50 FURIOUS FILMS: THE 1970s

Chances are if you love movies, a good portion of some of your favorite titles were released in the decade that brought us a new wave of rebellious, edgy groundbreaking counter-culture cinema made by daring auteurs that had an eye for telling stories filled with excitement and thrills. Furious Cinema has taken some time to compile for you and your reading pleasure a list of 50 of our favorite works of cinema from the 1970s. Some of these films are very well known while others are slightly more obscure. You’ll find a nice mixture of genre and subgenre crime, horror, science fiction, action-adventure, comedy films and more! Our hope is that people will be inspired to take some time to revisit these films and enjoy them again. (Don’t forget to click on the bold links for some special features!).

1. A Clockwork Orange (1971, Dir: Stanley Kubrick) Based on Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novella about a psychotic British thug named Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) and his band of milk swigging “droogs” who love to do a bit of the “old ultra violence” to satisfy their boredom. The film takes place in a dystopian future but it’s shot in such a way that seems very close to modern society. Alex narrates his exploits as he gives us a guided tour through his twisted, violent world.

2. The French Connection (1971, Dir: William Friedkin): Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) and Buddy “Cloudy” Russo (Roy Sheider) are two tough New York cops who on the trail of a French drug kingpin (Fernando Rey) who visits New York City with a shipment of heroin worth millions. Gene Hackman gives one his most memorable performances as the raging, hard boiled Popeye. Contains one of the most intense car chase sequences ever filmed.

3. Five Easy Pieces (1970, Dir: Bob Rafelson): Jack Nicholson is Bobby Dupea, a piano prodigy turned dropout who takes a job working an oil rig. After abruptly quitting, he and his ditzy but lovable girlfriend (Karen Black) pay a visit to see his family. Bobby is a complex, volatile man who seems dissatisfied with every aspect of his life. One of the film’s most memorable scenes takes place in a diner and involves a chicken salad sandwich.

4. Dirty Harry (1971, Dir: Don Siegel): Clint Eastwood stars in one of his most iconic roles as rebellious police detective Harry Callahan who uses his own style of law and order to take on San Francisco’s criminal elements. Harry is assigned a rookie partner (Reni Santoni) who does his best to keep up with him. Andrew Robinson gives a memorable performance as Scorpio, one of 70s cinema’s most deranged killers. This movie spawned several sequels, which were average to very good.

5. Enter The Dragon (1973, Dir: Robert Clouse): Bruce Lee’s final film was also his most popular and has since become a cult classic. The British government recruit a kung fu expert (Lee) to work undercover as a fighter in a tournament held by an evil ex-Shaolin monk (Shi Kien) who has control of an island where it is believed he makes drugs and recruits women for prostitution. The action choreography by Lee is some of the most explosive ever filmed. Composer Lalo Schifrin’s supercool score is another highlight of this “Citizen Kane of kung fu movies”.

6. Straw Dogs (1971, Dir: Sam Peckinpah): A quiet American mathematician (Dustin Hoffman) and his young British wife Amy (Susan George) live in the countryside of Cornwall, England. Their lives suddenly spin out of control when they’re both threatened and attacked by a group of lowlifes who have been hired to fix up their home. This was one of Sam Peckinpah’s most controversial films and features some truly disturbing content. It’s a story that examines what occurs when an ordinary man gives way to his most primal instincts.

7. Dog Day Afternoon (1975, Dir: Sidney Lumet): Based on true events, Al Pacino plays Sonny, a man who tries to rob a bank to pay for his lover’s (Chris Sarandon) sex change operation. What begins as a simple plan goes all wrong and the heat is cranked up to full blast when Sonny and his friend Sal (John Cazale) find themselves trapped in a frenzied standoff with the police. A brutally funny counterculture-crime film that features incredible performances. One of Sidney Lumet’s classic New York films.

8. The Deer Hunter (1978, Dir: Michael Cimino): An epic, harrowing tale about a group of small town Pennsylvanians whose lives are changed forever when three of the friends (Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, John Savage) enter the hell of war in Vietnam. One of the most shocking sequences comes in the form of a game of Russian roulette while the men are in a POW camp. It is an acting Tour de Force.

9. Apocalypse Now (1979, Dir: Francis Ford Coppola): This loose adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness was penned by John Milius (Big Wednesday) and set during the Vietnam War. What Coppola created is one of the most surreal, magnificently daring works of epic cinema ever released. The movie is really about the insane beauty of extreme indulgence and anarchy during wartime. NOTE: You should also view the documentary on the making of it called (appropriately): Hearts A Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse right after!

10. Taxi Driver (1976, Dir: Martin Scorsese): Paul Schrader’s hellish tale of urban alienation and violence as seen through the eyes of Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) a lonely Vietnam vet/cab driver who is slowly descending into madness. A timeless, potent and striking masterwork of cinema storytelling. Also featuring a truly genius score by Hitchcock’s collaborator Bernard Herrmann. The music cues move from sleazy to morose to furious!! NOTE: Hermann’s final score. Scorsese dedicated the film to him. Click here to read our review of the 2011 restoration.

11. Network (1976, Dir: Sidney Lumet): Writer Paddy Chayefsky’s emotionally stirring drama about the world of broadcast news and the colorful characters who inhabit it. The film examines mass communication madness where viewers are becoming both desensitized and misled. The moral: It’s all about ratings at the end of the day! Our favorite character is of course the angry, burnt out anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch), a man who is (just like this website in terms of movies) “not going to take it anymore!”

12. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975, Dir: Milos Foreman): Randall P. McMurphy: is he crazy or just looking for something to do? It doesn’t matter, what matters is that a film starring Jack Nicholson as a man stuck in a mental hospital with the likes of actors such as Danny DeVito, Christopher Llolyd and Louise Fletcher is such a crazy volatile, raucous mixture you can’t help but get caught up in the hilarity and raw human emotion that saturates the screen when they perform together.

13. Death Wish (1974, Dir: Michael Winner): Charles Bronson is Paul Kersey a peaceful man who is transformed into a night walking, criminal stalking vigilante after his wife is murdered and his daughter mentally traumatized during an attack by thugs in their apartment. Kersey’s actions inspires others to fight back against crime, but he must also deal with a police detective (Vincent Gardenia) who is out to stop him. Simply put, this is one of the pillars of cinema’s revenge genre! You can read a review on our sister site The GCDb.

14. Carrie (1976, Dir: Brian DePalma) Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is tormented by her religion obsessed mother (Piper Laurie)and her high school classmates. It’s only a matter of time before she strikes back using her newly found telekinetic abilities which suddenly appear after her first menstruation. DePalma’s use of coal black humor mixed with teen angst, utter goofiness and visual stylization is in large part what makes this film such an enjoyable movie that stands the test of time.

15. The Exorcist (1973, Dir: William Friedkin): William Peter Blatty’s story about a young girl who becomes possessed by Beelzebub is, in 2011 still a shocking film. Linda Blair was very young when she took on the role of Regan and wow, it’s one powerful performance for the film history books. William Friedkin made a movie about the devil, but for cineasts it became a gift from heaven. So chilling, so disturbing, just some of the words that describe the feeling you’ll get when you witness this godfather of devil possession films.

16. Last Tango in Paris (1973, Dir: Bernardo Bertolucci): Actors who want a lesson in revealing themselves completely in film should certainly view this movie starring Marlon Brando as a middle aged man who is trying to come to terms with the loss of his wife after her suicide. He proceeds to carry on a torrid sexual affair with a young French woman (Maria Schneider) he meets one day. The movie delves deep into how men and women view and treat each other sexually and also the effects relationships have on the psyche.

17. The Towering Inferno (1974, Dir: John Guillermin): When it comes to disaster films, Producer Irwin Allen held the trophy for making the best of the genre. A super skyscraper’s electrical system is shoddy because of bad planning, thus causing a perfect recipe for catastrophe. The cast of great actors is really what makes this simple story work.Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Richard Chamberlain, and William Holden play the people who get stuck in the highrise as a furious fire engulfs them from top and bottom. The FX in the film are equally enormous. An incredible amount of engulfing fires, water floods, random bodies falling, things exploding everywhere. You can’t ask for much more from a 70s disaster movie!

18. Husbands(1970, Dir: John Cassavetes): When I think of furious arthouse cinema, one name always comes to mind, that’s John Cassavetes. One thing that I think Cassavetes did better than anyone in movies is show people’s rawest intimate emotions. His films all had a unique vision that I’ve honestly never experienced in other movies. Husbands is the story of three middle aged friends(Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara) who decide to go on a trip to reinvigorate their lives during a midlife crisis after the death of a close friend. Cassavetes manages to get some really amazing performances from the actors (as usual). The men are like roving animals looking for last bit of pleasure before they enter old age.

19. Soldier Blue (1970, Dir: Ralph Nelson): In this revisionist Western, A Union soldier named Honus Grant(Peter Strauss) and an Indian sympathizer, Cresta (Candice Bergen) are the only survivors of an Cheyenne Indian attack on union cavalry transport during the Civil War. Honus and Cresta find themselves on an adventure as they battle each other’s political stances and end up falling in love while on the way to their destination: Fort Reunion. The film was highly controversial because of a graphic attack sequence where American Indians are massacred (based on true events). It was released during the height of the Vietnam War and was seen as a commentary on such events as the My Lai massacre.

20. Play Misty For Me (1971, Dir: Clint Eastwood): Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut is also one of his best works. 15 years before Fatal Attraction, Clint covered a similar story about a small town California radio disc jockey (played by himself) who has one female fan that always calls him requesting the same song. He later meets the woman (Jessica Walter) who soon turns out to be psychotic stalker. The movie is very unnerving especially if you’re a guy. You wouldn’t expect Clint to pull an Alfred Hitchcock his first time out in the director’s chair, but he does and the result is an excellent psychological thriller.

21. Get Carter (1971, Dir: Mike Hodges): When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances, a gangster named Jack Carter (Michael Caine) strikes out to find out who killed him. He goes down the list of possible connections, getting rid of anyone who steps in his way. A stark, British revenge film that’s full of fury. The film was remade twice: as the funky blaxploitation movie Hit Man (1972) starring Bernie Casey and in 2000 with Sylvester Stallone.

22. Prime Cut (1972, Dir: Michael Ritchie): A tough as nails Chicago mob enforcer named Nick Devlin (Lee Marvin) ventures to Kansas City to confront an eccentric crime boss/meatpacker/pimp named Mary Ann (Gene Hackman) who sells women as sex slaves at auctions and turns his enemies into sausage links! While on his “business trip”, Devlin befriends one of Mary Ann’s slaves, a young girl named Poppy (Sissy Spacek). This is really one of the most interesting spins on the crime genre that I’ve seen from this decade.

23. Hardcore (1978, Dir: Paul Schrader): When Jake Van Dorn (George C. Scott) finds his daughter has gone missing after leaving home on a church sponsored trip to California, he decides to search for her. He later finds out that she has been recruited into the porn industry and fears she might be in danger of being put in snuff movies. He tries to get more information on her whereabouts from a prostitute (Season Hubley) that he meets during his investigation.

24. Sleuth (1972, Dir: Joseph L. Mankewiez): A wealthy British writer (Laurence Olivier), lures his wife’s new lover (Michael Caine) to his estate where he’s carefully planned a deadly game of cat and mouse so he can get rid of him without repercussions. A semi interesting premise turns out to be an incredibly entertaining acting duel between two greats of the craft.

25. Emperor of the North (1973, Dir: Robert Aldrich): Lee Marvin is “A No. 1”, King of the Hobos in this exciting adventure film set in the 1930s during the Depression. Keith Carradine is Cigaret, Marvin’s young rookie sidekick. Ernest Borgnine is Shack an evil railroad conductor who isn’t afraid to kill vagrants riding his cars. Filled with stellar performances and plenty of steam powered action showing life as it really was for the homeless tramps who had to steal, scrape and use their best flim flammin’ skills to survive!

26. The Don is Dead (1973, Dir: Richard Fleischer): Anthony Quinn is Don Angelo, a mafioso who decides to takes control of his friend Don Regalbuto’s dealings after his death. Regalbuto’s son Frank (Robert Forster) is put on the sidelines since he’s inexperienced. Don Angelo shows his disrespect for Frank when he begins an affair with Frank’s girlfriend (Angel Tompkins) who is an aspiring singer. Meanwhile, a consigliere of a jailed chieftain looking to destroy all the other families sets off a mafia war. A throwback to the old school gangster films of the 30s and 40s like Scarface and White Heat. Lots of high drama and plenty of Italian mob action!

27. The Last American Hero (1973, Dir: Lamont Johnson): Junior Jackson (Jeff Bridges) is a good ol’ boy moonshiner who supes up his cars to evade the law when they’re on his tail during his travels to sell his wares. Junior decides to go into auto racing to earn extra money after his daddy goes to jail for making white lightning. He also finds himself going up against a tough competitor (William Smith). Gary Busey co-stars as Junior’s younger brother. Based on the true story of NASCAR racer/ex-moonshiner Junior Johnson.

28. The Last Detail (1973, Dir: Hal Ashby): Two Navy MPs Billy “Badass” Buddusky (Jack Nicholson) and “Mule” Mulhall (Otis Young) must accompany a prisoner Larry Meadows (Randy Quaid) from Norfolk, Virginia to the military jail in New Hampshire. Along the way they have an adventure while they stop in different cities (Washington, New York and Boston) where they get Larry laid for the first time and generally have a good time drinking beer and being rowdy.

29. The Outfit (1973, Dir: John Flynn): After getting out of jail, Macklin (Robert Duvall) finds out his brother has been killed because of a robbery they took part in. What they didn’t know was the money they stole was owned by the mob. Macklin decides to get revenge on the crime syndicate and asks his old friend Cody (Joe Don Baker) to help him. NOTE: The film is now available on DVD from Warner Archive. We highly recommend picking up a copy.

30. Lenny (1974, Dir: Bob Fosse): Dustin Hoffman takes on the extremely daring role of the controversial legendary comedian Lenny Bruce. Fosse chose to shoot the movie in a black and white faux documentary style to create a mood of intimacy and realism. Hoffman gives a truly brilliant, uninhibited performance as the late embattled, drug addicted comic.

31. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (1974, Dir: Joseph Sargent): In one of the great heist films of the 1970s, Walter Matthau is Zachary Garber, a NYC transit police officer who is stuck trying to mediate an out of control situation after a band of criminals (played by Robert Shaw, Hector Elizondo, Earl Hindman and Martin Balsam) hijack a subway train for ransom. The robbers all have color coded names, like Mr. Gray, Mr. Green etc (this detail would be later be paid homage to by Quentin Tarantino in his 1992 heist film Reservoir Dogs). The score by David Shire provides a funky groove that helps drive this fast paced crime thriller. Remade in 2009 by Tony Scott.

32. Thunderbolt & Lightfoot (1974, Dir: Michael Cimino): Dirty Harry and The Dude team up in Michael Cimino’s directorial debut! While a slacker named Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges) steals a car, nearby a gunman tries to kill a minister during a church service. Lightfoot manages to save the preacher as he’s being chased by the assassin. It turns out this preacher (Eastwood) is actually a professional bank robber nicknamed “The Thunderbolt” who has been incognito as a minister because of a robbery he took part in. Lightfoot finds out and has an idea to pull off another heist. Thunderbolt recruits his old crew Red (George Kennedy) and Goody (Geoffrey Lewis) to take part and this is where the real action, adventure and double crosses begin!

33. The Poseidon Adventure (1972, Dir: Ronald Neame): During New Years Eve, the mega oceanliner Poseidon runs into a huge storm which capsizes the ship. An exuberant preacher (Gene Hackman) and his fellow passengers (an all star cast of actors) played by Shelly Winters, Jack Albertson, Ernest Borgnine, Stella Stevens, Pamela Sue Martin and Red Buttons manage to survive. They must make their way through the inverted hallways and rooms to safety. The film is action packed and filled with melodrama as the survivors fight with each other and against time to get out alive.

34. The Day of the Locust (1975. Dir: John Schlesinger): A strange tale which takes place during the late 1930s in Hollywood about several people who live at a apartment complex. The movie follows the lives of: Faye (Karen Black) an actress who is trying to break into films, her father Harry (Burgess Meredith) a former vaudevillian who now works as a salesman, an accountant named (get ready cartoon lovers): Homer Simpson (Donald Sutherland) who is in love with Faye and Tod Hackett (William Atherton) an artist (also in love with Faye) who works at a movie studio. This film features some very memorable, surreal imagery and culminates in a furiously violent riot at a movie premiere.

35. The Driver (1978, Dir: Walter Hill): Ryan O’Neal is The Driver, a professional criminal who can outrun police any time, anywhere. The Detective (Bruce Dern) is on a mission to stop him at all costs including setting up a fake job just to trap him. The film is light on plot but heavy on action. It features adrenaline charged car stunt sequences that are among the best ever filmed. Click here to read our article on Walter Hill’s movies.

36. Papillon (1973, Dir: Franklin J. Shaffner) Based on the true story of Henri Charriere,Steve McQueen stars as the titular “Papillon”, a wrongfully accused man who is tried and sentenced to serve a term in prison in the penal colony of French Guiana. Along the way he forms a close friendship with Louie Dega (Dustin Hoffman) a white collar criminal. Papillon and a few of his fellow inmates later break out but have to contend with South American bounty hunters and other dangerous characters. Features one of McQueen’s most powerful performances.

37. Night Moves (1975, Dir: Arthur Penn): An ex football star turned private eye, Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman) is hired by an aging actress to find the whereabouts of her daughter Delly (Melanie Griffith). Meanwhile, Harry’s marriage is in turmoil when he finds out his wife is seeing another man. Harry uses the new job to ignore his own troubles. He is successful at finding Delly whose living in the Florida Keys, after questioning several of her friends. Harry’s good luck soon turns sour when he finds himself thrown in the middle of a conspiracy that is much more dark and dangerous than he ever thought.

38. Three Days of the Condor (1975, Dir: Sydney Pollack): One of the 1970s most exciting conspiracy action thrillers stars Robert Redford as Joe Turner a CIA employee who researches different newspaper articles and magazines from all over the globe to find links to covert operations. After Turner sends in a report about a novel containing interesting plot points, his secret office comes under attack leaving his co-workers dead. He narrowly escapes this while he is out to lunch. Turner tries to get help from his superiors but finds out he’s being trailed by a hitmen. Turner tries to outwit his opponents and find out the reasons behind the situation before he is killed.

39. The Ultimate Warrior (1975, Dir: Robert Clouse) After a pandemic wipes out most of the Earth’s population, a man named Baron (Max Von Sydow) has become the head of a small band of survivors in the decimated city of New York. One of the group is a former scientist who has created plague resistant seeds which will help them grow fresh vegetables to live on. Their main problem is the group of nomads outside their fortified compound who do their best to raid their only sanctuary. Their leader Carrot (William Smith) is especially deadly. Baron decides to hire Carson (Yul Brynner) a man who can help get rid of the gangs with his deadly combat abilities.

40. The Gauntlet (1977, Dir: Clint Eastwood): A boozehound police officer named Ben Shocklee (Eastwood) is given a job to take a prostitute Gus Mally (Sondra Locke) from Las Vegas to Phoenix to testify in court against the mob. On the journey they come under attacks from the criminals and the police. Shocklee ends up with noone to help him but Gus and his only true friend in the department (Pat Hingle). The intensity never stops in this classic action thriller. NOTE: Frank Frazetta painted the film’s colorful/cool poster art.

41. Blazing Saddles (1974, Dir: Mel Brooks): Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor co-wrote this hysterical comedy about Bart (Cleavon Little) a black man who is hired as sheriff to help rid a small western town of bandits. Bart befriends a shamed, drunken ex-pistoleer named The Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) who helps him through the predicaments that are created by the Mayor Hedley LaMarr (Harvey Korman) who wants to see him fail at his job. Bart’s enemies include LaMarr’s henchman Taggert (Slim Pickens) a dumb oaf named Mongo (Alex Karras) and a busty German singer Lily Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) who tries to seduce him.

42. Little Fauss & Big Halsy (1972, Dir: Sidney J. Furie) In this underrated gem with furious spirit, a young aspiring motorcycle racer Little Fauss (Michael J. Pollard) tags along with a fellow racer Halsey Knox (Robert Redford) and the two form an interesting yet uneasy friendship. While Little is honest and kind hearted, Halsey is his exact opposite, an egotistical womanizer who is only out for himself. Co-starring Lauren Hutton as the pairs’ mutual love interest. NOTE: This happens to be one of Robert Redford’s least liked films of his career, but it’s one of my favorites. Featuring a high falutin’ score by Johnny Cash.

43. The Omega Man (1971, Dir: Boris Sagal): A doctor named Robert Neville (Charlton Heston) survives a biological war by using a special serum to protect himself. The plague has infected a group of humans who have become albino mutants. They are known as “The Family”. Neville lives in a fortified compound and his daily entertainment consists of going to the movies and shooting members of The Family who come out only at night for their attacks against him. Neville later manages to find other survivors and together they try to outwit the Family while putting together a cure. The film was previously made as The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price and remade in 2007 as I Am Legend starring Will Smith.

44. King Kong (1976, Dir: John Guillermin): Years before CGI was the norm for special effects, the late producer Dino DeLaurentis produced this retelling of the 1933 classic starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. This time, instead of miniatures, King Kong was played by a man in a gorilla suit. While it sounds hokey, it was an extremely well made film for it’s time and unlike Peter Jackson’s CGI heavy remake it had a story that featured interesting, likeable characters that made you care about what happened to them. Not to mention one of the coolest theatrical posters!

45. Black Sunday (1977, Dir: John Frankenheimer): A blimp pilot, Michael Lander (Bruce Dern) who is an ex Vietnam POW (who was later court martialed) begins to have a mental breakdown after his marriage goes bad. His goal is to commit suicide while taking out as many people as he can. He recruits a Palestinian terrorist (Marthe Keller) to help him pull off a bombing during the Super Bowl in Miami. To make matters even worse, the President will be attending. Two intelligence agents (played by Robert Shaw and Fritz Weaver) find out this attack is imminent and try to stop it from occurring.

46. Animal House (1978, Dir: John Landis): The Delta Tau Chi fraternity is a band of hellions headed by Otter (Tim Matheson), Hoover (James Widdoes) and a wild maniac named Bluto (John Belushi). During Pledge Week, they accept two nerdy freshmen into their frat, they are Larry “Pinto” Kroger (Tom Hulce) and chunky, excitable Kent “Flounder” Dorfman (Stephen Furst). The gang must contend with the ultra strict tightass Dean Wermer (John Vernon) who wants to kick them out of school and the Omegas, a rival frat of snobs led by the jerky Greg Marmalard (James Daughton) and the sadistic Neidermeyer (Mark Metcalf). The film was based on real events that took place during co-writer Chris Miller’s time in a college fraternity in the early 60s.

47. The Omen (1976, Dir: Richard Donner): An American ambassador Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) and his wife Katherine (Lee Remick) try to make sense of their young son Damien’s strange behavior. Everyone seems to be dying around him. When they find out he is the Anti-Christ, their only hope is to find a way to destroy him. How can a father kill his own son, even if it is the prince of darkness reborn? This remains one of the most shocking psychological horror-thrillers of the 1970s after The Exorcist.

48. Fingers (1978, Dir: James Toback): Harvey Keitel plays Jimmy Fingers, a man who is caught in a furious schizoid battle between the violent world of his mobster father and the artistic world of his Jewish mother, a pianist. Jimmy is a mixture of the two parents, a loan shark collector but also an aspiring concert pianist. The conflict comes from his relationships and ties to the underworld which overshadow his musical talents and he finds himself shut out of a different, more positive way of life. Fingers is an extremely interesting character study of a unique urban personality.

49. Alien (1979, Dir: Ridley Scott): A science fiction-horror tale that broke new ground taking Hitchcockian style suspense into outer space. While en route home to Earth, a crew of interplanetary cargo workers receive a mysterious distress call and decide to land on a nearby planet to check out. When one of their workers is attacked by an alien, he is brought back into the ship so they can monitor him. They soon find themselves in a furious fight for survival against some of the most dangerous and terrifying creatures in cinema history.

50. The China Syndrome (1979, Dir: James Bridges) Newswoman Kimberly Wells (Jane Fonda) is covering a story at a nuclear power plant and witnesses an emergency shutdown after some strange vibrations occur. The footage is taped by her cameraman (Michael Douglas). A weary shift supervisor, Jack Goddell (Jack Lemmon) finds evidence of faulty equipment which forces the plant’s chief supervisors to cover up the problem by claiming he is crazy. Goddell soon finds himself under surveillance and being trailed by mysterious men with only Kimberly to help him reveal what’s happening.


50 FURIOUS FILMS: THE 1970s AT ICHECKMOVIES

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Peter

Editor-In-Chief of The Grindhouse Cinema Database/Furious Cinema contributor. Pete is a rabid movie geek who enjoys everything from wild n' crazy exploitation/cult flix to big budget mainstream classics. His other interests include: graphic design, cartooning and music.

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15 Responses

  1. Shazzerman says:

    Where’s “The Parallax View”?

  2. Anonymous says:

    nice how much feedback we got on this. great list, peter… let’s do one on the 60s next

  3. Shaun says:

    Good list but if it’s just english language movies i would’ve added:
    Annie Hall
    Opening Night
    Assault on Precinct 13
    Jaws
    Phantom of the Paradise
    Sisters
    Paper Moon
    Badlands
    Mean Streets
    The Long Goodbye

  4. Simone says:

    I would add Di Leo’s Milan Calibre 9

    • mm Peter says:

      one of our favorites but we tried specifically to keep exploitation related titles off the list, since we cover them on grindhouse database.

  5. tim says:

    love this. Would add: Parallax View, Capricorn One, The Conversation, Rolling Thunder

  6. William says:

    What about this 70s movie black lace vendetta ….was a kid when I saw it..think it’s foreign …French or Italian

  7. Mark says:

    Good list but REALLY disagree with your assessment of the 1976 KING KONG – it may work as camp, but overall it is a dated mess and the gorilla looks terrible. Plus your swipes at Peter Jackson’s KING KONG were cheap – I feel admiration for Jackson’s film version will continue to grow as a terrific adaptation of the classic story. The 1933 original rules, but I loved Jackson’s film – Andy Serkis’ work AS King Kong and Naomi Watts were wonderful together. There are terrific action sequences & while not perfect (Jack Black is miscast) it still packs a punch.

    • mm Peter says:

      Well to be honest, KONG 76 isn’t any more campy than the 30s or the 2005 film. Theyre all movies about a giant ape done using different kinds of SFX. All of which are obviously not real. I do think the 2005 film failed on creating any kind of real emotion between Kong and the other characters and the CGI really is a mess. I just didn’t like it.

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