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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 22 May 2013 04:26
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25 From 74: My Favorite Films Of 1974

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People who added this item 335 Average listal rating (191 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.2
     Upon first viewing, the first thing anyone will notice about this charm sprinkled black comedy science fiction mini opera is that the primary alien character is basically a beach ball with toes. Which is pretty much a signal to viewers that this movie is about as low budget as a low budget indie film can get.

  However, when one sees that the lack of funds does nothing to diminish the level of entertainment that one receives from Dark Star, it’s becomes quite obvious why it’s writer /director would eventually become one of the best when it comes to genre specific cinema such as science fiction, horror and adventure. Of course, I’m referring to John Carpenter, the man who will become responsible for such future classics as Halloween, Starman, Escape From New York, and  The Thing (a remake of a 50’s cult film that Carpenter was able to mold into his own “thing”).

People who added this item 243 Average listal rating (152 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.5
Foxy Brown (1974)
For the year of 1974, we have two female "badasses" of color who return in sequels that, even though they aren't as good as the first installments of their stories, they have a certain cinematic lavishness that each of their films define in their own distinctive way. And both were entertaining enough (at least they were for me anyway) that the inclusion of the two movies was able to help me fill out this list to an even twenty-five (which, considering the films I had to choose from that were made in the first half of the 70s decade, was not an easy feat).

The first of these butt kicking femmes is Foxy Brown. In her first movie, she was named Coffy, but for whatever reason, the producers wanted to separate this film from that one, despite that the only differences between the two is the name and the fact that Coffy/Foxy dresses a little more "stylish" in this one.
But whatever you wanna call her, she's still played by Pam Grier, she's still hotter than hell and she still got her gun pointed where it counts.
The second of the butt-kicking femmes that I mentioned from the previous entry is Lady Snowblood, a character with whom I fell in love with after her first foray in film the year previous.
Here she returns, but with her primary goal of vengeance already satiated from the original movie, she then sets her mind and her katana (although through circumstances not of her choosing) towards the political realm of espionage.
And as we all know, there's more than enough blood in that arena to quench the thirst of any modern-day warrior's (male or female) sword.

People who added this item 103 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 6.6

What many of today's young movie-goers don't know is that back in the 70's, there were a slew of films that were released strictly to fill the screens of the now practically extinct cinema venue known as the drive-in. While most were just something to pass the time away as adolescent hormone-driven teens made out in the car, some of these movies were actually pretty entertaining.
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry was just one on the long list of sub-genre B-list flicks of crazy car movies who's main driving thrust was to let out a clarion call to all those in positions of authority to simply and unabashingly "eat my dust".
A sentiment that when shared by the loved-crazed couple in this flick, made him crazy, and her dirty.
Or is it the other way around.....?

To be honest,
I completely agree with the title of this film.
We truly need to simply just let sleeping corpses lie.
Cuz if we did,
we wouldn't have to worry about all this zombie apocalypse craziness.
And there would be no need to have to publish any handbooks depicting how to handle the situation.
Not to mention that our delectable edible brains (a cornerstone of any zombie's nutritious breakfast) would be able to sleep alot easier at night.

People who added this item 105 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5

No, no, this isn't that one film that starred Madonna and became infamous as one of the worst in cinema history.
This is the original movie, an Italian produced rough-edged romantic romp on a deserted island that is considered by a film connoisseur or two as one of the best foreign releases of 1974.
Which, when you think about it, only helps to drive the later ravaged Ritchie english version deeper into the pit of pitifully pulverized remakes.
People who added this item 45 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.2
A quiet and single clockmaker is visited by the local police and is reported that his son has committed a murder.
Now, as he contemplates the why's of his son's actions, he begins to delve into the nature of their relationship and into the nature of the crime.
A road of reflection that eventually leads the clockmaker into an internal confrontation with his own deceptions as a parent and now, must find a way to come to terms with his past.
L'horloger de Saint-Paul is a film that, while it may not live up to the levels of the New French Wave movement that preceded it, still makes a worthy effort into the introspective type of storytelling that put this kind of cinema on the map.

People who added this item 1688 Average listal rating (1165 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
What is it that makes a young surgeon carry on the family tradition of creating a patchwork monstrosity of a menace that always seems to rile up the local villagers into taking up arms with their pitchforks and their torches and then, storming the castle?
Simple. It's in his blood.
as in a vampiric metaphor....?

Okay, okay,
I know that some of you out there would be quick to remind me that vampires are not the the central theme of this list. Frankenstein monsters are.
To which I can only respond "Actually, it's pronounced Frankensteen."

People who added this item 444 Average listal rating (328 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7
Death Wish (1974)
As is usual for most movies that are followed by a long trail of sequels, this first installment of The Death Wish franchise is considered the best (of course). And more specifically, as far as I'm concerned, this is the only decent flick of the whole bunch.
To be honest (and if any of you Listophiles really knew me, you'd know that I have never been anything but truly honest with all of you, my fellow list-gathering bastards....) the only way I'd probably ever watch and/or revisit any of the other films from this series of "Broson Badassery" is if I was suffering from my own personal kind of psychological death wish.

People who added this item 83 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
Harry is an elderly widower who has lived his whole life in the city. When his apartment building becomes the victim of demolition, he decides it's time to hit the road and explore the lands that exist outside the "city walls". And he comes to find that cross country range wandering can often be a cathartic experience, leaving the wanderer more enriched and spiritually satisfied about living life in this country of ours (that's the United States for all of you non-American Listophiles out there...). And his also discovers,as previous lone rangers from the passed have, that the best way to cross the wide expanse between the two coasts is with a sidekick named Tonto.

People who added this item 480 Average listal rating (248 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
After Martin Scorcese made a name for himself with Mean Streets, he moves on to a road that maybe isn't as mean, but can still be pretty rough, the interstate highway.
In her a mid-thirties , a housewife and mother named Alice suddenly finds herself a widow and without a means of support. Packing up her son and their meager belongings, and with very little direction, she takes to the road in search of a better life.
(BTW, you guys ever notice how many on-the-road movies there were during the 70's? I mean, there seemed to be a lot of 'em. Heck, there are five just on this one list alone ....!)

Originally a story that was meant to be a bit smoother around the edges, Ellen Burstyn's Oscar-winning performance, with the addition of director Scorcese's street sense, this comedy/drama/romance/road picture comes off as greasy spoon that is sharper, brighter and not as "polished" as it probably first read on paper. And I mean that in a good way.
People who added this item 1143 Average listal rating (790 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
After the primary law enforcer of a small frontiers town is killed, the locals must come to grips with the fact that's there's a new sheriff in town. His name is Black Bart, and the black part of his name is not because of his rep. It's up to him to win over the confidence of the frighten citizens of Rock Ridge and stop the new railroad from putting the town full of Johnsons off of the map.

This is one of those movies that I have fond memories of watching and immensely enjoying when I was a little kid. Mel Brooks' penchant for getting a laugh from his audiences by throwing everything but the kitchen sink was exactly the type of humor that appealed to the sensibilities of my age back then. These days, while the laughs aren't as hardy whenever I watch a Brook farce, there's still enough in the satirical content and racial undertones of Blazing Saddles to make my now grown-up ass crack a chuckle or two.
People who added this item 471 Average listal rating (240 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
I recently did a movie list called "Crazy Bitches", listing movies like Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct as examples of the running theme. In other words, there were films about women who are mentally unstable. But, even really quality movies that follow this theme, no matter how good they are, the concept of feminine mental illness is done with the typical over-the-top Hollywood flair.

A Woman Under The Influence handles the subject with a much more intimate and introspective portrayal, one that surpasses gender and leaves the viewer to feel the same slow but staggering feeling of incomprehension as all the characters involved. But this story's subject matter doesn't end there, as the material also extends into themes of societal roles and expectations of women in and out of their family relationships.
And if all that makes this film sounds a bit deep, it is. But that is what is expected from the typical John Cassavetes film. A movie that is directed more to those who love film for the exploration of the human psyche more than it is to those who go to the theater just for the empty calories that come from sensationalistic escapism and a bucket of popcorn.
As I mentioned in an earlier entry, during the first half of the 70's, "road pictures" were all the rage. And throughout the entirety of the decade, Clint Eastwood seemed to be a permanent fixture on movie theater screens everywhere, no matter what time of the season it was.
So it was inevitable that the two would meet.
Add in the promising directorial debut of Michael Cimino (a director who's who high-profile potential would be responsible for The Deer Hunter, but then quickly spiral towards critical and commercial disasters like Heaven's Gate and Year Of The Dragon...) and the scene-stealing performance of Jeff Bridges,
and what you end up with is a road picture that, when compared to other films of the genre, seems to get better mileage than the rest as the years go by.

People who added this item 210 Average listal rating (110 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
Lenny Bruce was a stand-up comic from the 60's who's open-mike free-style form of comedy usually translated into a kind satirical criticism towards the social status quo. And it was this biting sense of humor that he wielded that often landed him into trouble, critically, legally and eventually, even financially.

Take a few steps forward into the 70's, and we walk into a period of time when the movie business was considered to be on it's last legs. The town of Hollywood was experiencing a financial and artistic depression.
What does this have to do with Lenny Bruce?
Well, one of the benefits of that period of cinema's catatonic state was that there were many cutting edge directors and film makers outside of the regular major studio system who now had the freedom to do work that, just like Mr. Bruce's comedy "routine", delved into the modern way of living in a manner that had never been penetrated into as deeply before.
Therefore, it seems it was only fitting that a film about his life in the stand-up circuit was made during this time of when certain parts of cinema, instead of concerning itself with breaking box office records, was more about opening doors for voices of singular expression and analytical social commentary.
Which, as many satirists of today would admit to, was probably Lenny's biggest legacy in the world of telling jokes.
People who added this item 165 Average listal rating (100 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
A reporter witnesses an assassination of a senator.
When other reporters who were on the scene start to mysterious die, he decides to go underground to investigate. An investigation that leads him to to the Parallax Corporation, a company that heavily incorporates corruption, brutal brainwashing and political conspiracy into it's business model.
Starring Warren Beatty and directed by the same "Paluka" who is responsible for All The President's Men and Sophie Choice, this is a high quality tale of political espionage that is woven with a webful of deceits that shows why the 70's were such an excellent decade for these kinds of paranoid thrillers.

People who added this item 160 Average listal rating (118 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1

Question: "Just how long is the longest yard?"
Answer: "Trick question.... a yard is a yard is a yard..... it's always 36 inches."
Unless, of course, you're talking about this movie.
Then the answer would be more like this "The Longest Yard is about 121 minutes".
I mean, that is, if you're not watching it on TV. If so, then the commercials would add more to the running time. And for that, you'd have to check your local TV listings.
People who added this item 225 Average listal rating (127 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.8
This is the second of two excellent "Express" movies that came out in the year of 1974 (Murder On The Orient is the other one). As just about everyone knows, this one is famous for being the big screen feature film debut of the not-so-well-known Steven Spielberg.

Lou Jean and Clovis are the Poplins, a married couple with their fair of minor criminal records. Because of this, they stand the chance of losing their baby son to foster care. In order to prevent this from happening, they quickly find themselves in a set of circumstances that will lead them across the big state of Texas. A journey that will make them wanted, not just by the police, but also by media hounds and fans of their cause.
The Sugarland Express is a ride that starts out with a car chase that shows just a glimmer of the type of fast-paced action scene that will make Spielberg the blockbuster king that is his destiny.
People who added this item 429 Average listal rating (314 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
A typically pretty decent 70's diaster flick about a fire so high, that it makes it's all-star ensemble cast want to, as K.C. from The Sunshine Band might say, "get down, tonite".

As everyone knows, this was the decade of the disaster picture. And in terms of quality, most of 'em tended to go the extremes. They were usually really good or usually really bad. Fortunately, the multitude of big names that starred in this one made a good decision in choosing to be stuck so high up in this scorching skyscaper of a flick. The Towering Inferno is considered a pyre in the genre and is a good example of a movie that excellently fits the bill when it comes to providing the kind of quick popcorn theater experience that is generally expected from this type of entertainment.
How do you get the biggest city in the U.S. to pay you a million dollars?
Highjack a subway, make the passengers your hostages and the proceed to murder one for every minute until the Big Apple coughs up the dough.
And I'm sure I'm not spoiling it for anyone one out there reading this by pointing out that, if you look at the success ratios that these types of get-rich-quick schemes have had over the years, you can pretty much put one and two together to figure out how this one is gotta play out.
Still, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a fast-paced and entertaining thriller none the less, with Walter Matthau delivering a last line of dialogue at the end that's bound to make you smile.

People who added this item 645 Average listal rating (410 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Ah, I love a good mystery.
However, as far movies go, there are barely any that I can remember putting on any of my Fave Movies lists.
That's probably because, murder mysteries tend to read much better on the written page than they do on the movie screen. Especially for someone like me, who likes to read stories wherein the caper is so thick and chunky with questions, that the detective's ability to solve it comes off almost superhuman (like with Sherlock or in this case, Poirot). The medium of film is usually too short, for my tastes anyway, to contain the kind of complicated caper that, IMO, makes for a good whodunnit.
Orient Express, while obviously can't match that kind of mystery make-up, still managed to add enough twists and turns with it's plot, and integrate it with the dubious depth and intriguing motive to each of it's colorful cast of could-be culprits to make everyone on board seem like a prime suspect.

People who added this item 1059 Average listal rating (637 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.8
While most people know that 1974 was a good year for cinema with films like Chinatown,  Murder on the Orient Express, and The Towering Inferno, there are many who don't realize that it even better than that. Because, not only was that the year that we got one of the greatest sequels of all time, The Godfather Part ll, but that we also got a second exceptionally well made movie by master Francis Ford Coppola, The Conversation. A classic level, meticulously suspenseful thriller that falls just short of The Godfather films as being some of the filmmaker's best work. Yet, despite this, The Conversation doesn't get much conversation when discussing great films from this part of the decade of director driven cinema. Probably because it was released the same year as The Godfather Part II, and therefore was overshadowed by the weight of that movie's hyper-hoopla. Never the less, The Conversation is a piece of mid 70's cinema that you just can't go wrong with as it is a work by a master director at the height of his prime. Not to mention that the central role went to an actor who's star was at it's peak, the always dependable Mr. Gene Hackman, along with a solid supporting role by the late great John Cazale, an actor who in his short film career,
never starred in any movie rated less than an A+. Add all that up and what you end up with is a film that's defintely worth talking about, no matter what the subject of conversation is.

People who added this item 2188 Average listal rating (1337 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2
Jack Nicholson's only role as a detective in a "modern" noir film that doesn't try to be anything else other than a modern take of a noir film. It is because of this, that the 1970's sensibilities that are just a natural result of being a film of this era, along with it's "twisted" twist ending, that Chinatown comes off as being a work more layered and "edgy" than a standard mystery film. Which ends up giving this movie a much more distinctive feel that surpasses the genre in which it respectfully tries to remain faithful to.
And when you think about it, aren't those the type of qualities that usually make a classic film a classic?

People who added this item 1932 Average listal rating (1248 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
To say that the Leatherface clan is the type of family you would want as neighbors is quite obviously, about as an understatement as it gets.
If anybody in this household (particularly, the one wears a mask of that gives this clan their namesake) ever wants to borrow any of your tools (particularly any that you have to yank to get started), don't expect to ever see it again.

As someone whom is often very frustrated with most horror flicks, I was very pleased that this movie's plotline came off as very genuine. While most slasher flicks tend to make it's audience yell things to the screen like "Idiot! Run outside, not to the upstairs!" or "Don't go in there, you moron!", this movie actually made the situation of the onscreen victims seem logistically believable. Therefore, their fright and inevitable demise doesn't come off as deserving as the mindless teenage victims featured in other films, who make the viewer feel that their stupidity justified their grisly end. The intent of TCM's story was aimed more at making the observer feel the fear thru the fright of the victim, not just thru the singular idea of a mad demonic slash-object-wielding maniac.
People who added this item 4499 Average listal rating (2942 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 9
With his position as the most powerful Don in the whole of the Cosa Nostra now set firmly in place, Michael Corleone finds that with absolute and corrupt power comes absolute and corrupt responsibility. Not to mention, a hell of alotta stress. With his marriage crumbling and the last connections of his father's regime becoming more poisonous with each day, Michael slips deeper into his devious side in order to keep the order and at the same, to find a way to manipulate his machinations in a way that will allow his family business to climb the steep and crooked ladder to legitimacy.

In this second chapter, Francis Ford Coppola continues the saga of la famiglia Corleone. And even though this one lacks the presence of the trio of exemplary actors I mentioned above, those empty spaces are superbly filled up by the strength Al Pacino's complete grasp and laser-beam portrayal of the lead character,
along with an interjecting prologue story starring a Sicilian speaking Robert Deniro.

After lightning struck once with the first Godfather film, it was almost impossible to believe that it could strike twice in the same series, especially with the absence of Marlon Brando, James Caan and Abe Vigoda (oh c'mon! Y'know his presence added a certain dimension to the whole of the movie.....).
Yet strike it did.
And with even more intensity than could be expected.

BTW, I know that the rest of the planet says that this one is the superior film, but personally, I like the first one better. Now don't get me wrong, The Godfather Part II2 is practically a perfect movie.... however IMO, G-1 is just a bit more perfect. That being said, The Godfather Part II is a piece of cinema that is so good, that I believe that if all sequels could match the quality ratio that this one did with its predecessor, the world would be a much better place, in a way we probably couldn't even imagine. Heck, I'd bet that there probably wouldn't even be any more things like wars an' stuff.
B'cuz that's the power of a really good sequel.

My fave flix from the 75th year of the 1900's.
Nuff sed.

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