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Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number One

#1 — Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974) According to Robert Towne, it was a vice cop who gave him the title Chinatown and the backstory of cynicism it conveys. He asked the officer what he did when he was stationed in

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Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number Two

#2 — Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) When Robert De Niro played Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, he borrowed the clothing of screenwriter Paul Schrader to start shaping the character. Schrader, putting it simply, was a twisted dude. He has

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Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number Three

#3 — Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979) I can say with some certainty that Manhattan is home to my favorite film opening. Over cinematographer Gordon Willis’s gorgeous black-and-white shots of the borough that gives the film its title and accompanied by

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Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number Four

#4 — A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971) Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange is widely considered a classic. I can’t think of another film in the same exalted status that is as brilliantly, exuberantly, comically savage. In adapted Anthony Burgess’s

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Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number Five

#5 — The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) Through this process, I’ve already confessed to being out of step with the critical consensus on Francis Ford Coppola. While The Godfather showed up in this tally, other likely contenders–including its sequel

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Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number Six

#6 — McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971) It’s routine to praise directors for their abilities to construct entire worlds, especially in the modern era of filmmaking which increasingly depends upon the startling efforts of creators who are freakishly

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Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number Seven

#7 — Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977) I’ve loved Annie Hall for a long time, but I don’t think I understood the extent of its specialness until I saw the Woody Allen directorial effort that directly preceded it, 1975’s Love

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