Best of the 1970’s

Well, plowing through the Best Picture nominees of the 1970’s proved to be an easier task than that of the 1960’s.  For the most part, the films are better.  Also, I have gotten better at managing the supply chain of what I need to watch and where I can get it.  I use a combination of Netflix, Watch Instantly and the Nashville Public Library.  Something that will make the 1940’s and 1950’s easier to accomplish is that wonderful channel, Turner Classic Movies.  TCM constantly plays movies from the 30’s to the 60’s and should be a huge help in the future.

While the 1960’s emphasized the Musical and the Past, the 1970’s was very much in the Present and Future with several war films inspired by Vietnam and the progression of visual effects technology.  The 1970’s addresses head-on the issues of the day as well as imagining the future state of the world, galaxy, universe, etc.  The smaller, independent movies that were elbowing their way onto the scene in the late 60’s were in full force during the 70’s and seemed to mutate back into the bigger budget films while maintaining that gritty subject matter.  The 1970’s definitely brings the level of cinema back up to where it was in the 1950’s and The Academy did a fine job of recognizing those films.  There were some true masterpieces nominated for Best Picture in this decade as well as the start of some legendary directors that will go down in history as some of the greatest.

Here are my best of the 1970’s…

Top 10 Best Picture Nominees

1) The Godfather (1972)
2) Jaws (1975)
3) Taxi Driver (1976)
4) Network (1976)
5) A Clockwork Orange (1971)
6) The Godfather: Part II (1974)
7) Annie Hall (1977)
8) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
9) The Conversation (1974)
10) Apocalypse Now (1979)

Top 10 Worst Best Picture Nominees

1) The Goodbye Girl (1977)
2) Heaven Can Wait (1978)
3) Midnight Express (1978)
4) All That Jazz (1979)
5) A Touch of Class (1973)
6) Breaking Away (1979)
7) Barry Lyndon (1975)
8) Airport (1970)
9) Cabaret (1972)
10) An Unmarried Woman (1978)

Top 10 Films Not Nominated for Best Picture

1) Halloween (1978)
2) Badlands (1973)
3) Alien (1979)
4) Carrie(1976)
5) Being There (1979)
6) The Last Waltz (1978)
7) Mean Streets (1973)
8) Muder on the Orient Express (1974)
9) Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
10) Days of Heaven (1978)

Top 10 Films of the 1970’s Overall

1) The Godfather (1972)
2) Jaws (1975)
3) Taxi Driver (1976)
4) Network (1976)
5) A Clockwork Orange (1971)
6) The Godfather: Part II (1974)
7) Annie Hall (1977)
8) Halloween (1978)
9) Badlands (1973)
10) Alien (1979)

Best Years
1) 1976
2) 1975
3) 1974
4) 1972
5) 1973
6) 1971
7) 1979
8) 1970
9) 1977
10) 1978

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

(The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather: Part II, Apocalypse Now)

Martin Scorsese (Mean Streets, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Taxi Driver, The Last Waltz)
Sydney Lumet (Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, Network)
Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Bound for Glory, Coming Home, Being There)
Steven Spielberg (Duel, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind)
…Woody Allen (Bananas, Sleeper, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan)

Actor: Jack Nicholson

(Five Easy Pieces, The Last Detail, Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

Robert De Niro (Mean Streets, The Godfather: Part II, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter)
Al Pacino (The Godfather, Serpico, The Godfather: Part II, Dog Day Afternoon)
Jon Voight (Deliverance, Coming Home)
Dustin Hoffman (Lenny, All The President’s Men, Kramer vs. Kramer)

Actress: Faye Dunaway

(Chinatown, Network)
Sissy Spacek (Badlands, Carrie, 3 Women)
Cybil Shephard (The Last Picture, Taxi Driver)
Ellen Burstyn (The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore)
Meryl Streep (Julia, The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, Kramer vs. Kramer)

Adapted Screenplay: The Godfather Parts I & II (1972 & 1974)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
All the President’s Men (1976)

Original Screenplay: Annie Hall (1977)

Network (1976)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
The Conversation (1974)
The Deer Hunter (1978)

Score: Star Wars (1977)

Jaws (1975)
Taxi Driver (1976)
The Godfather Parts I & II (1972 & 1974)
Days of Heaven (1978)

Cinematography: A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The Godfather Part II (1974)
Days of Heaven (1978)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Apocalypse Now (1979)

Film Editing: The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather (1972)
Network (1976)
Taxi Driver (1976)
American Graffiti (1973)

Sound: The Conversation (1974)

Patton (1970)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Star Wars (1977)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Art Direction: Barry Lyndon (1975)

The Godfather Part II (1974)
Alien (1979)
Eraserhead (1976)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Costume Design: Barry Lyndon (1975)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Godfather (1972)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Star Wars (1977)

Visual Effects: Star Wars (1977)

Alien (1979)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Patton (1970)

Best Shots

The Ludovico Technique

Network Assassination

Pulled Over

The Family Business

Behind You

Days of Heaven

Night Lights


Spoiler Alert

And finally, a listing of Top 5 films from the 1970’s from some friends whose film opinions I value most.

Corey C.Tuscaloosa News, Aspect Radio
1) Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
2) Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)
3) Nashville (Altman, 1975)
4) Network (Lumet, 1976)
5) The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973)

1) The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
2) Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)
3) Godfather Part II (Coppola, 1974)
4) Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
5) Fiddler on the Roof (Jewison, 1971)

Benjamin F.Aspect Radio, Ben Around
1) Close Encounters (Spielberg, 1977)
2) Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)
3) All the President’s Men (Pakula, 1976)
4) The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
5) A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971)

Graham F. –
1) Barry Lyndon  (Kubrick, 1975)
2) The Godfather  (Coppola, 1972)
3) Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)
4) Duel (Spielberg, 1971)
5) Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Gilliam/Jones, 1975)

Ben S.The Nocturnal Third, A Genesis Found
1) Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
2) Chinatown (Polanski, 1974)
3) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman, 1978)
4) Network (Lumet, 1976)
5) The Conversation (Coppola, 1974)

Morgan G.
1) Star Wars (Lucas, 1977)
2) The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
3) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977)
4) Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)
5) Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)

1) Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
2) Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)
3) Mean Streets (Scorsese, 1973)
4) Alien (Scott, 1979)
5) Animal House (Landis, 1978)


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