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Mike’s Top Ten of 1970

1970 as a year never excited me. I’m not sure why. I think it’s part of the changeover from Old Hollywood to New Hollywood. I have the same feelings about 1968 and 1969. The old stuff sticks out like a sore thumb, while the really great new stuff has endured so well that it almost feels timeless. So there’s nothing there that particularly defines the year.

Of course, here, several truly iconic films came out. One saved a studio, one launched the career of one of the most celebrated auteurs of all time, the other launched one of the greatest actors of all time. And then there’s a film that captured a moment that defined a generation. 1970 as a year has some great parts to it. Though the sum of the parts doesn’t quite add up for me.

Still though, some cool stuff here.

Mike’s Top Ten of 1970

Airport

The Aristocats

Five Easy Pieces

The Great White Hope

Little Big Man

Love Story

MASH

Patton

A Swedish Love Story

Woodstock

11-20: Gimme Shelter, Kelly’s Heroes, Joe, Let It Be, The Molly Maguires, The Out-of-Towners, There Was a Crooked Man…, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Twelve Chairs, Two Mules for Sister Sara

Tier two: The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Brewster McCloud, Catch-22, Darling Lili, Diary of a Mad Housewife, Dirty Dingus Magee, Husbands, The Landlord, Lovers and Other Strangers, The Owl and the Pussycat, Performance, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Ryan’s Daughter, Scrooge, Sometimes a Great Notion, Start the Revolution Without Me, Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon, …tick…tick…tick…, Where’s Poppa?

– – – – – – – – – –

1. Love Story

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

This movie saved a film studio. It was a smash hit in 1970 and was a huge cultural sensation. Its reputation has… diminished over the years, but that’s because all the great romantic comedies become their own clichés.

The film is about a romance between a rich guy going to Harvard and a poor girl going to Radcliffe. That’s pretty much all you need to know. Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, and one of the great film scores of all time.

I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it, and that’s about the long and short of it. It’s one of those movies I’m not gonna claim is perfect, nor would I say that everyone must see it outside of the fact that it is essential if you are a film buff, because of how major a film it was in 1970. Some people won’t like this, and I understand that. But I do, so there you have it.

2. Little Big Man

” I am, beyond a doubt, the last of the old-timers. My name is Jack Crabb. And I am the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn, uh, uh, popularly known as Custer’s Last Stand.”

Aww yeah. Love this movie. Directed by Arthur Penn, coming off Bonnie and Clyde and Alice’s Restaurant. This is one of the great westerns ever made, and one of the top three satirical westerns ever made (I think we all know what #1 is).

It begins with Dustin Hoffman as a 121-year-old man recounting his life. He plays a white man captured by Native Americans as a child. He is raised as one of them, and pretty much ping pongs back and forth between both sides over the years, encountering all sorts of famous historical figures (General Custer, Wild Bill Hickok) and all sorts of western archetypes (the snake oil salesman, the undersexed parson’s wife). It’s basically the Forrest Gump of westerns, and it’s amazing. Chief Dan George steals the movie as Hoffman’s grandfather, Old Lodge Skins.

I really, really love this movie. And anyone with at least a passing knowledge of the western genre will enjoy the hell out of this. It’s incredible well-written and very funny. It’s essentially a hidden gem nowadays because almost no one talks about how good this is. Dustin Hoffman is one of those guys who has terrific choices on his resume and because a bunch of them are so well-remembered and so iconic, a lot of the ones like this (and others, which we will be getting to) slip under the radar.

3. Woodstock

To me, the greatest musical documentary ever made. Directed by Michael Wadleigh, who was the DP on Who’s That Knocking at My Door, the film had both Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker as part of its many editors. This is one of the few documentaries to be nominated for Best Editing. If you know Woodstock, it makes total sense, but you’ll also see why when you see it. It’s a masterpiece of the form.

It’s three-hours long (other cuts are even longer), and has performances by: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Canned Heat, Joan Baez, The Who, Sha-Na-Na, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin and (most famously) Jimi Hendrix.

It’s incredible. Put it on and witness one of the greatest musical events of all time.

4. MASH

“This isn’t a hospital. It’s an insane asylum!”

One of the great comedies ever made. Robert Altman’s first great film of many. It spawned what still might be the biggest show of all time. Everybody knows about this movie.

It’s an ensemble comedy set at an army hospital in Korea. All the people there get into all sorts of crazy shit just to get by. It’s hilarious. It’s amazing.

Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland, Sally Kellerman, Tom Skerritt, Robert Duvall and Fred Williamson star. This is one of those movies everyone loves because it’s just great. You don’t have a movie like Stripes without this. This is the basis for just about every army comedy of the past fifty years.

5. Patton

“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

Everyone comes across this movie at some point. If only as a reference for the iconic image above. It won Best Picture, a boatload of Oscars, including Best Actor for George C. Scott and Best Director for Franklin Schaffner — it’s just one of those all-time classics.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about it. George C. Scott gives the performance of a lifetime and it’s something that everyone needs to see at least once. It’s good enough that even if it’s not entirely for you, you will like it.

6. Five Easy Pieces

“You want me to hold the chicken, huh?”
“I want you to hold it between your knees.”

This is Jack Nicholson’s career-defining performance. Easy Rider got him noticed, but this cemented him forever. This role became the basis of everything he did after it. It’s one of those quintessentially 70s films that, if I were to give you a handful to say, “This is what the decade in film was all about,” I would put this film on there.

Nicholson plays a guy working in an oil field and lives a simple life. He’s got a waitress girlfriend, hangs out with his friend, gets drunk and goes bowling. We eventually find out he’s a piano prodigy who comes from a family of music prodigies. He ends up traveling to see his sister, who says that their father is dying, which leads to Nicholson making the trip up to see him before he dies.

It’s an interesting character piece. Here’s a guy who grew up with all the privilege in the world, who has given all of that up to live an insignificant existence. He doesn’t really seem to care much about anything, and just sort of goes around, getting through life. It’s absolutely incredible, and Nicholson and Karen Black are both terrific in it.

7. Airport

The father of the modern disaster movie. There were similar films to this one that happened in the 50s and 60s, but this one moved the genre into the space where it has been for the past fifty years. After the success of this film, a bunch more disaster movies were made, a lot of them becoming classics of the genre.

The film begins with an ensemble piece about the many characters at an airport, getting us into their individual stories. One guy is trying to run the airport during a snowstorm with lots of delays, while also dealing with his own personal shit. And then there’s the different passengers, and the pilot, and the copilot, and the stewardesses, etc. Each person has their own thing going on, and then about midway through the movie, one of the passengers on the plane has a bomb strapped to him, which goes off, putting the plane in jeopardy of crashing. That’s when the disaster aspect comes front and center. Which — that’s every disaster movie now.

Directed by George Seaton, the cast is huge: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jean Seberg, Jacqueline Bisset, George Kennedy, Helen Hayes, Van Heflin, Maureen Stapleton, Barry Nelson, Lloyd Nolan, Dana Wynter and Barbara Hale.

In terms of the best disaster movies ever made, this one has to be mentioned. It might not be as beloved as The Poseidon Adventure or The Towering Inferno, but it’s great.

8. The Great White Hope

“You have to stop it, Jack.”
“All I got to do is to be black and die, lady.”

What a movie. James Earl Jones delivers his best screen performance in a film that is criminally underrated. If not for Patton, I believe he would have walked away with an Oscar this year, because he’s that good in this movie.

It’s a biopic of Jack Johnson, the heavyweight boxing champion at the turn of the century, famous for consistently beating all the white fighters. The press has called for (insert title here), who will be the white fighter to take him down. Meanwhile, out of the ring, he’s loud, not subservient to the whites and is openly dating a white woman. Which puts him in even more heat than usual.

It’s an incredible movie. It’s  a nice mix of a guy overcoming the limitations put on his race while also really going too far in his flaunting of success. His behavior makes the white authorities try extra hard to take him down, and it becomes about whether or not his hubris will bring him down in the end.

It’s so good. One of the great gems of the 70s, and you will be stunned by how good James Earl Jones is in this movie.

9. A Swedish Love Story

A beautiful little film. It’s a romance between Swedish teenagers. Nothing more. A sweet, teenage romance. If you like movies with childhood romance, then this is for you. As I think we all know, these types of films are exactly what I go for, and this was absolutely lovely.

There’s more going on here as well — social commentary about the parents and the working class members of Swedish society, but personally I’m all in on the innocence and simplicity of the romance, so that’s the stuff that I gravitate to. Still, this is a beautiful film.

If you like movies like A Little Romance, Moonrise Kingdom, Little Manhattan, My Girl, even Let the Right One In (without the vampires) — this is exactly that. A sweet, childhood romance movie.

10. The Aristocats

“Everybody wants to be a cat
Because a cat’s the only cat who knows where it’s at
When playin’ jazz he always has a welcome mat
‘Cause everybody digs a swingin’ cat”

Definitely one of the weaker Disney efforts, pre-Renaissance. It’s because after Walt died, they basically went into a dark period where they tried to figure out their identity moving forward. So, as a result, for the next almost-twenty years, they had a period where the films are good, but not great. A lot of lower budget films with reused animation from previous efforts.

That said, there’s a lot to like about this movie. The “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” number is one of the best Disney’s ever done. Plus, there’s a drunken goose in this movie!

– – – – – – – – – –

11-20:

Gimme Shelter — The famous documentary of the Rolling Stones tour that culminated in the concert at Altamont, where the Hells Angels ran security and stabbed a guy to death. Directed by the Maysles brothers. It’s great because you can see the buildup to the violence throughout the concert and you just know something’s gonna go down, even if you don’t know about the incident itself. It’s really well done. And you get Rolling Stones music.

Joe — A fascinating movie. Directed by John G. Avildsen. This is almost Taxi Driver before Taxi Driver. And possibly the reason Scorsese cast Peter Boyle in that movie. Dennis Patrick plays a square whose daughter (Susan Sarandon, in her debut) is all about free love and living with a drug dealer. After she ODs, he ends up killing the boyfriend. In shock, he goes to a bar, where he encounters Peter Boyle, a guy who talks loudly about how much he hates hippies. You know that guy — the one with the loud, conservative views. He’s like Archie Bunker, but if he were way more extreme. After Patrick says he just killed a hippie, Boyle takes a liking to him and they become friends. A fascinating character study, with a great performance by Boyle. Check this one out. It somehow holds up.

Kelly’s Heroes — Fantastic war movie. Stars Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland, Carroll O’Connor and Don Rickles. It’s basically Three Kings before Three Kings. Eastwood finds out about a stash of Nazi gold behind enemy lines and plots to steal it. That’s all you need to know. It’s great. It’s fun, and why would you pass up a comedy-heist-war movie?

Let It Be — A documentary about the Beatles recording their final album. Technically not the final album they recorded (Abbey Road was recorded after most of this album was done), but the last to be released. You can actually see the dissolution of the band happening on screen. Famous for the rooftop concert they performed during the filming (which ends the film), and that final line, “Thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.” The group actually won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score for the film. So yes, the Beatles have Oscars.

The Molly Maguires — Awesome hidden gem directed by Martin Ritt. It’s about Irish coal miners in Pennsylvania in the 1800s. They form a secret group, called (insert title here), to fight against the corrupt mine owners. Sean Connery plays the head of the group, who’s plotting to blow up parts of the mine. Richard Burton, meanwhile, plays a Pinkerton sent to infiltrate the group. It’s basically Point Break with Irish miners. It’s dope. Highly recommended. A great, 15 minute silent opening, great James Wong Howe cinematography and awesome performances by Connery and Burton. Don’t miss this one. This is the reason you’re reading these lists. To find stuff like this.

The Out-of-Towners — A Neil Simon film starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis. He’s interviewing for a job in New York, and just about everything that can go wrong on his and her trip there does go wrong. It’s very funny. One of the classic all-time comedies. Hard to go wrong with Neil Simon, especially the classic ones.

There Was a Crooked Man… — One of my favorite western comedies that nobody knows about. Stars Kirk Douglas and Henry Fonda, and you can throw in Hume Cronyn, Burgess Meredith, Warren Oates, Lee Grant and Arthur O’Connell too. Douglas plays an amoral son of a bitch who gets sent to prison after hiding his stolen loot. Fonda plays the warden of the prison. The two become uneasy friends, even though it’s clear that Douglas is planning an escape to go get his loot. And man, is it fun as hell. This barely missed the top ten, and I suspect, if I watch it again soon, it’ll probably sneak on there. That’s how much I like this movie.

Tora! Tora! Tora! — One of the great war films of all time. Dramatization of the attack on Pearl Harbor, as told from both the American and Japanese perspectives. Richard Flesicher directed the American segments and Kinji Fukuasaku (best known for Battle Royale) co-directed the Japanese segments. Incredible film and a must see for all film buffs.

The Twelve Chairs — The most overlooked Mel Brooks film. It’s based on a Russian novel and is absolutely hysterical. It stars Ron Moody, Frank Langella and Dom DeLuise. Moody is a bankrupt aristocrat, Langella is a con artist and DeLuise is a priest. Moody’s mother, as she dies, mentions that the family fortune was hidden inside one of the chair legs of the family’s dining set during the Revolution. The three set out (DeLuise on his own, and Moody and Langella together) to retrieve the jewels. It’s really terrific and criminally underseen. Plus, it’s a Mel Brooks movie. Why would you skip one of those?

Two Mules for Sister Sara — Great western. Don Siegel directs Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine. He’s a gunslinger who stops a nun from being raped and helps escort her to a Mexican military camp. It’s — a lot of fun. It goes places you wouldn’t expect, and the chemistry between Eastwood and MacLaine is dynamite. A real gem of the genre.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tier two:

  • The Ballad of Cable Hogue
  • Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
  • Brewster McCloud
  • Catch-22
  • Darling Lili
  • Diary of a Mad Housewife
  • Dirty Dingus Magee
  • Husbands
  • The Landlord
  • Lovers and Other Strangers
  • The Owl and the Pussycat
  • Performance
  • The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
  • Ryan’s Daughter
  • Scrooge
  • Sometimes a Great Notion
  • Start the Revolution Without Me
  • Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon
  • …tick…tick…tick…
  • Where’s Poppa?

Where’s Poppa? is a Carl Reiner-directed black comedy with George Segal and Ruth Gordon. Gordon plays Segal’s mother, an old senile woman who lives with him. He wants to be rid of her, but made a promise to his father that he’d take care of her. So rather than break his promise, he tries various ways of trying to get her to die — the opening scene is him sneaking into the apartment in a gorilla suit, hoping to scare her to death. Eventually he hires a nurse — one whose patients seem to die in her care (perfect!). Though complications ensue when he falls in love with the nurse, especially when she doesn’t want to be in the same house as his mother. So now he really needs to get rid of her. And comedy ensues.

Tick… tick… tick is an interesting little movie. Jim Brown is the new sheriff of a town in the south. They’re… not fully evolved on the subject of race, and part of the town is bitterly against him. They want the previous sheriff, George Kennedy, to still be in charge. Kennedy just wants the town to run smoothly, and has no problem with Brown. Eventually racial tensions start to boil over, leading to an incident. This movie also features the penultimate screen appearance of Fredric March.

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon is an Otto Preminger film starring Liza Minnelli, Ken Howard and Robert Moore. They’re three misfits who met in an institution and became friends. She’s a girl who is disfigured after having acid thrown in her face by her boyfriend, Howard is a guy with severe epilepsy, and Moore is a gay paraplegic. Or, as the first sentence of his description on the soundtrack LP calls him:

That is real. I’ve seen this in person. Anyway, the film is about the three of them living together and trying to get by with each other’s help. I liked it. Not Preminger’s best film or something that most people would like, but I really like Minnelli on screen and thought it was a nice movie.

Start the Revolution Without Me is a comedy with Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland. They play two sets of identical twins. Both mothers came in to the same doctor at the same time. Four babies were born, only afterward, they couldn’t figure out which set of twins belonged to which mother. So, in the interest of at least being half right, they gave one and one to one family and one and one to the other. So each family has one Wilder twin and one Sutherland twin. One set grew up very poor, and the other very rich. Now, years later, their country is on the verge of revolution. Both get caught up in all sort of political intrigue as this goes down. It’s very fun.

Sometimes a Great Notion is a Paul Newman film. He directed only five movies, and they’re all pretty good. He stars along with Henry Fonda, Lee Remick and Richard Jaeckel. They play a logging family in the Pacific Northwest who try to stay out of the big companies and be independent. Which is becoming more and more difficult and they struggle to keep the family business alive. It’s really good, and there’s a fantastic sequence with a downed tree that’s just riveting.

Scrooge is a musical version of A Christmas Carol, with Albert Finney as Scrooge. It’s fun. Alec Guinness plays Marley’s ghost, Edith Evans is the Ghost of Christmas Past, Kenneth More is the Ghost of Christmas Present and the songs (and script) were written by Leslie Bricusse, who after this would write all the music for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Plus he wrote the lyrics to all the Doctor Dolittle songs, “Somewhere in My Memory” from Home Alone, “When You’re Alone” from Hook, the song “Feeling Good,” which was famously covered by Nina Simone, and two Bond songs: “You Only Live Twice” and “Goldfinger.” Which is pretty nuts.

Ryan’s Daughter is another David Lean epic. To me, not as great as his three previous, but still really solid. Takes place in Ireland and is about an Irish girl’s affair with a British soldier. Stars Sarah Miles, Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard and John Mills. It’s good, and some people really love it. Generally hard to go wrong with David Lean.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is Billy Wilder. There goes that man again. The idea is that it shows the real Holmes, and not the version portrayed in the stories. He takes the case of Geraldine Page, a woman who jumped into the Thames. She asks Holmes to find her husband, which eventually leads to Scotland and possibly the Loch Ness Monster. Don’t overthink it, it’s good. You should know by now that Billy Wilder makes great films. Of his 25 American films, I would, without hesitation, recommend 21 of them wholeheartedly. Two I would recommend with reservations, and two I would say you could probably skip, were you so inclined. It’s Wilder, and it’s Holmes. You know this is gonna be good.

Performance is a terrifically weird film. Brilliantly directed by Nicholas Roeg and Donald Cammell. The direction is what makes this film endure. Otherwise it’s dated as hell. James Fox is a violent gangster who commits a murder he shouldn’t and has to lay low. He ends up in the house of Mick Jagger, a reclusive rock star. There, weird shit happens. I won’t spoil it, but weird shit happens. It’s fucking fascinating. Really terrifically done, and one of those films that movie buffs ought to see at least once. A great example of cinematography and editing.

The Owl and the Pussycat is a great rom com with Barbra Streisand and George Segal. She plays a vibrant hooker and he plays a stuffy writer. They’re neighbors, and they don’t exactly see eye to eye. Though one night, he gets her kicked out of her apartment, and she shows up to his, pissed. And… well, comedy (and romance) ensue. It’s fun.

The Ballad of Cable Hogue is a great Sam Peckinpah film and one of the hidden gems of his filmography. Jason Robards plays a traveling hobo who gets left for dead in the desert by two of his friends. By chance, he comes across a water hole, which saves his life. He also realizes that this water hole is perfectly situated between two towns, between which there is no water. Which means every stagecoach would have to stop by him to get water. So he buys the land and opens a business. It’s pretty terrific. Also has Strother Martin and Slim Pickens in it for good measure. But you can never go wrong with Robards or Peckinpah. A real gem.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is the sequel to Valley of the Dolls. Written by Roger Ebert, this is very much not like the original. This movie is pure camp, and was made to be such. Directed by Russ Meyer, it’s one of those cult films that people love because it’s so nuts. In a way, this is a deliberate parody of the first movie. It’s really worth seeing. You might not be in on the joke and hate it, which is fine. But you should see it.

Catch-22 is based on the Joseph Heller novel and was directed by Mike Nichols. Stars Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford, Buck Henry, Anthony Perkins, Bob Newhart, Martin Sheen, Bob Balaban, Jon Voight and Orson Welles. Unknowns, really. The story should be known to most — a soldier wants to stop flying dangerous missions. But he soon discovers the titular catch-22 where: even if he had a mental breakdown and were considered crazy, he’d still have to fly. Because, you’d be crazy to fly and sane if you didn’t, but if you were sane then you’d have to fly. But then if you flew them you were crazy and didn’t have to fly, but if you didn’t fly them then you were sane and had to. The movie’s great. It’s based on one of the greatest works of literature of all time and is a really fun film.

Darling Lili is an interesting movie. A mix of so many genres that it doesn’t quite work, but it’s still fascinating to watch because of all those disparate elements. Julie Andrews is a British dance hall girl during World War II who is secretly a German spy. Her “uncle” with whom she lives is actually a fellow spy and her handler. She tries to get army secrets out of the soldiers who frequent her shows, only complications arise when she legitimately falls in love with Rock Hudson, an American officer. It’s part musical, part spy movie, part rom com, at one point it turns into a sex farce. It’s a very strange, all over the place movie, but I like it. Directed by Blake Edwards, too. I think it’s worth a watch.

Diary of a Mad Housewife is Frank Perry, who is now 4/5 on having his films on theses lists. (He made one anthology film based on Truman Capote stories called Trilogy in 1969 that didn’t quite do it for me, but is worth a brief mention.) This earned Carrie Snodgress an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and is about a frustrated housewife who starts an affair with another man. The men in her life treat her like shit, and she’s trying to find some relief. It’s about a woman trying to find some sort of outlet in the world. And it’s really well done. It’s the last movie written for him by his wife Eleanor (some would say his movies were never quite the same after they divorced), and clearly bears a lot of her hallmarks. Very strong film and worth watching if you like movies like An Unmarried Woman.

Dirty Dingus Magee is a movie that I’ve been joking about for years, purely because of something that happened in college. A bunch of friends and I were drinking and playing Balderdash, and it was the part where you’re given a movie title and have to make up the plot. (I wonder if I could even play this now, given the amount of stuff I’ve seen.) We all came up with crazy shit (I remember the best one being about a guy who comes and “fixes the cable”) and then afterward I looked it up and saw that it was Frank Sinatra’s last movie. And I went, “Oh shit, that one’s actually real.” Not the best title in the world, as you can imagine, but it is Frank Sinatra’s last movie before he retired. He did come out briefly for two movies, but by and large, this was the last time he worked steadily. It’s a comedy western. It’s him and George Kennedy as two friends/rivals who are constantly trying to get over on one another. It starts with Kennedy riding into town because Sinatra robbed him. He ends up becoming sheriff and going out to capture Sinatra, who somehow keeps evading the law. It’s fun. Completely inconsequential and historically not memorable in almost any way. But who says that’s a bad thing? Sometimes a movie is just amusing.

Husbands is a John Cassavetes movie starring him, Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara. All three were friends in real life, and a lot of this movie was them improvising and fucking around for ten minutes at a time. The three play best friends who grew up together who face a sudden reality check when their fourth friend dies suddenly. They have trouble coping so they go out drinking together for two days, and that’s pretty much the majority of the film. If you like Cassavetes, you will like this. It’s his usual cast of actors, and the same way he shot all his movies. It’s fantastic. There’s a scene where they’re all fucked up and Peter Falk just decides to get naked. I’m not sure if that was even acting. It’s a really terrific movie, and anything with the three of them is gonna be worth seeing.

The Landlord is a weird comedy, but one I enjoy. It’s so dated. That’s the best part. Beau Bridges plays a well-off white dude who becomes (insert title here) of a tenement building in a black neighborhood. He soon becomes friends with all of them and decides to fix the building, much to the chagrin of his conservative, white parents. Even worse, he starts sleeping with a black woman. It’s very different to watch this film now than it was back in 1970. But I bet at the time this dealt with the topic of racial tension pretty straightforward at a time where Hollywood wasn’t really doing that. But it’s been so utterly forgotten now that I don’t even think anyone knows it exists anymore.

Lovers and Other Strangers is a comedy about a wedding. It branches off from the bride and groom’s story and gets into the stories of a bunch of their family members as well. And all the different stories play out all the way through to the wedding. It’s a really solid film. Great cast, too. Bea Arthur, Bonnie Bedelia, Richard S. Castellano (Oscar-nominated for this), Anne Jackson, Diane Keaton, Anne Meara and Gig Young. A nice little gem.

Brewster McCloud. What a crazy movie. Robert Altman was always willing to try some shit. Bud Cort (of Harold and Maude fame) plays a kid who lives alone, undetected, under the Houston Astrodome. His dream is to fly like a bird, and creates a pair of metal wings that will help him do so. It’s — well, it’s best if I don’t say anything and let the film speak for itself. One of the more memorable finales to a film, I’ll say that much. Also one of the few films to have entirely spoken closing credits. Which also adds to the finale. It’s worth seeing for Altman and for that ending. Trust me on this one.

– – – – – – – – – –

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One response

  1. lacourseauxetoiles

    Thanks so much for getting back to this. And thanks for including a foreign-language film in your top 10. I really feel like you have been ignoring them too much on these lists in nonsensical ways and I’m glad that you included one here (though really, unless if you think that 18.5/20 of the best movies this year were English-language films, you should be including more foreign-language films).

    May 1, 2018 at 3:40 pm

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