Saturday, January 28, 2012

101 Cinematic Reasons Why I Love the ‘70s

1. “Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion. Better. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. Uh, no, let me start this over.” 

2. “The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence. 

3. “You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets.”

4. This opening shot:

5. Woodstein

6. Harriet Andersson as Agnes

7. Ingrid Thulin as Karin

8. Liv Ullmann as Maria

9. Kari Sylwan as Anna

10. The Kisnki/Herzog collaboration

11. The fact that All the President’s Men won the Oscar for Best Sound

13. The repulsiveness of Noah Cross

14. “You see this? This is this.”

15. This image:

16. The camera pans over to his hands. He reaches in his coat for an antacid tablet. As he brings the tablet to his mouth, the camera follows his hands to reveal his face. We’ve seen him before, but it’s as if we’re seeing him for the first time. The jacket. The pale skin. The mohawk. Here is…

17. The wickedly clever editing in The Conformist

18. The fact that, after 40 years, the chase scene in The French Connection still amazes

19. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

20. “Luca Brassi sleeps with the fishes.”

21. “Leave the gun, take the cannolis.”

22. “Why are the curtains open?”

23. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

24. “I knew it was you, Fredo, you broke my heart.”


26. The tollbooth.

27. The horse’s head.

28. Hyman Roth.

29. The impossibly impeccable, but far too brief career of John Cazale:

30. “I'm 42 and she's 17. I'm older than her father, can you believe that? I'm dating a girl, wherein, I can beat up her father.” 

31. All 281 flawless minutes of Scenes From a Marriage

33. “Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”


35. James Earl Jones’ voice

36. Sonny talking on the phone with Leon

37. This room:

38. The many filmmaking tricks that are revealed in Day for Night

39. Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence – the very best female acting performance I’ve ever seen

40. “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

41. Jon Voight and Ned Beatty stopping their canoe on a river bank, and the subsequent horror that follows

42. How Ingrid Thulin makes smiling at her husband one of the most haunting images I’ve ever seen

43. The relationship between Emmi and Ali

44. “Now you get to play the game.”

45. The fact that The Sting still manages to trick me


47. R.P. McMurphy offering Chief a stick of gum

48. Barry Lyndon dueling with Lord Bullingdon

49. The fact that Rocky loses the fight

51. “…one shot.”

52. With his newfound, Best Picture-winning success, Woody Allen does precisely what nobody wants him to do and makes a masterful drama

53. The sound of a heart pounding in Midnight Express

55. The fact that Robert De Niro won an acting Oscar while in competition with the guy that taught him how to act

56. The stitches scene in Kramer vs. Kramer

57. 1941 is released, and we’re all reminded that no one, including Steven Spielberg, is perfect

58. Peter Faulk splitting a six pack with his two pre-teen kids

59. Bergman, Ingmar finally working with Bergman, Ingrid:

60. “Can I confess something? I tell you this as an artist, I think you'll understand. Sometimes when I'm driving on the road at night… I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.” 

61. The cameos in Nashville 

62. “You can either surf or you can fight!”

63. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

64. “It smelled like…”

65. Basically everything Robert Duvall says and does in Apocalypse Now

66. Chicken salad sandwich:

67. “$20?! Let’s go da movies!”

68. The football game in M*A*S*H

69. Best Documentary Feature, 1974

70. Every single frame of McCabe & Mrs. Miller

71. The fact that this film is still my favorite Herzog film:

72. The remarkably accurate character introduction of Johnny Boy

73. “Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.”

74. “What the hell you wanna go and fuck around with that river for?” “Because it’s there.”

75. Runners up: Brando, Nicholson, Pacino, Redford. Winner: Lemmon

76. The impossibility of choosing the more impressive filmography: Pacino or De Niro

77. The fact that the scariest scene in the film is little Reagan getting poked and prodded with needles

78. Max who?

79. The fearlessness of Cybill Shepherd’s performance in The Last Picture Show

80. George Lucas releases American Graffiti, the best film he’s ever made

81. “Making a film is like a stagecoach ride in the old west. When you start, you are hoping for a pleasant trip. By the halfway point, you just hope to survive.”

82. Hal Ashby’s filmography

83. Hercule Poirot’s final monologue

84. The slow motion bar scene cut to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

85. “He'd kill us if he got the chance.”

86. Foreman’s audacity of mixing real mental patients with actors


88. “Listen, you fuckers, you screwheads. Here is a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit. Here is a man who stood up.”

89. Beatrice Straight’s five minutes of screentime

90. “Is it safe?”

91. The quiet, unobtrusive observation of Harlan County, U.S.A.

92. The way Jason Miller jerks his hands away from a mental patient in The Exorcist

93. "I am the Wrath of God."

94. Best Foreign Film, 1972

95. Jimi Hendrix doing the Star-Spangled Banner 

96. “Sex and death - two things that come once in a lifetime... but at least after death, you're not nauseous.

97. “Don…Corleone.”

98. “How do I look?” “You look great.”

99. “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.”

100. “The horror…the horror”

101. “I was cured all right.”

101 Cinematic Reasons Why I Love the ‘2000s

'70s Answers

1. Manhattan
2. A Clockwork Orange
3. Mean Streets
4. Barry Lyndon
5. All The President’s Men
6-9. Cries and Whispers
12. Shaft
13. Chinatown
14. The Deer Hunter
15. Patton
16. Taxi Driver
19-21. The Godfather
22-25. The Godfather Part II
26-27. The Godfather
28. The Godfather Part II
30. Manhattan
32. Jaws
33. Taxi Driver
34. Carrie
35. Star Wars
36. Dog Day Afternoon
37. Cries and Whispers
40. Network
41. Deliverance
42. Cries and Whispers
43. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
44. Deliverance
46. The Exorcist
47. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
50. Saturday Night Fever
51. The Deer Hunter
52. Interiors
54. Network
55. The Godfather Part II
58. A Woman Under the Influence
59. Autumn Sonata
60. Annie Hall
62-64. Apocalypse Now
66. Five Easy Pieces
67. Mean Streets
69. Hearts and Minds
71. Woyzeck
72. Mean Streets
73. A Clockwork Orange
74. Deliverance
75. Save the Tiger
77. The Exorcist
78. Nosferatu the Vampyre
81. Day for Night
83. Murder on the Orient Express
84. Mean Streets
85. The Conversation
86. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
87. Dog Day Afternoon
88. Taxi Driver
89. Network
90. Marathon Man
93. Aguirre, the Wrath of God
94. Cries and Whispers
95. Woodstock
96. Sleeper
97. The Godfather
98. Kramer vs. Kramer
99. Chinatown
100. Apocalypse Now
101. A Clockwork Orange 


  1. The 70s... best decade for entertainment... ever. The music was awesome. The films were amazing.

  2. What Pete and Sam said. You mention so many of my favourite films here.

  3. Fantastic post! I'm gonna check out others from this series now :)

  4. @Pete Thanks man! Dude I could've done 201 reasons, easily.

  5. @thevoid99 Totally agree, love '70s music. Give me Marvin Gaye anytime.

  6. Thanks to EVERYONE for reading/commenting!

  7. @Alex Withrow

    And don't forget prog-rock, metal, punk, funk, post-punk, new wave, Krautrock, and most of all, disco.

    I'll take all of that over the bullshit music that is being played right now.

  8. @thevoid99 Christ I love disco - Chic, KC, Tavares, and on and on. Most of the shit played today shouldn't be allowed to be classified as music. Awful, just awful.

  9. I haven't seen many 70s films yet, but the ones I've seen I liked. And your list is awesome! - I know how long it can take to make such a long one.

  10. @Mette Thanks! I love doing these; really glad people enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Love these! I just started catching up on the '70s myself over the past couple of years, and a lot of these definitely struck me as well when I watched them. One of the best decades of filmmaking ever.

    Gotta go check out your other Cinematic Reasons now. :)

  12. @Jandy Ah, I LOVE the '70s, they seriously rocked. Hope you enjoy the other sections too!