The Sting (George Roy Hill, 1973)

The year is 1936. It is the height of the Great Depression and a man named Johnny Hooker is making ends meet as a con man in Joliet, Illinois. He successfully cons an impressive $11,000 out of an unsuspecting victim in a pigeon drop with his partners Luther Coleman and Joe Erie. Luther announces to Hooker his intentions to abandon the life of crime shortly thereafter, and advises him to seek out an old friend by the name of Henry Gondorff, who has knowledge of how to pull “the big con”. Unbeknownst to Hooker and his cohorts, their mark was a numbers racket courier working for nefarious crime boss Doyle Lonnegan. By grabbing the attention of such an influential figure in the criminal underworld, Hooker may have bitten off more than he could chew.

Continue reading

Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973)

Holly Sargis is a 15-year-old girl living in Fort Dupree, South Dakota in 1959. She has been raised by her father, a sign painter, and their relationship is highly strained as a result of her mother’s passing due to pneumonia. One day, Holly meets Kit Carruthers, a 25-year-old garbage collector and deeply troubled Korean War veteran. Resembling the late James Dean, Kit charms Holly and the two fall deeply in love. Though she couldn’t possibly have known it at the time, the romance is doomed to take a destructive turn.

Continue reading

M*A*S*H (Robert Altman, 1970)

The year is 1951. Six years have passed since the conclusion of the Second World War, and another conflict has broken out – this time in the Korean Peninsula. North Korea, with the support of China and the Soviet Union, fights against South Korea, whose citizens are backed up by the United States and her allies. Just like in the Second World War, the army has made extensive use of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) – a fully functional medical unit deployed in the combat zone. The 4077th of these units is about to shaken up when its two newest surgeons, “Hawkeye” Pierce and “Duke” Forrest arrive in a stolen Army Jeep.

Continue reading

Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975)

The year is 1972 and a man named Sonny Wortzik stormed into the First Brooklyn Savings Bank along with two accomplices. Sonny is clearly inexperienced in the art of bank robbery, as the plan begins to go awry in a matter of seconds. One of his accomplices, Stevie, loses his nerve after Sonny produces his weapon and asks to be let out of the bank. To make matters worse, they have arrived after the daily cash pickup, leaving a paltry $1,100 in the vault. From there, the plan that should have taken ten minutes snowballs into spectacle entrancing the neighborhood and later, television viewers across the nation.

Continue reading

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel, 1972)

A bourgeois couple, the Thévenots, is traveling through France with Rafael Acosta, a diplomat from the country of Miranda, and Mme. Thévenot’s sister, Florence. They arrive at the Sénéchals, who are slated to be the hosts of a dinner party. However, there’s a bit of a problem; according to Alice Sénéchal, the dinner party was scheduled for the following evening. As such, they did not prepare a dinner. Undeterred, the party decides to eat out at a nearby inn. Strangely, they find it locked, though they are invited in after knocking on the door. The waitress seems reluctant and mentions the inn is under new management, but allows them in regardless. Upon discovering that the manager had died a few hours prior and his former employees are holding vigil over his corpse. Realizing the coroner is about to arrive, the party quickly leaves.

Continue reading