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Related: film - 1970s - 1970s films
Films: Dark Star (1974) - Le Fantôme de la liberté - (1974) - Going Places (1974) - Ilsa - She Wolf of the SS (1974) - The Night Porter (1974) - Sweet Movie (1974) - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - Thriller - en grym film (1974)
Books on film Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel - Visionary Film (1974) - P. Adams Sitney
Le Fantôme de la liberté - (1974) Luis Buñuel
It's Alive! (1974) Larry Cohen [Amazon.com]
It's Alive is a 1974 horror film written and directed by Larry Cohen. In the movie, a couple's infant child turns out to be a vicious monster that kills when frightened. Notable talents involved in the movie were Bernard Herrmann for the score and Rick Baker for makeup and puppet effects. [Jan 2006]
See also: horror film - pregnancy in film - Larry Cohen
- Caged Heat (1974) - Jonathan Demme [DVD, Amazon US]
The greatest women-in-prison film ever made, Caged Heat takes the traditional sex-and-violence formula of gorgeous babes behind bars, gratuitous nudity, and degradation at the hands of beastly guards and a corrupt system, and transforms it into rebel burst of grrrl power. Jonathan Demme's directorial debut, made for Roger Corman's New World Pictures in the glory days of 1970s drive-in moviemaking, wedges his message of empowerment in between the showers and the shock treatments. Russ Meyer alumnus Erica Gavin stars with tough cookie Juanita Brown as they lead the brassy set of cellblock babes through prison breaks and bank robberies, all pulled off with smarts and sass. These women are in control and manage to keep their dignity (if not their clothes) in this fast-paced, hard-edged picture, but it's Barbara Steele who practically steals the film as the repressed warden whose dreams look like a road show version of Cabaret. --Sean Axmaker for Amazon.com
- Phantom of the Paradise (1974) - Brian De Palma [Amazon.com]
Describing Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise as an update of the classic Phantom of the Opera doesn't do justice to this demented movie. While De Palma's Hitchcock homages have sometimes led him into dead ends, this rock & roll remake seems to have liberated De Palma's imagination, and the result is weird and funny, with the scruffy underground spirit of the director's early pictures. The Phantom is one Winslow Leach (William Finley), a nerdy songwriter whose "pop cantata" on the subject of Faust is stolen by a freakish, Phil Spector-like rock impresario called Swan (Paul Williams). After getting his head caught in a vinyl-LP compressor, Leach is transformed into a masked creature, haunting Swan's music palace, the Paradise. De Palma proves how nimbly he can establish narrative rhythm: the story moves like a cannon shot, and the musical numbers (especially in the Alice Cooper-like Paradise sequences) are brilliantly cut. The movie seems to predict the Studio 54 scene, MTV, and punk rock--the last, especially, in the figure of Beef, a screeching singer played by the unhinged Gerrit Graham. The songs were written by Paul Williams, that diminutive '70s music icon (he cowrote the Barbra Streisand wet noodle "Evergreen"), and his performance is a reminder of his peculiar, self-spoofing presence: at one point, the preening Swan announces, "You know how I abhor perfection in anyone but myself." Comedy, musical, horror film, '70s artifact--this movie isn't quite definable, and that's what's wonderful about it. --Robert Horton for Amazon.com
The Phantom of the Paradise (1974): Also called The Phantom of the Fillmore; a rock musical directed by Brian De Palma --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_of_the_Opera#Movies [Feb 2005]
- Zardoz (1974) - John Boorman [1 DVD, Amazon US]
A bewigged Sean Connery is Zed, a savage "exterminator" commanded by the mysterious god Zardoz to eliminate Brutals, survivors of an unspecified worldwide catastrophe. Zed stows away inside Zardoz's enormous idol (a flying stone head) and is taken to the pastoral land of the Eternals, a matriarchal, quasi-medieval society that has achieved psychic abilities as well as immortality. Zed finds as much hope as disgust with the Eternals; their advancements have also robbed them of physical passion, turning their existence into a living death. Zed becomes the Eternals' unlikely messiah, but in order to save them--and himself--he must confront the truth behind Zardoz and his own identity inside the Tabernacle, the Eternals' omnipresent master computer.
A box office failure, John Boorman's Zardoz has developed a cult following among science fiction fans whose tastes run toward more cerebral fare, such as The Andromeda Strain and Phase IV. An entrancing if overly ambitious (by Boorman's own admission) film, Zardoz offers pointed commentary on class structure and religion inside its complex plot and head-movie visuals; its healthy doses of sex and violence will involve viewers even if the story machinations escape them. Beautifully photographed near Boorman's home in Ireland's Wicklow Mountains by Geoffrey Unsworth (2001), its production design is courtesy of longtime Boorman associate Anthony Pratt, who creates a believable society within the film's million-dollar budget. The letterboxed DVD presentation includes engaging commentary by Boorman, who discusses the special effects (all created in-camera) as well as working with a post-Bond Connery. --Paul Gaita for amazon.com [...]
- The Conversation (1974) - Francis Ford Coppola [1 DVD, Amazon US]
Bleak and mysterious, Francis Ford Coppola's taut masterpiece about responsibility, privacy, alienation, and paranoia is part Hitchcockian thriller, part grim character study. Hackman plays Harry Caul, a guarded wreck of a human being whose profession as the world's greatest surveillance expert has detached him from everyday reality. Though a topnotch voyeur, amorally earning his living by bugging other people's conversations and selling the tapes to clients, Caul keeps his own life fiercely private. He has no friends, just associates in the wiretapping business, all of whom he distrusts; his love life consists of apathetic sex with what could be any woman; his apartment contains three locks but few possessions. His indifference to life extends to his attitude about his job: though he's a wiretapping genius, he accepts no responsibility for what harm his work might produce--it's merely work ... until now.
While on his latest assignment, Caul breaks his own code and becomes immersed in the latest conversation he's taped. While piecing together fragments of a lunchtime conversation (Coppola dazzles us with his repeated fetish for technology here), something stirs Caul and he begins projecting his own misery onto the discussion. He finally discerns that some evil plot may occur because of his work and is forced into the moral dilemma of whether to turn in the tapes.
Ultimately, Coppola's cynical, complex script doesn't just condemn Caul for his foolish discovery of his own conscience; it shatters him into a million pieces, during an unforgettable final image. Allusions to Watergate are impossible to ignore, and the movie is still one of the most devastating, important films in '70s American cinema. --Dave McCoy for amazon.com [...]
- Blazing Saddles (1974) - Mel Brooks [Amazon US]
Mel Brooks scored his first commercial hit with this raucous Western spoof starring the late Cleavon Little as the newly hired (and conspicuously black) sheriff of Rock Ridge. Sheriff Bart teams up with deputy Jim (Gene Wilder) to foil the railroad-building scheme of the nefarious Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman). The simple plot is just an excuse for a steady stream of gags, many of them unabashedly tasteless, that Brooks and his wacky cast pull off with side-splitting success. The humor is so juvenile and crude that you just have to surrender to it; highlights abound, from the lunkheaded Alex Karras as the ox-riding Mongo to Madeline Kahn's uproarious send-up of Marlene Dietrich as saloon songstress Lili Von Shtupp. Adding to the comedic excess is the infamous campfire scene involving a bunch of hungry cowboys, heaping servings of baked beans and, well, you get the idea. --Jeff Shannon, amazon.com
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