The films that shaped the sixties and seventies

The films that shaped the sixties and seventies

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1965: The Sound of Music, currently the fifth highest grossing film in history, was definitely a high point in Hollywood musicals. Maria, portrayed by Julie Andrews (who had charmed audiences in the 1964 hit Mary Poppins), leaves her convent in Salzburg to become a governess to the seven delightful children of Captain von Trapp, a Naval officer widower, played by Christopher Plummer. One of the most beloved films of moviegoers, Robert Wise’s production will always be remembered for the music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, with unforgettable tunes like Do-Re-Mi, Edelweiss, and My Favorite Things.

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1966: Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, an Italian epic Spaghetti Western film, has a special place in world cinema. Known for Clint Eastwood’s acting, widescreen cinematography by ToninoDelliColli and EnnioMorricone’s epic score, it has left an eternal legacy in the Western genre for generations to come.

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1967: One of the most ground-breaking films of the late 1960s, The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols, depicts the coming-of-age story of an aimless college graduate. Released a year after Nichols’ successful debut Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the film is a satirical comedy on confused youth, idealism, misdirection, and the sexual mores of the 60s, making it one of the most relevant films that captured the spirit of the times. It also introduced the world to a young and dashing Dustin Hoffman, as well as bringing the music of Simon & Garfunkel (Remember Mrs Robinson?) to life on screen.

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1968: Planet of the Apes, an epic American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, tells the story of an astronaut who finds himself on a strange Earth-like planet in the distant future,  that is dominated by apes. Groundbreaking for its storytelling, prosthetic makeup back in 1968, and for striking careful balance between satire and scathing critique, it gave way to one of the most popular and cult film franchises till date.

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1969: George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, another timeless Western, was the perfect end to a decade of great cinema. With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, outlaws on the run after a series of successful robberies, William Goldman‘s exceptional screenplay and the memorable Burt Bacharach score, the Oscar-winning movie is as entertaining today as it was in 1969.

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1970: This overly sentimental tearjerker film by director Arthur Hiller and written by Erich Segal was one of the few classics that came out in 1970. The film follows the love story between a boy and a girl from different backgrounds, who fight for their love despite unfavourable circumstances, until tragedy strikes. While it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, it continues to be viewed as one of the most romantic films of all time.

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1971: A Clockwork Orange, one of Stanley Kubrick’s finest and most critically revered works, is one of the disturbing but thought-provoking films that came out in the 70s. A dystopian crime drama based on Anthony Burgess’s 1962 novel, the controversial film is ultra-violent, highly stylized, and a most intriguing film in the way it explores the hypocritcal judicial system in a future not too far away.

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1972: The highlight of this year was undoubtedly Francis Ford Coppola’s cinematic genius by giving the world the classic gangster drama The Godfather. With Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of the Corleone mafia family in late 1940s New York, it is a touchstone of cinema that does justice to Mario Puzo’s famed novel on power, betrayal and family.

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1973:  William Friedkin’s classic horror film The Exorcist was one of the most terrorizing films of its time. Telling the story of a young girl possessed by a demon and taking on the subject of the highly controversial Catholic ritual of exorcism, the film is creepy but brilliant in equal parts. Moreover, the fact that the story is known to be based on true events and that many actors were injured and died during its making had led people to believe that the film itself is cursed, changing the face of horror cinema forever.

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1974: The aptly named That’s Entertainment was a compilation film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Director Jack Haley Jr got MGM’s legendary stars to present their favorite musical moments from the studio’s history. This included the likes of Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, James Stewart, and Elizabeth Taylor among others, and featured extremely entertaining archival footage of performances by big names like Judy Garland, Eleanor Powell, Lena Horne, Esther Williams, Ann Miller, and many more. The result: the most popular compilation film ever made!

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1975: Miloš Forman’s masterpiece One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest hits the screens. The film examines an insane asylum which is standing in for everyday society, providing a comically layered indictment of the Establishment need to conform. Full of satire, social commentary, and memorable performances that won it Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Screenplay Adapted from Other Material (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman), and Best Director (Milos Forman), it is definitely one of the greatest American films of all time.