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Why the Dislike of the 70's and Beyond?

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> I don't mind "The Graduate" so much because at least

> it had some good acting in it. But "Easy Rider"????

> IS there a more tendious movie than this one???


There probably isn't a more tedious movie, but it was influential.


> And while it may deserve to be in the list, I really

> cannot abide "Citizen Kane" as the best film ever

> made. What a snoozefest that one is!




> 1. While I do not 'hate' the 70's and believe there

> were a few bright spots there, I don't think it was

> the strongest decade for film making. Given a choice

> between the 70's, 80's, and 90's, I'd rank them in

> reverse order.


I think the 70s were very strong. The Godfather (1 & 2), Mean Streets, Boxcar Bertha and Taxi Driver from Scorcese, Star Wars ... there's a huge list. I think the shape of movies changes a lot during this decade.


> 2. Silents: I saw my first silent film about a year

> ago - "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" and have

> spent alot of time over the past year rooting around

> in the silents.


Bravo! I'm madly in love with the whole silent era. All the ones you mentioned are great. Be sure to check out the European directors like Murnau, Fritz Lang and Dreyer. I think it was the most creative and interesting period in film history.

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I think the problem with the ?70s is not with the great films of the ?70s, but with the average films of the ?70s. Too many zooms, too much cussin?, lousy music, lousy plots, wide screen and color when it wasn?t needed, too many hand-held shots to save money, jumpy walking shots instead of smooth dolly shots.


Even average movies in the ?20s, ?30s, and ?40s are worth watching. Simple little detective movies with Warren William and Ricardo Cortez are worth watching. Simple little Charlie Chan films are worth watching. Low-budget horror films like ?Cat People? and ?The Leopard Man? are worth watching.

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In response to the AFL top 100 movie list, one should check out the scathing critique by Jonathan Rosenbaum at http://www.chicagoreader.com/movies/100best.html. He castigates it for its middlebrow tone, the neglect of silent movies and other major directors, the way that it includes five British movies as if the British film industry were a part of Hollywood.


If one wanted a list of the 100 greatest American movies as viewed by the combined weight of critical opinion, one could go over to theyshootpictures.com and its top 1000 greatest movies. Since it lists every movie by country we can compare it to the AFL list.


1. Citizen Kane (1)

2. Vertigo (61)

3. The Godfather (3)

4. The Searchers (96)

5. Singin' in the Rain (10)

6. Sunrise

7. The Godfather, Part II (32)

8. Raging Bull (24)

9. Touch of Evil

10. City Lights (76)

11. Casablanca (2)

12. The General

13. Sunset Blvd. (12)

14. Psycho (18)

15. Some Like it Hot (14)

16. The Gold Rush (74)

17. Apocalypse Now (28)

18. Taxi Driver (47)

19. Rear Window (42)

20. Intolerance

21. The Magnificent Ambersons

22. Chinatown (19)

23. It's a Wonderful Life (11)

24. Night of the Hunter

25. Modern Times (81)

26. The Wizard of Oz (6)

27. Nashville

28. The Wild Bunch (80)

29. Greed

30. North by Northwest (40)

31. Sherlock Jr.,

32. Rio Bravo

33. Blade Runner

34. All About Eve (16)

35. Notorious

36. My Darling Clementine

37. Once upon a Time in the West (Italian/American production)

38. The Apartment (93)

39. Gone with the Wind (4)

40. Blue Velvet

41. On the Waterfront (8)

42. Stagecoach (63)

43. Goodfellas (95)

44. His Girl Friday

45. The Man who shot Liberty Vallance

46. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (30)

47. Letter from an Unknown Woman

48. King Kong (43)

49. Double Indemnity (38)

50. Duck Soup (85)

51. The Lady Eve

52. The Best Years of our Lives (37)

53. Bringing up Baby (97)

54. Star Wars (15)

55. Broken Blossoms

56. Birth of a Nation (44)

57. McCabe and Mrs. Miller

58. The Grapes of Wrath (21)

59. Mean Streets

60. Red River

61. Pulp Fiction (94)

62. Sweet Smell of Success

63. Annie Hall (31)

64. Once upon a Time in America

65. To be or not to Be

66. A Woman Under the Influence

67. Out of the Past

68. Bonnie and Clyde (27)

69. Sullivan's Travels

70. Trouble in Paradise

71. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (20)

72. The Maltese Falcon (23)

73. Monsieur Verdoux

74. Manhattan

75. E.T: the Extra-terrestial (25)

76. The Philadelphia Story (51)

77. The Palm Beach Story

78. Meet me in Saint Louis

79. Days of Heaven

80. Badlands

81. The Crowd

82. The Exorcist

83. Jaws (48)

84. Crimes and Misdemeanors

85. Schindler's List (9)

86. The Conversation

87. Paths of Glory

88. Nanook of the North

89. The Shop Around the Corner

90. The Bride of Frankenstein

91. The Shining

92. Written on the Wind

93. The Navigator

94. The Band Wagon

95. Tabu

96. Do the Right Thing

97. A Night at the Opera

98. Raiders of the Lost Ark (60)

99. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

100. Ninotchka


2001 and Dr. Strangelove are considered British movies, which is why they are not on this list. The number in parenthesis is its position on the AFI list.

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The comparison of the 'Theyshootmovies' list was very interesting. It's a good thing there's a lot more choices out there, though, because I only like about 1 in 5 from the list - even if they are oldies! I guess that's what makes the world go round though - and there's no accounting for taste! I'm a librarian and believe me, my library at home looks nothing like what's at work. I sometimes think, Who wants to read all those crime-thrillers and sci-fi and biographies of people who aren't even dead and paperback romances? But they sure do fly off the shelves!


Regarding 30's movies - I agree that the certainly of a quality you are going to get with Shearer and Gibbons is comfortable - (well, for me, thrilling). And the ones that I really like DO NOT depict much of how most of America was living at the time - my grandparents were struggling through the depression, not bopping back and forth between continents and dancing at the Silver Sandal. But I know that's why America enjoyed those movies so much at that time - escape. And it's probably why I enjoy them now. Does anyone know who it was that said film should not be entertainment? I almost want to say Sean Penn - but he may have been quoting someone else.

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Fair enough, lzcutter. :)


I do agree that the cinematography during the acid trip was pretty creative. And I did like Jack Nicholson's character.


But the rest? Meh.


However, please forgive the question...but how was "Easy Rider" marketed that made it different?


I was a pretty small kid in 1969 and do not remember.

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Easy Rider was aimed for young adults and they swarmed to the movie. A couple of different writers have described that era in Hollywood as a ghost town where the powers that be were rabid to find stories about young adults and were almost willing to sell their souls because "Easy Rider", made for what was considered pennies, grossed millions. They wanted to bottle that magic and make it happen again.


A lot of young filmmakers got their break into the biz because of the impact "Easy Rider" had on Hollywood, the studios and the movies they made. Hollywood started courting the younger audience and in 1975, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg would kick that all up to the stratosphere.


But "Easy Rider" helped pave the way for them to do that.

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Well, I think most (if not all) of you know a lot more than I do about movies, especially the classics, but I think the late 60's and early 70's were a time when the movie industry was pretty panicked about the rise of television. I think they saw a real possibility that nobody would go to movies anymore because they could stay home and watch TV. Unless I'm mistaken, that's one reason the movie industry canned the "code" and went to a ratings system so they could show stuff that was too realistic, gritty, violent, and graphic for TV. So that's the kind of films that got financed. Easy Rider is one example, but some really good films have the same realistic gritty tone: M*A*S*H, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, The Godfather, Taxi Driver, etc. One of the charming qualities of the classics is that they made everything so pretty, especially the films made during the Depression. You could go to a movie and escape the drag reality of life and the economy. (Ok, I was born in '62, so I don't really know jack about the Depression.) The 70's was the opposite. Movies wanted to show the underside of life that people living in their comfortable suburban lives didn't experience. That's why those movies aren't really so much fun to watch. They tend to be a bit, well, nihilistic. My 2 cents.

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Hi Jon,


I agree with you on "Star Wars", "The Godfather I & II" and "Taxi Driver". Those were important films, no doubt.


I hate to say it, but I am unfamiliar with "Mean Streets" and "Boxcar Bertha".



And please, remember that I said that I didn't hate the 70's. But when I think of some of the 80's and 90's stuff, I just like it better.


Some stuff I like &/or were probably pretty influential films from the 80's:


Out of Africa (one of my top 10 favorite films of all time)


The Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Back to the Future

Blade Runner

The Killing Fields



Sex, Lies and Videotape (press the envelope film of the 80's)

The Color Purple


Fatal Attraction

Ordinary People




Some stuff I like &/or were probably influential films from the 90's:


Dances With Wolves (one of my top 10 movies of all time)

Pulp Fiction (press the envelope film of the 90's)

Forrest Gump

Leaving Las Vegas



The Joy Luck Club

The English Patient (one of my top 10 movies of all time)

Schindler's List

The Fugitive

The Shawshank Redemption


Those are just some of the ones I can think of quickly off of some of the AFI's lists. But I'm sure there are others that I would include, if I went through my videos.


Some early Johnny Depp stuff is quite clever - is "Edward Sissorhands" and "Benny & Joon" from the 80's or the 90's, for example???

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Ah! thank you very much, lzcutter, for the little history lesson!


I was unaware of that, and it is much appreciated!


I remember standing on line for Star Wars as a kid...but I was so young when Easy Rider came out that I don't even have a rememberance of it from back then.

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Just for the record, listed are the 50 films Oscar nominated for Best Picture in the 1970s (*denotes winner):


1970: "Airport" - "Five Easy Pieces" - "Love Story" - "M*A*S*H" - *"Patton".


1971: "A Clockwork Orange" - "Fiddler on the Roof" - *"The French Connection" - "The Last Picture Show" - "Nicholas and Alexandra".


1972: "Cabaret" - "Deliverance" - "The Emigrants" - *"The Godfather" - "Sounder".


1973: "American Graffiti" - "Cries and Whispers" - "The Exorcist" - *"The Sting" - "A Touch of Class".


1974: "Chinatown" - "The Conversation" - *"The Godfather: Part II" - "Lenny" - "The Towering Inferno".


1975: "Barry Lyndon" - "Dog Day Afternoon" - "Jaws" - "Nashville" - *"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".


1976: "All the President's Men" - "Bound for Glory" - "Network" - *"Rocky" - "Taxi Driver".


1977: *"Annie Hall" - "The Goodbye Girl" - "Julia" - "Star Wars" - "The Turning Point".


1978: "Coming Home" - *"The Deer Hunter" - "Heaven Can Wait" - "Midnight Express" - "An Unmarried Woman".


1979: "All That Jazz" - "Apocalypse Now" - "Breaking Away" - *"Kramer vs. Kramer" - "Norma Rae".


I notice a few classics in the batch and also some fine filmmaking.

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Tired of all these "greatest" movies ever made lists, us posters over on the Golden Age of Hollywood site decided to vote our own list. Here's the top ten:


10. All About Eve

9. Some Like it Hot

8. The Passion of Joan of Arc

7. Singin' in the Rain

6. Sunset Boulevard

5. The Maltese Falcon

4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

3. M

2. City Lights

1. North by Northwest

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Mongo - wow - very interesting reading on the 70's Oscar noms. I only likeONE movie off that whole list - Cabaret. I've seen all of them and was impressed by many but if I "like" a movie that usually means I'd want to see it again. Ah, well.

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Very impressive lists. Someone lower on this page compared great films with average films, and I believe this person answered the question perfectly, and further up this page, someone mentioned the younger set. This too, took the words out of my mouth. Being under 30 in the 70's was the epitome of cool and I am quite sure Easy Rider brought a resurgence of motorcycle riding for all ages which continues today.

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I've seen most of the Oscar noms from the 70's and there's a lot of good movies there. Of course, I'm one of those folks who don't mind the more modern classics they show on TCM. I'm just a movie lover in general although I'll have to say there has been a dearth of good movies in the last 10 years. I have a few that I like that were actually original and had interesting performances. But of my top ten favorite movies several were released in the 70's--The Godfather 1 & 2, Blazing Saddles, Fiddler on the Roof. But that's just my list.

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Some of my favorite Seventies movies: "Last Picture Show," "Young Frankenstein," "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "Annie Hall," "Love and Death," "Return of the Pink Panther," "Ulzana's Raid," "The Shootist," "Straw Dogs," "Cabaret," "A Clockwork Orange," "Barry Lyndon."


It was a good decade, with a good mix of old and new directors.


I have to agree that the past ten years have seemed pretty weak. It is almost as if the failure of "L. A. Confidential" to find an audience discouraged Hollywood.

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I don't think dislike of the 70's and beyond is the correct term to use. I believe non-chalance is a better choice. Remember, this is a classic movie board, so naturally members prefer the older movies, just as 20 years from now, the 70's and beyond will be the 'older' movies then. Music that was just noise to me when my children were teens, is now preferable to me than Rap. So as time goes on, each generation has their nostalgic memory.

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Of course, not everything that is considered a classic of 70s cinema holds up.


I just watched "Shampoo" yesterday (first time I'd ever seen it) and was unimpressed. There was some good stuff, but it came very late in the film. I've never really been that much of a Warren Beatty fan, although I like "Bugsy" and "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Splendor in the Grass" (to a lesser degree.)

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I've always felt that "classic" wasn't restricted to a specific time or period in history, whether you're talking about movies or art of really anything else. To me, "classic" means that it has withstood the test of time. It's still relevant and involving. Everyone knows Shakespeare, but how many have read the works of Bacon? One has stood up to the test of time, the other not so much.


Films later than the around 1960 or so are frequently dismissed from the "classic" list for a lot of reasons. Some feel that there has not been enough time to truly seperate the great from the also-rans. Some may take the "they don't make 'em like that anymore" approach and simply discount anything outside their preferred era. Some may have more arcane reasons, but what it essentially comes down to is the fact that "classic" is essentially an undefined term; it means many different things to different people, and none of the definitions are necessarily wrong.


To me, a "classic" film is one that has some ephemeral quality that sets it apart from the rest of the herd. It's a film that you know will still be with you in a month, that keeps creeping up on you over the coming days and weeks and keeps sparking some little thought or idea. It's a film that stays with you. I see a lot of movies; I love 'em, especially adventure films or wacky comedies or horror. My wife will claim I hate certain kinds (romance has never really appealed to me), but to be honest, if a film resonates with me, if after I see it I feel a sense of ownership of it, if I feel like, in some way, the film was made just for me, it really doesn't matter what genre it is or when it was made, it's a classic.

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Essay on Classics of Today and Yesterday


Many of the classic movies that are being made today or within the past 10 years are steeped in metaphor and symbolism and require some knowledge in being able to decipher all the hidden meanings that envelope the film. As Joseph Campbell once said, ?the hardest language for people to learn is the language of metaphor because in order to understand it we first need to know something about the mythology behind the fa?ade.? In Plato?s terms there are many people who look at the shadows on the wall and mistake it for the real world instead of a representation or artifact. In this symbolic realm there are always three interacting ingredients, the concrete, the interacting source and the appearance or that which man sees. The concrete exists in and of itself, with or without you, while the source gives it a reflection that can be named and the appearance is our ability to comprehend it?s meaning.


When the maker of a film interweaves these three cosmic threads into single strand the viewer has to unweave them strand-by-strand as the movie progresses and that is just too much mind work for some to even attempt while others enjoy the process evolved and wouldn?t have it any other way.


Some may call many of the great classic films that are being made today junk, trash or a complete waste of time. For them this may be true because if they do not possess the tools needed to read the film then they could only hope for a superficial reading and that would be a waste of time on their part.


The same can be said of those who believe that old movies are bad movies just because they exist on a more simple level. Yes it is true that they were made during a much more simpler time and for an audience that had only an 8th grade education. But in that simplicity there is beauty and enjoyment to be found. Does every novel have to be a masterpiece in order to be noteworthy? No. So after all I guess there is only one real goal, just as in life if we can come full circle than we have lived. If not than such is our fate.

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I've been enjoying the posts here and I can only chime in as one of the somewhat younger brigade, born long after the "golden era". I am not fortunate enough to have lived when the manners and customs of these movies where taken for granted, they seem like "exotica" to me and are a welcome escape. To watch a movie made today is not for escape but curiosity and I will say I have enjoyed movies made from the 70s on. ARTHUR, made in 1981 starring Dudley Moore is to me one of the funniest movies of all time and I think Russell Crowe one of the finest actors ever. However, except maybe for a few period films like EMMA, I don't find post-70s movies an entertaining escape from the dreadful things going on today.


I do have to add one more thing in response to one post---I don't think the movies of Preston Sturges, Ernst Lubitsch, Alfred Hitchcock and especially John Ford are in any way, sense or aspect "more simple" than any films made today. They are so fabulously rich, layered and complex and above all, entertaining, that they remain classics.


Miss G

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I am a HUGE movie fan. I like movies from ALL decades, but my preference is the 30's, 40's, and 50's. A big part of my reason is there are literally hundreds of movies from that era that I have seen countless times. Most of the movies I've seen from the 60's, 70's, 80's and up are one timers. I have a few on tape that I've seen two or three times, but very few.


Some repeats for me are:


Steel Magnolias (countless times)

Pretty Woman (countless times)

The Way We were (at least 6 times)

Independence Day (at least 10 times)

Die Hard (contless times)

The Terminator (at least 10 times)


From the 80's, 90's and up:


Erin Brokovich (at least 5 times)

Frequency (countless times)

The notebook (three times to see if I missed something)

Mona Lisa Smile (at least 5 times - Big Julia Roberts fan


The reason I list these is because some movies 'live' for you, and you don't want them to end. I could list a few that I have seen so many times, I can say the lines quicker than the actor. They are not, however, big movies. Good Morning Miss Dove, is a quiet little movie with Jennifer Jones which nobody ever mentions but I can watch it over and over, and over again. Another is Valley of Decision (Greer Garson & G. Peck), when it ends with them driving away, I don't want it to end, I want to see how they get along, and if Connie changes, and if Ted ever comes back.


I don't know if I'm explaining correctly, but a classic to me, means forever, no matter how old it is, the story comes alive for me, I love the people, the lives they choose, and the circumstances they find themselves in. In most of today's movies I don't feel that way when the movie ends, except the few I listed. Writers don't make their characters human enough for me now.


Okay, I'll shut up now.

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