Monday, January 12, 2015

The Favorite Films Before My Lifetime: 1970

I present to you, the year 1970 which had a massive drop off for me in terms of having a huge collective of films I love.  In fact, for this list, there's only 2 films I even feel close to strongly for and that's because they're a part of franchises I love.  This is the first time this has happened in this retrospective and I think is the first time between this and the "Of" series.  How about you, was this a strong year, was there some I'm forgetting here?

Oscar Boscar

WINNER- Patton
Five Easy Pieces
Love Story

Brandon Wandon

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes

While each trip through the original Apes canon warms me more to this second film, its not really my favorite.  Much of that lies with the sort of retread through the first one again for the film's first half.  James Franciscus is nowhere near as interesting to follow has Heston. But, when we get to the film's second half, which does what the title promises, things turn around.  Things get crazy and weird, and I love that.  Its also got some awesome sets to play in.  Oh and yeah, does this one have the gloomiest ending of them all?  More on this and the other Apes to your right.


I've never read the book, so I can't speak on where it compares.  I know it changes plenty of things up as back then the way it was presented was rather considered "unfilmable".  Though, I think today that wouldn't be the case as audiences are used to something other than a traditional chronological storyline in mainstream film.  This is a solid little war comedy and features some fun turns from Alan Arkin, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins and John Voight.  Not just limited to them, the film does feature cameos aplenty too.


1970 was the year of the dark comedy war film I suppose.  Robert Altman's Academy Award winning film was one of the most popular films of the year as well.  Its a good film in its own right, but I think history has had it overshadowed by the largely popular television series that it would spin off into.  Said series ran for 11 seasons and set incredibly ratings records that we will probably never see broken.  The film shouldn't be overshadowed though, as it features Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland having a good time and chewing up some scenery.  Also, the song "Suicide Is Painless" by Johnny Mandel is outstanding and one of my favorite songs ever from a film.  Its a nice haunting tune and it'll be stuck in your head for weeks after watching.


Let's get one thing for sure here, Patton is a great film.  One of the contributing factors in making it so is watching one of the most perfect marriages of character and actor come together onscreen.  This is great casting without being obvious.  The character of Patton and George C. Scott are perfect for each other.  Each assist each other and play to one another's strengths.  Its one of the most iconic roles and performances in film history.  All George C. Scott needs to do is walk onto screen and its incredibly effective.

Scars Of Dracula

I wrote about this one just a few months ago.  I'm in the minority, but this is one of my favorite Hammer Dracula films.  The film kinda sort tries to reboot the franchise while staying right in place in continuity.  There are some weird things to the mix, but it helps in being unpredictable.  The film also presents some unrelenting gore which I think its the messiest of any of the Hammer Dracula films.  And the disposing of Dracula until the next haunt is both badass and pretty epic in fashion.  Christopher Lee also appears interested and not sleepwalking through this one.  I recommend haters give this one another look.  Its a lot of fun.

Tora! Tora! Tora!

This one isn't even that good of a film.  The plot is a little boring displayed through some really slow pacing.  BUT, here's why I'm including it.  The dogfights in this movie are really cool and shot incredibly well for the time.  While the film didn't garner any real acclaim or popularity during its release, it seemed to inspire with its action sequences.  Scenes from this movie would even be used as stock footage or "sold as genuine" for other movies.  No, not a film I think is really great, but in this year with a lot of films I don't feel too strongly for, I thought this one would be worth it for an aspect I did feel good about.

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