Ranking the Best Picture Winners (1970s)
843 7.8 810. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
This is a best picture winner that has definitely not aged well. When it won in 1970 there was a big uproar over its rating (though it seems rather tame nowadays). Today that is all inconsequential and the film is left to simply stand on its own cinematic merits. It doesn't look great, the characters all all obnoxious any any emotional core was unearned. Mix in some very dated Jefferson Airplane like sequences and you have a seriously flawed film.
1735 8 8.29. The Deer Hunter (1978)
The Deer Hunter is nothing if not a showcase of everything that was right and wrong with cinema in the 70s. It has moments of sheer artistic brilliance but those are countered by more moments of ridiculous wasteful excess. The intro scenes with the wedding are simply too much to fully recover from.
572 7.5 88. Patton (1970)
George C. Scott is amazing the story of Patton, while interesting, is not as amazing. A tad long and repetitive.
940 8 8.47. The Sting (1973)
This is one of the more bizarre Best Picture outliers. It is more of a comedic farce set to rollicking piano music than a serious word changing drama. It is a fine genre film however.
835 7.8 7.86. The French Connection (1971)
It has some truly epic showpieces (namely the famous train chase) and some great refined performances. However the plot is needlessly labyrinthine and takes a long time to peak.
3843 8.5 8.75. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Some of the more memorable characters in cinema history and a murderer's row of a cast. Jack Nicholson is great and the story itself is gripping despite its simplicity.
2396 7.4 8.14. Rocky (1976)
Who knew there was a time when Sylvester Stallone could make intimate human interest dramas like this. Fantastic lead character and a truly heartwarming story make this a joy to watch. Add in an amazing "villain" and you have one of the best sports films ever.
3753 8.6 9.13. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
The current time storyline is probably better than that in the first Godfather. I think it drags a bit when we get to the De Niro past story in Italy and turn of the century America.
5329 8.7 9.22. The Godfather (1972)
A masterpiece. Nothing else really needs to be said. The acting is timeless and so is the story. Coppola, Pacino and Brando at their best.
1956 8.1 8.11. Annie Hall (1977)
A lively romantic comedy that defies genre conventions and absolutely bleeds originality. I'm not Woody Allen fan but Annie Hall is totally deserving of its win and its place as a cinematic classic.
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