Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Born Elinore Harris, Billie Holiday had a difficult teen and young adulthood period, which included working in brothels, both as a cleaning woman and a prostitute, and being raped. Through this difficulty, she dreamed of becoming a jazz singer. She got her initial singing break when she applied at a Harlem club that was looking for a dancer, but where she got hired as a singer. There, she met and fell in love with the suave Louis McKay.

After this initial break, Billie wanted her singing career to move to the mainstream clubs in downtown Manhattan. She took a risk when she agreed to be the lead singer for the Reg Hanley Band, a primarily white group, who convinced her that she would have to make her mark in regional tours before her Manhattan dream could happen. As Billie tried to advance her career, pressures of life, including being a black woman, led to her not so secret substance abuse (especially of heroin), not so secret because of her increasingly erratic behavior

Lady Sings the Blues is a 1972 American biographical drama film directed by Sidney J. Furie about jazz singer Billie Holiday, loosely based on her 1956 autobiography which, in turn, took its title from one of Holiday’s most popular songs. It was produced by Motown Productions for Paramount Pictures. Diana Ross portrayed Holiday, alongside a cast including Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan, and Scatman Crothers.

In 1936, New York City, Billie Holiday is arrested on a drugs charge. In a flashback to 1928, Billie is working as a housekeeper in a brothel in Baltimore where she is raped. She runs away to her mother, who sets up a job cleaning for another brothel in the Harlem section of New York. The brothel is run by an arrogant, selfish owner who pays Billie very little money.

Eventually, Billie tires of scrubbing floors and becomes a prostitute, but later quits and returns to a nightclub to unsuccessfully audition to become a showgirl. After “Piano Man” (Richard Pryor) accompanies Billie “All of Me”, Jerry, the club owner, books her as a singer in the show.

Billie’s debut begins unsuccessfully until Louis McKay (Billy Dee Williams), arrives and gives her a fifty dollar tip. Billie takes the money and sings “Them There Eyes”. Billie takes a liking to Louis and begins a relationship with him. Eventually she is discovered by two men: Harry and Reg Hanley, who sign her as a soloist for their southern tour in hopes of landing a radio network gig. During the tour, Billie witnesses the aftermath of the lynching of an African-American man, which presses her to record the controversial song “Strange Fruit”.

The harsh experiences on the tour result in Billie taking drugs which Harry supplies. One night when Billie is performing, Louis comes to see Billie. She collapses on stage. In her dressing room, Louis notices her needle marks, knows that she is doing drugs, and tells her she is going home with him. Billie promises to stay off the drugs if Louis stays with her.

In New York, Reg and Louis arrange Billie’s radio debut, but the station does not call her to sing; the radio sponsors, a soap company, object to her race. The group heads to Cafe Manhattan to drown their sorrows. Billie has too much to drink and asks Harry for drugs, saying that she does not want her family to know that the radio show upset her. He refuses and she throws her drink in his face.

She is ready to leave, but Louis has arranged for her to sing at the Cafe, a club where she once aspired to sing. She obliges with one song but refuses an encore, leaving the club in urgent need of a fix. Louis, suspicious that Billie has broken her promise, takes her back to his home but refuses to allow her access to the bathroom or her kit. She fights Louis for it, pulling a razor on him. Louis leaves her to shoot up, telling her he does not want her there when he returns.

Lady Sings the Blues Movie Poster (1972)

Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie
Starring: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan, Sid Melton, Isabel Sanford, Norman Bartold, Clay Tanner
Screenplay by: Chris Clark, Suzanne De Passe
Production Design by: Carl Anderson
inematography by: John A. Alonzo
Film Editing by: Argyle Nelson Jr.
Costume Design by: Ray Aghayan, Bob Mackie
Set Decoration by: Reg Allen
Music by: Michel Legrand
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: October 12, 1972

All the President’s Men (1976)

All the President's Men (1976)

On June 17, 1972, a security guard (Frank Wills, playing himself) at the Watergate complex finds a door kept unlocked with tape. He calls the police, who find and arrest five burglars in the Democratic National Committee headquarters within the complex. The next morning, The Washington Post assigns new reporter Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) to the local courthouse to cover the story, which is thought to be of minor importance.

Woodward learns that the five men, four Cuban-Americans from Miami and James W. McCord, Jr., had bugging equipment and have their own “country club” attorney. At the arraignment, McCord identifies himself in court as having recently left the Central Intelligence Agency and the others also have CIA ties. Woodward connects the burglars to E. Howard Hunt, a former employee of the CIA, and President Richard Nixon’s Special Counsel Charles Colson.

Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), another Post reporter, is assigned to cover the Watergate story with Woodward. The two are reluctant partners, but work well together. Executive editor Benjamin Bradlee (Jason Robards) believes their work is incomplete, however, and not worthy of the Post’s front page. He encourages them to continue to gather information.

Woodward contacts “Deep Throat” (Hal Holbrook), a senior government official, an anonymous source he has used in the past. Communicating through copies of The New York Times and a balcony flowerpot, they meet in a parking garage in the middle of the night. Deep Throat speaks in riddles and metaphors about the Watergate break-in, but advises Woodward to “follow the money.”

Over the next few weeks, Woodward and Bernstein connect the five burglars to thousands of dollars in diverted campaign contributions to Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP, or CREEP). Bradlee and others at the Post dislike the two young reporters’ reliance on unnamed sources like Deep Throat, and wonder why the Nixon administration would break the law when the President is likely to defeat Democratic nominee George McGovern.

Through former CREEP treasurer Hugh W. Sloan, Jr. (Stephen Collins), Woodward and Bernstein connect a slush fund of hundreds of thousands of dollars to White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman—”the second most important man in this country”—and former Nixon Attorney General John N. Mitchell, now head of CREEP. They learn that CREEP used the fund to begin a “ratfucking” campaign to sabotage Democratic presidential candidates a year before the Watergate burglary, when Nixon was behind Edmund Muskie in the polls.

Bradlee’s demand for thoroughness forces the reporters to obtain other sources to confirm the Haldeman connection. When the White House issues a non-denial denial of the Post’s above-the-fold story, the editor thus continues to support them.

At the subtle climax, Woodward again meets secretly with Deep Throat, who finally reveals that the Watergate break-in and cover-up was indeed masterminded by Haldeman. Deep Throat also claims that the cover-up was not to hide the other burglaries or of their involvement with CREEP, but to hide the “covert operations” involving “the entire U.S. intelligence community”, and warns that Woodward, Bernstein, and others’ lives are in danger. When Woodward and Bernstein relay this to Bradlee, he urges the reporters to continue despite the risk and Nixon’s re-election.

All the President’s Men is a 1976 American political thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula. The screenplay by William Goldman is based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, the two journalists investigating the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post. The film starred Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein, respectively; it was produced by Walter Coblenz for Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises.

All the President’s Men is the third installment of what informally came to be known as Pakula’s “paranoia trilogy”. The other two films in the trilogy are Klute (1971) and The Parallax View (1974).

In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

All the President's Men Movie Poster (1976)

All the President’s Men (1976)

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jane Alexander, Meredith Baxter, Robert Walden
Screenplay by: William Goldman
Production Design by: George Jenkins
Cinematography by: Gordon Willis
Film Editing by: Robert L. Wolfe
Set Decoration by: George Gaines
Music by: David Shire
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: April 9, 1976

Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975)

Taglines: Do you like fish? Well, he likes you too…

It’s a hot summer on Amity Island, a small community whose main business is its beaches. When new Sheriff Martin Brody discovers the remains of a shark attack victim, his first inclination is to close the beaches to swimmers. This doesn’t sit well with Mayor Larry Vaughn and several of the local businessmen.

Brody backs down to his regret as that weekend a young boy is killed by the predator. The dead boy’s mother puts out a bounty on the shark and Amity is soon swamped with amateur hunters and fisherman hoping to cash in on the reward. A local fisherman with much experience hunting sharks, Quint, offers to hunt down the creature for a hefty fee. Soon Quint, Brody and Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute are at sea hunting the Great White shark. As Brody succinctly surmises after their first encounter with the creature, they’re going to need a bigger boat.

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same name. In the story, a giant man-eating great white shark attacks beachgoers on Amity Island, a fictional New England summer resort town, prompting the local police chief to hunt it with the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter.

The film stars Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper, Murray Hamilton as Larry Vaughn, the mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody’s wife, Ellen. The screenplay is credited to both Benchley, who wrote the first drafts, and actor-writer Carl Gottlieb, who rewrote the script during principal photography.

Jaws Movie Poster (1975)

Jaws (1975)

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Jeffrey Kramer, Murray Hamilton, Susan Backlinie
Screenplay by: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb
Production Design by: Joe Alves
Cinematography by: Bill Butler
Film Editing by: Verna Fields
Set Decoration by: John M. Dwyer
Music by: John Williams
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: June 20, 1975

Alien (1979)

Alien (1979)

Taglines: Sometimes the scariest things come from within.

Alien is a 1979 British-American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film’s title refers to a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature that stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship. Dan O’Bannon wrote the screenplay from a story he wrote with Ronald Shusett, drawing influence from previous works of science fiction and horror.

The film was produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler and Walter Hill through their Brandywine Productions and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Giler and Hill made revisions and additions to the script. Shusett was executive producer. The eponymous Alien and its accompanying elements were designed by Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the human aspects of the film. Alien launched the Alien franchise and is chronologically the first of the main series, with the prequel series set in an earlier timeframe.

Alien received both critical acclaim and box office success, receiving an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright, and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, along with numerous other award nominations. It has remained highly praised in subsequent decades, being considered one of the greatest films of all time.

Alien (1979)

In 2002 the film was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2008, it was ranked as the seventh-best film in the science fiction genre by the American Film Institute, and as the 33rd greatest film of all time by Empire magazine.

The success of Alien spawned a media franchise of novels, comic books, video games, and toys. It also launched Weaver’s acting career by providing her with her first lead role, and the story of her character Ripley’s encounters with the Alien creatures became the thematic thread that ran through the sequels Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997).[18] A prequel series is in development, which includes Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017).

Alien Movie Poster (1979)

Alien (1979)

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Helen Horton
Screenplay by: Dan O’Bannon
Production Design by: Michael Seymour
Cinematography by: Derek Vanlint
Film Editing by: David Crowther, Terry Rawlings, Peter Weatherley
Costume Design by: John Mollo
Set Decoration by: Ian Whittaker
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 25, 1979

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

While looking for an apartment, Jeanne, a beautiful young Parisienne, encounters Paul, a mysterious American expatriate mourning his wife’s recent suicide. Instantly drawn to each other, they have a stormy, passionate affair, in which they do not reveal their names to each other. Their relationship deeply affects their lives, as Paul struggles with his wife’s death and Jeanne prepares to marry her fiance, Tom, a film director making a cinema-verite documentary about her.

Last Tango in Paris (Italian: Ultimo tango a Parigi) is a 1972 Franco-Italian erotic drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci which portrays a recently widowed American who begins an anonymous sexual relationship with a young betrothed Parisian woman. It stars Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, and Jean-Pierre Léaud.

The film’s raw portrayal of sexual violence and emotional turmoil led to international controversy and drew various levels of government censorship in different venues. Upon release in the United States, the most graphic scene was cut and the MPAA gave the film an X rating. After revisions were made to the MPAA ratings code, in 1997 the film was re-classified NC-17 for “some explicit sexual content”. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released a censored R-rated cut in 1981.

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

About the Story

Paul (Marlon Brando), a middle-aged American hotel owner mourning his wife’s suicide, meets a young, engaged Parisian woman named Jeanne (Maria Schneider) at an apartment that both are interested in renting. Paul takes the apartment after they begin an anonymous sexual relationship there. He insists that neither of them must share any personal information, even given names. The affair continues until one day, Jeanne arrives at the apartment and finds that Paul has packed up and left without warning.

Paul later meets Jeanne on the street and says he wants to renew the relationship. He tells her of the recent tragedy of his wife. As he tells his life story, they walk into a tango bar, where he continues telling her about himself. The loss of anonymity disillusions Jeanne about their relationship. She tells Paul she does not want to see him again. Paul, not wanting to let Jeanne go, chases her back to her apartment, where he tells her he loves her and wants to know her name.

Jeanne takes a gun from a drawer. She tells Paul her name and shoots him. Paul staggers out onto the balcony, mortally wounded, and collapses. As Paul dies, a dazed Jeanne mutters to herself that he was just a stranger who tried to rape her and she did not know who he was, as if in a rehearsal, preparing herself for questioning by the police.

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Last Tango in Paris Movie Poster (1972)

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci
Starring: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi, Giovanna Galletti, Catherine Allégret, Gitt Magrini, Marie-Hélène Breillat
Screenplay by: Bernardo Bertolucci
Production Design by: Philippe Turlure
Cinematography by: Vittorio Storaro
Film Editing by: Franco Arcalli, Roberto Perpignani
Costume Design by: Gitt Magrini
Set Decoration by: Philippe Turlure
Music by: Gato Barbieri
Distributed by: United Artists
Release Date: February 7, 1973

Amlerican Graffiti (1973)

Amlerican Graffiti (1973)

Taglines: Where were you in ’62?

It’s the proverbial end of the summer 1962 in a small southern California town. It’s the evening before best friends and recent high school graduates, Curt Henderson and Steve Bolander, are scheduled to leave town to head to college back east.

Curt, who received a lucrative local scholarship, is seen as the promise that their class holds. But Curt is having second thoughts about leaving what Steve basically sees as their dead end town. Curt’s beliefs are strengthened when he spots an unknown beautiful blonde in a T-bird who mouths the words “I love you” to him.

As Curt tries to find that blonde while trying to get away from a local gang who have him somewhat hostage, Curt may come to a decision about his immediate future. Outgoing class president Steve, on the other hand, wants to leave, despite meaning that he will leave girlfriend, head cheerleader and Curt’s sister, Laurie Henderson, behind. Steve and Laurie spend the evening “negotiating” the state of their relationship.

American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed and co-written by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Wolfman Jack. Suzanne Somers has a cameo. Set in Modesto, California in 1962, the film is a study of the cruising and rock and roll cultures popular among the post–World War II baby boom generation. The film is told in a series of vignettes, telling the story of a group of teenagers and their adventures over a single evening.

Amlerican Graffiti (1973)

The genesis of American Graffiti was in Lucas’ own teenage years in early 1960s Modesto. He was unsuccessful in pitching the concept to financiers and distributors but found favor at Universal Pictures after United Artists, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros., and Paramount Pictures turned him down. Filming was initially set to take place in San Rafael, California, but the production crew was denied permission to shoot beyond a second day.

American Graffiti premiered on August 2, 1973 at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and was released on August 11, 1973 in the United States. The film received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Produced on a $777,000 budget, it has become one of the most profitable films of all time.

Since its initial release, American Graffiti has garnered an estimated return of well over $200 million in box office gross and home video sales, not including merchandising. In 1995, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Amlerican Graffiti Movie Poster (1973)

American Graffiti (1973)

Directed by: George Lucas
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips
Screenplay by: George Lucas, Gloria Katz
Cinematography by: Jan D’Alquen, Ron Eveslage
Film Editing by: Verna Fields, Marcia Lucas, George Lucas
Costume Design by: Aggie Guerard Rodgers
Set Decoration by: Douglas Freeman
Art Direction by: Dennis Lynton Clark
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: August 11, 1973

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Taglines: He rode the fast lane on the road to nowhere.

Robert Dupea has given up his promising career as a concert pianist and is now working in oil fields. He lives together with Rayette, who’s a waitress in a diner. When Robert hears from his sister that his father isn’t well, he drives up to Washington to see him, taking Rayette with him. There he gets confronted with his rich, cultured family that he had left behind.

Five Easy Pieces is a 1970 American drama film written by Carole Eastman (as Adrien Joyce) and Bob Rafelson, and directed by Rafelson. The film stars Jack Nicholson, with Karen Black, Susan Anspach, Ralph Waite, and Sally Struthers in supporting roles.

The film tells the story of a surly oil rig worker, Bobby Dupea, whose seemingly rootless, blue-collar existence belies his privileged youth as a piano prodigy. When Bobby learns that his father is dying, he goes home to see him, bringing along his girlfriend, Rayette (Black), a waitress. Nicholson and Black were nominated for Academy Awards for their performances. The film was selected to be preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry in 2000.

Five Easy Pieces

Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson) works in a California oil field (shot in and around the city of Taft in the San Joaquin Valley) with his friend Elton (Billy “Green” Bush), who has a wife and baby son. Most of Bobby’s time is spent with his waitress girlfriend, Rayette (Karen Black), who has dreams of singing country music, or in the company of Elton, with whom he bowls, gets drunk, and has sex with other women. Bobby has evidently not told Elton that he is a former classical pianist who comes from an eccentric family of musicians.

When Rayette is said to have become pregnant and Elton is arrested for having robbed a gas station a year earlier, Bobby quits his job and leaves for Los Angeles where his sister, Partita (Lois Smith), also a pianist, is making a recording. Partita informs him that their father, from whom Bobby is estranged, has suffered two strokes. She urges Bobby to return to the family home in Washington state, to visit their father.

As Rayette has threatened to kill herself if Bobby leaves her, he reluctantly asks her along. Driving north, they pick up two women headed for Alaska, one of whom is obsessed about “filth”. The four of them are thrown out of a restaurant when Bobby gets into an argument with a waitress who refuses to accommodate his special order. Reaching his destination, Bobby, embarrassed by Rayette’s lack of polish, registers her in a motel before proceeding to his family home on an island in Puget Sound.

He finds Partita giving their father a haircut, but the old man seems completely oblivious to him. At dinner, Bobby meets Catherine Van Oost (Susan Anspach), a young pianist engaged to his brother, Carl (Ralph Waite), a violinist. Despite personality differences, Catherine and Robert, the name she calls Bobby, become attracted and make love in her room.

Five Easy Pieces Movie Poster (1970)

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Directed by: Bob Rafelson
Bkannihg; Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush, Fannie Flagg, Sally Struthers, Marlena MacGuire, Helena Kallianiotes
Screenplay by: Carole Eastman
Cinematography by: László Kovács
Film Editing by: Christopher Holmes, Gerald Shepard
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: September 12, 1970

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Taglines: It’s about three decent people. They will break your heart.

Divorced working woman Alex and well-to-do Jewish family doctor Daniel Hirsh share not only the same answering service but also the favours of young Bob Elkin who bed-hops between them as the mood takes him. Both Alex and Dr Hirsh are aware of the other’s existence but prefer to live with the situation rather than risk losing Elkin completely. But a wet winter weekend in London can be difficult.

Sunday Bloody Sunday is a 1971 British drama film written by Penelope Gilliatt, directed by John Schlesinger and starring Murray Head, Glenda Jackson and Peter Finch. It tells the story of a free-spirited young bisexual artist (played by Head) and his simultaneous relationships with a female recruitment consultant (Jackson) and a male Jewish doctor (Finch).

The film is significant for its time in that Finch’s homosexual character is depicted as successful and relatively well-adjusted, and not particularly upset by his sexuality. In this sense, Sunday Bloody Sunday was a considerable departure from Schlesinger’s previous film Midnight Cowboy, which had portrayed its gay characters as alienated and self-loathing, as well as other gay-themed films of the era, including Boys in the Band, and Some of My Best Friends Are…. The film was released before the 1972 shooting by the British Army of unarmed protesters in Derry, Northern Ireland, an event dubbed “Bloody Sunday.”

About the Story

Set in London, a middle-aged Jewish doctor, Daniel Hirsh (Peter Finch), and a young woman in her mid-30s, Alex Greville (Glenda Jackson) are both involved in a love triangle with contemporary sculptor Bob Elkin (Murray Head), a younger man in his mid-20s. Not only are Hirsh and Greville both aware that Elkin is seeing the other but they know one another through common friends. Despite this, they are willing to put up with the situation through fear of losing Elkin, who switches freely between them.

For Greville, the relationship is bound up with a growing disillusionment about her professional life, failed marriage and uneasy childhood. For Hirsh, it represents an escape from the repressed nature of his Jewish upbringing. Both realise the lack of permanence about their situation and it is only when Elkin decides to leave the country to settle in New York City after receiving an offer to open his own art gallery to display and sell his artwork, that they both come face to face (for the first time in the narrative at the end). Despite their opposed situations, both Hirsh and Greville come to realize that it is time to move on and Elkin leaves for the USA.

Sunday Bloody Sunday Movie Poster (1971)

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Directed by: John Schlesinger
Starring: Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head, Peggy Ashcroft, Tony Britton, Maurice Denham, Bessie Love, Vivian Pickles
Screenplay by: Penelope Gilliatt
Production Design by: Luciana Arrighi
Cinematography by: Billy Williams
Film Editing by: Richard Marden
Costume Design by: Jocelyn Rickards
Art Direction by: Norman Dorme
Music by: Ron Geesin
Distributed by: United Artists
Release Date: July 1, 1971

Straw Dogs (1971)

Straw Dogs (1971)

David Sumner, an American mathematician, comes to live with his glamorous young wife, Amy, in her hometown, a small village in a remote part of Cornwall, UK. Amy’s return is of particular interest to her ex-boyfriend, Charlie Venner, and his cronies, Norman Scutt, Chris Cawsey and Phil Riddaway, who are immediately resentful of the outsider who has married one of their own. David hires the men to carry out repairs to the isolated farmhouse he and Amy have rented, Trenchers Farm. Tensions in the Sumners’ marriage soon become apparent—explicitly so when Amy stands topless in a window in full view of the workmen.

When Amy discovers their dead cat hanging by a light chain in their bedroom closet, she claims the workmen are responsible. She presses David to confront them, but he refuses. Later, the men invite David to go hunting in the woods with them. During the hunting trip, the workmen take him to a remote forest meadow and leave him there with the promise of driving the birds towards him.

Having ditched David, Charlie Venner returns to the couple’s farmhouse, where he initiates sex with Amy. She at first resists but eventually appears to submit, repeatedly embracing and kissing him. As Amy and Charlie lie together, Norman Scutt enters silently and forces Venner at gunpoint to hold Amy down while he rapes her in a sequence far less ambiguous as Amy screams and struggles to break free, to no avail.

Straw Dogs (1971) - Susan George

The next day, David, who is seemingly unaware of his wife’s ordeal, fires the workmen. Later that week, the Sumners attend a church social where Amy becomes distraught after seeing the men who raped her. They leave the social early, and, while driving home through thick fog, accidentally hit the mentally handicapped Henry Niles, a local villager. They take Henry to their home. David phones the local pub to explain about the accident. However, earlier that evening Niles had accidentally strangled a flirtatious young girl from the village, Janice Hedden. Her father, the town drunkard, Tom, and the workmen looking for him, are alerted by the phone call to Niles’s whereabouts.

Soon the drunken locals, including Amy’s rapists, are pounding on the door of the Sumners’ home. The local magistrate, Major Scott, arrives to deal with the situation, but is accidentally shot dead by Tom. David realises that he, Amy and Niles are now in mortal danger, and prepares to defend his household.

Straw Dogs is a 1971 psychological thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. The screenplay, by Peckinpah and David Zelag Goodman, is based upon Gordon M. Williams’s 1969 novel, The Siege of Trencher’s Farm. The film’s title derives from a discussion in the Tao Te Ching that likens the ancient Chinese ceremonial straw dog to forms without substance.

The film is noted for its violent concluding sequences and a complicated rape scene. Released theatrically the same year as A Clockwork Orange, The French Connection, and Dirty Harry, the film sparked heated controversy over the perceived increase of violence in cinema. The film premiered in U.S. cinemas on December 29, 1971. Although controversial in 1971, Straw Dogs is considered by many to be one of Peckinpah’s greatest films. A remake directed by Rod Lurie was released on September 16, 2011.

Straw Dogs Movie Poster (1971)

Straw Dogs (1971)

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna, Del Henney, Jim Norton, Sally Thomsett, Cherina Schaer
Screenplay by: David Zelag Goodman, Sam Peckinpah
Production Design by: Ray Simm
Cinematography by: John Coquillon
Film Editing by: Paul Davies, Tony Lawson, Roger Spottiswoode
Art Direction by: Ken Bridgeman
Music by: Jerry Fielding
Distributed by: Cinerama Releasing Corporation
Release Date: December 29, 1971

An Unmarried Woman (1978)

An Unmarried Woman (1978)

Erica is unmarried only temporarily in that her successful, wealthy husband of seventeen years has just left her for a girl he met while buying a shirt in Bloomingdale’s.

The film shows Erica coming to terms with the break-up while revising her opinions of herself, redefining that self in its own right rather than as an extension of somebody else’s personality, and finally going out with another man. Erica refuses to drop everything for Saul, an abstract expressionist painter, simply out of love for him because he expects her to. It is not so much loneliness that is her problem, and the problems that men, flitting around this newly “available” woman like moths round a flame, bring to her sense of independence.

An Unmarried Woman is a 1978 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Mazursky, and starring Jill Clayburgh. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Clayburgh was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

It was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Jill Clayburgh) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Mazursky’s screenplay won awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Jill Clayburgh won the award for Best Actress at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival. The film was also nominated for several 1978 New York Film Critics Circle Awards, including Best Film, Best Direction, Best Actress (for Jill Clayburgh) and Best Supporting Actress (for Lisa Lucas).

An Unmarried Woman Movie Poster (1978)

An Unmarried Woman (1978)

Directed by: Paul Mazursky
Starring: Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, Michael Murphy, Cliff Gorman, Patricia Quinn, Kelly Bishop, Linda Miller, Lisa Lucas, Andrew Duncan
Screenplay by: Paul Mazursky
Production Design by: Pato Guzman
Cinematography by: Arthur J. Ornitz
Film Editing by: Stuart H. Pappé
Costume Design by: Albert Wolsky
Set Decoration by: Edward Stewart
Music by: Bill Conti
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 5, 1978