|Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes|
Esteemed black director Gordon Parks, a former photojournalist with Life Magazine, directed this break-through film - the first major, commercial crime film with a black hero. The colorful, action-packed, slightly tongue-in-cheek blaxploitation film starred Richard Roundtree as the ultra-hip, leather-clad, handsome police detective John Shaft (the black version of Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971)) who worked in Harlem against the Mafia. Shaft won an Oscar for Isaac Hayes' memorable theme song for the film (proclaiming that Shaft was 'a private dick' who's 'a sex machine to all the chicks').
"Don't let your mouth get your ass in trouble."
"You're really great in the sack, but you're pretty s--ty afterwards."
"Cut the crap, man, this is Shaft."
British director John Boorman's gripping, absorbing, action-adventure film told about four suburban Atlanta businessmen-friends who encountered a disastrous rite-of-passage during a summer weekend's river-canoeing trip. The buddy group, composed of Ed Gentry (Jon Voight), ultra-macho Lewis Medlock (Burt Reynolds), fearful weakling Bobby Trippe (Ned Beatty), and Drew Ballinger (Ronny Cox) faced a nightmarish situation when they came upon the rapids and local hillbillies who degraded and terrorized them. The stark, uncompromising film was one of the first to deal with the theme of city-dwellers against the powerful, territorial forces of nature and the wilderness. The exciting box-office hit was most remembered for its banjo dueling and brutal, visceral action (and sexually-violent sodomy scene).
"I bet you can squeal like a pig."
The thrilling whitewater canoe trip down the rapids with numerous point-of-view shots of the river and rapids, preceded by the "Dueling Banjos" scene. And the grisly and shocking sexual molestation scene as a degenerate, redneck backwoods mountain man raped a pig-squealing and anguished Bobby (Ned Beatty) in his underwear.
Francis Ford Coppola's operatic, violent drama was based on Mario Puzo's novel of the same name. It was a bravura, genre-defining, epic-length Mafia/gangster classic that evoked the mid and late 1940's period with powerful character development, lighting, costumes, and settings. The film followed the fortunes of the fictitious Corleones, a powerful Mafia family with its own family rituals and separate code of honor, revenge, justice, law and loyalty that transcended all other codes. When Godfather Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) was shot by rivals, his sons Sonny (James Caan), Fredo (John Cazale) and favorite young son Michael (Al Pacino) assumed control, with Michael ascending to a prominent position of power.
The rich and enthralling film was characterized by flawless and superb acting and deep character studies, beautiful photography and choreography, authentic recreation of the period, a bittersweet romantic sub-plot, a rich and unforgettable score by Nino Rota, and superbly-staged portrayals and set-pieces of gangster violence.
"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."
"It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes."
Any number of murder scenes, e.g., the murder of Sonny at a toll booth, or the grotesque severed horse-head in the bed scene.
Enter the Dragon (1973)
This fast-paced kung-fu action-thriller from director Robert Clouse, the big-budget version of the popular Chinese genre of martial arts, starred Bruce Lee in his first (and last) English-language (and Hollywood-produced) film. This legendary film is still considered the best "chopsocky" or "kickfest" (kung fu and martial arts) film ever made by an American studio (Warner Bros). It propelled Lee to major posthumous American stardom shortly after his tragic and mysterious death in July 1973 at the age of 32 - it was Lee's biggest US success and last fully-completed role.
The film pitted a renegade, villainous Shaolin Temple monk named Han (Shih Kien) against a Jeet Kune Do master named Lee (Bruce Lee), who was recruited by the British to infiltrate Han's drug and prostitution operation under the guise of taking part in his annual, invitational competition on a mysterious island fortress near Hong Kong. Lee was also bent on revenge for the death of his sister by one of Han's henchmen Oharra (Bob Wall). The martial-arts tournament between champions was sponsored by the crime boss - a one-handed, blood-thirsty mastermind who at one point supplemented his missing hand with a fearsome metal claw.
The film featured a tremendous fight scene in the competition between Oharra and undercover agent Lee who displayed acrobatic fight skills, flip kicks and lightning fast punches. The action film concluded with an equally great fight scene (some in slo-mo) in an underground hall of mirrors between martial arts master Lee and crime/drug lord Han, who wore serrated knife blades in place of his detachable clawed iron hand.
"Through long years of rigorous training, sacrifice, denial, pain, we forge our bodies in the fire of our will."
"You have offended my family, and you have offended a Shaolin temple."
"Why doesn’t somebody pull out a .45 and, bang, settle it?"
The climactic confrontational kung-fu fight scene in an underground hall of mirrors between Lee and Han.
The Last Detail (1973)
Director Hal Ashby's often humorous, military-related, anti-authoritarian buddy film was strewn with obscenities (mostly the F-word), out of the foul mouth of brash and rebellious Navy man Billy "Badass" Buddusky (Oscar-nominated Jack Nicholson in one of his most uninhibited roles), who was escorting naive 'grunt' sailor/prisoner Meadows (Oscar-nominated Randy Quaid) to prison (for an 8 year term) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for attempting to steal $40 (from a polio contribution box). Along the way from Virginia, he wanted to show 18 year-old Meadows a hedonistic "good time" -- by having first time sex with a prostitute (Carol Kane), drinking, fighting, and carousing.
"I knew a whore once in Wilmington. She had a glass eye... used to take it out and wink people off for a dollar."
"Welcome to the wonderful world of pussy, kid."
The tense scene between Buddusky and a "redneck" bartender (Don McGovern) over a beer order for underaged Meadows - with the bartender threatening to summon the shore patrol, culminating with Billy's retort: "I am the motherf--king shore patrol, motherf--ker! I am the motherf--king shore patrol! Give this man a beer!"
Director Mel Brooks' first in a series of satirizing parodies of classic movie genres (often as star, scripter and director) was this lewd, silly and raunchy western comedy, his first commercial hit. The iconoclastic, not-politically-correct slapstick tale told about the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) and Black Bart (Cleavon Little) - the new black Rock Ridge Sheriff recruited to clean up a white frontier town. The crude, racist and sexist film with toilet humor and foul language included the main elements of any western - a dance-hall girl, a gunslinger, a sheriff, a town full of pure folk, and more, but it twisted them around. So they became a black sheriff, a racist town, a sex-obsessed Governor, and so forth.
The near-sighted and dim-witted Governor Le Petomane (Mel Brooks) nuzzled into bosomy secretary Miss Stein's (Robyn Hilton) cleavage while being advised by villainous and scheming attorney general Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman). In another scene, Madeline Kahn (as saloon singer Lili Von Shtupp) exquisitely parodied Marlene Dietrich's saloon singer "Frenchy" (from Destry Rides Again (1939)) as the "Teutonic Titwillow" - delivering her memorable phrase: "It's twue, it's twue" after unzipping sheriff Black Bart's fly and examining his endowment in the dark.
"Excuse me while I whip this out."
"Mongo only pawn in Game of Life."
The infamous gas-passing, bean-eating scene around the campfire by flatulent cowboys.
(chronological, by film title)
Intro | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10
Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15