I adore the 1970s from an artistic standpoint. In my person opinion, 1970s America produced some of the greatest art in American history.
Legendary artists and bands gained stardom during 1970s. A few names that come to my mind are Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, AC/DC, Boston, Foreigner, Bee Gees, Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer, Barbara Streisand, Kool & The Gang, and Stevie Wonder.
There are more bands and artists I could name, but I’d be starting to pen an essay.
Even more so than music, 1970s likely produced the best collection of films in American history across a ten-year period.
Here’s a list of notable films released during this decade:
1. Patton (1970)
2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
3. The French Connection (1971)
4. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
5. The Godfather (1972)
6. American Graffiti (1973)
7. The Exorcist (1973)
8. The Godfather Part 2 (1974)
9. Chinatown (1974)
10. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
11. Nashville (1975)
12. Jaws (1975)
13. Taxi Driver (1976)
14. Rocky (1976)
15. Network (1976)
16. Annie Hall (1977)
17. Close Encounters of the Third Mind (1977)
18. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
19. Star Wars (1977)
20. Halloween (1978)
21. Grease (1978)
22. The Deer Hunter (1978)
23. Superman (1978)
24. Animal House (1978)
25. Apocalypse Now (1979)
26. Alien (1979)
Forgive me if I left out a few notable films in the list above.
The 1970s questioned conventional filmmaking, putting groundbreaking material on the screen for the first time ushering in an era many call, "New Hollywood"
Among the films I listed above, nineteen of them are listed on IMBD’s Top 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
George Lucas literally created an entire universe with Star Wars. Francis Ford Coppola created what many deem to be the greatest film of all time with The Godfather. He also directed The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, and Patton in the same decade. Coppola arguably has one of the greatest resumes for a film director ever.
The 1970s also provided us some very risky films that had questionable content. I do have to say the first time I saw A Clockwork Orange, I was a little disturbed and questioned Stanley Kubrick’s sanity. It took me a while to see the genius behind his film.
Rocky, Halloween, and American Graffiti are a few of the most profitable low budget movies ever. American Graffiti scored five Oscar nominations. Rocky scored nine Oscar nominations including three wins for best picture, best director, and best film editing.
Plenty of decades in filmmaking have produced some of the most memorable films in history, but from an overall standpoint, I believe the 1970s takes first place. This decade introduced the world to an entirely new type of filmmaking that changed the entertainment industry forever.