22 December 2017; Best of 1972 Films Throwback

45 years ago, cinema has given the world more intriguing films. Welcome to MMM and today I’m counting down the best of 1972 films based on my own enjoyment of them.

Before I begin, this is part of a list of film countdowns spanning over a 5 year radius from 1967 to 2017 from today to the 31st December. If you don’t see a film that you think should have made the list, please comment.

#10: The Godfather (Crime drama)
Often considered to be one of the greatest films of all time as well as an influence in the gangster genre and pop culture, and adapted from Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name, the film follows the eponymous character Don Vito Corleone (Oscar winner and screen legend Marlon Brando) as he passes his clandestine empire to his reluctant son, Michael Corleone (Oscar winner Al Pacino).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 3 wins (Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role – Marlon Brando, and Adapted Screenplay), and 8 nominations (Best Actor in a Supporting Role – James Caan, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino, Director – Francis Ford Coppola, Costume Design, Sound, Film Editing, and Original Dramatic Score – Nino Rota).

Highlights: Cast, performances including Caan, Oscar winner Robert Duvall and an early appearance of Oscar winner Diane Keaton, and influence in cinema and pop culture.

#9: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (Comedy)
Inspired by Dr David Reuben’s 1969 novel of the same name, and possibly one of the strangest films you will ever see, directed by Oscar winner Woody Allen, this comedy follows 7 segments, each dealing with the subject of sex, such as What is Sodomy?, which features the late Oscar nominee Gene Wilder as a doctor falling in love with a sheep.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Cast, performances, and some moments of humor.

#8: Cabaret (Drama musical)
Cited as one of the greatest musicals ever, and even significant for queer cinema, and based from the 1966 Broadway musical of the same name, which was adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s 1939 novel The Berlin Stories and the 1951 play I Am a Camera adapted from the same novel, the film follows a group of people including female singer Sally Bowles (Oscar winner Liza Minnelli) and British teacher Brian Roberts (Primetime Emmy nominee Michael York) and their lives affected by the rising Nazi party in Berlin, Germany 1931.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 8 wins (Best Actress in a Leading Role – Liza Minnelli, Actor in a Supporting Role – Joel Grey, Director – Bob Fosse, Cinematography, Art Direction – Set Decoration, Sound, Film Editing, and Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation – Ralph Burns) and 2 nominations (Best Picture, and Adapted Screenplay).

Highlights: Themes, story, cast, performances especially the leads and Oscar winner Joel Grey’s role as the Master of Ceremonies and narrator of sorts, humor, choreography and songs.

#7: The Heartbreak Kid (Romantic comedy)
Directed by Oscar nominee Elaine May, based on Oscar nominee Bruce Jay Friedman’s short story A Change of Plan, and written by Oscar nominee Neil Simon, a young man (Golden Globe nominee Charles Grodin) meets the beautiful Kelly (Golden Globe winner Cybill Sheperd) during his honeymoon, which makes him realize he wants her instead of his wife Lila (Oscar nominee Jeannie Berlin).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 2 nominations (Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Eddie Albert, and Actress in a Supporting Role – Jeannie Berlin).

Highlights: Cast, performances, and moments of humor.

#6: Silent Running (Sci-fi drama)
Perhaps one of the first examples of sci-fi films to include a green theme, and most likely inspiration for the film “Wall-E” (2008), the audience is taken to a future where all plant life on Earth is extinct, and a devoted botanist (Oscar nominee Bruce Dern) is determined to save the last of Earth’s gardens.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Themes, performances especially Dern, visual effects, songs, and message.

#5: Bad Company (Drama western adventure)
Directed by Oscar winner Robert Benton (before he won an award for his work in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) ), young Drew Dixon (the late Barry Brown), while avoiding the Civil War draft, reluctantly joins a group of rebel runaways led by a young con man Jake Rumsey (Oscar winner Jeff Bridges).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Story, dialogue, cast, performances especially Bridges and Brown, and action.

#4: Sleuth (Dramedy mystery thriller)
Based on Anthony Shaffer’s 1970 Tony Award-winning play of the same name, the film follows a man (Oscar winner Laurence Olivier), with an admiration for games, who decides to do a battle of wits with his wife’s lover (Oscar winner Michael Caine), which leads to dangerous results.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 4 nominations (Best Actor in a Leading Role – Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier, Director – Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and Original Dramatic Score – John Addison).

Highlights: Cast, performances especially the lead actors, dialogue, humor, and thrills.

#3: The Poseidon Adventure (Action adventure drama)
Based on Paul Gallico’s 1969 novel of the same name, a cruise is caught by a massive tidal wave, turning it upside down as a result. It is up to a rebellious priest (Oscar winner Gene Hackman) and a group of survivors (including Oscar winners Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Golden Globe nominee Roddy McDowall etc.) to journey through all the passages and escape from their dilemma.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 2 wins (Best Original Song – “The Morning After”, and a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects), and 7 nominations (Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Shelley Winters, Cinematography, Art Direction – Set Decoration, Costume Design, Sound, Film Editing and Original Dramatic Score – John Williams).

Highlights: Cast, performances especially Hackman and Borgnine, dialogue, thrills, and tension.

#2: Snoopy, Come Home (animated dramedy musical)
Snoopy (voiced by the late Oscar nominee Bill Melendez) receives a letter from his previous owner (voiced by Johanna Baer) to visit her at a hospital, and finds himself in a difficult situation to either return to her permanently or remain with Charlie Brown (voiced by Chad Webber).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None.

Highlights: Story, themes, animation, voice cast, humor, and songs including the titular song.

No honorable mentions this time around…

#1: What’s Up, Doc? (#Romantic comedy)
Drawing inspiration from 1930s comedies, as well as Bugs Bunny cartoons, and perhaps one of the funniest you will ever see, this screwball comedy centers on a group of people with an identical-looking bag, and the accidental mix-ups that leads into comical situations.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None but 1 Golden Globe nomination (Most Promising Newcomer – Female; Madeline Kahn).

Highlights: Cast, performances especially Oscar winner Barbra Streisand and Oscar nominee Ryan O’ Neal, and some moments of humor.