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Top 10 of the Seventies 
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
calvero wrote:
Its kinda funny to hear The Godfather called an 'art film.' It was the highest grossing film of all time up to that time I think. while blockbusters today are fare like Transformers & Twilight.


Actually it wasn't; The Sound of Music was the champ until displaced by The Exorcist, Jaws, and then Star Wars in a 5 year span. Still it made a ton of money so your point is valid in its intent, if not its specifics.

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Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:50 am
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Chinatown somewhat bemuses me. My friends, who see films through similar glasses to me love it.

I appreciate the French twist at the end. I think it's Jack's best performance. The scene where Polanski rips Jack's nose apart I've viewed about 20 times trying to establish if it really happened. Huston is devilishly good. The scenes with him and Jack going toe to toe are timeless... great cinema.

But to me, for every genuinely great scene there are about three boring ones.

I'd appreciate if someone explained exactly why they love it so much?


Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:37 am
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Reasons for Chinatown's greatness:

It takes the bones of noir, that fundamental American genre, but uses them not just to explore dizzy dames and doomed anti-heroes, but the foundation of our society. Critical to the film is its exploration of the corruption and rot beneath an American city, in this case Los Angeles, the city of Hollywood and glamor. Though this statement always sounds unbelievably pretentious, it's a film about America--our expansion and our greed--that perhaps only a foreigner could have directed so cynically.

But what makes it so good just to watch as a film? Well for starters it has an absolutely exquisite sense of character (helped by some flawless performances, including a never better Jack Nicholson). Let's take Jake Gittes. He's not the quintessential flawed and weak noir leading man, susceptible to woman and unfailingly gullible. Nor is he some down-at-heel gumshore. He hints at some trouble in his past, but he's a successful and confident man. He projects this aura of confidence throughout most of the film--no matter what things he sees or stories he hears, he's always in control and very cool. Never rattled. But then at the end of the film it finally dawns on him that he's not going to be able to explain everything and make everything all right. His cool, collected facade disappears as he realizes that all the worst possible things are going to happen:
He's crazy Lou! He killed Mulwray over the water I can explain everything if you just give me five minutes! He's rich, do you understand? He thinks he can get away with anything!

Additionally, Noah Cross is an absolutely masterful villain. Not a mustache-twirling villain but a sick, unbelievably evil man (whose best quote can be seen as my signature below) who's 100 times more sinister than his avuncular demeanor initially suggests. Finally, it has an incredible ending, with not one but two great lines. The first, often quoted, is Walsh's exhortation: Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown. But the second is equally important, and equally good. When everything that could possibly go wrong has, Jake mutters under his breath "as little as possible." If you remember when he said that earlier in the film, and why, it's unbelieavly powerful. Oh what a film.

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Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:18 am
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
JamesKunz wrote:

I never saw what was so great about A Clockwork Orange. Sure it's exquisitely directed, but what is it saying? I always found its message rather muddled, which I hear is partly because Kubrick didn't use the last chapter in Burgess's novel which makes his themes a little less oblique. A *** movie for me, and certainly not better than The Godfather, Chinatown, etc. That said, I like your list a lot.


It's more or less a film about the importance of free will. The idea is that it's better to let Alex choose evil instead of forcing him to do good. You're right about the last chapter though. In it, Alex reforms (more or less), thus reinforcing that his de-conditioning was the correct choice.

Apart from the "exquisite" direction I also appreciate Malcolm McDowell's performance which I consider to be one of the best ever. That he will forever be remembered for that one character is not a criticism, but a tribute.

Let's not forget the perfect dialogue either. Burgess crafted it, but it worked wonderfully on the screen too.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:53 am
Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Zeppelin wrote:
04. The King of Marvin Gardens


Wow. You're the second person to express their love for this movie on Reelviews (the other being majoraphasia). I barely even liked it (6/10 - my 'goodish but I don't wanna see it again' rating) and consider the earlier Rafelson/Nicholson collaboration, Five Easy Pieces, to be much superior.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:59 am
Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
calvero wrote:
I'm curious how many total films from the 70s some of you have seen(isn't everyone here in their 20s or teens?)


I'm at 94 for the 70s and 818 for the naughties. Not as impressive as James K, but it'll do. I need to get started on some of the 21st Century's Greatest Films over at the TheyShootPictures list.

calvero wrote:
the 70s were a great decade for film, but trust me there were a lot of stinkers that decade as well. The thing is most of them have faded into obscurity(no dvd release or frequent tv broadcasts for them) the same goes for the 60s, 50s, 40s etc(do you know just how many films were released during the 40s? its pretty staggering. And I doubt most of them were of Casablanca like quality)

yet stuff like Jennifer's Body & 12 Rounds reach quite a wide audience today, despite bombing at the box office, so we can all continue to bemoan how crappy films are today & how much better it was in decades we weren't even alive in to see all the crap.


I agree with James K. and Zep on this one. There's no comparison between my top 10 of the 70s and my top 10 of the naughties. That said, we do watch classic films with expectations that may sway our opinions. For instance, no-one can tell me that they didn't see Citizen Kane for the first time without huge expectations. Also, I don't tend to seek out older films unless they are considered classic, or feature an actor or director that I like. I imagine that others do the same.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:23 am
Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
calvero wrote:
I can't think of another film which was as popular with critics & audiences as The Godfather was/is.


Gone With the Wind?

Ken wrote:
It probably didn't help that just a few years after The Godfather, Spielberg and Lucas completely redefined what a blockbuster was.


You know, I never totally agreed with that statement. What about the 70s disaster films? Airport, The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno etc. All of these were big budget (most of it spent on destroying things) event movies that had massive box office grosses.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:27 am
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
ed_metal_head wrote:
You know, I never totally agreed with that statement. What about the 70s disaster films? Airport, The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno etc. All of these were big budget (most of it spent on destroying things) event movies that had massive box office grosses.


You're right, in fact. This is something that had also long bothered me. I read a book published in 1968 ("The Studio") in which a studio exec talks about how important it is to get movies into theaters in summer and get as much business as possible. Yet erudite critics like Ebert and film historians mention in their review for Jaws (made 7 years later) that Spielberg's film "invented" the blockbuster and changed the summer season forever. It's a nice story, but not entirely ture.

ed_metal_head wrote:
That said, we do watch classic films with expectations that may sway our opinions. For instance, no-one can tell me that they didn't see Citizen Kane for the first time without huge expectations. Also, I don't tend to seek out older films unless they are considered classic, or feature an actor or director that I like. I imagine that others do the same.


The sword cuts both ways though--when you watch Citizen Kane expecting it to be the best film ever and you find it merely great, you'll sometimes find it less enjoyable or worse than a movie like Tigerland that you never had heard of that turns out to be very compelling.

And you're absolutely right about older films--I thought about this while trying to find out why I rated films from the 40s, say, so much higher than the 00s: as a rule we see only films we want to see and make an effort to see from the 40s, but we often see shit from the 00s that we have no interest in whatsoever but a friend wants to see it, its on demand, what have you.

ed_metal_head wrote:
Apart from the "exquisite" direction I also appreciate Malcolm McDowell's performance which I consider to be one of the best ever. That he will forever be remembered for that one character is not a criticism, but a tribute.


Sorry, but he'll always be Mick Travis to me. :)

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Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:37 am
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
ed_metal_head wrote:
calvero wrote:
I'm curious how many total films from the 70s some of you have seen(isn't everyone here in their 20s or teens?)


I'm at 94 for the 70s and 818 for the naughties. Not as impressive as James K, but it'll do. I need to get started on some of the 21st Century's Greatest Films over at the TheyShootPictures list.


Do you actually keep track of that? Sheesh...

And for the record... I'm well into my 40s...


Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:53 am
Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
JamesKunz wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
That said, we do watch classic films with expectations that may sway our opinions. For instance, no-one can tell me that they didn't see Citizen Kane for the first time without huge expectations. Also, I don't tend to seek out older films unless they are considered classic, or feature an actor or director that I like. I imagine that others do the same.


The sword cuts both ways though--when you watch Citizen Kane expecting it to be the best film ever and you find it merely great, you'll sometimes find it less enjoyable or worse than a movie like Tigerland that you never had heard of that turns out to be very compelling.


I don't deny that, but my point (mostly) holds. For me, at least. It's a subjective thing, but when I don't like something like Grand Hotel (1932) I feel a bit bad about savaging it. My rating is probably a point higher than it would be if the movie was made in 2009.

MrGuinness wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
calvero wrote:
I'm curious how many total films from the 70s some of you have seen(isn't everyone here in their 20s or teens?)


I'm at 94 for the 70s and 818 for the naughties. Not as impressive as James K, but it'll do. I need to get started on some of the 21st Century's Greatest Films over at the TheyShootPictures list.


Do you actually keep track of that? Sheesh...

And for the record... I'm well into my 40s...


I don't. I went to my imdb vote history, highlighted all the films from the decade in question, copy-pasted them into a word processor and used the numbering function :)

Actually, there was a fantastic website called the Imdb Vote History Analyzer that gave loads of stats based on your vote history. Movies seen from each decade, each year, by director, actor, genre, language etc. Based on keyword analysis it told me that "Murder" was by far the most common thing in all the movies I've seen. ;)

The site is gone now, but damn do I miss it.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:13 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
As I said elsewhere: watching movies is fun, making lists is fun, so making lists about movies is really fun. Since September 2004 I've recorded every movie I've seen (1350 and counting since then) and at one point I did a retrospective of all the movies I had seen prior to my list. And it rocks.

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Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
JamesKunz wrote:
As I said elsewhere: watching movies is fun, making lists is fun, so making lists about movies is really fun


For some reason every single time you say that I picture John Travolta going Yeah, but bacon tastes goood. Pork chops taste gooood.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:24 pm
Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
ed_metal_head wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
As I said elsewhere: watching movies is fun, making lists is fun, so making lists about movies is really fun


For some reason every single time you say that I picture John Travolta going Yeah, but bacon tastes goood. Pork chops taste gooood.


:lol:

Great discussion here guys. Just wanted to say that. I am constantly nodding my head in agreeance with the posts.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:20 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Quote:
Actually it wasn't; The Sound of Music was the champ until displaced by The Exorcist, Jaws, and then Star Wars in a 5 year span. Still it made a ton of money so your point is valid in its intent, if not its specifics


I think Godfather was #1 as far as most money made in initial release(Sound of Music was re-released a bunch of times, as was every really 'big' movie pre 70s, so who knows how much it made the first time around)

According to boxoffice mojo, Godfather has made $577 mill in 2009 dollars! That's insane.

Quote:
Yet erudite critics like Ebert and film historians mention in their review for Jaws (made 7 years later) that Spielberg's film "invented" the blockbuster and changed the summer season forever. It's a nice story, but not entirely ture.


I think Jaws was the first wide release blockbuster(back then meaning like 700 screens), and a film that had an almost unprecented marketing push. There's a large article from Time that was written just prior to the film's release(its online) talking about how unusual the approach to Jaws was & how it may change the business.

Prior to that most big movies started in limited release before expanding(sometimes taking a while to get to everywhere, even after it was a proven hit. Hit movies played a looong time back then)

I've actually read an interview with William Friedkin, where he sounds annoyed that The Excorcist wasn't put in more theaters sooner(implying the box office would have been even bigger had it received Jaws like treatment)

James, going back to the 175 movies from the 70s you've seen, have you scored them all? if its not too much trouble could you tell me how many you gave 1, 2, 3 stars, etc? just curious


Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:28 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
JamesKunz wrote:
Reasons for Chinatown's greatness:

It takes the bones of noir, that fundamental American genre, but uses them not just to explore dizzy dames and doomed anti-heroes, but the foundation of our society. Critical to the film is its exploration of the corruption and rot beneath an American city, in this case Los Angeles, the city of Hollywood and glamor. Though this statement always sounds unbelievably pretentious, it's a film about America--our expansion and our greed--that perhaps only a foreigner could have directed so cynically.

But what makes it so good just to watch as a film? Well for starters it has an absolutely exquisite sense of character (helped by some flawless performances, including a never better Jack Nicholson). Let's take Jake Gittes. He's not the quintessential flawed and weak noir leading man, susceptible to woman and unfailingly gullible. Nor is he some down-at-heel gumshore. He hints at some trouble in his past, but he's a successful and confident man. He projects this aura of confidence throughout most of the film--no matter what things he sees or stories he hears, he's always in control and very cool. Never rattled. But then at the end of the film it finally dawns on him that he's not going to be able to explain everything and make everything all right. His cool, collected facade disappears as he realizes that all the worst possible things are going to happen:
He's crazy Lou! He killed Mulwray over the water I can explain everything if you just give me five minutes! He's rich, do you understand? He thinks he can get away with anything!

Additionally, Noah Cross is an absolutely masterful villain. Not a mustache-twirling villain but a sick, unbelievably evil man (whose best quote can be seen as my signature below) who's 100 times more sinister than his avuncular demeanor initially suggests. Finally, it has an incredible ending, with not one but two great lines. The first, often quoted, is Walsh's exhortation: Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown. But the second is equally important, and equally good. When everything that could possibly go wrong has, Jake mutters under his breath "as little as possible." If you remember when he said that earlier in the film, and why, it's unbelieavly powerful. Oh what a film.


Nice feedback. Thankyou. I own a copy and will watch it in the next couple of days and get back to you.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:08 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Yeah re-releases (not to mention inflation) make accounting for grosses rather difficult. It might be better if we used admissions instead of gross, but that would still be problematic since in the pre-TV days way more people went to movies.

Now as for my movies from the 1970s. I only started rating films in 2004 so all the movies I saw before that (which include classics like Apocalypse Now, Chinatown, The Godfather, etc.) are not accounted for in the following breakdown, which significantly reduces the number of great films. Still, for what it's worth...

0 stars: 1 (120 Days of Sodom. Arguably the worst film I've ever seen)
.5 stars: none
1 star: 2
1.5 stars: 1
2 stars: 16
2.5 stars 36
3 stars: 38
3.5 stars: 20
4 stars: 3

Hmmmm that's actually a pretty standard breakdown for me, since the 3.5-4 stars (very good) is roughly equal to the 0-2 stars (very bad) films I've seen and the 3s cancel out the 2.5s. Statistically that's much worse than the 40s or 50s would be for me, because I've seen plenty of bad films from the 70s (e.g. Beware the Blob, Magnum Force, The Brood, etc.) Also the number of truly terrible films (4) outnumbers truly great films (3).

Going year by year through my ludicrously-detailed files, let's see how movies from the seventies average compared to my overall average for the year.

2004-2005: Overall average 2.78, 70s average 2.94
2005-2006: Overall average 2.79, 70s average 2.70
2006-2007: Overall average 2.80, 70s average 2.72
2007-2008: Overall average 2.79, 70s average 2.68
2008-2009: Overall average 2.85, 70s average 2.82

So actually it appears that I don't really like the average movies from the 70s, just the occasional great ones. Hmmmmm

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Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:29 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Well, since I was born in 1961, I have a good grasp about the 70s - yet I still have to see some of the great movies of that decade. Some I just saw in parts (watching tv with family is not the same as watching it alone, carefully paying attention).

Here are ten 70s movies which really impressed me at the time I saw them (in no particular order):

Alien (1979)
Close Encounters of the The Third Kind (1977)
Deliverance (1972)
The Godfather (1972)
Jaws (1975)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Cabaret (1972)
Midnight Express (1978)
One Flew Over The Cockoo's Nest (1975)
Star Wars (1977)
.................
Just a few comments: I really did not like any of the Disaster movies, even though I saw Earthquake (in Sensurround), The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure in movie theaters. I wasn't a big fan of the old school melodrama and 50+ year old action heroes, especially Chuck Heston, with a bad toupe and permanently clenching his teeth. The Godfather Part 2 is great, but I largely prefer the original. Jaws simply blew me away because the three leading actors (along with the fact that it is a very well made movie) Scheider, Dreyfuss, and Shaw are brilliant and convincing actors. I have yet to see in full and with attention: Dog Day Afternoon. I did not include Rocky (even though I like it) Because there is something too Capra-esque about it. You may hate me for it, but as a guy who apreciates great trash, I prefer Rocky II (Adrian: "Rocky, would you do me one favor?" - Rocky: "Yes" - Adrian: "WIN!!!!" , *bell sound and music cue*, Mickey: "What are ya waitin' for?") I just love that kind of overmanipulative stuff if well done. Rocky (I) simply is too light on that stuff in my humble (bad) taste.


Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:31 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Maybe I haven't watched enough of 70s and other decades, but my favorite would be the 50s and the 00s. Looking at my top 100, there are more than 15 films from each of those decades there.

1. The Godfather
2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
3. Jaws
4. Alien
5. The Godfather Part II
6. Halloween
7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
8. Aguirre: The Wrath of God
9. Star Wars
10. Taxi Driver


Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:59 am
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Making this list was interesting and quite difficult, as it includes films I remember seeing at the cinema as a child, and adult films that I have come to appreciate later.

Top 10:
1. Jaws
2. The Spy Who Loved Me
3. The Exorcist
4. Dirty Harry
5. Deliverance
6. Star Wars
7. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
8. Life of Brian
9. The Wicker Man
10. Watership Down

The Next 10:
11. Superman
12. Close Encounters Of The 3rd Kind
13. Get Carter
14. Alien
15. The Man Who Would Be King
16. Halloween
17. Silent Running
18. Enter The Dragon
19. Westworld
20. Assault on Precinct 13

Honourable Mentions:
A Clockwork Orange
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
The French Connection
MASH
Patton
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Young Frankenstein
The Land That Time Forgot
Monty Python And The Holy Grail
The Omen
Marathon Man
Grease


Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:30 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 of the Seventies
Taxi Driver
Apocalypse Now
Jaws
Monty Python And The Holy Grail
Chinatown
Last Tango In Paris
Dawn Of The Dead
Nashville
Young Frankenstein
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Bonus: The Godfather

(Tried to keep it limited to one per director, aside from Coppola.)

Runners Up:

Alien
The Last Waltz
M.A.S.H
Blazing Saddles
Night Moves
Halloween
The Conversation
Carrie
Eraserhead
The Godfather Part 2

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Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:58 pm
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