Movies in the 1970s really pushed the envelope. Any and all subject matters were covered. In addition to the increase in aesthetic quality, the 1970s also showcased many great rising actors and actresses.
Some of the best movies of all-time are from the ’70s. From mafia films to mental asylum films to films in another galaxy, the seventies stretched our imaginations beyond their limits.
Movies in 1972
In 1972, the movie of the year (and decade) by far was The Godfather. At the time it was one of the highest grossing movies of all time. Considering all of the public outcry against violence in movies, the popularity of The Godfather made for ironic commentary on American attitudes and “values.”
The year began with angry protests against the violence of A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs, both released in late 1971. At the same time, Americans paid well over $125 million to watch a three-hour testimony to the glories of gangsterdom.
Meanwhile, the MPAA deemed the film unacceptable for anyone under the age of 17.
1972 also saw the introduction of another first: cartoon porn. Fritz the Cat broke new ground as the first X-rated cartoon of all time.
Some of the more notable “Black Films”: Buck and the Preacher, Superfly, Sounder, Lady Sings the Blues and Blacula.
1972 brought a growing interest in experimental and innovative films that had little hope of commercial success. Films like Slaughterhouse Five, Images and The King of Marvin Gardens are good examples.
The auteur was becoming more and more popular. That is, the view that the director is the supreme artist behind the film and, for the most part, is the star. Alfred Hitchcock is a good example of this.
Ultimately, many of these films demonstrate the ever-increasing importance of aesthetics. Films really start looking a whole lot better at this point.
Some of the most popular movies from the 1970s include:
- The Godfather
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
- Apocalypse Now
- A Clockwork Orange
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- Taxi Driver
- American Graffiti
- Blazing Saddles
- Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
And so many more. The ’70s were a great decade for artistic films.