Quentin Tarantino’s Films of 1970 from the 2016 Lumière Film Festival

At the Lumière Film Festival 2016, Quentin Tarantino gave an extremely exciting and much anticipated master class. It mainly focused on 70s cinema, but there’s more to it than just that. In this blog post we wanted to take a particular look at the films he selected from 1970, a topic he is currently studying in some depth (which has led to some rumors) for a retrospective he recently programmed. Afterwards, check out the masterclass yourself (here, at the Tarantino Archives). As an added bonus we’ve included a list of some of our favorite films from that seminal year.


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, Dir: George Roy Hill)

A highly entertaining action-adventure focusing on the cantankerous relationship between the two legendary Old West outlaws played by Paul Newman (Butch) and Robert Redford (Sundance). Quentin presented this classic at the opening night gala for a 35mm screening in front of 5,000 people. It is one of his favorite westerns. In ’74 George Roy Hill won an Oscar for The Sting. He died in 2002 at the proud age of 81 and remains one of the world’s greatest directors and leaves behind a cinematic heritage that is very dear to our heart.
See also: The Films of Paul Newman | 50 Furious Westerns | The Sting
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Patton (Dir: Franklin J. Schaffner)

A smash hit epic about the famous World War II general who was known both for his flamboyance and tough as nails reputation. George C. Scott gives a truly brilliant performance in the lead role (very different from his comical turn in Dr. Strangelove). Winner of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The director Franklin Schaeffer is also known for Papillon and Planet of the Apes. The BluRay looks quite astonishing, worth a look for home cinema geeks.
See also: 50 Furious War Movies
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Little Big Man (Dir: Arthur Penn)

A humorous revisionist western epic about a man named Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman) who tells the story of his unique life (in a Forrest Gump type fashion) to a reporter. Crabb recounts stories about how he came to meet several famous people on his adventures including “Wild Bill” Hickock (Jeff Corey) and General George Custer (Richard Mulligan).  A gem of early 70s New Hollywood filmmaking that features a memorable performance from acting chameleon Dustin Hoffman who holds the record for portraying such an extensive age span onscreen. He plays Crabb from 17 y/o to 121.  (Pete R.)
See also: Bonnie & Clyde | Little, Big and Angry Men
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (US import, region free) | Amazon.de (DVD)


The Strawberry Statement (Dir: Stuart Hagmann)

Set in Stockton California, Bruce Davison (Willard) plays Simon, a college student that gets caught up in a controversy surrounding his school’s new gymnasium being built in an African American neighborhood. An important yet overlooked gem based on the Columbia University protests of 1968 that puts viewers right smack dab in the hectic atmosphere of the times. Co-starring Kim Darby, Bud Cort, Andrew Parks and Bob Balaban. The author of the book the film was based on, James Simon Kunen has a cameo appearance. Featuring Thunderclap Newman’s iconic 60s theme “Something in the Air” as well as other standout tracks from the period. (Pete R.)
See also: 20 Groovy Counterculture Films
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (Region 1 disc)


The Landlord (Dir: Hal Ashby)

Ashby’s directorial debut was based on a 1966 book by Kristin Hunter. Beau Bridges stars as Elgar Enders, a well to do young man who decides to buy an inner city tenement and evict its residents so he can build a luxury bachelor pad in its place. When Enders begins developing relationships with the kind people living in the building, he has a change of heart. The film was not a big success but has garnered critical acclaim since its release. Hal Ashby went on to be one of the great filmmakers of the 1970s. (Pete R)
See also: The Last Detail | Bound For Glory 
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Love Story (Dir: Arthur Hiller)

Two college students (Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw) from opposite sides of the socio-economic spectrum meet and fall in love. The film was an immediate smash hit and inspired many homages and spoofs due to its memorable melodramatic content. It is also regarded as the precursor to the modern “chick flick”. One of our favorite O’Neal flicks is of course The Driver, and one of our favorite McGraw films is The Getaway (Pete R)

On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Deep End (Dir: Jerzy Skolimowski)

An offbeat arthouse drama about the relationship between two bathhouse co-workers played by John Moulder Brown and Jane Asher. It is actually quite a little known film in most circles and would benefit from some wide exposure. The BluRay helps with that. The director hasn’t stood out much since then, his 2010 movie Essential Killing went mostly to video.
On BluRay: Amazon.com (UK Import) | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dir: Dario Argento)

In his brilliant directorial debut, Dario Argento dives into the murder-mystery genre and utilizes all kinds of great camera tricks such as POV shots, freeze frames and zooms which really makes the film pulse with energy. You can see in ‘Bird’ the influence of Hitchcock’s thrillers as well as Antonioni’s Blow Up (1966) one of the most single influential films on the Italian gialli craze. (Pete R.)
See also: 20 Giallo Classics | Phantasm | Opera
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (Dir: Anatole Litvak)

Samantha Eggar stars in this psychological Euro thriller about a woman is wrongly implicated in a crime. Unfortunately the movie is not widely available as opposed to its remake. At Furious Cinema, this one is high on our list of titles to hunt down!
See also:  2015 remake (BluRay, Amazon.com)


Claire’s Knee (Dir: Eric Rohmer)

A soon to be married man (Jean Claude Brialy) plans one last vacation on his own before tying the knot. When he arrives at the lakeside getaway spot he encounters a lover from his past. Eric Rohmer (this one being only his second film he shot in color) is of course one of the essential directors in French cinema. The movie received a number of awards, including from the National Society of Film Citics and National Board of Review among others.
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


The Butcher (Dir: Claude Chabrol)

A school headmistress (Stéphane Audran) meets a local butcher Popaul (Jean Yanne) who she becomes suspicious of after several murders occur. Chabrol is the other major French director that today lacks a bit of the wider knowledge that he used to have. His films are widely available on DVD though and so it might be high time for this director’s body of work to be properly rediscovered we think.
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


The Kremlin Letter (Dir: John Huston)

When an illegitimate letter is sent to Russia from the US stating they want to help attack China, an ex-Naval officer (Patrick O’Neal) and a team are sent to get it back. We haven’t seen this classic and have now reprioritzed to the top of our lists.
See also: The Asphalt Jungle | Fat City | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
On BluRay: Amazon.com (France Import, multiregion) or Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de (imports)


The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (Dir: Billy Wilder)

This film follows two separate story threads. The first part deals with the master detective (Robert Stephens) meeting a young ballerina who wants to have his child. In the second half, Holmes and his associate Dr. Watson (Colin Blakey) travel to Loch Ness, Scotland to investigate the disappearance of a Belgian woman’s engineer husband. On the trip they visit with Sherlock’s brother Mycroft (Christopher Lee) who aids them.
See also: Sunset Boulevard | Stalag 17
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (US Import) | Amazon.de (DVD)


Five Easy Pieces (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 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. A New Hollywood classic that responds to the hippie era with a loud scream. (Pete R.)
See also: Easy Rider | Chinatown
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (US Import) | Amazon.de (DVD)


The Liberation of L.B. Jones (Dir: William Wyler)

Roscoe Lee Browne stars as L.B. Jones, a wealthy African-American funeral director in Tennessee who seeks out a respected lawyer to help him divorce his young wife (Lola Falana) after an alleged affair she had with a white police officer.
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (Spain release, cheapest)


Drive, He Said (Dir: Jack Nicholson)

In this often overlooked film from the New Hollywood era, William Tepper plays a college basketball star named Hector Bloom whose life is a game on and off the court. In the backdrop of his personal antics is the university’s political and social events including sexual trists, drug experimentation and anti-war protests which reflected the counterculture views of the time. Also starring the great Bruce Dern.
See also: Chinatown | Easy RiderAmerica Lost and Found Criterion BluRay
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (DVD)


Beyond The Valley of the Dolls (Dir: Russ Meyer)

In an article from a week earlier Quentin was already widely quoted with some analysis of how the studios tried to push erotic movies in the day and how this was one of the most successful movies of the time. It was originally to be an official sequel to the film Valley of The Dolls (1967), which was a story of three women who try to make it in show business and their trials and tribulations with love and fame. What critic turned screenwriter Roger Ebert came up with was something truly incredible and bizarre. He took the basic premise of Valley of The Dolls and injected it with a totally psychedelic, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll atmosphere. This was Valley of The Dolls set in Russ Meyer’s own Movie Universe where anything could happen and usually did. (Pete R)
See also: Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
On BluRay: Amazon.com (Criterion) | Amazon.co.uk (Arrow) | Amazon.de


M.A.S.H. (Dir: Robert Altman)

In the Korean War, members of the 4077th mobile surgery unit try to keep their spirits up by taking part in various activities like pranks, sports and carousing. This New Hollywood black comedy/satire was actually commenting on Vietnam which was raging at the time it was being made. It went on to win the Palme D’or at Cannes. Quentin is quoted as preferring the film (he saw it at the theater five times with his parents as a child) over the massively popular TV series, which in many ways has stolen the focus from the movie, but maybe now is the time for the movie to be widely rediscovered. (Pete R)
See also: McCabe & Mrs Miller | O.C. & Stiggs HEALTH
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Zabriskie Point (Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni)

Personally I am very happy for this to be on the list. I recently dug deeper into Antonioni’s prior movies, and I visited the film’s location. I think it is one of those typical movies of the time, a movie that presents an atmosphere and artistic expression without wasting too much energy on dialogue. It is a masterpiece. Antonioni’s beautiful meditative portrayal of rebellion, uprising, nature, capitalism and love stands out as a fine piece of hippie cinema. The movie’s troubled history (it took a while also to finally get this uncut and restored on home video), and the mix between nature photography and dream sequences make it a rather unique counterculture film. (Seb H.)
See also: 20 Groovy Counterculture Films
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de

FURIOUS CINEMA PICKS: Some of our own favorites from 1970

Hi Mom! (Dir: Brian DePalma)

In one of his earliest films, Robert DeNiro plays Jon Rubin, a Vietnam Vet from New York City who comes up with something he calls “Peep Art” Cinema. His concept involves filming unsuspecting neighbors in their intimate moments using a Rear Window montage style. Filled with inspiration, Jon immediately seeks out a sleazy porn producer named Mr. Banner (Allen Garfield) who helps him get started. In between his hijinks as a fledgling director, Jon falls in love with his friendly neighbor Judy (Jennifer Salt). The movie is noted for a controversial vignette entitled “Be Black Baby”, which was an experimental performance art piece with a group of militant Black Activists angrily assaulting some white participants. Brian DePalma’s fast moving mixture of silly Hawksian screwball antics, Hitchcockian voyeurism and socio-political counterculture themes make it a classic from its time.

Buy DVD: Amazon.com



WANDA (Dir: Barbara Loden)

Barbara Loden wrote, directed and starred in this captivating low budget indie (made for a mere $115,000) about a timid Pennsylvania divorcee (Loden) who goes on the road with a shady bank robber (Michael Higgins). Although there was a screenplay, the two lead actors improvised most of their scenes together. TRIVIA: Loden was the wife of famous director Elia Kazan (East of Eden, On The Waterfront).

On DVD: Amazon.com


Cotton Comes To Harlem (Dir: Ossie Davis)

In Harlem, Rev. Deke O’Malley is scamming the local churchgoers by having them donate to a fund which will secure land in Africa. To get to the bottom of it, police officers Gravedigger Jones (Godfrey Cambridge) and Coffin Ed Johnson (Raymond St. Jacques) are sent to find out just what the scheme is all about. They soon find themselves in the center of a mystery when the money O’Malley collected goes missing. This wild urban action-comedy was released a year before Shaft (1971) and is considered a direct forerunner to the Blaxploitation genre as it focuses on the African-American community in all its glory. (Pete R)
See also: Come Back Charleston Blue  | GCDb entry
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Woodstock (Dir: Michael Wadleigh)

The granddaddy of all music concert documentaries. Featuring a truly amazing line up of acts that performed at the now legendary three day festival of peace love and music. You’ll get to see Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Arlo Guthrie, Ritchie Havens, Santana and many more doing their righteous thing onstage! A must see film about the legendary pop culture hippie extravaganza in Upstate New York that capped off the 60s. TRIVIA: Director Martin Scorsese worked on this film. (Pete R.)
See also: 50 Furious Films That Rock
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


The Ballad of Cable Hogue (Dir: Sam Peckinpah)

After wandering through the desert in need of water, drifter Cable Hogue (Jason Robards) luckily finds a small amount in a muddy ditch. He soon decides to begin digging for more and a wellspring inspires him to set up a business. With the aid of friends Joshua (David Warner) and Hildy (Stella Stevens) a hooker, Cable offers the refreshment to travelers. Peckinpah had just made The Wild Bunch one of the most violent Westerns ever produced, so this smaller, personal film (which was mostly non violent and more rooted in comedy) was a real departure. It was ignored upon its release but Peckinpah later cited it as one of his personal favorites from his career.
See also: The Getaway | Junior Bonner | Straw Dogs
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de (DVD)


Bloody Mama (Dir: Roger Corman)

A raucous Southern Fried crime film based on the life of Ma Barker and her killer brood. A prime example of low budget exploitation cinema at its best.
See also: The Wild Angels | X: The Man with X Ray Eyes | The Trip 
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (Spain import)


Performance (Dir: Nicholas Roeg)

A British gangster named Chas (James Fox) goes on the lam and finds himself hiding out at at the residence of Turner (Mick Jagger) a former rock star. The two men, who are complete opposites, at first don’t get along but Chas slowly becomes intrigued by Turner’s way of life. Soon drugs are introduced and the tense atmosphere becomes a schizophrenic mind trip.
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (DVD) | Amazon.de


El Topo (Dir: Alejandro Jodorowsky)

In this cult classic, a gunfighter (Alejandro Jodorowsky) goes on a strange journey which is split into two parts. The first is played like a psychedelic western. The second is a tale about love and redemption. John Lennon was a huge fan of the film and helped get it released through his contacts.
See also: The Holy Mountain
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk (US import) | Amazon.de



Soldier Blue (Dir: Ralph Nelson)

In this revisionist Western cult classic, 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 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. (Pete R)
See also: Requiem For a Heavyweight | Glory
On BluRay: Amazon.com (DVD or imports) | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Kelly’s Heroes (Dir: Brian Hutton)

A squad of ragtag WWII soldiers led by Kelly (Clint Eastwood) go behind enemy lines to heist a cache of gold being held in a small French town’s bank. This movie is special because it takes the typical patriotic aspect of war films and turns it on its ear. These soldiers don’t care about winning the war, they just want to get paid and ride off into the sunset! It boasts a terrific ensemble cast featuring wisecrackin’ fellas like Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Donald Sutherland, Harry Dean Stanton, Carroll O’Connor and has plenty of action, adventure and comedy. (Pete R.)
See also: The Films of Clint Eastwood | 50 Furious War Films
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Husbands (Dir: John Cassavetes)

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 and hysterically funny performances from the actors including his own (as usual). The men are like roving animals looking for last bit of pleasure before they enter old age. (Pete R)
See also: The Films of John Cassavetes
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Brewster McCloud (Dir: Robert Altman)

In this offbeat comedy a young recluse (Bud Cort) lives in a nuclear fallout shelter in the Houston Astrodome. His main mission in life is building a set of wings so he can fly. He is aided by his fairy godmother (Sally Kellerman). Sound strange? Well it is, New Hollywood big studio weirdness in the best sense.
See also: HEALTH | OC and Stiggs | McCabe and Mrs Miller
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Two Mules For Sister Sara (Dir: Don Siegel)

In the Southwest, a crass gunfighter named Hogan (Clint Eastwood) saves a nun (Shirley MacLaine) before she is raped by some bandits. Afterwards the two unlikely companions decide to travel along together during which Hogan is hired by a band of Mexican revolutionaries to help fight the invading French army. A very fun Western action-adventure-comedy with a memorable score by Ennio Morricone. (Pete R.)
See also: Dirty Harry | The Beguiled
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


Alex in Wonderland (Dir: Paul Mazursky)

A successful Hollywood director Alex Morrison (Donald Sutherland) who has just come off of a big hit begins searching for his next project while experiencing an existential dilemma. Federico Fellini who’s own film 8 1/2 dealt with similar subject matter makes a cameo appearance. A true gem of the New Hollywood period that I recently discovered (Pete R.)
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk


Joe (Dir: John G. Avildsen)

A young hippie named Melissa (Susan Sarandon) overdoses at her drug dealer’s apartment, causing her executive father Bill (Dennis Patrick) to murder the man in a rage. Without any ideas on how to get out of the crime, he explains his predicament to a local bigot named Joe (Peter Boyle). When Melissa suddenly disappears, Bill and Joe decide to look for her, with Joe hoping to take out his own anger on the dirty taking hippies he despises. (Pete R.)
See also: Crazy Joe | Taxi Driver
On DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk


Rio Lobo (Dir: Howard Hawks)

During the Civil War, Union officer Cord McNally (John Wayne) has been charged with protecting a gold shipment. A band of Confederates lead an attack, leaving one of his finest officers dead and the gold stolen. When the war finally ends, McNally discovers that two turncoats in his company were responsible for the robbery and sets off to find the traitors. This was the final collaboration between Hawks and John Wayne who had worked together on Red River, Rio Bravo, El Dorado and Hatari!. (Pete R)
See also: Howard Hawks/John Wayne Double Feature
On BluRay: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


The Chinese Boxer (Dir: Jimmy Wang Yu)

This was the first true open hand kung fu film that was made in Hong Kong. Before it, the Hong Kong films were almost entirely sword/weapon fighting films. It also featured the first ‘student avenges master’ storyline that became heavily redone over and over throughout the 70s and 80s. Jimmy Wang Yu uses a unique mix of different martial arts styles: kung fu, wuxia, samurai, karate all sort of mixed together into one big explosive blend. He was the biggest star in Hong Kong at the time but he seemed to get kicked to the curb in the shadow of Bruce Lee‘s large presence and personality. (Pete R)
See also: 50 Mad As Hell Martial Arts Movies
On BluRay/DVD: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de


They Call Me Trinity (Dir: Enzo Barboni)

A pair of gunfighters, Trinity (Terence Hill) and his half brother Bambino (Bud Spencer) team up to help a group of Mormon settlers fend off some Mexican bandits. This movie which injected screwball comedy into the spaghetti western genre became a massive hit in Europe and the US when it was released. Bud Spencer passed away earlier this year and sent shockwaves of mourning through the community. At a moving funeral, his life long friend Terence Hill recounted how they first met and then set out to be one of the most popular movie duos in Italy’s turbulent cinematic history. The Trinity movies to this day entertain young and old alike.
See also: Spencer-Hill retrospective at the SWDb | My Name is Nobody 
On BluRay/DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de

That’s it. We hope you enjoyed this wild ride through 1970. Lastly, we highly recommend this article on the Lumiere site about the discussions with Quentin.



Founder of FuriousCinema.com, also started Tarantino.info, Spaghetti-western.net, Nischenkino.de and a few others. I love furious movies!

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