnson

The Exorcist

Lenny

Chinatown

Shampoo

Three Days of the Condor

Network

All the President's Men

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Annie Hall

Days of Heaven

Interiors

Apocalypse Now

 

 

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10 minutes ago, TheOneandOnlyCritic2000 said:

[ALL THAT JAZZ] Such a interesting film, trying to get this on criterion.

It is. 

although...

I  legit came REALclose to puking during the finale. 

But really, a film that makes you nearly puke is a perfect way to end the seventies. **

“Chef’s kiss...“

 

**And I genuinely mean that as a complement

 

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One thing I will say is that even though I (now) have a very positive impression of the film output of the 1970s, the individual years of the decade itself are not very distinguishable for me. And I don’t mean that they don’t contain memorable films, they do. But I don’t necessarily get a sense of each year, a feel of each year, the way that I do in the 30s 40s and 50s, i.e. 1932 has a certain feel for me, 1954 has a certain feel for me, 1968 has a certain feel for me.
 

The only year Of the decade that does have a distinct feel to it, for me,  is 1979. There is something about it that really does stand out to me.  While I realize that 1971 was a really good year for films, & 1974 had some good films & 1975 was of course the year of JAWS, I don’t necessarily get a sense of them filmically the way I do the individual years of other decades.

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6 hours ago, JakeHolman said:

1.  Patton

2. Godfather II

3. The Godfather

4. The Exorcist

5. The Shootist

6. Dirty Harry

7. Papillon

8. The Outlaw Josey Wales

9. The Getaway

10. Marathon Man

What, no Sounder, Jake? 😄

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