I've been working on a blog post about the 70's for a while. Handwritten memories in a leather notebook... Yeah - I can remember the 70's. Lots of long hair, rounded collars and power cuts. A few years later - in the later 80's - I worked for a Tory MP and edited a Conservative In-Touch leaflet for voters that basically painted the 70's as a huge 10 year drift into communism (fault of Callaghan, Wilson, Benn, Heath and other assorted fellow travellers). There's something in that, of course, but my actual memories of the decade - as opposed to my political views - are fabulous; warm, comforting, happy.
I'll post the 70's article when I've finished it and - more importantly - edited it into something readable. But let's not shy away from a list when one hoves into view. So, today's listette is the best films of 1970's with a slight bias towards films I actually saw. Yeah. In the 1970's at ABC Cinema in Rochdale.
Star Wars - of course. I saw it when it came out in 1977 and was pissed off it would 1984 before it came on TV. These were days before videos. Amazon Prime etc. Christ this movie is big now. BIGGER in the 70's when the tech wasn't so dated. I collected the cards. Swapped them at school. Iconic movie. 70's classic. It doesn't get much better than this.
The Long Good Friday - Obviously didn't see this in the 70's! Bob Hoskins on fine form and Helen Mirren looking (as she always does) stunning. Dream girl. London as it was late 70's - a shit-hole but ringing to the song of Cockneys. A time piece of a world in transition before Thatcher reinvented the country.
The Three / Four Musketeers. Richard Lester screwing over Olly Reed, Michael York et al by claiming to make just one movie but then cutting it in half and releasing two. Funny, irreverent, full of humour, British character actors and daring-do. I think I saw this one rainy holiday in Dorset 1974.
Manhattan - I thought this one better than Annie Hall. Shot in black and white. When Woody Allen was vaguely funny. Didn't see this until the 80's. Plot: Woody forms an inappropriate relationship with a much younger girl. Mmm, yeah. An artist, right?
Animal House - I don't think I've ever progressed beyond this story of the worst Frat House on campus. Kent Dorfman. Wow! Tim Mattheson, John Belushi lead the lads into one gross out misdeed after another. Sporned a genre.
Apocalypse Now - "Saigon. Shit!" President Andrew Bartlett goes off to kill The Godfather to sound of the Doors while reading Heart of Darkness. Or something like that. It goes on for, like, nine hours and is always on when I come back pissed from the pub. A bit here. A bit there. Oh, the deleted French scene. Must be director's cut. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!"
Monty Python's Life Of Brian - What can I say? Possibly one of the most iconic and funniest films ever. So many scenes that are now comedy gold. Hard to see that it was controversial at the time. Christianity is a bit of a soft target though, isn't it? Not then, apparently. I suppose one could imagine a comedy team doing a piss-take of another religious figure from a different, militant religion now? Edgy, no? No? They'd rather take lame shots at Trump? How we've progressed since the 70's.
The Godfather 1&2 - Mario Puzo / Francis Ford Coppola's epic tales of a mafia family in New York. What's not to like? Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert de Niro, James Caan, Robert Duvall. "Forget about it". Not.
Well there you go - some great films. Some good times. Superman in January 1979 at the ABC in Rochdale was memorable only because it was the Winter of Discontent and so the heating was off. Good times.
BTW - I reserve the right to add a couple more as I want to publish this and I've left my initial notes at home... Yes, I do draft these out sometimes. I know it looks stream of consciousness but, it ain't.