whispers (altman wins) hee hee
So that’s decided then, Woody Allen wins: Sleeper, Love & Death, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan ;)
Fine, Altman wins…
Mean Streets and Taxi Driver put Scorsese on the shortlist, but I’d be tempted to say Truffaut (The Wild Child, Day for Night, Small Change, The Story of Adele H., and I have heard very good things about The Green Room) had the best run of the 70s. Also, I think a very strong case has already been made for Altman.
I’m not a big Fassbinder fan, but he might be someone to consider.
Lucas, Altman and Scorsese all made better individual films in the seventies, but I gotta go with Coppola for that amazing four film streak of excellence.
So, which American filmmaker had the greatest 70s decade
Certainly there’s no denying Lucas’s contributions (THX, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, STAR WARS), but THE greatest…hmmmm…no way…not when there’s….
and that’s just the Americans
Jaspar, give us some examples why, whom do you think is the top of the heap?
Remember Discuss and Defend
And Noel, your “Ahem” was not needed as I stated in the OP, please talk about filmmakers worldwide
oh, that’s just too film geek-y.
And too often that’s the problem, to actually think is geeky
Do you think the 70s was the best decade for American filmmakers?
Lucas was the most important imo for the mainstream landscape but best American in the 70s I would go with John Waters, Paul Morrisey or Hal Ashby. American Graffitti is an achievement tho, one that has many copies but is far and away better than them.
I’m pretty sure half the challenging someone to a duel types here live in mom’s basement.
There was so much great stuff going on in film in the 70s how do you pick only a few? Scorsese and Allen would certainly be on the shortlist.
I think a great deal of them live in Texas.
Geeky defense by Jaspar Lamar Crabb (made even geekier as my nom de plume is stolen from a dead character!)…here goes:
Working in the 70s, I have to go with Coppola as the best…The 2 Godfather films, The Conversation & Apocalypse Now are masterpieces (granted …so is the first Star Wars). No director (Bergman comes close between Cries & Whispers & Autumn Sonata) can claim four masterpieces in just seven years. The Godfather films are up there with Gone with the Wind, The Red Shoes, Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz and Psycho in the pantheon (again as is the first Star Wars film) of works of art that have also become culturally iconic…it would be hard to find anyone who has even a small interest in movies who hasn’t seen these films.
As much as I love American Graffiti, I do believe it’s eclisped by The Wanderers, Philip Kaufman’s time capsule of young adult angst released at the end of the decade.
“Second place” -- Bertolucci…who, with The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, and 1900 has to rank up there with Coppola in sheer moxy…few directors took risks like this, convinced the likes of Alberto Grimaldi AND Parmount Pictures that their ideas would fly. And of course both Bertolucci & Coppola share the same tastes as they both had the gumption to hire the great Vittorio Storaro.
“Third” -- Lumet directed Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Child’s Play, Serpico, and The Offence all in a five year period during the 70s
I feel shitty ranking them…and of course this is all my opinion so it means nothing or it means everything…your call
if Lucas is the greatest ‘anything’ from the 70’s, it’s the greatest disappointment.
He never realised his creative potential. Star Wars totally derailed his career.
what JIRIN said
Oy, it’s not a duel, it’s statement an opinion and giving reasons why you have come to that opinion. It is discussion, it is the reason the forum exists. To communicate, in this case, thoughts on films and filmmakers.
Yak, yes, I do think the 70s was the high mark for American film. While the Blockbuster Age dawned in the decade — which has ruined the quality of films the studios produced — those same studios allowed for a short period, filmmakers to actually make films with substance.
I feel that up until the time that Cimino killed UA with Heaven’s Gate in 79/80, and starting with Medium Cool, Easy Rider and The Rain People in 68/69, American filmmakers had some freedom and trust in Hollywood and there were fewer back alley films and even smaller films could find their way to movie house.
The megaplexes hadn’t yet overrun the country and films could have a bit more time to find an audience, Without home video to save a film, movies had to stay out there longer, and since there wasn’t the blockbuster summer and Christmas seasons (at least not on the scale it is now), decent films were released continuously throughout the year.
The 70s filmmakers were exactly what was needed after the 50s and 60s, and many of those same 70s filmmakers are exactly what killed cinema in Hollywood.
Thanks Cimino, Thanks Spielberg.
Greatest directors of the 70’s for me, in no particuliar order:
International(i hate these divisions, but for the purpose of ‘argument’):
the 70s contained the worst self indulgence of any decade.
I think the verge of recognizing artistic talent mixed with strong and good producers was a better time for American film the 1950s
Coppola, no question. The 70s were the golden age of Hollywood.
Quality > quantity.
I have a great dislike of Godfather Part2, which someday I will try to put in a thread, but even with that, it looks like FF Cop has the most impressive list with Conversation Apocalypse and Godfather (I am thinking Americans only). That said, I would like to say:
Perhaps in American Cinema of 70’s, one can throw out the “auteur theory”, or at least not rely on it as a quality measurement. What I am trying to say is that the decade is FULL of all kinds of directors putting out interesting work, and many if not most of these directors floundered artistically once the 80’s corporate studio system was in full sway (by 83 I’d guess.) There are many good 70’s American films by non-A-list directors. This was aided by the pool of uber-talented and unique actors that was the last great pool of American actors. As much as I like the lists with Coppola etc, my sense of them as “auteurs” is diminished by the fact that once the 70’s were fully gone, by 83 or so, their work went way way down in quality. (Allen might be a bit of an exception, considering Hanna being a pretty strong movie)
Kubrick and Hitchcock put out great work in multiple decades. Kubrick never lost his grand vision in fact, even as the his movies became more spotty. Hitchcock’s great track record survived until the 70’s… I am not blown away by post Raging Bull Scorcese, or post Jaws Spielberg, or anything by Coppola in the 80’s. Altman in the 80’s is good, not great. This might be unfair, because the way the business changed in the 80’s was pretty drastic…just thought I’d throw in my two cents.
1977 Desperate Living
Waters gave subversion a voice and upped the ante for viewer tolerance, much more than FFC did.
Well I have little interest in the merits of George Lucas as anything except maybe a pioneer in special effects and I find it slightly hard to digest even calling him a “director” much less the greatest director of the 70s.
Yes, Coppola is the obvious choice with four films in a row that are superb. And then we have these guys:
Scorsese: Mean Streets, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Taxi Driver
Altman: M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. MIller, The Long Goodbye, Nashville, 3 Women, A Wedding
Lumet: The Anderson Tapes, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network
But if I had to pick, my personal favorite after Coppola, it would be Alan Pakula. Like Coppola, he made awesome movies consecutively, and what an awesome trio of films:
Pakula: Klute, The Parallax View, All the President’s Men
“Star Wars totally derailed his career.”
If he’d initially planned Star Wars as a stand-alone film (which he almost did) I think he’d have become more of a director, as opposed to a businessman. He has admitted he planned to do the original trilogy as one film, so this probably put him in way over his head to start with (which is why he became a producer – a way in which he could escape most of the pressures of getting his saga done, and make some sweet cash along the way).
But I’ve heard Coppola say he regretted missing out on doing more independent/arthouse films – he basically became a giant of New Hollywood by accident with the two Godfather films, and spent his post-‘70s career (until way into the ’90s) getting back his losses from Apocalypse Now… so his career was derailed as well, though in a different way: Lucas’ did what he did to make millions; Coppola did what he did to make a living.
“No director (Bergman comes close between Cries & Whispers & Autumn Sonata) can claim four masterpieces in just seven years.”
Let’s not lose our wits. I’ll name two right off the bat…
Godard, from 60-67, greatest run of masterpieces in the history of cinema probably.
Hitch, from 54-60, many masterworks to name.
Regarding the American question in the 70s, Coppola seems the best candidate that everyone is mentioning. But I must qualify that by saying I have yet to see Altman’s work from that period. Even with the little I know, arguments made for him seem very convincing.
“and spent his post-‘70s career (until way into the ’90s) getting back his losses from Apocalypse Now…”
Don’t you mean One From The Heart? That was the movie that killed him financially
I’m glad Dennis mentioned John Waters. Best satire/comedy director of the 70s.
Yeah, Godard’s run is unmatched. I also think the 60s is cinema’s best decade so far.
Here are the top 20 directors of the 70s in my opinion, listed with their films that are worth mentioning roughly in my preferred order:
1 Woody Allen: Manhattan, Annie Hall, Love and Death, Bananas, Sleeper
2 Francis Ford Coppola: Apocalypse Now, The Godfather I & II, The Conversation
3 Robert Altman: McCabe & Mrs. Miller, California Split, M*A*S*H, Thieves Like Us, 3 Women
4 Martin Scorsese: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, The Last Waltz
5 Werner Herzog: Stroszek, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Aguirre-The Wrath of God, Woyzeck, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
6 Alain Tanner: Messidor, Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000, The Middle of the World
7 Bernardo Bertolucci: The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, 1900
8 Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Chinese Roulette
9 Stanley Kubrick: A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon
10 Jacques Rivette: Celine and Julie Go Boating, Out 1, Duelle
11 Hal Ashby: Harold and Maude, Being There, The Last Detail
12 Steven Spielberg: Jaws, The Sugarland Express, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
13 Kenji Misumi: The Lone Wolf and Cub series, Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival
14 Terrence Malick: Badlands, Days of Heaven
15 Luis Buñuel: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, That Obscure Object of Desire, The Phantom of Liberty
16 Bertrand Blier: Get Out Your Handerkerchiefs, Going Places, Buffet Froid
17 Chantal Akerman: News from Home; Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles; Je Tu Il Elle
18 Louis Malle: Lacombe Lucien, Murmur of the Heart
19 John Huston: Wise Blood, The Man Who Would Be King
20 Alejandro Jodorowsky: El Topo, The Holy Mountain