Best Films of the 1970's

  2. Nashville - Robert Altman (1975)
  3. Mirror - Andrei Tarkovsky (1974)
  4. Chinatown - Roman Polanski (1974)

  5. 8.5/10
  6. The Traveling Players - Theo Angelopoulos (1975)

  7. 8/10
  8. Apocalypse Now - Francis Ford Coppola (1979) [Original Theatrical Release, 153 minutes]
  9. The Godfather - Francis Ford Coppola (1972)
  10. Stalker - Andrei Tarkovsky (1979)
  11. Taxi Driver - Martin Scorsese (1976)
  12. Cries and Whispers - Ingmar Bergman (1973)

  13. 7.5/10
  14. Zardoz - John Boorman (1972)
  15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - Sam Peckinpah (1974)
  16. The Deer Hunter - Michael Cimino (1978)
  17. The Conversation - Francis Ford Coppola (1974)
  18. The Godfather, Part 2 - Francis Ford Coppola (1974)
  19. Dirty Harry - Don Siegel (1971)
  20. Erasherhead - David Lynch (1978)
  21. Deliverance - John Boorman (1972)
  22. Last Tango in Paris - Bernardo Bertolucci (1972)
  23. Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Steven Spielberg (1977)
  24. A Woman Under the Influence - John Cassavetes (1974)
  25. The Ballad of Cable Hogue - Sam Peckinpah (1970)
  26. Soylent Green - Richard Fleischer (1973)
  27. Star Wars - George Lucas (1977)
  28. World on a Wire - Rainer Fassbinder (1973)
  29. A Clockwork Orange - Stanley Kubrick (1971)
  30. The Last Picture Show - Peter Bogdanovich (1971)
  31. Duel - Steven Spielberg (1971)
  32. McCabe & Mrs. Miller - Robert Altman (1971)
  33. Alien - Ridley Scott (1979)
  34. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Milos Forman (1975)
  35. Days of Heaven - Terrence Malick (1978)
  36. Manhattan - Woody Allen (1979)
  37. Badlands - Terrence Malick (1973)
  38. The Getaway - Sam Peckinpah (1972)
  39. The Exorcist - William Friedkin (1973)
  40. The Conformist - Bernardo Bertolucci (1971)
  41. Annie Hall - Woody Allen (1977)
  42. Network - Sidney Lumet (1976)
  43. The French Connection - William Friedkin (1971)
  44. Jaws - Steven Spielberg (1975)
  45. Aguirre, the Wrath of God - Werner Herzog (1972)
  46. American Graffiti - George Lucas (1973)
  47. Emperor of the North - Robert Aldrich (1973)
  48. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders - Jaromil Jires (1970)
  49. The Andromeda Strain - Robert Wise (1971)

I totally agree that Chinatown owns that decade. Pretty solid list and makes me realize how much I need to see. Have not heard of Zardoz or The Traveling Players.

Suggestions: Blazing Saddles, Dawn of the Dead, Harold and Maude, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Network, Eraserhead, The Conversation, Carrie, and Halloween

Eraserhead is an obivous one I totally missed. Thanks.

Don't think I've seen Dawn of the Dead and amazingly enough I STILL haven't seen The Holy Grail (thanks for the reminder) and I am pretty sure I haven't seen The Conversation though at the same time I feel like I have...I'll check it out soon.

The rest are 7-ish, except blazing Saddles which I didn't care for. Carrie has a shot at 7.5 range.

The Traveling Players is long, methodic and thoroughly devastating while Zardoz is totally off the rails strange, drugged out, simultaneously futuristic and barbaric.

Holy Grail is one of the funniest movies of all time. Dawn of the Dead is a wonderful film if you love zombies, satire, the music of Goblin, and the premise of living in a shopping mall during the apocalypse. Zardoz sounds like my cup of meat.

Very nice. 70s were quite the decade indeed...although seeing Clockwork Orange taking it from both sides by Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Exorcist, while Jaws watches from the corner seems a little unsettling for this tender heart. Some you may or may not have seen, but recommended: Barry Lyndon, Slow Motion (Godard), Edvard Munch, Salo, Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie, Alien

Yes, it was the decade where you could say all the film vanguards collided, even in the mainstream.

Thanks for the suggestions. The only one I've seen is Alien which I'd rate a 7/10.

I may prefer Holy Mountain myself, but El Topo is great too if you haven't seen it.

Thanks, I've heard of it and it sounds interesting.

I highly recommend John Cassavetes. namely A Woman Under the Influence and Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Two of the greatest films I've ever seen.

Thanks! I've wanted to see Woman Under... for awhile. I'll look into the other one as well.

Does the context of a film's place in history contribute at all to its status of greatness in your view? (I know you value emotion very highly, but I was wondering if technical and/or cultural significance matter to you).

Not's more what was done as opposed to when. Cultural significance means very little if anything at all (though subject matter can certainly play a part), but technical execution definitely plays a major role. Example could be Battleship Potemkin, which is technically astonishing for its time...and really still to this day...all the way up to more modern cinema directors such as Peckinpah and Scorsese were especially influenced...even a film like Eternal Sunshine clearly bears Eisenstein's editing influence...but it should be realized that with Battleship Potemkin and often times with any original work of art there is a tangible emotional experience to that, meaning there is a sense of discovery and awe and liberation that is actualy there in the communication of what is being shown (or in music, heard). When such feats are duplicated or emulated in later derivations, it is rarely brought forth with the same degree of emotion as the original simply because there is a greater sense of conviction actually coming from and within the original. Example could be Paul Thomas Anderson who clearly tends to imitate Orson Welles. Even a great film like Magnolia which utilizes very similar movements and editing cuts and techiniques as Welles has in films such as Magnificent Ambersons, Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil doesn't convey the same level of conviction--it's almost a mystical thing but it is indeed tangible. It is the beauty of art that the person behind the camera and directing the original (in this case Welles) can actually convey his intention and emotional conviction through the action that is being executed--he is part of it. Though it can be seen (after all noone truly matches Welles ingeniusness as regards movement) but even to a less trained eye it can definitely be felt. Just like two painters can paint a closely similar picture but one comes through much more emotional because there was so much more conviction in each brushstroke than the other. Compare the opening sequence of De Palma's Snake Eyes to Welles' Touch of Evil. Snake Eyes is but a novelty and indeed a superb one, but Touch of Evil is so much more meaningful because it has more real emotion--you can feel the energy and effort and thus emotion, and even care, in the camera movement (after all it took much more effort and energy to do so in those days). There are many other things that contribute to the genius of Touch of Evil's opening, from the astonishing use of real time sound effects, to the suggestion of the rest of the film through the allusion of the visuals predicting the themes to come, to the amazing choreography of all the characters present (which had to be done in that one take of course)...I could go on... ( :

You know AfterHours, I think you are quite good at talking about art. I find it very hard to do, and I'm continually surprised with how easy you seem to be able to do it.

Have you watched A Woman Under The Influence yet?! (Best leading actress performance EVER)

Also if you dig The Wild Bunch and Convoy, you've got to see Straw Dogs. Hella-smart action movie about the modern state of masculinity and stuff.

Yes, indeed. Both Woman Under The Influence and Straw Dogs are on my "must see" list.

...wait...even better than Laura Dern in Inland Empire?...both leads in Persona?...Emily Watson in Breaking The Waves?...Betty Davis in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?...Renee Falconetti from Passion of Joan of Arc?

...are we talking "more technically perfect/accomplished" or "more emotionally impinging" (different views--sometimes technically overblown performances can come across in an even more shattering way given enough conviction and unique, personal vision from the actor/actress)?


Yes. (Certainly in the very least par with Falconetti, Andersson/Ullmann, and Dern)

It's goddamn heartbreaking and yet so full of life.


Ill see it soon and get back to you

I am probably totally overhyping it by now! :c
I should have told you that it is awful but you have to see it anyway so that your point of view was lower and then you would be amazed!
Sorry if I am overhyping it and such.

Don't worry - if it's anything close to those I won't be disappointed

For the ultimate "WTF!?" see Hausu-Obayashi (1977).

I just re-watched Mirror, after getting the Tarkovksy boxset, and liked it even more than on the first watch. I came across this in a review online:

"Andrei Arsenievich Tarkovsky was presented at the screening and he talked to the audience before the show. I remember him repeating over and over that there were no tricks, no puzzles, and no tongue-in-cheeks in the film; that every symbol, image, dialog, and sound was there because they belonged there. He asked us if we had questions. Someone from the audience suggested that we saw the film first, and then, asked questions. Tarkovsky replied that from his experience, not many viewers would sit through the film and who ever would, usually leave in silence, not asking anything. And then he told us a story. After Zerkalo was completed, it was first shown to the group of the famous critics. After watching it, critics started to argue about it, trying to find the hidden meaning and make sense of what they just saw. It went on and on until the cleaning lady who came to the screening room and had been waiting for the end of discussion to do her job, asked them for how long they would stay? Someone said to her that they were discussing a very complicated film, and they needed time to understand it. Cleaning lady asked, "What is that you do not understand in this film? I saw it also, and I understood everything." Critics were silenced for a moment, and then, one of them asked the woman to share her thoughts on Zerkalo. She answered, "It is about a man who had caused too much pain to the ones whom he loved and who loved him. Now he is dying and he is trying to ask them for forgiveness but he does not know how." After the pause Tarkovsky said that he had nothing else to add about his film to what the cleaning lady had to say."

Have you heard of this?

Yes, I've read about that. The only thing I might add is that his quest for forgiveness expands from just himself, to take on the various viewpoints of his family/wife/mother/father, up to the point where he feels guilty for the war and the struggle of an entire nation.

As Marquee once told to me "You neeeeeEEEEeeed more Fassbinder in your life!"
World On A Wire is probably the best place to have started though. I'm increasingly fond of Angst Essen Seele Auf but I am a sentimental baby.

I kind of get the feeling that you might like him even more than I do. Inventive and dramatic compositions, bridging populist melodrama with high-culture art-cinema. (Also an interesting cultural entity for frankly and naturally portraying gays and lesbians in his films).

Ahhh yes, I know. Bresson too... :( It's all on the way. I am working on getting Marriage of Maria Braun by order from my library. I recently watched 1/3 of Berlin Alexanderplatz which was great, but I had to return it before I got any further -- so I'll get that back soon I hope, and finish it up.

Hi, AfterHours,
What do you think about Altman's 3 Women? Have you seen it?

I haven't. Is it good? What would you rate it?

I think it's excellent and absolutely worth watching. There isn't much I can say about it other than it's pretty convoluted and enigmatic, a kind of a 'stream-of-consciousness', dreamy film I think you might like. You have to see it for yourself. The opening title sequence is great!!
I haven't quite figured this film out in my mind yet, and I'm not sure how I'd rate it but it's certainly up there with the greats.