Prestige Best films of the 70’s year by year

theprestige

Well-known Member
Ok, so i've been thinking about making this thread for quite awhile. I've seen a LOT of films (as i'm sure a lot of people here have) and feel qualified to produce some sort of list.

I did not want to do a generic Top 100 list because it gets old fast and the potential risk of strong omissions is not something I can bear. Therefore, I have decided to list films from each year per decade. At first I was going to start from 1920, but then I laughed myself silly as I realised i've seen like 2 films from that decade and less than 10 films from the 30s. I then thought maybe I would start from my date of birth, but that felt like it would make for a relatively limited list.

So I decided to start from the beginning of the era known as the 'golden age of cinema', the 1970s and end with 2017 (or 2018, depending on how long the list takes to complete)

I've also thought of another twist to make this thread even more interesting - I am more than happy to have people contribute to this best of year review list. I will post something at least once a week. However, if somebody else finds that they have a favourite film from the succeeding year to the one I have posted, then they have 3 days to give their review of that film. The rules are that the review has to be at least 3 paragraphs long and you have to use some sort of image from the film.

I'll get the ball rolling with 1970 very soon.
 

Stockholm

Distinguished Member
Funnily enough I was recently thinking of doing something similar. Someone told me that the 1950s is cinema's greatest decade and that it's unlikely to be surpassed in terms of quality. Got The Searchers from that decade to watch soon.

What are you going to begin with from the 70s?
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
Funnily enough I was recently thinking of doing something similar. Someone told me that the 1950s is cinema's greatest decade and that it's unlikely to be surpassed in terms of quality. Got The Searchers from that decade to watch soon.
?

Yeah, there is a strong argument to made for the 50s. And while I cannot promise anything yet, I may well do a sequel to this thread where I cover between 1940s-60s. But that won't be for a long time and it sort of depends on how well this thread gets on, really.

What are you going to begin with from the 70s?

You'll find out below :)
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
The 70's.

Widely regarded as the 'golden era' of not just Hollywood films, but film in general around the globe. This was the decade that were we saw the significant rise of now legendary and iconic filmmakers such as Nicholas Roeg, Martin Scorsese Werner Herzog, Steven Spielberg, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Brian DePalma and the extraordinary Alan Clarke.
This was a period that could be categorised as a sort of 'coming out party' to all the rebels out there who were tired for formulaic studio cinema, and wanted to push boundaries through sheer imagination and deep desire to express.

Ladies and gents, we'll start with 1970:

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1970
: Performance (Nicholas Roeg & Donald Cammel)

Before he directed the late great David Bowie in The Man Who Fell To Earth, there was another flamboyant British musician making the transition into acting. Mick Jagger is the second lead in Roeg and Cammel's unhinged, sleazy yet imaginative London set thriller.

It is a fairly straight forward narrative told in a way that is not entirely conventional. James Fox's sporadically violent Chas moves into an ex rockstar's (Mick Jagger, successfully playing a heightened version of himself) house and starts to developing conflicting personalities. The main theme here is identity and Roeg and Cammel explore it using some really ahead of it's time editing techniques and unique transitions.

The term 'Lynchian' is often lazily used to describe a film that dares to stray away from straight forward story telling. But Cammel and Roeg were 'Lynchian' before it was cool. However, unlike David Lynch, these guys are not simply interested in documenting a bunch of imagery and soundscapes, but they are very interested in character developing and how their characters cope with identity loss.

There is some debate as to who was the real director of this film. Some say Donald Cammel was the big boss who came up with all the creativity whilst others say that Roeg stepped up. Either way, it's clear that whatever happened on set, Roeg's developing style can been seen here.

I've seen this film twice, and both times I have been amazed that it was made so early on in the decade.

Runner up: Deep End
 
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theprestige

Well-known Member
^
Great start with an excellent couple of choices, did you view a restoration version I’ve only ever seen it on VHS and TV.

Thanks mate.

Yeah, i've got the region free blu ray release that came out a few years ago. It's from Warner Bros and it's a decent enough transfer, if a little dated looking. It should be fairly cheap to import, I got it for £9.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
the-merchant-of-four-seasons.jpg


1971:
The Merchant Of Four Seasons (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

This year was far more difficult than 1970 as I was having to take into account the likes of A Clockwork Orange, Straw Dogs, Walkabout, etc. But I finally settled on Rainer Werner Fassbinder's first foray into Sirkian melodrama.

The film's title refers to Hans (Hans Hirschmuller) a former police officer and military man who now leads a simple, working class life selling fruit at the farmer's market, trying to survive in post WW II Germany. Throughout the story, we see just how Hans' is perceived in the community and how that affects the way he feels about himself. Perpetually derided by people as close to him as his own mother, Hans' behaviour and the resentment he has built up over the years become increasingly worse.

It has to be said that Hans is not a very likeable character. He has traits that are very undesirable as far as being an employer and husband goes. However, he is deeply sympathetic and as the film unfolds it becomes increasingly clear why he is the way he is. Fassbinder does not condone his behaviour, but he does highlight the consequences of socio economical structures and hierarchy within families and communities, and Hans' is a victim in this story.

There is a slightly surreal flashback sequence towards the end that further encapsulates Hans' plight and deep rooted feelings about his place in the world.

For me this is one of Fassbinder's most accessible and powerful films, and definitely a turning point in his career.

Runner up: A Clockwork Orange
 
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systemsdead

Distinguished Member
My choice for 1970

Le Cercle Rouge (1970) Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
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For my choice I’ve gone for the Jean-Paul Melville crime epic Le Cercle Rouge, Best known for his world acclaimed Le Samourai its Rouge though that really shines for me.

"We are born innocent but it doesn't last"

A master thief (Alain Delon) newly released from prison is drawn back into his world of crime aided by two accomplices an ex alcoholic cop and a notorious escapee, the trio plan out a heist that is thought impossible.

Thrown into the crime thriller genre I find this film is so much more than that within its brilliant character development and performances, Its meticulous and masterful direction delivers a wealth of memorable scenes one after the other, the film can be described as a slow burn but one in which every frame counts, Its runtime of 140 mins never drags and features a very suspenseful 25 minutes of what can only be described as one of the best heist scenes ever filmed and more than that this whole sequence is played out in tension building silence it really is a remarkable feat and well worth applauding time and time again.One cool as .... movie.

Runner up..
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
 

systemsdead

Distinguished Member
Although i’m a big fan of Fassbinder and especially like your choice of The Merchant I’m still going to have too go for…

A Clockwork Orange (1971) Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Totally biased on this one it’s my favourite Kubrick Film and sits at number 3 in my favourite movies from the 70’s.
Clockwork'71.jpg


"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."

One beast of a film that took me more than a few viewings to fully appreciate this very controversial cinematic masterpiece.This is my kind of “Singing in the Rain" a glorious tale of sex & violence perfectly mixed with the language and art of youth that comes with a cunning future eye on the present, Its one hell of a show and feels like a legal accelerated high from begining to end.

From its fantastic set designs staggering use of music and to the iconic and unforgettable performance of McDowell’s Alex the often termed use of masterpiece rings true for this one.

Runner up…
McCabe & Mrs Miller
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
A Clockwork Orange would be my choice too for '71. I'm well overdue a re-watch. I love Kubrick's use of ultra slo-mo especially this scene:
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Runner up might be Play Misty for Me- a precursor of sorts to Fatal Attraction with a psychotic performance from Jessica Walter. Gives me the willies.
 

bruce-leroy

Distinguished Member
Five Easy Pieces (1970) - Bob Rafelson



Embarrassingly, I haven't seen Performance, so I'll nominate Five Easy Pieces for 1970. I don't actually think its an amazing film - a bit too ponderous - but I like most films that Jack Nicholson did in the seventies. I've also chosen on account of the classic diner scene (see YouTube link above), which feels a bit like a precursor to the famous scene with Michael Douglas from Falling Down (although slightly less extreme!).
 

bruce-leroy

Distinguished Member
Loads to choose from in 1971, and also many of which I ought to have seen!

As A Clockwork Orange has already been chosen (and one that's hard to disagree with for The aforementioned reasons), from a purely personal perspective (regardless of the film's perceived actual quality), I will go with:

The Big Boss (1971) - Lo Wei



For obvious reasons, it was the film that gave Bruce Lee international recognition, groundbreaking for introducing the kind of choreography which would evolve into the kind of screen action that we saw from Golden Harvest productions, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo Ping etc. Etc. In the late 70s and golden era of the 80s/early to mid nineties. Before Bruce Lee, a lot of the action Kung fu movies was less fluid and although technically proficient, was more akin to a staged dance routine in style. Personally, it was probably the first time I watch a Bruce Lee film, and although he'd make better films, The Big Boss is a heck of an introduction.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
My choice for 1970

Le Cercle Rouge (1970) Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
View attachment 879341
For my choice I’ve gone for the Jean-Paul Melville crime epic Le Cercle Rouge, Best known for his world acclaimed Le Samourai its Rouge though that really shines for me.

"We are born innocent but it doesn't last"

Oh mate, I have heard quite a bit about this but I am annoyed at not having seen it because i've always been meaning to. It's a genre I enjoy very much when it's done well. I see that studio canal has a release of this, and from the reviews the transfer sounds decent so I may have to give it a spin asap.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
I can probably count on 2 hands (was going to say 1 but that's stretching it) the number of films i've seen from 1970/71.

From what I recall, i'd have to nominate Kelly's Heroes:D:blush:

1971 gets more interesting. Dirty Harry (winner). French Connection. 10 Rillington Place.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
A Clockwork Orange is indeed a worthy pick, and believe me guys I was this close to picking it, but TMOFS just pipped it. But I don't blame you guys for picking Orange for 71 as it is superb filmmaking on nearly every level.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
Five Easy Pieces (1970) - Bob Rafelson



Embarrassingly, I haven't seen Performance, so I'll nominate Five Easy Pieces for 1970. I don't actually think its an amazing film - a bit too ponderous - but I like most films that Jack Nicholson did in the seventies. I've also chosen on account of the classic diner scene (see YouTube link above), which feels a bit like a precursor to the famous scene with Michael Douglas from Falling Down (although slightly less extreme!).


Nah, yeah don't be embarrassed. There's still many supposed classics that I have to see even from the 90s! Performance is a film that eludes a lot of peoplee simply because it's a film that's hard to put into a nutshell.

I watched Five Easy Pieces fairly recently. Like yourself, I didn't think that it was all that great. I remember feeling quite bored by it for the most part.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
Loads to choose from in 1971, and also many of which I ought to have seen!

As A Clockwork Orange has already been chosen (and one that's hard to disagree with for The aforementioned reasons), from a purely personal perspective (regardless of the film's perceived actual quality), I will go with:

The Big Boss (1971) - Lo Wei



Ha, :D I remember this being borrowed to me on VHS in secondary school by a lad who was massively into martial arts movies. It's been a looong time since i've seen it but I remember liking it, though I was more into Jet Li as far as martial art films goes.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
The Godfather was released in 1971, and ever since, has featured heavily on lists similar to this. However, it will not feature here, not in a complimentary way. It's a good film, but I don't like it anywhere near as much as other people. It's overrated to me and offers very little to the organised crime drama aside from an admittedly well constructed edited sequence towards the end that juxtaposes life and death.

This leads me to what I feel is the best film of 1972:


1972: To Encourage The Others (Alan Clarke)

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This is a potentially dodgy for a couple of reasons - first reason is that this was never made for a cinema release. It's a tv film broadcasted on the BBC. The second reason is that this was only made widely available last year, so not many people would have gotten a chance.

But I have included it because it's Alan Clarke and because it depicts the true story of one of the most foulest, most cruel crimes ever committed by the English 'justice' system against a victim who simply never stood a chance.

The story goes that 16 year old Christopher Craig and 19 year old Derek Bentley attempted to burgle some place only to be thwarted by the police. The police had apprehended Derek Bentley, but Christopher Craig got into a gun battle with them and ended up killing a policeman before finally being arrested.

Subsequently, a lengthy trial took place where both Bentley and Craig were found guilty. At this time, the death penalty was still being implemented in England, however, due to Christopher Craig's age, the law could not punish him via death. Derek Bentley on the other hand happened to meet the criteria for the death penalty - despite that fact that he didn't have a weapon and didn't kill anybody. The police and prosecutors and judge did everything in their power to get Bentley killed all because they knew they Craig was too young to be punished the way they wanted. Add to this that Bentley had the mental capacity of a 10 year old and you've got a savage institution who bullied this poor young man to the death penalty.

This film plays out in three parts - an action set piece, the procedural court room, and then a dramatic finale. It's the middle portion that really shines as Alan Clarke (adapting this film from David Yallop's book) uses nearly every single filmic technique possible to convey the evidence (and non evidence) of the case.

Static photographs, black and white high shutter speed frames, audio books, letters, notes. This is incredibly intricate and detailed and is so much that it will require repeat viewings to catch everything. This is a film in which it was dependant on the amount of research done, and Clarke convincingly able to prove how this case was not a measure of justice, but a measure of degradation and the hierarchy that exists between the ruling and working class.

The ending, even though you know it is coming, is just incredibly hard to watch. It's a must see and was instrumental in getting Derek Bentley a posthumous pardon by 1993. This would be Clarke's first masterpiece for me.

Runner Up: Fat City

What is your fav film from 1972?
 
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systemsdead

Distinguished Member
For me i’m choosing a film that only had a basic script idea no storyboard and a stolen camera was used for filming yep I”m talking about guerrilla filmmaking at its finest and most raw ..

Aguirre : The Wrath of God (1972) Directed by Werner Herzog
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"That man is a head taller than me. That may change

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Low budget creativity at its finest with an almost documentary feel that takes you along as if you are part of this journey, the spontaneity of it all really works in its favour and along with some fantastic long takes and delicate pacing it gives you time to soak in its time and place.

The biggest pull for this film though is the spellbinding screen presence of Klaus Kinski and the egomaniacal role he performs you can see real madness in his eyes especially when the fourth wall is broken leaving Kinski looking directly at you it really is a fantastic one of a kind manic performance.

All in all a great cult film that also carries a truly insane and well documented backstory on one of the most volatile partnerships between director and actor in cinema history.

Runner up
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
1972 I would have to say The Godfather.

Always had a soft spot for The Poseidon Adventure though:D

Never seen Deliverance:blush:
 

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