I’m time-traveling to the 1970s, and everyone is invited.
Superfly Seventies is an attempt to recreate the wild, the wacky and the wonderfully weird experience of going to the movies in the eighth decade of the 20th century. What is it about the 1970s that makes the time period so fascinating? Allow me to explain.
In the late 50s and early 60s, studios were pumping huge budgets into pictures that would travel the country and play for months on end, movies like “My Fair Lady,” “Ben-Hur,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Doctor Zhivago” and the like. Then, in 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America replaced the restrictive Hays Code with a more permissive rating system that limited censorship and allowed filmmakers to take bigger liberties with their content. All of a sudden, there was a seismic shift in Hollywood and great filmmakers like Altman, Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg and others took full advantage.
What fascinates me most about this era in filmgoing isn’t so much the gritty classics or guilty pleasures we’ve grown to adore. It’s the sheer volume and variety of content that would play in theaters at any given moment. Filmgoers were treated to a veritable cornucopia of Hollywood classics-in-the-making as well as hundreds of genre pieces. The biggest movies, like “Star Wars,” played in theaters at the same time as the films that ripped them off. Exploitation found its audience in ways that introduced such sub-genres as Blaxploitation, sexploitation, Brucesploitation, bikesploitation — hell, even nunsploitation was a thing. Bijou mainstays such as John Wayne, Liz Taylor and Richard Harris struggled to stay relevant in a landscape that was giving way to Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds. Adult theaters also began growing in popularity, as grown-ups began to view pornography in a different light.
My intention is to watch every movie from the 1970s, in order, and post a review on the 50th anniversary of its initial release. Nearly all of the movies are available to the public, however several lesser-known pics seem to have gone the way of the double-knit fancy. For a comprehensive list of those pictures, simply click on the “Lost Films” link at the top of the page and e-mail me if you somehow find yourself in possession of a watchable copy.
If this project is half as fun as I’m expecting, the next 10 years are going to be super fly, indeed.