Aeromarqueeweb.jpg (17494 bytes)

American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents...
Movies on the Big Screen Since 1940!
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica

What's this?
Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of a May Calendar!
Egyptian Series Programmed by: Chris D.

Aero series programmed by Grant Moninger and Gwen Deglise. Aero program notes by Grant Moninger and Chris D.

FBuy Button.gif (2343 bytes)www.fandango.com

Special Thanks to:  Suzanne Leroy & Shirley Couch/SONY REPERTORY; Grover Crisp; Helena Brissenden; Emily Horn & Barry Allen/PARAMOUNT; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Germaine Simiens/CONCORDE-NEW HORIZON; Todd Wiener; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Caitlin Robertson/20th CENTURY FOX; Cary Haber/CRITERION.

 

Connect with other film fans on:
myspacebanner_88x31_01.gif (1274 bytes)

SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

 

 

Tickets are $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
HOME
SITE MAP
AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE
ANNUAL BENEFIT GALA
MEMBERSHIP
PRESS
AERO THEATRE
SCHEDULE
(Aero by series)
SCHEDULE
(Aero by date)
AERO THEATRE TICKETS/DIRECTIONS
EGYPTIAN THEATRE
SCHEDULE
(Egyptian by series)
SCHEDULE
(Egyptian by date)
EGYPTIAN THEATRE HISTORY
FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
EGYPTIAN THEATRE TICKETS/DIRECTIONS
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the newly re-opened and renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.

logosolidgoldbg.jpg (4989 bytes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

<< May 10 - 26, 2007 >>>

The Seventies: The Good, The Bad and The Strange


Discuss this series with other film fans on:
http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

 

Additional Screenings in this series will take place at the Egyptian Theatre May 4 - 31!

70sSeriesTile.jpg (81196 bytes)

 

 

In case you hadn’t guessed it already, we love The Seventies at The American Cinematheque. All over the world, it was one of the greatest decades ever for making movies. Although groundbreaking changes and landmark films of the New Hollywood (as well as great last gasps of the old-style studio system) were showing up at theatres from the mid-1960’s on, it really was not until the 1970’s that everything truly coalesced. The Seventies saw the film industry metamorphose into an entirely new animal. Many steps tentatively taken a few years earlier were now accomplished with more confidence, more daring and more disregard for the old formulaic way of doing things. There were also studio entertainments transformed and unshackled by the new freedom of expression and relaxation of censorship. By the same token on the negative side, a few New Hollywood directors, after one or two universally acclaimed efforts, miscalculated with self-indulgent pet projects. Some studio heads not only blindly courted the New Hollywood, not knowing just why or what was attracting younger audiences, but they also continued to desperately chart box office success by creating all-star disaster pictures and adapting scandalous bestsellers aimed at the lowest common denominator. (Just a note: we would have included two of our favorite disaster films here, AIRPORT and THE TOWERING INFERNO, but there weren’t any screenable prints!) As our series title The Seventies: The Good, The Bad and The Strange suggests, we have samplings of all three kinds of movies -- from acclaimed as well as underrated, obscure films of the New Hollywood to fascinatingly so-bad-they’re-good blockbuster guilty pleasures (and sometimes hybrids of the two!) Including, at the Egyptian: FIVE EASY PIECES, LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, STRAIGHT TIME, HUSBANDS, MANDINGO, DOCTORS’ WIVES, THE LOVE MACHINE, LADY SINGS THE BLUES, MAHOGANY, BLUE COLLAR, PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT, EXECUTIVE ACTION, GUMSHOE, FREEBIE AND THE BEAN, THREE WOMEN, and an encore double feature of DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE and PLAY IT AS IT LAYS and more! And at the Aero: BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE, THE DEER HUNTER, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, BIG BAD MAMA, THE TOGETHER BROTHERS, SHAMPOO, THE LAST OF SHEILA, THE OTHER, THE DION BROTHERS and more! One thing we can truthfully say about all of the films in this series, every single one of them is incredibly entertaining.

 

 

Thursday, May 10 - 7:30 PM

Paul Mazursky Double Feature:

BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE, 1969, Sony Repertory, 101 min. Dir. Paul Mazursky. Kicking off our Aero seventies series is what could be called the LAST film of the 1960’s and the first film of the 1970’s. A ground-breaking, hilarious and still-pointed satire of sexual hang-ups in America. "We came here for an orgy, didn’t we?" says repressed housewife Dyan Cannon, just before she joins Natalie Wood and husbands Eliott Gould and Robert Culp in some classic, late 1960’s wife-swapping, hot-tubbing action. "…the dilemma of the in-between generation, the one we overlook in the generation gap, the couples who are too young to be the parents of the revolutionary kids, and too old to be the kids…The genius of BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE is that it understands the peculiar nature of the moral crisis for Americans in this age group, and understands that the way to consider it is in a comedy. What is comedy, after all, but tragedy seen from the outside?" -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

BLUME IN LOVE, 1973, Warner Bros., 115 min. One of director/writer Paul Mazursky’s most rewarding films. Divorce lawyer George Segal and social-worker wife Susan Anspach grow apart as the 1960’s counterculture makes them increasingly aware of their shallow lifestyle. However, Segal refuses to give up on winning back Anspach from new, easy-going hippie beau Kris Kristofferson (in a gentle, hilarious performance). A warmly funny, insightful reflection on the nature of conjugal bonds, true love and spousal devotion. Elliot Gould will not appear in person as was previously announced.

 



Friday, May 11 - 7:30 PM
THE DEER HUNTER, 1978, Universal, 183 min. From the opening scenes of hunter Robert De Niro and friends Christopher Walken, John Savage and John Cazale stalking deer in the mist-shrouded Pennsylvania hills, to the shattering prisoner-of-war games in the Vietnam jungles, director Michael Cimino's masterwork is a sprawling, ambitious epic of men wounded by pride, country and friendship, struggling to drag each other back to a place of safety. Co-starring Meryl Streep. Winner of five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Walken). "Its feelings for time, place and blue colar people are genuine, and its vision is that of an original, major new filmmaker." -- Vincent Canby, The New York Times

 

 

Saturday, May 12 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, 1971, Sony Repertory, 118 min. Based on Larry McMurtry’s elegiac, autobiographical novel of north Texas in the late 1950’s, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW stars Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms and Cybill Shepherd (in her first role) as a trio of sexually-confused teens trapped in a dying, dust-blown town. Flawlessly directed by Peter Bogdanovich and photographed by Robert Surtees, with a letter-perfect supporting cast led by Ben Johnson (Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner), Cloris Leachman (Best Actress Oscar winner) and Ellen Burstyn. "…an adventure in rediscovery - of a very decent, straightforward kind of movie, as well as of - and I rather hesitate to use such a square phrase - human values."-- Vincent Canby, The New York Times

FIVE EASY PIECES, 1970, Sony Repertory, 96 min. Dir. Bob Rafelson. Hard-hitting, brilliantly sarcastic drama of Bakersfield oil-rig worker Jack Nicholson on the run from his former life as a concert pianist (!), with country waitress girlfriend (and Tammy Wynette fan) Karen Black in tow. Returning to visit his Washington island home after his father has a stroke, things come to a head when he seduces the fiancee (Susan Anspach) of his better-than-thou brother (Ralph Waite). One of the defining films of the New Hollywood, stunningly directed by Bob Rafelson and written by Carole Eastman (under aka Adrien Joyce). Co-starring the great Billy Green Bush as Nicholson’s hapless, redneck friend and Fannie Flagg as Bush’s loyal spouse. "…a masterpiece of heartbreaking intensity." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

 

Sunday, May 13 - 7:30 PM

Monte Hellman Double Feature:

TWO LANE BLACK TOP, 1971, Universal, 102 min. Dir. Monte Hellman. Two motorheads in a supercharged Chevy (singer James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson) take on Warren Oates and his monstrous Pontiac GTO in a cross-country race. Haunted by the vast, open spaces of the Midwest and an addictive sense of speed, TWO-LANE BLACKTOP is the essential American road movie – Hellman calls it "the last movie of the Sixties." One of the amazing things about the film is it’s Bressonian simplicity in following its protagonists – here the universe itself is stripped-down-for-maximum-velocity to an astonishingly bleak and lonely microcosm – the hard, spartan interiors of Taylor’s and Oates’ cars. With Laurie Bird.


COCKFIGHTER,
1974, Concorde-New Horizon, 83 min. Director Monte Hellman, adapting the novel by Charles Willeford (MIAMI BLUES), follows stubborn loner, Warren Oates, who had been disqualified from receiving a Cockfighter of the Year award due to his boisterous, intoxicated behavior during a match. Oates takes a vow of silence until he wins again, and we follow him on his lonely odyssey, trying to regain his lost sense of worth as he partners up with fast-talking gambler, Omar (Richard B. Shull) and plans for the future with his sweetheart (Patricia Pearcy). Filmed on Georgia locations (cockfighting was reportedly still legal there then) by Nestor Almendros, director Hellman creates another austere slice-of-life road saga, remaining true to the seedy milieu but bringing a compassion and insight to the characters indicative of his agile and elegant strengths as a filmmaker. With an exceptional cast that also includes Harry Dean Stanton, Millie Perkins, Troy Donahue, Laurie Bird, Ed Begley, Jr., Steve Railsback and a cameo by writer, Charles Willeford. Discussion in between films with director Monte Hellman.

 

 

Wednesday, May 16 - 7:30 PM

Drive-In Double Feature:
BIG BAD MAMA, 1974, Concorde-New Horizon, 83 min. "The family that slays together, stays together." Pull your car into the Aero, attach the speaker to the window, let your teenage cousin and his girlfriend out of the trunk, and enjoy one of the greatest drive-in movies ever made. Director Steve Carver (CAPONE; LONE WOLF MCQUADE) pulls out all the stops in this classic Roger Corman- produced blood, bullets, and breasts extravaganza. Angie Dickenson has never been sexier, William Shatner has never been crazier, and Tom Skerritt gets numerous romps with Angie’s jailbait daughters. Great support work from Dick Miller as a hard-charging G-Man, Royal Dano as a fire-and- brimstone preacher and Noble Willingham (PAPER MOON, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW) as a bootlegger with a leggy wife (Sally Kirkland).


BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA
, 1972, MGM Repertory, 87 min. Dir. Eddie Romero. "Nothing Behind But Prison Bars. Nothing Ahead But Trouble... Chicks in chains!" Pam Grier’s breakout performance elevates this Roger Corman-produced, Jonathan Demme co-written dry run for their later CAGED HEAT. Part jungle action movie, part women's prison film, it’s complete with an outlandish exploitationesque shower scene and a stern, over-the-top, leering matron played with gusto by Lynn Borden (WALKING TALL) An outright insane remake of THE DEFIANT ONES, with a sexy Patty Hearst-type revolutionary (Margaret Markov) chained to a sexy call girl (Pam Grier) and a not-so-sexy bounty hunter (Sid Haig), with busloads of revolutionaries and assorted gangsters chomping at their heels. Discussion between films with director Steve Carver.

 

 

Thursday, May 17 - 7:30 PM

Hal Ashby Double Feature:

SHAMPOO, 1975, Sony Repertory, 109 min. Director Hal Ashby’s classic mid-seventies comedy is a harsh and funny time capsule stuffed full of great performances. Warren Beatty excels in perhaps his best role, as an amorous hairdresser sleeping with every woman in sight, from the wife (Best Supportng Actress Oscar winner, Lee Grant) of his business advisor Jack Warden (THE VERDICT; BEING THERE) to Warden’s mistress (Julie Christie) and teenage daughter (Carrie Fisher in her first role) Screenwriters Beatty and Robert Towne provide the brave and challenging, Oscar-nominated script that has stood the test of time. With a great soundtrack by Paul Simon, welcome use of incidental music (including tunes by The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Buffalo Springfield, The Beach Boys and Jimi Hendrix) and fine camera work by Laszlo Kovacs.

COMING HOME, 1978, MGM Repertory, 126 min. Dir. Hal Ashby. As timely as ever, this moving and uncompromising film about the Vietnam War and the brutal struggle at home won Best Actor and Actress Oscars for stars Jane Fonda and Jon Voight. Fonda is left alone for the first time as her husband Bruce Dern is fighting in Vietnam. She falls in love with Voight, a paraplegic vet whom she had known briefly in high school. Highlighted by one of the most tender and emotional love scenes in film history, with performances so real you almost want to look away from the screen. Nominated for eight Academy Awards and winner of three, it also took home a Best Story & Screenplay Oscar for Nancy Dowd, Waldo Salt and Robert C. Jones (who was also Ashby’s longtime editor.) Beautifully shot by legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Also featuring Robert Carradine and Penelope Milford.

 


Friday, May 18 - 7:30 PM

William Friedkin Double Feature:

THE FRENCH CONNECTION, 1971, 20th Century Fox, 104 min. Dir. William Friedkin. Arguably the greatest American crime film ever made: Gene Hackman stars as Detective Popeye Doyle, muscling minor hoods in NYC (the "did you ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?" scene is still a classic) -- when he catches the trail of a huge shipment of French heroin. With partner Roy Scheider, Hackman dogs Marseilles-based drug-kingpin Fernando Rey through New York City’s concrete jungle -- highlighted by a brainjangling car chase that still hasn’t been topped (except perhaps in Friedkin’s own TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.)!

THE BRINKS JOB, 1978, Universal, 104 min. Director William Friedkin followed up THE EXORCIST and SORCERER with this hilarious, yet suspenseful caper film. Shot on location and based on the real-life, $2 million robbery of the Brink’s vault in Boston in 1950, Peter Falk plays Tony Pino the mastermind behind it all. Pino assembles a motley crew of third rate thieves, thugs and misfits to attempt the perfect crime. Featuring some of the 1970's greatest character actors including Warren Oates, Peter Boyle, Gena Rowlands, Alan Garfield, Paul Sorvino and Sheldon Leonard as J. Edgar Hoover. Based on the book The Big Stick-Up At Brink's by Noel Behn. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Saturday, May 19 - 7:30 PM

Montana Avenue Summer Sidewalk Sale! Double Feature:

THE DION BROTHERS (aka THE GRAVY TRAIN), 1974, Sony Repertory, 94 min. A once in a lifetime chance to see a totally lost and truly great film. Frederic Forrest (THE CONVERSATION; APOCALYPSE NOW) and Stacey Keach (FAT CITY) play West Virginia coal mining hicks who hit the big city looking to score. Robberies, betrayal and gunfire ensue. Directed with psychotic glee by the late great Jack Starrett (THE LOSERS; SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS), the film is a brutal and hysterical masterpiece. Wild, madcap, totally out of control, sidesplitting and terrifying. The great script is an early effort from Terrence Malick (BADLANDS) and Bill Kerby. Great supporting turns by Barry Primus, Denny Miller, Margot Kidder, Richard Romanus and Starret himself. (This only surviving 35mm print is faded.) NOT ON DVD

RACE WITH THE DEVIL, 1975, 20th Century Fox, 88 min. Buddies Peter Fonda and Warren Oates take a state-of-the-art RV and their wives, Lara Parker ("Dark Shadows") and Loretta Swit ("MASH") on the road for the vacation of a lifetime. When they accidentally stumble upon a satanic, Bohemian Grove-like ceremony hostile to unwelcome strangers, the chase is on. Director Jack Starrett's biggest hit is this over-the-top chase movie, which later inspired everything from THE ROAD WARRIOR to JEEPER’S CREEPERS. Starrett’s stunt man mentality and gutsy camera work combined with a star willing to do some of his own dangerous stunts make this a classic. The rooftop RV scene has the kind of guts and bravado that would not be matched again until Mel ‘Mad Max’ Gibson and director George Miller tackled a gas tanker in the 1980’s. Discussion between films with actors Fredric Forrest and Mark Rydel and Barry Primus. Stacey Keach will not appear in person as was previously announced. Come early and enjoy the Montana Avenue Summer Sidewalk Sale and enjoy the films with free popcorn!

 



Sunday, May 20 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

TOGETHER BROTHERS, 1974, 20th Century Fox, 94 min. An ultra-rare, studio-produced, early 1970’s gem, shot on location in the slums of Galveston, Texas. An inner-city gang made up of both black and Chicano kids, must solve a murder and protect one of their own (five-year-old Anthony Wilson, the only witness to a murder.) Director William A. Graham (WATERHOLE #3) shoots the largely non-professional cast with an almost documentary feel that seems fresh even today. Great support from Lincoln Kilpatrick (THE OMEGA MAN), Glynn Turman (COOLEY HIGH) and a seminal soundtrack by the late Barry White (the theme was the basis for Quad City DJ’s dance hit, "C'Mon 'N Ride It (the Train)" some 20 years later.) A picture that has a lot in common with 1953’s THE LITTLE FUGITIVE, this film begs for rediscovery. NOT ON DVD

CRY FOR ME, BILLY, 1972, Warner Bros., 93 min. William A. Graham directs this fascinating and trippy, long lost western. A gunslinger, Cliff Potts (SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION) wants out of the killing business. He rescues, then falls in love with an Indian girl, the beautiful Xochitl, then is hellbent on revenge after she is attacked. With great supporting work from Harry Dean Stanton and James Gammon. Longtime Graham cameraman Jordan Cronenweth (BLADE RUNNER, BREWSTER MCCLOUD) helps give the film a truly unique look. Discussion in between films with director William A. Graham. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Wednesday, May 23 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE, 1970, Universal, 103 min. Director Frank Perry’s brilliant comedy-drama satirizing the psychological rat race of a middle class married couple in New York City, circa 1970. Carrie Snodgress’ Oscar-nominated performance as abusive Richard Benjamin’s isolated wife is one of the standout portrayals of the New Hollywood. As Snodgress’ marriage continues to disintegrate, she takes a lover (Frank Langella) to fill up the emotional vacuum. Before long, she finds that this solution is no solution at all. Frank Perry’s spouse and frequent writing collaborator, Eleanor, adapts the best-selling novel by Sue Kaufman. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Alice Cooper’s performance in a swinging party scene. "… great movie making." – Roger Greenspun, The New York Times. NOT ON DVD

THE LAST OF SHEILA, 1973, Warner Bros., 120 min. Herbert Ross directs the ultimate puzzle movie, a who-done-it that could be described as SLEUTH on a boat. Concocted by friends and puzzle lovers Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins, the film is sexy, smart, sinister, and makes Robert Altman’s cynical view of the Hollywood fraternity in THE PLAYER look downright quaint. Producer James Coburn throws a party on his yacht for his friends and enemies, a struggling screenwriter (Richard Benjamin), his rich wife (Joan Hackett) a down-at-his-heels former A-list director (James Mason), a fading starlet (Raquel Welch), her gigolo boyfriend (Ian Mcshane, of "Deadwood") and an acid-tongued agent (Dyan Cannon).

 

 

Thursday, May 24 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

FAMILY PLOT, 1976, Universal, 121 min. Director Alfred Hitchcock’s dazzling, masterful and overlooked final film. A phony medium (Barbara Harris) and a dim-witted cab driver/out-of-work actor (Bruce Dern), cross swords with a ruthless, duplicitous criminal couple (William Devane and Karen Black). Greed, kidnappings, jewel heists, and car chases ensue. Also featuring Katherine Helmond and the silhoutte of Alfred. The score was composed by John Williams.


DRIVE HE SAID,
1971, Sony Repertory, 90 min. Jack Nicholson’s first trip behind the camera as director is a subtle character study about basketball, college and Viet Nam. It stands as one of the best sports-related movies ever made and captures the true feeling of the late sixties and early seventies college experience. William Tepper is a star basketball player with a drug-addled best friend (Michael Margotta) who is dodging the draft and a faculty wife girlfriend (Karen Black) bent on giving him the boot. Bruce Dern's performance as the snide, take-no-prisoners coach is masterfully hard-nosed. With Robert Towne and Henry Jaglom in prime supporting roles, and cinematography by Bill Butler. "Nicholson deftly illustrates the background cynicism of big time sports against the more obvious cynicism of college life."Variety. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Friday, May 25 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE OTHER, 1972, 20th Century Fox, 108 min. Actor-turned-novelist Tom Tryon scored his first hit with this subtle 1930’s, rural New England horror movie about mischievous twins Niles and Holland Perry (Chris and Martin Udvarnoky). Director Robert Mulligan (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD) brings a real sense of time and place to this genuinely frightening story. Along with DON’T LOOK NOW, it stands as one of the scariest movies ever made. Famed acting teacher Uta Hagen gives perhaps her greatest, most well-known performance on film as the twins’ wise, decidedly-Old World grandmother. Look for Victor French, John Ritter and Diana Muldaur in key supporting roles. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Robert Surtees (THE LAST PICTURE SHOW) and scored by the great Jerry Goldsmith.

THE WICKER MAN, 1973, Studio Canal +, 95 min. Dir. Robin Hardy. Puritanical policeman Edward Woodward investigates a girl's disappearance on a Scottish isle and has his world turned topsy-turvy when he confronts the natives' truly primitive natures, in this rarely-screened supernatural classic from writer Anthony Shaffer (SLEUTH). Christopher Lee co-stars as the enigmatic head of the local community, who plays an ancient and all-too-horrifying cat and mouse game with the idealistic policeman, with help from erotic nymph Britt Ekland.

 

 

Saturday, May 26 - 3:00 PM

Family Matinee!

BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS, 1971, Walt Disney, 117 min. Dir. Robert Stevenson. An overlooked live action/animated gem from the team that made MARY POPPINS. Eglantine Price (Angela Landsbury), an apprentice witch taking correspondence classes, looks after three orphans during World War II. Traveling on a flying bed in search of a magic spell book, the team, along with Brownie (David Tomlinson) must fend off an evil king as well as Nazi soldiers. An enchanting film highlighted by an animal soccer match and a beautiful dance contest. Featuring the songs "Portobello Road," "The Old Home Guard" and "Beautiful Briney" (which is sung as Elglantine and the kids are bobbing along under the sea on the flying bed) by the always wonderful Sherman Brothers. An Academy Award winner for Best Special Effects. As well as a nominee for: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Music, Original Song (The Age of Not Believing) and Best Music, Scoring Adaptation and Original Song Score.

 

 

Saturday, May 26 - 7:30 PM

THE CONVERSATION, 1974, American Zoetrope, 113 min. Dir. Francis Ford Coppola. Sandwiched between THE GODFATHER and GODFATHER II, THE CONVERSATION is Coppola at his very best, a sinister, unstoppable portrait of moral (and physical) violence and the sheer paranoia of living in the modern world. Gene Hackman is tremendous as fly-on-the-wall surveillance expert Harry Caul, drawn into a murderous whirlpool when he’s hired to bug lovers Frederic Forrest and Cindy Williams. Co-starring John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Teri Garr and Harrison Ford.

CHINATOWN, 1974, Paramount, 131 min. Dir. Roman Polanski. Jack Nicholson gives his greatest performance as 1930’s private eye J.J. Gittes, maneuvering through a nightmarish L.A. netherworld of cheating husbands, stolen water rights, incest, murder and more, as he desperately tries to save beautiful Faye Dunaway from her raptor-like father John Huston. Writer Robert Towne’s magnificent, labyrinthine script has been widely hailed as the best of the decade.