Category Archives: 1974

Movies released in 1974.

Review: The Parallax View

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Year: 1974
Score: 6.5/10

I believe this is the first appearance of a video game in a movie - and it's being played by a chimp. Subtext?

I believe this is the first appearance of a video game in a movie – and it’s being played by a chimp. Subtext?

Interesting conspiracy thriller starring the ever-reliable Warren Beatty. It conveys a great sense of paranoia, but it’s let down by the final act, which doesn’t properly deliver on the promises of the build-up. I wanted to know more about the Parallax Corporation (e.g. who’s behind it?) and I wanted Beatty to have more success is busting the conspiracy wide open, even if eventually he was doomed to fail. The most interesting scene by far is when he watches – and we see – a fascinating assassin training slideshow made up in large part of bizarre imagery. Worth watching if you’re a fan of Beatty or you’re into conspiracies.

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Review: Young Frankenstein

Director: Mel Brooks
Year: 1974
Score: 7.5/10

This must have been the first scene filmed, since in every other scene Marty Feldman showed the effects of what happened here (having his neck squeezed until his eyes popped out). On a more serious note: Graves' disease.

This must have been the first scene filmed, since in every other scene Marty Feldman showed the effects of what happened here (having his neck squeezed until his eyes popped out). On a more serious note: Graves’ disease.

The best of the three Mel Brooks comedies I caught up on, probably because it has the funniest gags and the best parodies. Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle are in fine form, with good support from Marty Feldman and others (including Gene Hackman in an amusing cameo). I imagine much of it would fall flat to audiences unfamiliar with the classic horror movies Brooks is poking fun at, but then again they’re so influential and ubiquitous in pop culture that even if you haven’t actually seen them many of the references would probably still be recognisable. The satire is affectionate rather than genuinely critical, and therein lies much of the appeal. It’s quite uneven, with plenty of unfunny stretches, though it remains watchable throughout. The performance of ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ is hilarious.

Review: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

Director: Michael Cimino
Year: 1974
Score: 8/10

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

It’s exactly what it looks like: Jeff Bridges being forced to eat an ice cream at gunpoint. Anyone else find this strangely sexual?

Thoroughly entertaining buddy comedy/drama written and directed by Michael Cimino (his directorial debut) and starring Clint Eastwood and a young Jeff Bridges – both of whom are great. The amusing opening sequence, introducing Eastwood as an apparent preacher, immediately draws you in, and it’s difficult to lose interest after that point. Cimino shows a keen eye for sweeping landscapes and a deft hand with his characters; they’re fleshed out well, leading to some solid emotion in the latter portion of the film. Look for Nick Nolte in a small role and you might see that it’s actually Gary Busey.