The 1970s in Film: 9 of the Best

Once upon a time, in the bad old days, record company men were drunk, violent maniacs who murdered each other, felt up every woman within reaching distance, and had their assistants keep drawers full of narcotics to keep the bands in line. So goes the premise of Vinyl (available to download from April 19th after its run on Sky Atlantic), a gluttonous and giddy look into the machinations of the industry through the eyes of chauvinistic label boss Richie Finestra, a man with the Midas touch and, simultaneously, the uncanny ability to fuck it all up on a titanic scale.

Mercifully – for the sake of feminism, the crime stats and everyone’s livers – things have changed significantly. Like the recent adaptation of John Niven’s Kill Your Friends, despite the hedonism, Vinyl looks back on these outdated times with something of a shudder. Starting with a feature-length episode and maintaining a cinematic feel throughout, Vinyl is, in many ways, classic Scorsese – dark, violent, unabashedly over the top, and a celebration of the mania of the seventies – a time when, briefly, anything went. It’s also a love letter to one of the richest periods in musical history, and laced with phenomenal sounds, from soul, Motown and disco to the ongoing transformation of rock and roll and the genesis of punk.

Here, then, are nine films – contemporary or modern – that cast an eye across the 1970s in all its loony, creative, musical, questionably dressed glory.

Click through the pages to view the list, and comment with your favourites.


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