"I haven't been here, you haven't seen me, and she hasn't been out of this house all evening!"-Beautiful line from "The Big Sleep" from Humphrey Bogart to Lauren Bacall
Favorite Scene From A Movie
This scene is unusual. It is from Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief" where Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are trying to outrun a police vehicle. From this scene, I was influenced to start driving.
101 Dalmatians, Rear Window
Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Cary Grant, Robert de Niro, William Holden, Faye Dunnaway, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly, Gene Hackman, Laurence Olivier
Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger, John Huston, John Ford, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Cappola, Akira Kurosawa, Steven Spielberg, Ingmar Bergman
Grace Kelly, Maureen O'hara, Lauren Bacall
Dramas, Mystery and Suspense
Bosley Crowther, Roger Ebert, James Berardinelli, Leonard Maltin
Posted on 02/24/11 09:18 PM | Last edited on 02/24/11 09:18 PM
Like the 1960's, I have seen all the Best Picture winners of the 1940's and 1970's. I will do a blog first on 1970's, because I have some thoughts I'd liked to express on these 10 films chosen as best of their respected year. A re-cap of the films is as follows, chronologically from 1970 to 1979:
The French Connection
The Godfather Part II
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Deer Hunter
Kramer Vs. Kramer
Of these picks, most of them were great, and perhaps well picked as the receiver for Best Picture. On Rotten Tomatoes, the highest rated Best Picture winner of the decade was "The Godfather." In fact "The Godfather" is the highest rated Best Picture winner of them all (1928-present) on this website. Most of the other films here have ratings well over 90% as well. Here is my list in rankings of these Best Picture winners:
10. Annie Hall: this Woody Allen is one of the most respected of his career and in cinema history. It is about Allen's character and a girl named Annie Hall (Diane Keaton, Best Actress recipient) who have a bizarre love relationship. I was not a major fan of this film, although I see many on my 'Friends' on my list are. The film was okay to me. Some it was funny, but it was not as funny as I had wanted. For me, it is the least favourite of the decade, though not a bad film by any means. I also prefer his crazy "Sleeper" from 1973 so far.
9. Rocky: as I had recently wrote a review on RT, I think it is one of the silliest films to win Best Picture, but it was not bad of a film. At times it was funny, more funny than "Annie Hall" surprisingly. It had a strangely tender side to it, most particuraly with the relation between Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and Adrian (Talia Shire). It is not a great film, but it is a decent one. Unfortunately, it being a Best Picture winner is one that I have a problem with. That same year, three other delicious great films were released: "Taxi Driver," "Network," and "All The President's Men." I had much preferred if one of these took home Best Picture over "Rocky." They have aged much better and they are far more powerful!
8. Kramer Vs. Kramer: a film about the divorce of a couple (Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep) and the fight over child custody of their son. It was a strong film from that year, with very good performances from all cast members and a nice film editing to make it more natural and life-like. The storyline was also pretty good. I had wished, though, they had developed more of Meryl Streep's character, in which we understood more of her problems, and for that, it missed greatness. In addition, there are two other films better than Kramer vs. Kramer from that year: "Apocalypse Now!" and "Being There."
7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: starting with the GREAT Best Picture winners with a film taking place in a mental institution, based on the famed 1962 novel of the same name. Jack Nicholson is petty criminal posing as a mental patient and getting under the skin of nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). A fantastic work because of its performances by Fletcher, Nicholson, and the remaining cast (Devito is very early role of his career) and the fact that the film is both funny and sick (maybe fun of people in a mental position is just plain evil). In addition, I love when films cause me to think. I argue whether or not the real villain is Nicholson or Fletcher, because to me, Nicholson faked his way into the institution, pretending he was mental in order to avoid a prison farm, and you know he wants to cause trouble. Fletcher is cold hearted of course, but she took the nurses job in the first place in order to help people and she does have respect at the establishment. A fascinating film.
6. The Godfather: a look at an organized crime ring found on the streets of New York City, led by the lengendary Godfather (Marlon Brando). It is a beautifully filmed work and one of the most famous pieces of cinema of all time. The performances are superb and, despite the fact it is three hours, the relaxed pace builds tension and there are some spurts of great excitement. You can see the problems associated with Al Pacino's character Michael Corleone arise and he becomes more corrupt as the film series progresses. A very well picked cast for this fantastic film.
5. The French Connection: an exciting, tense thriller of a cop named Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) who is on the hunt for French criminals trafficking drugs into New York City. The film is fantastic to watch, with a memorable car chase scene under a subway and with a eerie climax at the end (at least I thought it was eerie). It is also an examination on a cop named Doyle, who is quite aggressive in his take down on criminals, a little too aggressive for the police force of New York. Despite his good intentions, Doyle is quite corrupt to add to thrills of the wonderful work. However, even though "The French Connection" is terrific, my favourite film from 1971, its year of release, is "The Last Picture Show."
4. The Godfather Part II: a bit longer continuation of the infamous trilogy, I am not sure I am in the majority her but I do like the second film more than the first one. There are two stories: one is the problems with Al Pacino's empire and how it crumbling under his leadership because of some opposing criminal groups and evil employees; the other is the origination of the Godfather, what home life was like and travels from Italy to the United States (Marlon Brando's character played magnificently by Robert de Niro). It is a beautiful film to watch, and even though the original is a great film, this one for me, is an even better one. However, it may be a great film, but it is not my favourite from the year of its release. My favourite from 1974b is another Francis Ford Cappola film called "The Conversation" with Gene Hackman, which is also my favourite film from the 1970's.
3. The Sting: a highly entertaining, slightly contrived film. This is actually one of the first films I watched from the 1970's and the first Best Picture winner to see from this decade. It is a fascinating look at a money laundering ring, led by Robert Redford and Paul Newman, during the 1920's. It is a very unusual Best Picture winner, which some have been repelled by, but it so much fun to watch, making the film run by quite fast. I personally prefer from 1973, the best film to be "Mean Streets," but "The Sting" is a great entertainment source and has a fantastic plot.
2. The Deer Hunter: a triumph of a film. It is about three friends who enlist in the US Army and head to Vietnam, in which they are left permantly damaged from their grueling experience. The film runs in three episodes: the first showing their lives before their shipped out; the second showing their beyond frightening experience in Vietnam; and the final showing their lives after their awful term is over. Robert de Niro is main character within the film, but his performance is so great through its naturalness and it is easily one of his best films. The performances by much of the rest of the cast is also superb, with particular note of Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken. The film is very slow paced, but time flies when viewing a work this good. The film has also been critisized for its length of three hours and one-sided point of view, yet it is not overlong at all and the point of this film is to look at the American soldiers' pain from serving in Vietnam. I also liked this film (and also Apocalypse Now!) because I have been to Vietnam and it tocuhes me more so to see the re-anactment of the attrocities that this rapidly developing nation had to face (going there today, you would never know this happened). The Russian Roulette scenes within the film, by the way, are some of the most intense scenes I have ever scene on reel. Great, great film. Also, like Walken, De Niro and Streep should have received acting Oscars for their stunning performances.
1. Patton: a beautifully done autobiography on George S. Patton (played in an outstanding role and Oscar winning role by George C. Scott), a general who leads a number of assaults during World War II. The film is brutal in exposing his life as a General, how he ignored other commanders in their requests in leading assaults and being strick with his crew members before battles were to begin (in one instance smacking a rightfully scared soldier with his helmet). There are also some glorious battle scenes within the film and a underrated, fine and quite performance by Karl Malden (second in command to Patton). The opening monologue is also very powerful. An absolutely beautiful film!
So these are my opinions on the Best Picture winners of the 1970's. Many of you may disagree on my rankings, likely putting either "The Godfather (s)" or "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" as the best Best Picture winners of the decade. I thoroughly enjoyed most of these films, along with many others of the 1970's. I have to say that most of the Best Picture winners of that decade were very well picked. In fact, all of these films are in the 1001 Movies Guide book, so I would say all of them are well-picked. Also, seven of these film were put on the American Film Institute's 100...100 Movies 10th Anniversary List: both "Godfathers," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The French Connection," "Rocky," "Annie Hall," and "The Deer Hunter." As well on the original list from 1997, "Patton" was also on there and should have stayed. Most of these films are a must-see.
A blog on the 1940's Best Picture winners come up very soon.