A Lifetime of Film covers one specific year of a Cinefessions’ writers existence, from birth to now, and goes over their top ten films from that year. It stems from a meme on Letterboxd, and is simply being expanded upon here. This week, Ashe covers his birth year: 1977.
There’s a Top Ten Favorite Films Meme going around on Letterboxd where whenever you “like” a list, the list writer gives you a new year, and you write out your top ten films from said year. I decided to take it a step further, and started with the year I was born, and am going to move through the present, which means there’s going to be at least 36 of these this year and more in the future.
The first few years were kind of sparse for me, and some of my favorites aren’t going to make it unless I go back from before I was born (like Jaws, for example). Some of my yearly lists will have honorable mentions. I basically went through each year, added in all the films I’d seen from that year, then whittled it down and put them in order. You can find my actual list for 1977 on Letterboxd here and the others I’ve finished so far off my profile, but the write-ups are going to be here on Cinefessions. Without further ado, here’s my top ten from 1977.
10. The Hills Have Eyes (Wes Craven)
I admit this isn’t one of my favorite movies. I like the atmosphere and the creep factor but I like one of his later films much more than this. Out of the slim pickings of what I’d seen from 1977 though, this made the cut. It’s interesting and definitely great considering the budget, but not one I revisit very often.
9. Suspiria (Dario Argento)
An interesting and twisted film, probably my favorite from Dario Agrento honestly. Great use of color and film making that’s unsettling on top of everything else. It’s not a film I like though. I’m picky when it comes to horror films and while I like films that make me uncomfortable, this never really clicked with me as much as I’d hoped It would after it was hyped so much to me by my friends at the time.
8. The Rescuers
Yes a Disney film and an animated one at that. I do still happen to like those. Some of the better films out there happen to be animated and even though Disney’s tend to be aimed at children, there’s usually several layers to them. I’d actually seen the Rescuers Down Under first and prefer that film to this one, there is a charm here that I like and enjoy.
7. Pete’s Dragon (Don Chaffey)
This I one of those movies I haven’t watched in a long time but remember it when I was younger and watched it a lot when I wasn’t at home as it was always on TV at a relatives house. I don’t remember enough about it to go into too many details but it hit a big nostalgia button for me the previous three films didn’t manage to so that was more of a deciding factor than anything else.
6. Slap Shot (George Roy Hill)
I actually didn’t see this one until I was almost out of college when a gaming friend who was a Hockey nut basically tossed his extra copy my way to watch. While Paul Newman is fun in this, the supporting oddball cast more than carry the film and made it even more hilarious. This is basically the MASH of Hockey films and was a lot of fun.
5. Wizards (Ralph Bakshi)
This is another of those movies I didn’t see until much, much later. One of my college friends either recommended or had a copy and we sat down to watch it. I haven’t seen it since then but I remember Bakshi’s style all over this one and it worked really well. The story is interesting and the animation falls in line with his previous work, so that’s ok. Definitely not one for the kids and something that could probably be appreciated more during its time.
4. Smokey and the Bandit (Hal Needham)
This is one of those movies I caught for years on TV and loved it even more when I finally saw it completely un-edited. The cast is genuinely funny, the car chases are fantastic and it’s a blueprint for some great films and TV shows that came after. While not deep on plot, the film in genuinely entertaining and one that still just works despite what could have easily been a box office bom.
3. The Spy Who Loved Me (Lewis Gilbert)
I like James Bond movies, but going back to the Roger Moore era had been painful. While I loved him as a kid, there’s just too many things that don’t work for me while I’m older, except in this one. This is one of the few I really like from the Moore era and it probably has something to do with it feeling more like one of the Connery films than the overly-campy and way too over the top era of Moore.
2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg)
An amazing cast, a fantastic director, and a soundtrack and sound effects so distinct that the Sci-Fi Channel had a black screen with just the aliens communicating on audio to advertise the film showing on their channel with a date attached. This is one of those films that really combines drama and sci-fi well with some stunning visuals to go along with some great acting all around. Spielberg really does have an amazing track record with great films and this is one of them.
1. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (George Lucas)
Like Jaws, some amazing editing made this film a fantastic experience and molded my young impressionable mind to forever like sci-fi and fantasy. It’s become one of those films that works on a lot of levels with some great world-building and still the better introduction to the Star Wars Universe for people who’ve never seen any of the films. The effects for the film saved a genre and kicked a revolution in filmmaking that inspired the look for many films after including Alien and many others.