Saturday, August 04, 2012

1976 in film

1976 was a vast improvement over the preceding year in terms of quality up at the top.  There's still controversy that rages to this day over Rocky being voted Best Picture at the Academy Awards.  Frankly, in the aftermath of all the high profile assassinations in the 60's, Vietnam, and Watergate, this country needed a pick-me-up.  Taxi Driver was ultimately too damn depressing and Rocky (for whatever you might think of its sequels) was a feel-good story that had a great plot and some fantastic supporting characters that made it feel real.

#5 - King Kong: Guilt pleasure, I must confess.  It's terribly over the top, and it tries too hard to be relevant about the role of oil set against the backdrop of the OPEC crisis in the 70's.  Jeff Bridges was definitely on the path to bigger and better things.  It's also the motion picture debut of Jessica Lange, who is substantially less annoying than Fay Wray in the original.  Gotta love Jeff's beard...good campy fun!

#4 Carrie: It's amazing how all over the place the adaptations of Stephen King's stuff are.  For every Green Mile, The Shining, or Shawshank Redemption there filler like Pet Sematary, Thinner, and Dreamcatcher.  Carrie goes back and forth between the two for me.  Slow in some places, a little goofy in others...and then sometimes downright creepy as hell.  Interestingly, Piper Laurie was nominated for an Academy Award in 1961 for her role in The Hustler, then didn't do another film until this one fifteen years later.  The result: another Oscar nomination.

#3 - Taxi Driver: Look, I won't debate it's greatness.  Definitely earns a spot among the top hundred American films of all-time.  But this list is of my favorites.  And this is just a downer of a flick.  Violent as hell for the mid-70's as well.  It's cliched to call it an iconic performance from DeNiro because, frankly, he's had at least seven of them.  Also the first of two iconic roles for Jodie Foster and the first of her four Academy Award nominations.

#2 - All The President's Men: I am nothing if not my mother's son.  She's a history junkie and instilled enough of that in me that I wound up earning a degree in history as a college undergraduate.  This movie does a fantastic job of taking what could otherwise be a mundane story about an investigative reporting gig and turning it into a taut thriller.  Bob Woodward only wishes he looked half as good as Redford did playing him.  No Jason Robards in this scene but he was dynamite in his role as Ben Bradlee.

#1 - Rocky: Spoiler alert!  He doesn't win the fight at the end.  I think one of the most underrated moments in films, and because of that possibly my favorite acting moments, are when they give a "look" that communicates everything without saying a word.  Carl Weathers has just that type of moment in this clip at the 1:43 mark.  He knows that to win he's going to have to literally kill this opponent that just refuses to go down as he should have ages ago.  And yet he knows that he's given it everything that he has and there's no guarantee that he won't be the one going to his doom when this resumes.


Blogger PHSChemGuy said...


Bugsy Malone?

8:13 AM  
Blogger coachsullivan said...

Haven't seen them. Have a list of about 1300 movies I wanted to see in my life and I've got about 350 to go...they're on that list.

8:09 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home