Monday, September 28, 2015

Ranking the Best Pictures of the 1970's

I have not been looking forward to this since this was a decade that had so many great films and many of them won best picture.  But here it goes.

10. The Sting (1973) - An offbeat comedy-drama that won in a year that didn't have a lot of strong competition.  Not to say that it is a bad film, but there were so many other films that are classics compared to this one.  Basically someone had to finish in tenth.

9. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) - A strong movie for its time but a bit dated today.  Possibly shouldn't have won best picture, Apocalypse Now was much better.  But this film is a great time capsule of the late 1970's and did tackle the social issue of should the mother automatically get the child in a divorce.

8. Rocky (1976) - And the other film that won from the decade that it shouldn't have.  Still a sports classic and popular to this day.  Proof that the social climate of the country does play into how the academy votes, remember this was during the Vietnam, Watergate and Bicentennial area, so a movie like Rocky was a sure bet for best picture.

7. Patton (1970) - Possibly one of the greatest war movies of all time.  George C. Scott's portrayal of the great general is so amazing, the war scenes, everything about this film is great.  Even though it is a long movie, you just don't want it to end.

6. The French Connection - (1971) - Clearly the best cops and robbers film ever made.  Tough, gritty, a true example of the 1970's had to offer for cinema.  So few films can combine drama with action.  Even the classic car chase scene wouldn't be done today, every fifteen seconds someone would have to throw in a witty comment or have some stupid explosion.  But this film is a classic.

5. Annie Hall (1977) - A great film from the mind of Woody Allen that finally got him an Oscar for best picture.  Comedy doesn't always do well, but in the '70's a film like this could be recognized for how great it was.  As a kid I couldn't understand why it beat Star Wars, but now as an adult I understand and glad it won.

4. The Deer Hunter (1978) - On of the greatest films of the decade, which a friend of mine used to brag that it had the longest wedding scene in any movie.  I would say this is the best Vietnam War film to win best picture, and I think it hurt Apocalypse Now the next year from winning. Nevertheless, a great film that is in the top five of best pictures for the decade.

3. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - One of only three films to sweep all the major awards at the Oscars (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay), and rightfully so.  Still holds up today as an amazing film.  In fact after seeing Birdman win at this year's Oscars, I immediately turned over to TCM and this was on.  I felt like my pallet was cleansed and felt proud to know the difference between art and kitsch.

2. The Godfather Part II (1974) - Clearly the greatest sequel ever made and one of my personal favorite movies of all time.  Great acting combined with a dual story line showing the history of Don Corleone is amazing.  It is second only because there could only be one film even better.

1. The Godfather (1972) - One of the best films ever made, a perfect movie.  The amazing classic is still enjoyable today, has become part of our society, our lexicon, our lives.  If you haven't seen it stop reading right now and go and watch it.  If you have seen it, watch it again.  Go now!

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