February 21, 2024

One of the most prolific eras in film history, moviegoers often long for the days of the 1970s. From New Hollywood, the counterculture and the Vietnam War, the studios that saw 70s filmmaking gave the green light to many young and daring directors who would go on to define cinema for decades to come.

The favorite genre of the era was the thriller, with many of the best films of the decade falling under that umbrella. While many thrillers of the era were huge hits and are now considered classics, others failed at the box office but have since been re-evaluated.


1 ‘Azgina’ (1977)

group of men talking in a room

They follow the success of The French connection and the exorcist, William Friedkin it was expected Witch, his most daring film to date, to become his defining legacy. Unfortunately, after a mixed production that blew its budget, it earned less than half its own 22 million dollars upon release of bonus and bad reviews, Witch did not meet the director’s expectations.

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In retrospect, many attribute the film’s commercial failure to its release Star Wars at the same time. However, recent audiences have admired the film, which it has been “The last undeclared masterpiece of the 70s.” In addition, many modern directors such as Benny Safdie and Quentin Tarantino they called Witch one of his all time favorite movies.

2 ‘Winter Kills’ (1979)


Adapted from the novel by Richard Condon Candidate for Manchuria has similar themes, Winter Kills It is a black comedy political thriller that satirizes the John F Kennedy assassination conspiracy. An all-star cast John Huston, Jeff Bridges, Anthony Perkinsand many others, the film was a box office failure, earning just over $1 million against a $6.5 million budget.

Perhaps some of the dissonance surrounding the film came from its hellish production, uneven financing, marijuana-dealing producers, and possible mob involvement. Compared to the inappropriate way Dr. Strangeloveand MASH, many critics objected to the film’s treatment of JFK’s assassination. However, the film has been developing a cult following.

3 ‘The Little Girl Who Lives Lane’ (1976)

the little girl who lives on the street
Image via MGM

Part of the problem with marketing The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Street, apart from its tongue-in-cheek title, distributors didn’t know how to classify the film. Is it a mystery? Panic? A thriller? Ask the manager Nicholas Gessner, and will call it “a love story for teenagers”. Whatever it is, it’s literate, chilling, and brilliant.

Then a 14-year-old protagonist Jodie Foster, the release of the film was stopped due to the controversy surrounding the film’s nudity. The film received only mild praise upon its release it has been called a “cult film” ever since. Critic Leonard Maitlin reviewed it in 2015 as “a complex and unique mystery”. Other reviewers have discussed the film’s themes, including feminism and teenage rebellion.

4 ‘The Last of Sheil’ (1973)


Sheila’s latest It’s like a Boggle movie game where everyone’s usual positions have been changed while making a movie. Anthony Perkins is writing the script? It is so Stephen Sondheim? Joel Schumacher is she making costumes A rare original whodunit, Sheila’s latest is, despite being a thriller, bursting with fun and creativity that is sometimes lost in the genre.

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Gross over him $2 million budgetthe film’s popularity has grown over the years, as Empire’s Kim Newman called it “an underrated pleasure” In a 2007 retrospective review. Many modern filmmakers have also praised the film, for example Edgar Wright and Ryan Johnsonwho cite as inspiration for his films Knives Outand especially Take out the knives 2a similar setting as well as a Sondheim cameo.

5 ‘Eddie Coyle’s Friends’ (1973)

Eddie Coyle's Friends - 1973

One of Boston’s great films, Friends of Eddie Coyle, It is one of the main neo-noir crimes he offered in the 70s. The protagonist of a weather Robert Mitchum, this is a tough film that does not romanticize the life of crime. Although adapted from George V. Higgins’ famous novel, which Elmore Leonard described as “The best crime novel ever written” the film’s financial reception was minimal.

Mid-year premiere, film it also failed to make the top 30 of film grosses by 1973. However, the cult of the film has only increased with time. Added to the Criterion Collect in 2009, the film is now huge 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

6 ‘Hardcore’ (1979)


Undivided filmmaker, Paul Schrader‘s the films are often characterized by repressed protagonists struggling with an internal struggle, often of a whimsical or sexual nature. hardcorewhich follows a strict Calvinist father who must search for his daughter through the seedy pornographic underworld of Los Angeles, is no exception.

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It received a mixed response upon release, although some praised the film’s performances and strong script, Stinkers was still nominated for Worst Picture at the Bad Movie Awards. Perhaps coupled with Schrader’s excessively violent imagery, some found the film difficult to watch, as it was a poor financial success. But with striking performances and captivating cinematography, hardcore It’s one of Schrader’s best.

7 ‘Goodbye, My Love’ (1975)

goodbye my love 1975

a remake of Murder, my sweet protagonist Dick Powellat the same time, adapted from Raymond Chandler the novel Goodbye, my love This is one of Philip Marlowe’s best films to date. Always with a prisoner Charlotte RamplingWith the laconic Robert Mitchum as the famous detective and a well-crafted script, the film does not slide into either parody or gloom.

Although released in the heart of the mid-’70s private detective boom, Goodbye, my love it couldn’t even match its $2.5 million budget, earning a mere one 2 million dollars. In a recent 2019 review, Dennis Schwartz praised the film “twisted plot and humorous atmosphere.” was considering the flop Liam Neeson’sMarlowe, Goodbye, my love Marlowe offers a finer alternative to an outdated story.

8 ‘The Long Goodbye’ (1973)

The long goodbye
United Artists

Another Raymond Chandler adaptation failed for a different reason: mainly, people didn’t get it. Neither the critics nor the audience can wrap their heads Robert AltmanMarlowe is hilarious, serious, and postmodern. Raw less than a million dollarsMany critics condemned the film with insults such as “lazy”.

Selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry in 2021, modern audiences have appreciated it The Long Farewell for his masterpiece. Even some critics who dismissed the film’s excellence upon release have gone on to retract their earlier reviews, such as Roger Ebert, who later added the film to his ‘Great Movies’ collection in 2006.

9 ‘American Friend’ (1977)

friendly american
image via Filmverlag der Auto

Tom Ripley has become one of the most adaptable characters ever to grace the screen. While few characters are more deserving than American crooks, maybe it’s too much now, Steven Zaillain‘s Ripley The series will arrive on Showtime later this year. However, Patricia Highsmith’s complex charlatan is a film worth it American friend.

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English debut Wim Wenders, this is an enigmatic painting worthy of Ripley’s diversity. The film underperformed financially and with audiences, including Highsmith. However, he would later praise the film “stylishness” and performances. An ongoing study of loyalty, with some of Wenders’ most spectacular performances, American friend it’s as rich as any thriller put on screen.

10 ‘Night Moves’ (1975)

night-moves-1975_gene hackman

The protagonist of a by Gene Hackman the biggest roles there The conversation, Night Movements is an elusive puzzle of broken people. Unlike the private eye films he constructs, Night Movements’ the protagonist is not honor or ease. Instead, the film plays closer to one of them Alan Pakula‘s “thriller paranoia,” in which Hackman struggles to cope with a fractured and ever-changing world.

The film was not a commercial success, as the film writer has documented Irv Slifkin in his book on the decade of cinema, VideoHound’s Groovy Movies. Also, some viewers gave him the opposite response by Alan Sharp fascinating, cryptic script. Again, modern studies have been much more sympathetic, taken as a film “when a major modern” as well “A Post-1968 Commentary on the Post-Watergate Era.”

CONTINUE READING: 10 Underrated Thrillers Destined To Be Cult Classics

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