This past week I’ve been reviewing my favourite movies from the 1970s. Though the list may be conventional for any aspiring film fans, I stick by this list when I say I really think they are the best movies from this decade.
1. THE GODFATHER (1972) – is probably the most iconic and essential movie ever to be produced in the 1970s. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola with a golden cast of Hollywood’s finest, we follow the story of the great Corleone Family and the ins and outs of the Italian Mafia. Starring Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, we see his change from Golden Boy War Hero to infamous Godfather as he avenges the assassination attempt on his father, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando in his Academy Award winning performance) after a bad deal with rival families. Rounding up the magnificent cast is the Oscar nominated Robert Duvall and James Caan. “The Godfather” remains classic and truly part of cinematic history. (winner: 1972 Best Picture Oscar).
2. THE GODFATHER, PART II (1974) – the obvious choice for the second best movies of the 1970s is the follow up in Francis Ford Coppola “Godfather” series. Al Pacino reprises his role as Michael Corleone a couple of years after the events of the first Godfather film took place. Now the Corleone family has moved to Nevada and business becomes difficult as Michael needs to look over his shoulder every minute to avoid a deadly fate that may happen to him and his family. Also featured in the movie is a star making performance by Robert De Niro (who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role) as the younger Don Vito as we see a comparison of how he rises to the top and how Michael gains more power. Best. Sequel. Ever. (winner: 1974 Best Picture Oscar).
3. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) – Stanley Kubrick’s greatest film comes in the form of the 1971 cult classic about droogs, drugs and violence. Starring Malcolm McDowell as the evil and reformed Alexander DeLarge, we are transported into a time where London is trashed and the gangs rule. But when he his caught by the police, Alex is sent to a correctional facility where he must learn how to make up for his sins the worst way possible. Featuring a out of this world screenplay, visuals that will stun your eyes and filmmaking that is before it’s time, “A Clockwork Orange” remains as a visionary masterpiece.
4. KRAMER VS. KRAMER (1979) – Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep star is their Oscar winning performances as the Ted and Joanna Kramer in Robert Benton’s divorce drama. After Joanna (Streep) leaves Ted (Hoffman) alone for reasons he isn’t aware off, Ted must now juggle his recently booming job and living as a single parent with his rather difficult son, Billy (Justin Henry). In a moving drama, Ted and Billy build a new life together until Joanna comes back to claim his son. Ted will not go down without a fight. Featuring Oscar nominated supporting performances by Jane Alexander and the young Justin Henry, “Kramer vs. Kramer” becomes a perfect ensemble drama that will touch your heart and soul. (winner: 1979 Best Picture Oscar).
5. TAXI DRIVER (1976) – Directed by my favourite director of all time, Martin Scorsese, we follow the events in the life of Taxi Driver Travis (Robert De Niro) as he is consumed by the sights and sounds of New York City night life. When he meets a young and abused prostitute (Jodie Foster) his mind completely snaps as he decides to get rid of all the “scum” and “bad seeds” that walk the streets of the city. Scorsese gives us a brilliant character piece with groundbreaking performances and iconic scenes. “You lookin’ at me?”.
6. CABARET (1972) – I always find it difficult to choose between Bob Fosse’s other 1970s musical extravaganza “All That Jazz” (1979) and this cinematic work of art. But in the end of the day, “Cabaret” still takes the edge with its stellar performances, awesome choreography and unconventional storytelling. Best Actress winner Liza Minnelli plays Sally Bowles, an American performer working in a Cabaret club in Germany before the second World War. When he meets Brian (Michael York), a British teacher, they begin a weird romance to the backdrop of music and show business. Joel Grey stars as the Master of Ceremonies, in one of the greatest supporting roles of all time, and Bob Fosse’s direction is almost flawless.
7. THE STING (1973) – The acting-directing team that brought us “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1968) brings us the rompy con-artist comedy, “The Sting”. Robert Redford and Paul Newman star as two con artist in George Roy Hill’s film, who are working on their biggest con ever to steal half a million dollars from the menacing Robert Shaw in Chicago, 1936. Full of twists and turns, “The Sting” keeps us at the edge of our seat with the perfect mix of comedy and drama to lighten our heart. (winner: 1973 Best Picture Oscar).
8. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975) – One of the very fews film to win Best Picture, Best Director (Milos Forman), Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher) and Best Screenplay, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is one of the films to beat in terms of people’s “Top 10” lists. Set in a Mental Institution, Jack Nicholson’s character remains difficult and resentful to Louise Fletcher’s stuck-up nurse. As Nicholson continues to gain respect from the other patient’s in his ward, he forms and begins an uprising between them and the nurses. (winner: 1975 Best Picture Oscar ).
9. STAR WARS (1977) – a film that undoubtedly revolutionised the film industry in so many ways, “Star Wars” seems to beat out it’s newer movies in the series. Directed by George Lucas, the movie boasts top of the line 1970s special effects and a story that engages both adults and children. When the Universe is under scrutiny by the Emperor, the rebel forces must fight back to regain their freedom. Enter Luke Skywalker (Mark Hammel), a young man with a hidden past, who is brought into the Jedi rebel forces by Obi Wan Kanobi (Alec Guinness) after finding two droids with a mysterious telegram by Princess Leia (Carry Fisher).
10. DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975) – Al Pacino illuminates the screen in his performance as Sonny in Sidney Lumet’s 1975 bak robber drama, “Dog Day Afternoon” Surviving from a reported mental illness, Sonny robs a bank in plain day light to be able to pay for a mysterious cause that will later be explained in the film. As his robbery becomes a huge circus on national television, Sonny uses his publicity and newly gained stardom to play with the cops, the people of New York City and his loved ones.
“Apocalypse Now” (1979), “The Exorcist” (1973), “All That Jazz” (1979), “Annie Hall” (1977), “Grease” (1978), “Jaws” (1975), “Network” (1976), “All The President’s Men” (1976), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1973).