Which film marked the birth of the blockbuster motion picture?
Which film began a new era of superhero films?
Which film was the first to popularize Hong Kong martial arts films?
Which genre of film developed into a lucrative industry during the 1970s?
Which film began a new trend in filmmaking, followed by more sentimental films?
Which film chronicled the Vietnam War and was directed by Francis Ford Coppola?
Which film was the first to be given a blockbuster distinction?
Which film marked the birth of the blockbuster horror film?
Which genre of film was most known for excelling in the 1970s?
The 1970s in film was a decade of significant and successful films across the world.
Asian cinema saw the rise of Hong Kong martial arts films, popularized by Bruce Lee's iconic films, and a wave of "Bruceploitation" films.
South Asian cinema of the 1970s catered to the rising working-class fantasies and struggles, epitomized by gritty, violent, Bombay underworld crime films in India.
European cinema saw nostalgic motion pictures reminiscent of the 1970s itself, such as Szerelmesfilm and The Conformist, and the emergence of young German directors who made films that came to be known as the German new wave.
North American cinema faced a financial slump at the beginning of the decade, but produced some of its most critically acclaimed and financially successful films since its "golden era."
Successful films of the decade were based in the harsh truths of war, rather than the excesses of the 1960s, and included Patton, MASH, Summer of '42, Love Story, Taking Off, and The Godfather.
The decade also saw the emergence of gritty crime films, such as The French Connection and Serpico, and African American filmmakers found success with hits like Shaft and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.
The horror film developed into a lucrative genre of film, with successful films such as The Exorcist, Marathon Man, The Omen, and Halloween.
The phenomenon of adult erotic films being publicly discussed by celebrities and taken seriously by critics began, referred to as "porno chic," and later known as the Golden Age of Porn.
Films of the mid-1970s reflected the disenfranchisement brought by the excesses of the past twenty years, including Taxi Driver, All the President's Men, and Network.The Films of the 1970s
- Cult horror films were popular such as Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
- Jaws, about a series of horrific deaths related to a massive great white shark, was the first film to be given a blockbuster distinction, earning $260 million in the United States alone.
- Star Wars hit theater screens in May 1977, becoming a major hit, growing in ticket sales throughout the summer and the rest of the year, earning some $460 million.
- Superman was portrayed by classically trained actor Christopher Reeve, met with praise for strong performances and epic scope, beginning a new era of superhero films.
- Woody Allen's Annie Hall stirred a new trend in filmmaking, followed with more sentimental films.
- Younger audiences were the focus of cinema with movies like Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Animal House, and Up in Smoke.
- The decade closed with two films chronicling the Vietnam War, Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter and Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.
- The socially conscious directors that emerged in the late 1960s grew in very different ways, influenced by music, literature, crime, and war.
- The decade is most known for excelling in the crime-drama genre.
- A trend that lasted through the decade was the popularity of disaster films, starting with Airport in 1970.
- The birth of the blockbuster horror film was initiated by William Friedkin's The Exorcist.
- The release of Steven Spielberg's first blockbuster hit, Jaws, was considered to be the birth of the blockbuster motion picture (a trend sealed two years later with the release of Star Wars).
Think you know the films of the 1970s? Test your knowledge with this quiz! From the rise of Hong Kong martial arts films to the emergence of gritty crime dramas, the 1970s was a decade of significant and successful films across the world. See if you can identify the iconic films, directors, and actors that defined this era of cinema. Take the quiz now and show off your expertise in 1970s film history!
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