Dr. Jai Maharaj
2014-12-06 02:56:09 UTC
By Michael Wilmington, Tribune movie critic
June 8, 2003
Why were American movies so much better in the 1970s than
in the decades since -- and most of the decades before?
Simple. Our movies then were not as inhibited by
censorship (self-imposed) as they were prior to the '60s.
And they were not as obsessed with huge box office
grosses and commercial values as they became afterward --
following the stunning financial success of those two
'70s superhits, "Jaws" (1975) and "Star Wars" (1977).
Instead, during most of the '60s and '70s -- liberated
both by the collapse of the old studio system strictures
and by the greater acceptance of film as art from critics
and audiences -- American filmmakers of all generations,
from Martin Scorsese ("Mean Streets") and Hal Ashby
("Harold and Maude") to Sidney Lumet ("Dog Day
Afternoon") and Mike Nichols ("Carnal Knowledge") to
Alfred Hitchcock ("Frenzy") and Billy Wilder ("Avanti"),
tried things they wouldn't have dared in the decades
past. More often than not, they succeeded.
The scripts were better, the ideas more daring, the
execution freer, and most of all, the connections to the
real world of American life outside much stronger and
Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi