Saturday, June 20, 2009

MASTER LIST #13: The 101 Best Films of the 1970s


In response to the current poll being held at the magnificent Wonders in the Dark, I decided to commit to posterity my 101 favorite films from the 1970s. I came of age in the 1970s, so I saw about 65% of these titles in first-run theaters (it was an unbelievable time to be a budding film lover--so much so that I haven't enough words to describe it here). So, in order, based on (1) influence, (2) personal affection, and (3) overall quality, here's my list, with short commentary:

1) The Godfather and The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 72/74)
2) Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 77)
3) A Little Romance (George Roy Hill, 79 (France/USA))
4) Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 74)
5) Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 76)
6) All That Jazz (Bob Fosse, 79)
7) Eraserhead (David Lynch, 77)
8) Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 78)
9) The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 71)
10) Nashville (Robert Altman, 75)
11) Manhattan (Woody Allen, 79)
12) Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 79)
13) Aguirre The Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 72 (Germany))
14) Deliverance (John Boorman, 72)
15) Network (Sidney Lumet, 76)
16) Gimme Shelter (Albert and David & Charlotte Zwerlin, 71)
17) One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Forman, 75)
18) The Day of the Locust (John Schlesinger, 75)
19) O Lucky Man! (Lindsay Anderson, 73 (Britain))
20) Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmuller, 76 (Italy))
21) Breaking Away (Peter Yates, 79)
22) Best Boy (Ira Wohl, 79)
23) Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 75 (Britain))
24) Over The Edge (Jonathan Kaplan, 79)
25) Frank Film (Frank Mouris, 73)
26) Badlands (Terrence Malick, 73)
27) McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 71)
28) Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 76)
29) The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, 78)
30) The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood, 76)
31) Oblomov (Nikita Mikhalov, 79 (Russia))
32) Small Change (Francois Truffaut, 76 (France))
33) American Graffiti (George Lucas, 73)
34) Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 73)
35) Claire’s Knee (Eric Rohmer, 71 (France))
36) The Tin Drum (Volker Schlondorff, 79 (Germany))
37) Alien (Ridley Scott, 79)
38) All The President’s Men (Alan J. Pakula, 76)
39) The Black Stallion (Carroll Ballard, 79)
40) Being There (Hal Ashby, 79)
41) The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 74)
42) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 77)
43) The Honeymoon Killers (Leonard Kastle, 70)
44) Straight Time (Ulu Grosbard, 78)
45) Paper Moon (Peter Bogdanovich, 74)
46) The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 73)
47) Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 74)
48) Special Delivery (John Weldon and Eunice MacCauley, 78)
49) A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 71 (Britain))
50) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 74)
51) Images (Robert Altman, 72)
52) Tommy (Ken Russell, 75 (Britain))
53) Interiors (Woody Allen, 78)
54) A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 74)
55) The Candidate (Michael Richie, 72)
56) Dirty Harry (Don Siegel, 71)
57) Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 71)
58) Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 71)
59) An Unmarried Woman (Paul Mazursky, 78)
60) Grey Gardens (Maysles/Hovde/Maysles/Meyer, 75)
61) Scenes from a Marriage (Ingmar Bergman, 76 (Sweden))
62) Halloween (John Carpenter, 78)
63) Bad Company (Robert Benton, 72)
64) Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 75 (Australia))
65) Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 79)
66) Husbands (John Cassavetes, 70)
67) The Parallax View (Alan J. Pakula, 74)
68) Carnal Knowledge (Mike Nichols, 71)
70) Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 72 (Russia))
71) 3 Women (Robert Altman, 77)
72) Gates of Heaven (Errol Morris, 78)
73) M.A.S.H. (Robert Altman, 70)
74) F for Fake (Orson Welles, 74)
75) Punishment Park (Peter Watkins, 71 (Britain))
76) Kramer Vs. Kramer (Robert Benton, 79)
77) The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 78)
78) THX-1138 (Director’s Cut) (George Lucas, 71/2001)
79) The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Bunuel, 72 (Spain))
80) Harry and Tonto (Paul Mazursky, 74)
81) Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Jones/Gilliam, 75 (Britain))
82) Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 71)
83) Who’ll Stop The Rain? (Karel Reitz, 78)
84) Fiddler on the Roof (Norman Jewison, 71)
85) The Bad News Bears (Michael Richie, 76)
86) Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 75)
87) The Poseidon Adventure (Ronald Neame, 72)
88) What's Up Doc? (Peter Bogdanovich, 72)
89) The Man Who Would Be King (John Huston, 75)
90) Citizen’s Band / Handle With Care (Jonathan Demme, 77)
91) Ryan’s Daughter (David Lean, 70 (Britain))
92) Night Moves (Arthur Penn, 75)
93) The Silent Partner (Darryl Dukes, 79)
94) Edvard Munch (Peter Watkins, 74 (Britain/Norway))
95) The Front (Martin Ritt, 76)
96) Richard Pryor Live in Concert (Jeff Margolin, 79)
97) Electra Glide in Blue (James William Guercio, 73)
98) Going in Style (Martin Brest, 79)
99) The Wold Shadow (Stan Brakhage, 72)
100) Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 74)
101) Sorcerer (William Friedkin, 78)

2 comments:

Sam Juliano said...

Thanks so much for the link and those very kind words Dean. I got home late and responded to you at WitD, but I want to re-iterate here what an authoritative, exquisite and tasteful list this is. After seeing Woody Allen's latest film tonite at the Angelika, I can fondly reflect here on your #2 choice, which I've always held dear to my heart. But few could dispute your numerical order here right on down, nor of the high-quality of all the selections.

This is clearly a labor of love from a man who has spent an ungodly amount of time in the theatre, an assertion that was once made about Danny Peary, (the author of the book you tab as your own favorite in your prior engaging post. This list is a wonderful reference point as well.

Dean Treadway said...

Back at ya, Sam! You're a prince and a dauntingly well-versed film expert yourself, so hearing praise from you always is a source of pride and joy from me. Thanks for your terrific website; I'm an unqualified fan.