1970: The Year In Auteur Cinema

Hindsight is a tremendous aid to critical thinking. And fifty years of it allows for a great deal of critical thinking about any art form – even a bit of overthinking, if we’re honest about it. But that’s part of the fun of auteur cinema.

With the benefit of the five succeeding decades of reflection we can see 1970 as a fairly extraordinary year for auteur cinema with some of the old lions roaring for the last time, the new guard roughly shoving its way into the arena, and what might be termed as the sophomore class continuing to produce work of a high standard.

For purposes of this list, we are including some auteurs that the Big Daddy of auteurism Andrew Sarris might have classed as “Expressive Esoterica” or even “Lightly Likable” among the pantheon.

Here is an inevitably incomplete list of some of 1970’s auteur cinema offerings. Just imagine checking the newspaper every Friday to see what movies are opening and seeing some of these. We have noted some of the films that are streaming on widely accessible services as of press time.

Robert Aldrich

TOO LATE THE HERO

Robert Altman

M*A*S*H

BREWSTER McCLOUD

Roy Andersson

A SWEDISH LOVE STORY

Michelangelo Antonioni

ZABRISKIE POINT

Michael Apted

7 PLUS 7 (The second film in Apted’s ongoing 7 UP series)

Dario Argento

THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE

Hal Ashby

THE LANDLORD

Bernardo Bertolucci

THE CONFORMIST

THE SPIDER’S STRATEGEM

John Boorman

LEO THE LAST (Amazon Prime)

Mel Brooks

THE TWELVE CHAIRS

Luis Buñuel

TRISTANA

Donald Cammell & Nicolas Roeg

PERFORMANCE

John Cassavetes

HUSBANDS (Amazon Prime)

Claude Chabrol

THE BREACH

LE BOUCHER

Chang Cheh

VENGEANCE

THE WANDERING SWORDSMAN

Věra Chytilová

FRUIT OF PARADISE

Sergio Corbucci

COMPANEROS

Roger Corman

BLOODY MAMA

GAS-S-S-S (Amazon Prime)

Costa-Gavras

THE CONFESSION

David Cronenberg

CRIMES OF THE FUTURE

Ossie Davis

COTTON COMES TO HARLEM

Jacques Demy

DONKEY SKIN (Criterion Channel)

Brian De Palma

DIONYSUS IN ’69

HI MOM!

Jacques Deray

BORSALINO

Vittorio De Sica

THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS

SUNFLOWER

Blake Edwards

DARLING LILI

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER

GODS OF THE PLAGUE

WHY DOES HERR R. RUN AMOK?

Jesús Franco

COUNT DRACULA

EUGENIE…

Georges Franju

THE DEMISE OF FATHER MOURET

John Frankenheimer

I WALK THE LINE (Amazon Prime)

William Friedkin

THE BOYS IN THE BAND

Ruy Guerra

OF GODS & THE UNDEAD

Howard Hawks

RIO LOBO

Werner Herzog

EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL

John Huston

THE KREMLIN LETTER

Shohei Imamura

HISTORY OF POSTWAR JAPAN AS TOLD BY A BAR HOSTESS

Alejandro Jodorowsky

EL TOPO

Phil Karlson

HORNET’S NEST

Krystof Kieslowski

FACTORY (Criterion Channel)

Akira Kurosawa

DODES’KA-DEN (Criterion Channel)

David Lean

RYAN’S DAUGHTER

David Lynch

THE GRANDMOTHER (Criterion Channel)

Jerry Lewis

ONE MORE TIME

WHICH WAY TO THE FRONT?

Barbara Loden

WANDA

Joseph Losey

FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE

THE GO-BETWEEN (Amazon Prime)

Sidney Lumet

KING: A FILMED RECORD… MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS

Joseph L. Mankiewicz

THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN…

Maysles Brothers & Charlotte Zwerin

GIMME SHELTER

Paul Mazursky

ALEX IN WONDERLAND

Jean-Pierre Melville

LE CERCLE ROUGE

Russ Meyer

BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS

Vincente Minnelli

ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER

Mario Monicelli

BRANCALEONE AT THE CROSSROADS

Mike Nichols

CATCH 22 (Amazon Prime)

Nagisa Oshima

THE MAN WHO LEFT HIS WILL ON FILM (Criterion Channel)

Sam Peckinpah

THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE

Arthur Penn

LITTLE BIG MAN (Amazon Prime)

Frank & Eleanor Perry

DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE

Elio Petri

INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN UNDER SUSPICION

Otto Preminger

TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME JUNIE MOON

Satyajit Ray

DAYS & NIGHTS IN THE FOREST

Carol Reed

FLAP

Jean Renoir

THE LITTLE THEATRE OF JEAN RENOIR

Martin Ritt

THE GREAT WHITE HOPE

Alain Robbe-Grillet

EDEN & AFTER

Éric Rohmer

CLAIRE’S KNEE

Richard Rush

GETTING STRAIGHT

Ken Russell

THE MUSIC LOVERS

Carlos Saura

THE GARDEN OF DELIGHTS

Claude Sautet

THE THINGS OF LIFE

Martin Scorsese

STREET SCENES 1970

Jerry Schatzberg

PUZZLE OF A DOWNFALL CHILD

Volker Schlondorff

BAAL (Criterion Channel)

Don Siegel

TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA

Jerzy Skolimowski

THE ADVENTURES OF GERARD

DEEP END

François Truffaut

BED & BOARD

THE WILD CHILD (Criterion Channel)

Agnes Varda

THE BLACK PANTHERS (Criterion Channel)

Melvin Van Peebles

WATERMELON MAN (Amazon Prime)

Andrzej Wajda

LANDSCAPE AFTER THE BATTLE

Billy WIlder

THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

William Wyler

THE LIBERATION OF L.B. JONES (Amazon Prime)

Karel Zeman

ON THE COMET

Thanks To Our Annual Sponsors