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Netflix Curates Classic ’70s Films

Netflix generates more contemporary content than anyone, but they’re dipping into the past to curate the great movies from the ’70s. These are the films that people like myself discovered as kids in the early days of when HBO premiered on cable. Bravo, I say. Here’s the preliminary list.

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A widowed singer and single mother starts over as a diner waitress in Arizona, befriending her coworkers and romancing a ruggedly handsome rancher.

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese

WRITER: Robert Getchell

PRODUCERS: Audrey Maas, David Susskind

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Ellen Burstyn, Jodie Foster, Diane Ladd, Alfred Lutter, Harvey Keitel, Kris Kristofferson, Vic Tayback

DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros. Discovery

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: December 9, 1974

At the 47th Academy Awards, Burstyn won Best Actress

BLACK BELT JONES

High-kicking Black Belt Jones is dispatched to take down a group of Mafia goons trying to muscle in on a downtown karate studio.

DIRECTOR: Robert Clouse

WRITER: Oscar Williams

STORY BY: Fred Weintraub, Alexandra Rose

PRODUCERS: Paul Heller, Fred Weintraub

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Scatman Crothers, Gloria Hendry, Jim Kelly

DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros. Discovery

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: January 28, 1974

BLAZING SADDLES

This gleefully satirical take on Hollywood Westerns follows the tortured trail of a freed slave who’s elected as the sheriff of a racist town.

DIRECTOR: Mel Brooks

WRITERS: Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Alan Uger

STORY BY: Andrew Bergman

PRODUCER: Michael Hertzberg

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Cleavon Little, Slim Pickens, Gene Wilder

DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros. Discovery

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: February 7, 1974

CALIFORNIA SPLIT

Two compulsive gamblers with nothing in common except bad luck discover that they make an unbeatable team and take on the reigning world champion.

DIRECTOR: Robert Altman

WRITERS: Joseph Walsh

PRODUCERS: Joseph Walsh, Robert Altman

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)John Considine, Jeff Goldblum, Elliott Gould, Ann Prentiss, George Segal, Gwen Welles

DISTRIBUTED BY: Sony Pictures

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: August 7, 1974

CHINATOWN

With a suspicious femme fatale bankrolling his snooping, private eye J.J. Gittes uncovers intricate dirty dealings in the Los Angeles waterworks.

DIRECTOR: Roman Polanski

WRITERS: Robert Towne

PRODUCERS: Robert Evans

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Faye Dunaway, John Hillerman,  John Huston, Perry Lopez, Jack Nicholson, Burt Young

DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: June 20, 1974

At the 47th Academy Awards, it was nominated for 11 Oscars, with Towne winning Best Original Screenplay.

THE CONVERSATION

An audio surveillance expert faces a moral quandary when he suspects that a couple whose conversation he’s been hired to record will be murdered.

DIRECTOR: Francis Ford Coppola

WRITERS: Francis Ford Coppola

PRODUCERS: Francis Ford Coppola

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford, Teri Garr, Gene Hackman, Cindy Williams

DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: April 7, 1974

The film received three nominations at the 47th Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound.

DEATH WISH

After an architect’s wife is murdered and daughter is raped, he seeks vigilante justice against not only the culprits but other wrongdoers as well.

DIRECTOR: Michael Winner

WRITER: Wendell Mayes

BASED ON: Death Wish by Brian Garfield

PRODUCERS: Dino De Laurentiis, Hal Landers, Bobby Roberts

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Charles Bronson, Vincent Gardenia, Christopher Guest, Steven Keats, Hope Lange, William Redfield, Kathleen Tolan

DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: July 24, 1974

THE GAMBLER

After a bad run at a casino leaves him $44,000 in debt to a mobster, a professor with a gambling addiction tries in vain to win the money back.

DIRECTOR: Karel Reisz

WRITER: James Toback

PRODUCERS: Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Morris Carnovsky, James Caan, Lauren Hutton, Paul Sorvino, Burt Young

DISTRIBUTED BY:  Paramount

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: October 2, 1974

THE GREAT GATSBY

Mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy Buchanan, who’s married to unfaithful Tom, making for a tragic love triangle.

DIRECTOR: Jack Clayton

WRITER: Francis Ford Coppola

BASED ON:The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

PRODUCERS: David Merrick

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Mia Farrow, Robert Redford, Sam Waterston

DISTRIBUTED BY:  Paramount

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: March 29, 1974

The film won two Academy Awards, for Best Costume Design (Theoni V. Aldredge) and Best Music (Nelson Riddle).

IT’S ALIVE

Frank and Lenore Davis are an ordinary couple who produce an extraordinary baby — a fanged mutant that sets off on a killing spree to survive.

DIRECTOR: Larry Cohen

WRITER: Larry Cohen

PRODUCER: Larry Cohen

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Andrew Duggan, Sharon Farrell, John P. Ryan

DISTRIBUTED BY:  Warner Bros. Discovery

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: April 26, 1974

THE LITTLE PRINCE

A pilot who’s forced down in the Sahara Desert listens to a boy’s magical stories about distant planets and strange people and animals.

DIRECTOR: Stanley Donen

WRITER: Alan Jay Lerner

BASED ON:The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

PRODUCER: Stanley Donen

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Bob Fosse, Richard Kiley, Donna McKechnie, Clive Revill, Steven Warner, Gene Wilder

DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: November 7, 1974

THE LORDS OF FLATBUSH

In 1957 Brooklyn, two teenage members of the Lords of Flatbush gang face the realities of adulthood in this nostalgic coming-of-age drama notable for its cast of rising stars.

DIRECTOR: Martin Davidson, Stephen F. Verona

WRITER: Martin Davidson, Gayle Gleckler, Stephen Verona, Sylvester Stallone (additional dialogue)

PRODUCER: Stephen F. Verona

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Armand Assante, Susan Blakely, Perry King, Paul Mace, Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler

DISTRIBUTED BY: Sony

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: March 27, 1974

THE PARALLAX VIEW

While investigating the assassination of a leading U.S. senator, a journalist uncovers a conspiracy involving a shadowy multinational corporation.

DIRECTOR: Alan J. Pakula

WRITER: David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr.

BASED ON:The Parallax View by Loren Singer

PRODUCER: Stephen F. Verona

KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss

DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: June 14, 1974

THE STREET FIGHTER (Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken)

Martial arts legend Sonny Chiba stars as tough guy Terry Tsurugi, a ruthless street fighter hired by the Japanese Mafia to kidnap the beautiful heiress of a vast oil fortune, all so that they can take over her family’s estate.

DIRECTOR: Shigehiro Ozawa

WRITER: Kōji Takada, Motohiro Torii

KEY CAST: Shin’ichi Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Goichi Yamada

DISTRIBUTED BY: Sony

INITIAL RELEASE DATE: February 2, 1974

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