My Movie Alphabet!
Yes, the poster art says “Vol. 2” – because I missed the first “go-round” on this fun exercise in cinema! A movie for every letter of the alphabet – who can refuse?
For many of us, this is our great escape – a movie auditorium where magic happens – I have seen so many incredible films in my life…oh, outside too!
I love this idea – thanks to “MettelRaySe7en” for doing this, here is the link to see how you can participate:
Let’s get started with a film that, while fictional, captured one of the most exciting and influential pop culture changes in our nation’s history!
A – A Hard Day’s Night
Hard to imagine how culturally significant “Beatlemania” was in today’s social media world, but this film captures the pop culture impact of The Fab Four through a hilariously droll, fictional film the band starred in – how did they know to make this film so it would come out as they were taking over the world – what an achievement! If you want to see just how wild their first trip to the US was, check out the terrific documentary here:
Next up is one of my top ten films of all time:
B – Boogie Nights
Paul Thomas Anderson shows the birth of adult cinema in LA’s San Fernando valley through the fictional story of Dirk Diggler…one of the greatest cinematic achievements ever, and career bests for the entire cast – see the “oral” history here:
Here is another film from my “top ten of all time”:
C – Chinatown
This lost Best Picture in 1972 to the greatest film of all time – more on that in a minute, but Roman Polanski’s story of Los Angeles in the 40’s, as seen through our thirst for water – and power – still resonates today – read more about this classic film noir here:
Ok, these were all fairly well known, let’s get obscure:
D – Darker Than Amber
This very obscure action film from 1970 has one of the most brutal – and REAL – onscreen fights ever captured – yes, the two main actors got carried away and the Director captured it all – see it here:
Next up is one of the most hypnotic films I’ve ever seen…
E – Enter The Void
Argentinian Director Gasper Noe uses “2001: A Space Odyssey” as his inspiration to tell the story of a young man killed in Tokyo, who floats over the city to observe life after his death – see the hypnotic trailer here:
Need some 70’s horror? Great, let’s head to France!
F – Fascination!
French Horror Director Jean Rollin made moody, cerebral horror films filled with nudity, blood and amazing images like this one:
See all of his incredible work from the 70’s here:
Now, time to celebrate the greatest film ever made:
G – The Godfather
For me, it is simply the greatest cinematic achievement in film history – beautifully acted, lyrical, violent and multi-layered to reveal something new each time I see it – and of course, Brando read from cue cards held by Robert Duvall!
One last bit of trivia – the horse’s head was real! Here is more on that:
Now, a film that was so good it had three different names!
H – Hookers Revenge!
I HAD to get a Christina Lindberg film on this list! She is the “Queen of Artsploitation”, and this one was so good they kept releasing it to grindhouse theaters with different titles! Officially known as “Thriller: A Cruel Picture” – it’s also AKA “They Call Her One Eye” and also AKA “Hooker’s Revenge” – even thought she doesn’t play a hooker in the movie!
She may have been mute in the film, but she really kicks some ass, and recently Christina spoke about her career – see that interview here:
Christina Lindberg is my “grindhouse guilty pleasure”, but the next film is serious, compelling and vital:
I – The Island President
This documentary tells the story of one person trying to save his country from drowning – and the politics of climate change…so powerful and important, see the trailer here:
The next film on my list is one of those “movie theater experiences” I will never forget…
J – Jackie Brown
Some Quentin Tarantino was overdue, but more importantly, some Pam Grier! He wrote it with her in mind, and she stars with a timeless swagger…just one of her great films, like “Black Mama White Mama” and the blaxploitation classic “Foxy Brown”…see her here:
I was inspired by my friend Pete from Beetley, England…he is counting down his movies as well – you can follow along with them here:
Next up, a cerebral thriller with a very young Donald Sutherland…
K – Klute
A somewhat forgotten film from 1971, Jane Fonda won an Oscar for her portrayal of a lonely prostitute who is being watched by one of her clients…a young Donald Sutherland is also great…see more here:
Now, one of my top 5 favorite movies…
L – The Last Of Sheila
This terrific mystery puzzle of a film was written by Stephen Sondheim and “Psycho” Anthony Perkins! An all-star cast including James Mason James Coburn, Raquel Welch, Richard Benjamin and Ryan Cannon make this a must see – here is the trailer:
Time for one of America’s greatest Actors to lighten up…
M – Midnight Run
“Why are you unpopular with the Chicago Police Department?” The greatest buddy/action film of all, the first time we discovered that Robert DeNiro could do comedy! See the new blu-ray here:
Next up, a European Actress from the 70’s who was naked in every single film she made!
N – Night Of A Thousand Desires!
I love Lina Romay – her haunting beauty and willingness to put it ALL out there – I mean, she is naked in every single film she made, and most of it was lovingly captured by her partner/husband Jess Franco – this is a great example of her hypnotic appeal, with a great blu-ray thanks to Mondo Macabro – see it here:
Next up, my second favorite film of all time…
O – O Lucky Man!
This obscure British masterpiece was written by and starring Malcolm McDowell – right after “A Clockwork Orange” – it is a brilliant satire of a world gone mad with an equally brilliant soundtrack – see it here:
Time for more 70’s stuff, this time a grindhouse classic:
P – Prime Cut
The “grindhouse” era of the 60’s and 70’s allowed studios to make gritty B-movies like this one, with lots of sex, nudity and violence, and many big stars willing jumped in! “Prime Cut” stars Gene Hackman, Lee Marvin and a VERY naked Sissy Spacek in her movie debut – see the trailer here:
Need more obscure classics?
Q – Q! The Winged Serpent
Legendary Exploitation Director Larry Cohen made this film about a “winged serpent” terrorizing New York – one of many great movies he made…here is a documentary about his life – and his wild wild work!
I think a musical is in order….
R – Rude Boy
I grew up loving The Clash – but did you know they made a film? “Rude Boy” is the story of a roadie who dreams of success while following The Clash on their REAL tour of the UK at the end of the 70’s – and the birth of punk rock! This is terrific stuff – see the trailer here:
Another from my top twenty is next:
S – The Shawshank Redemption
One of the most inspiring movies ever made – brilliant from start to finish – Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman was flawless – click here to see the real “Zihuatanejo”:
Here is #3 on my list of greatest films:
T – Taxi Driver
Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader capture the gritty streets of New York perfectly – as seen through the eyes of Travis Bickle – this masterpiece is still topical forty years on – see the anniversary reunion here:
OK, from masterpiece to Russ Meyer!
U – Up!
Need a break from the seriousness of the list – well, how about some Russ Meyer? The man who gave us “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” also got us “Up!” See how here:
Need more grindhouse?
V – The Virgin Witch
I love the sexploitation era of the 60’s and 70’s as you can see, and films like “The Virgin Witch” are the reason why…virgin witches baring all for our pleasure – see how here:
Another from my top twenty is next:
W – Withnail & I
Simply the greatest British comedy ever – Richard E. Grant is brilliant, and the film is acerbic, insightful, and hilariously funny – read more here:
Some letters of the alphabet are better sung than spoken…
X – Xanadu
What, you don’t want an 80’s musical with a rollerskating Olivia Newton-John? I included “Xanadu” because it’s so “of its time”, and because it also has a terrific soundtrack from The Electric Light Orchestra! Here’s proof:
Mel Brooks was a brilliant filmmaker, and here is one example:
Y – Young Frankenstein
The funniest film ever? Well, argue amongst yourselves, but Brooks competes with himself for that title (“Blazing Saddles!”), and this film gives Gene Hackman – yes, GENE HACKMAN! A chance to show how funny he is! To celebrate this legendary Actors birthday, I highlighted his ten best roles:
Finally, I leave you with Bond, James Bond…well, this next film is a 007 you’ve never seen before!
Z – Zardoz!
Yes, that’s 007 in a bright red loincloth! But WHY? The answer lies in one of the wackiest films ever committed to celluloid – the lunacy of “Zardoz.” Click to see some of the hilariously “WTF” dialogue and trailer!
Well, I tried to showcase movies you knew and many you didn’t, so let me know what you think!
Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Academy Awards, Action Films, Albert Brooks, Art, Australia, Awards, Blaxploitation!, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cannes Film Festival, Christina Lindberg, Classic Rock, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Director Martin Scorsese, documentary films, Exotic Travel, Exploitation films, Extreme Asian Cinema, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Foreign Films, Golden Globes, Great Films, Grindhouse, Halloween, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, James Caan, Japan, Japanese Sexploitation Movies, London, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Movies About Movies, Music, New York, Obscure Movies, Obscure Music, Politics, Revenge Movies, Russ Meyer, Sasha Grey, Sexploitation Movies, Sports Movies, Steven Soderbergh, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, The Beatles, Tokyo!, Troma Films