|The Towering Inferno|
The Towering Inferno-1974 was the peek of the disaster movie craze and saw the release of Earthquake!, Airport 1975 and The Towering Inferno. These were the movies to see in 1974 for me at the time (I turned twelve that year) and Inferno was my favorite of the bunch. I made an only half serious request on a previous blog that the 1001 movie book should include Irwin Allen's Towering Inferno in one of their updated editions. I admit I was a bit surprised when they actually did! After seeing it again, I do understand that the special effects are really the star here and that giant burning building still impresses.
It's not really an acting piece, but the cast here is quite interesting. You have the two superstars, Paul Newman as the architect and Steve McQueen as the head firefighter. You also have one of the biggest female stars of the era (Faye Dunaway) as the romantic interest. But we also have screen legends William Holden, Fred Astaire and Jennifer Jones on hand to represent Hollywood's golden age. We also have 60's TV stars Richard Chameberlain, Robert Wagner and Robert Vaughan to help fill out the cast. But we also have football star O. J. Simpson as a security guard to indicate these were the days when having O. J. Simpson in your cast was really cool.
|The Texas Chainsaw Massacre|
The years 1978-1981 were the renaissance of the slasher movie which started with the release of Halloween in 1978. It was during 1981 or 1982 that I first saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Yes, the genre had become so popular that this older film was re-released. And I didn't like it. It looked very amateurish to me at the time. But I can at least understand that that was part of it's appeal. You could make a case that the post-Halloween slasher films were just too slick and the rawness of Chainsaw Massacre might be more to you liking. After seeing it again, I understand that. I can't say I was in love with Leatherface and his deranged family this time out, but because of its influence and now generational cult status, I wouldn't argue with it being in the 1001 book.
1. Airport 1975
1974 will always be to me the year of the disaster movie. The stewardess is flying the plane! If you are wondering who uttered this line, it was Sid Caesar. If you aren’t wondering, it was still Sid Caesar.
2. Big Bad Mama
I believe this is the one with Angie Dickinson equipped with big hair and an outrageous Southern accent and William Shatner being hammy (as hard as that is believe!). Not to be confused with Bloody Mama, that was Shelley Winters.
3. Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry
Some say the weak link to the 70’s anarchist car trilogy (Two-Lane Blacktop and Vanishing Point being the others.) I prefer to call it the weak link in the Susan George trilogy (Fright and Straw Dogs being the others). So I use to kinda like Susan George! Give me a break-I was twelve!
|The extremely blonde Susan George in|
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry
The second leg in the 1974 disaster trilogy. Earthquake’s main appeal was the gimmick of Sensurround, which I experienced in two theaters. It seemed to consist of a lot of noise and not enough shaking either time. But any movie with former child evangelist Marjoe Gortner as a gay psycho has at least got that going for it!
It’s not porn, it’s erotica!
6. The Four Musketeers
Really the second half of The Three Musketeers. I saw this one without seeing the first one and you really need to see the first one to understand what’s happening in the second one.
7. Harry and Tonto
Art Carney really won the Oscar over Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Albert Finney and Al Pacino…for Harry and Tonto?
8. Herbie Rides Again
I remember little about this one except that the original is better. Dean Jones, where art thou?
9. The Island at the Top of the World
I think I thought this movie was cool at the time. I was probably mistaken.
Oh, 1001 movie book. How can you leave out Lenny? It may be brutal, but it's memorable
.11. The Longest Yard
Oft quoted if you grew up in the 70’s. Probably Burt Reynolds’ best movie that doesn’t have the word deliverance in the title.
12. Macon County Line
Mostly remember going to see this with my brother when he worked at a newspaper. Can you say free passes, baby! (Or was that Return to Macon County?)
13. The Man with the Golden Gun
A pretty fun James Bond flick. Though Connery purists may scoff, I’m cool with Roger Moore as J. B.
|Britt Ekland (who one might confuse with Susan George) in|
The Man With the Golden Gun
15. Zardoz People seem to have mixed feelings about this Sean Connery sci-fi flick. Though there’s seems to be no debate about Sean’s questionable wardrobe.
|That's Sean Connery in Zardoz, and despite the outfit, would never|
be mistaken for Susan George.