Decades
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Top 10 Movies of 1977

on December 27, 2017, 12:00am
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10. Slap Shot

slapshot Top 10 Movies of 1977

Slap Shot introduced audiences to the enthralling subculture of 1970’s minor league hockey – an arena of aging legends, budding Bobby Orrs, and more O-positive on ice than a blood bank. Originally deemed better suited for the penalty box than the box office due to its locker room language and gratuitous violence, the Charlestown Chiefs and the goonish, childlike, spectacled Hanson brothers have come to be embraced over the years by hockey fans and lovers of sports movies alike. Beneath all the raunchiness, however, remains the relatable tale of an aging player/coach (Paul Newman) looking for one last taste of glory before he hangs up his skates and the rebellious thrill as a bunch of minor league misfits carry a whole down-and-out town on its pads during their bloody, toothless path to a championship. It’s a hilarious reminder that some of us were just born to win ugly or not at all. –Matt Melis

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09. The Spy Who Loved Me

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The Bond franchise is forever. Now how do you find the time to pick and choose the highlights? Easy. Just watch Goldfinger, Casino Royale, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and The Spy Who Loved Me. And in 1977, you wouldn’t have been too out of line if you agreed with Carly Simon: Nobody did it better than Roger Moore and director Lewis Gilbert. After 15 years on the job for “Cubby” Broccoli, James Bond felt fresher than he had during much of the ‘60s. Gilbert took Bond clichés – womanizing, mad villainy, gadget goofs – and arguably reinvented the series with a fresh, knowing, and disco-pop sensibility. The result was a megahit popcorn pleaser. Marvin Hamlisch brightened the sound with uptempo bass and synths atop the staid strings. The stunt work and set design was a class its own, with surreal underwater bases, a Lotus Esprit submarine, and that splendid gag with the Union Jack in the opening. OH, and Jaws was a helluva bad dude sidekick! And the theme song, too, wow! And most importantly, Moore hit his stride in his third outing, cracking wise, taking on Bond tropes, and presenting the character with a sense of disbelief that won out. –Blake Goble

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08. House

house Top 10 Movies of 1977

Nobuhiko Obayashi’s outlandish masterpiece is the sort of film that you watch once and spend the rest of your life demanding that other people see as well, just to confirm that it wasn’t in fact a fever-induced hallucination through which you suffered alone. The story of a series of doomed young women being taken in by a malevolent country home, Hausu starts with a fairly typical genre premise and eventually spirals into a fugue of madness. Like a Tim & Eric take on the haunted house subgenre, Obayashi’s film rattles along with the singsong cadence and soft-focus photography of a dreamy fairy tale, even as its surrealistic violence is as unsettling as you’ve seen in any horror film. It’s beautiful, revolting, hilarious, and virtually everything else you could ever want a horror film to be. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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07. Saturday Night Fever

saturday night fever di 1 Top 10 Movies of 1977

“Disco sucks!” You know something, you suck. C’mon, there’s nothing lame about tight-as-hell Italian suits and wickedly talented musicians like The Bee Gees, The Trammps, Walter Murphy, or Kool and the Gang. Nothing. Forty years later, John Badham’s Saturday Night Fever is still as fun to watch as it is to listen to on, well, Saturday nights. Sure, John Travolta’s loser friends are annoying — and somewhat infuriating — but that’s the point, and they only embellish the boyish qualities of our former Look Who’s Talking star. His performance, his dance moves, and that smile is as tasty as the two stacks of pizza he eats during his Brooklyn strut. But what’s really great about this film is how innocent it all feels. Travolta’s relationship with Karen Gorney is so natural and real and offers one hell of a bridge into a glitzy subculture that continues to ooze with magic and mystery. –Michael Roffman

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06. That Obscure Object of Desire

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Mathieu (Fernando Rey) is an old fogey, seemingly obsessed with a beautiful, young woman named Conchita. The radiant Conchita is played by Carole Bouquet, while the Earthy Conchita is played by Ángela Molina. Why? Two reasons. One, That Obscure Object of Desire is an uncanny jest at the often self-centered, tentacle-like obsessions of men, let alone dirty, older men with means. It doesn’t matter who the woman is; these guys don’t see that crystaline when they’re thinking with their pecker. Reason two? Director Luis Buñuel got buzzed with his producer, Serge Silberman, one night and thought having two actresses play the same woman might be kinda funny. Less expensive on his movie overall, as well. The final film from that angel of the avant, That Obscure Object of Desire is bursting with desire, wit, and the kind of so-crazed-it-actually-works invention that Buñuel’s 50-year body of work became heralded in retrospect. Mannered surrealism and maddening man cravings, oh my. This is perhaps the easiest way to put Buñuel’s black comedy. It’s a fitting, aware, and haughty farewell from the art legend. –Blake Goble

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