Every month, our contributors submit lists of ten films fitting certain topics. Each month, we feature an alphabetical list of films along with commentary explaining our selections. There will also be an itemized list at the end of each of our individual selections.
When looking at the 1970s, one must consider that among film historians, it’s considered one of the strongest in cinema history alongside the 1930s. For some, it could even be the best and by the number of different films we’ve come up with and even not been able to add to our lists, it’s clear that the decade holds a place in each of our hearts. It’s surprising then that the film that placed on the most lists was one that I thought I might be the only one selecting. Robert Altman’s Nashville managed to pick its way onto three lists. Several films showed on a combination of two lists: Cabaret, A Clockwork Orange, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Exorcist, The Last Picture Show, Network, and Star Wars.
As the directors that had dominated the 1950s and 1960s began to fade and the new voices of the modern cinematic era rose, it’s fascinating to see which directors managed multiple appearances on the list. Far and away the big winner in this situation is Francis Ford Coppola who features a staggering four films on the list including both Godfather films as well as The Conversation and Apocalypse Now. Only two other directors managed a place on the list and both were major presences in 1970s cinema. Bob Fosse had two with Cabaret and All That Jazz and Sidney Lumet had two as well with Network and Murder on the Orient Express.
After the break, dig into our setups and follow that by reading about each film.