PDA

View Full Version : The differences between 1970s cinema and the cinema of today


Argent Towers
07-18-2008, 10:15 PM
I've been thinking lately that there is just something fundamentally different about 70s movies and TV shows versus the ones we have today. There are a bunch of different factors that seem to combine together to create the overall effect, but that overall effect is dramatic. It gives movies made in the 70s a feel that is drastically different from what we've got now, and I think that in 20 years or so, it will be seen as truly alien and antiquated.

I'm trying to think of just what it is that makes those 70s movies seem so...70's...and it's hard to exactly figure it out. But I have a few possible ideas:

Everything seems to have a "washed out" look to it. I don't know if this is because the film they used back then did not produce as vivid color as the film they use now, or what, but in the movie "Dirty Harry," just to give one example, the whole world of the movie has a tan-gray-brown look to it.

This might also have something to do with the clothes. Everyone back in the 70s, if movies are to believed, wore really drab clothes in various shades of brown and gray. Of course, there are the exceptions - the funkadelic bright colors of the rockers and pimps and psychedelic people and disco maniacs - so let me rephrase that - everyone in 70s movies over the age of 35 seems to only dress in drab shades of gray or brown. They also wore those big aviator-style eyeglasses a lot, and smoked cigarettes all the time. And all men wore suits, constantly.

This is a big part of it, I think, the fact that in movies now, you rarely see people dressed in suits unless they're at a high-powered white-collar professional job. In 70s movies, all men are always wearing suits and ties, all the time, it seems.

Furthermore - the pacing of 70s movies is way, way slower than what we're used to now. I used to watch Starsky and Hutch with my dad, and he'd tell me about how it was considered to be very violent for its time. This made me laugh because, while it was pretty violent compared to the cop shows that preceded it, it wasn't even close to the level of constant gunfire and bloodshed that shows have now. And it's damn slow. Modern TV audiences would not have the patience to make it through an episode of Starsky and Hutch or Kojak. Some episodes of Starsky and Hutch consist of roughly 10 percent action, and 90 percent guys sitting around in drab tweed suits in wood-paneled rooms, smoking cigarettes and wearing giant eyeglasses. The editing was much more sparse - we're used to cut cut cut cut cut nowadays on cop shows, but S&H would have long shots that would go on for minutes with only one or two changes in the camera angle.

Am I imagining all this, or are these differences really that pronounced? Are there other things that you can think of that make 70s movies or TV shows unique?

alphaboi867
07-18-2008, 10:22 PM
The actors were hairier.

Bearflag70
07-18-2008, 10:24 PM
Memorable and hummable theme songs and intros seem harder to find these days

Little Nemo
07-18-2008, 10:40 PM
To me, Colors (http://imdb.com/title/tt0094894/) is a bizarrely out-of-time movie. It was made in 1988 and it was set in that year but it has such a seventies feel to it that I checked the production date twice.

Runs With Scissors
07-18-2008, 10:42 PM
In my mind, 70s movies were very stark and depressing...yet they seemed mostly filmed in bright sunlight. Dark movies of today rarely feature natural sunlight.

They seemed to take themselves VERY seriously, even if the writing/acting/directing was sub-par.

They had a lot more monologuing than today's movies. Main characters seemed to philosophize a lot more, but about mundane topics masquerading as important topics.

Zsofia
07-18-2008, 10:44 PM
The biggest thing about 70's movies that I notice, even more so than earlier movies, is, as you said, the pacing. Jesus H. Christ, they're slow. And I don't need every movie I watch to be a music video, trust me. They're just really, really slow.

phil417
07-19-2008, 12:43 AM
What I remember about movies in the 1970's was the "anti-hero" theme. Think of the Billy Jack movies (mentioned in another thread), Tell Them Willie Boy is Here (blonde Robert Redford played an American Indian on the run), The Exorcist,Last Tango in Paris, etc.

Happy endings back then were considered old fashioned, I guess.

I do remember two movies I liked, Jeremiah Johnson..slow to the point of turgid, but great scenery..Robert Redford in buckskins (drool). And, of course, Blazing Saddles.

Love, Phil

Slithy Tove
07-19-2008, 01:02 AM
The actors were hairier.

So this discussion will include porno?

Don't forget the 30-minute drama of the late 1960's, where shows in the same genre would eat up a full hour today. There was Dragnet (where the actors read from cue cards to move the pacing ahead), both of Chuck Connors' western series, and N.Y.P.D. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=K1EARMaQBjw)

JohnT
07-19-2008, 02:13 AM
IIRC, movie directors of the 1960s through early 1980s used a film stock that has not held up well over the years. That accounts for much of the washed-out look. I recently saw a copy of Ordinary People that was quite fuzzy and nostalgically remembered that what I was seeing was once "natural" and that I paid $1 to rent VHS tapes of even worse quality when I was in college back in the late-80s.

Movies of the 1970s were more literary and personal, infused as they were with the auteur theory of filmmaking (where the director is the person responsible in full for a movies artistic success or failure). Today's films are more visual, the dialogue much simpler, with the directors of many of todays biggest films are near unknown hired hands who know how to stage big scenes and little else (how many people y'all know will know the name of the person who directed the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (Gore Verbinski) offhand?)

As for actual differences: the film stock is better. The sound of films is almost unimaginably better. F/X is a completely different world. Editing is much faster - a film with static shots regularly exceeding 90 seconds is rarely made today. Films have vastly larger budgets, the studios are oriented more and more towards the international market, and there is a massive home market for films where one didn't exist before, making almost any major release to be available for the price of a Netflix subscription.

And a lot of this change (not all of it!) can be dated from May 25th, 1977. The turning-point between movies of "the 1970's" and movies now is, of course, Star Wars. Once studios saw that hundreds of millions of dollars could be earned off opening wide original material that featured simplistic black and white villians and good guys arranged in plots so metronomic that you could keep time with them, it was all over for movies like Chinatown, Five Easy Pieces, The Conversation, Taxi Driver, films which lived in a sea of moral ambiguity, no easy answers, and little comfort that the good guys would triumph in the end (how can the good guys triumph if there are no true "good guys" in a movie?)

IMHO, Star Wars changed the movie business more than any film since the advent of talking pictures. Before SW films opened small, limited to one or two screens per major market, with a slow rollout exceeding a year or two to the smaller towns. After SW films would open wider on 500 screens, 1,000 screens, more, all in an attempt to capture the revenues quicker. After SW, the measure of a films success became weekend box-office measurements, pre-SW the measure of a film was whether it was talked about in the written press and stayed over a year in the first-run.

Heaven's Gate didn't help either. ;)

Just Some Guy
07-19-2008, 02:44 AM
Everything seems to have a "washed out" look to it. I don't know if this is because the film they used back then did not produce as vivid color as the film they use now, or what, but in the movie "Dirty Harry," just to give one example, the whole world of the movie has a tan-gray-brown look to it.

Okay, I'm dating myself here but it seemed to me that starting around 1970 the majority of the films were shot on some incredibly crappy stock that decayed before it finished its first run. Can anyone comment on if things did look better when they were first projected in theaters and wound up tinted yellow by the time it got transferred to video tape? I don't think directors intended all the films to look tan which makes me think that the film stock degraded quickly but I'm too young to remember how films looked during their initial runs in the 70's.

Ranchoth
07-19-2008, 03:49 AM
•They seemed to be at a historical midpoint between "casting roles with serious actors, in stories heavy controlled by society and the studio" and "casting actors who look pretty while naked, and often are." The result being, of course, sex scenes with mostly uglier people.

•The era also enclosed the fossil layer of sci-fi films between the "uses stock footage of V-2 tests" and "Rip off Star Wars" layers. This is known as the "2001 rip off" or the "two-bit surrealism and anti-establishment undertones" period.

•Everyone's clothing seemed to be ill-fitting, and looked too hot (And, by extension, somewhat sweaty and greasy).

Savannah
07-19-2008, 11:05 AM
The biggest thing about 70's movies that I notice, even more so than earlier movies, is, as you said, the pacing. Jesus H. Christ, they're slow. And I don't need every movie I watch to be a music video, trust me. They're just really, really slow. I bought "The Changeling" on DVD because I like scary movies. Although the release date says 1980, it felt very 70s to me. What I liked and was a little surprised by, was by the slow pace of the movie. However, the gradual increase of tension was more effective to ratchet up the chills, and I felt really immersed in the story. I wish there was more of that around; a little patience to let the story be told is not a bad thing.

fiddlesticks
07-19-2008, 12:40 PM
I remember noting the "washed out" look for things produced in the '70s when I was a kid in the early '80s watching things like "Benji" on TV. I also remember it was easy to tell a five year old "Afternoon Special" from a new one just by the look of the video more than the outfits the kids were wearing.

mbh
07-19-2008, 01:10 PM
Another cause of the washed-out look: "Cinema verite" (it's French, so put accent marks over all of the "e"s)

A lot of directors were trying for a "realistic" look. The idea was, to make your film look like a documentary. What it actually did, was to make your film look like a bad home movie.

Bryan Ekers
07-19-2008, 01:19 PM
1970s cinema had a higher "wakatchu" quotient.

zamboniracer
07-19-2008, 01:36 PM
Aside from the Bond and Superman movies, movie heroes were not impervious to bullet wounds in the 1970s. Starting with the Rambo movies, all wounds sustained by the hero became minor flesh wounds, even machine gun wounds through the heart barely slowed down the movie protagonist.

mbh
07-19-2008, 01:38 PM
by Bryan Ekers
1970s cinema had a higher "wakatchu" quotient.

Also a higher "bow-chikka-bow-bow" quotient.

And "solarization"!

Sage Rat
07-19-2008, 01:58 PM
Aside from the Bond and Superman movies, movie heroes were not impervious to bullet wounds in the 1970s. Starting with the Rambo movies, all wounds sustained by the hero became minor flesh wounds, even machine gun wounds through the heart barely slowed down the movie protagonist.
That was the 80s.

burundi
07-19-2008, 02:01 PM
In my mind, 70s movies were very stark and depressing...yet they seemed mostly filmed in bright sunlight. Dark movies of today rarely feature natural sunlight.

They seemed to take themselves VERY seriously, even if the writing/acting/directing was sub-par.
Oh, yeah. Depressing, ponderous and looong are the three adjectives that come to mind when I think of '70s movies. Star Wars and Harold and Maude are the only '70s movies I can think of that I actually like. Other movies like Chinatown and McCabe and Mrs. Miller...I know that they're good movies, but, damn, I just can't like them.

AuntiePam
07-19-2008, 02:56 PM
So if the film stock was of poor quality in the 70's, how do we account for the sharp color of movies from the late 30's, 40's, 50's? Do they look good because they were re-mastered and the 70's movies haven't been re-mastered yet?

Fish
07-19-2008, 03:01 PM
Are there other things that you can think of that make 70s movies or TV shows unique?
In 1968, the Hayes Code was discontinued in favor of the MPAA rating system. The Hayes Code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayes_code) began around 1930 as a self-imposed form of censorship, and it was very restrictive:
1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.
Specifically, you could not have nudity; suggestive dance; drug use; alcohol (except when required by the plot); sexual perversions; venereal disease; depictions of childbirth; offensive language; miscegenation; excessive and lustful kissing; or vulgarity. In addition, you could not depict religion or even ministers in a bad light (as comic figures or villains). You could not depict how to commit a crime, or show murder in any detail that would inspire duplication. The sanctity of marriage was to be upheld. Adultery could not be explicit or presented as an attractive alternative to marriage. The flag of the U.S. was to be treated with respect.

You look at a list like that and say, "Wow, that looks like the movie marquee from any studio in the 1970s." Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Dirty Harry, The French Connection, Harold and Maude, Shaft, Willard, The Last of the Red-Hot Lovers, The Godfather, The Exorcist, The Sting, High Plains Drifter, Magnum Force, Blazing Saddles, Chinatown, Death Wish, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws, The Story of O, Marathon Man, Rocky, Taxi Driver.

Of course, the Hayes Code was deteriorating by that time; movies were released without Hayes certification that were nevertheless box-office hits [such as Some Like It Hot (1959) and Psycho (1960)], and as the 1960s wore on, Hayes became increasingly unenforceable in the face of profits to be made. November 1968 was when the floodgates opened.

dangermom
07-19-2008, 03:24 PM
Everyone seemed greasier in the 70's. They all just look sort of oily to me, like everyone needs a good shower and shampoo.

Argent Towers
07-19-2008, 03:32 PM
It's because everyone seemed to be wearing heavy plaid or tweed suits and ties even in the summer. And guys all had their hair greased to all hell.

Stranger On A Train
07-19-2008, 04:27 PM
This might also have something to do with the clothes. Everyone back in the 70s, if movies are to believed, wore really drab clothes in various shades of brown and gray. Of course, there are the exceptions - the funkadelic bright colors of the rockers and pimps and psychedelic people and disco maniacs - so let me rephrase that - everyone in 70s movies over the age of 35 seems to only dress in drab shades of gray or brown. They also wore those big aviator-style eyeglasses a lot, and smoked cigarettes all the time. And all men wore suits, constantly.Yep, that was pretty much the 'Seventies in a nutshell; all you missed were the bug-ugly hideously overchromed cars and the ever-present Coors and Olympia beer. (Believe it or not, Coors was considerd some pretty high falutin beer in that era.)

The biggest thing about 70's movies that I notice, even more so than earlier movies, is, as you said, the pacing. Jesus H. Christ, they're slow. And I don't need every movie I watch to be a music video, trust me. They're just really, really slow.Filmmakers in the 'Seventies went for a more naturalistic style that got caught between the snappy dialogue of the Golden Age of Cinema and the quick cutting of the 'Eighties; as a result, you get a lot of what the o.p. describes; guys sitting around in drab clothes in dark paneled rooms smoking. As an example, take a look at Bullitt; the film is the archetype for the maverick cop movie and stars the era's leading action hero icon, but the bulk of the movie is slower than a bassett hound on Qualuudes and with dialogue so stilted it was cliched before there was a cliche to compare it to. If not for the awesome but geographically impossible car chase scene and the final airport showdown, it would be a completely unmemorable entry in McQueen's c.v.

And a lot of this change (not all of it!) can be dated from May 25th, 1977. The turning-point between movies of "the 1970's" and movies now is, of course, Star Wars. Once studios saw that hundreds of millions of dollars could be earned off opening wide original material that featured simplistic black and white villians and good guys arranged in plots so metronomic that you could keep time with them, it was all over for movies like Chinatown, Five Easy Pieces, The Conversation, Taxi Driver, films which lived in a sea of moral ambiguity, no easy answers, and little comfort that the good guys would triumph in the end (how can the good guys triumph if there are no true "good guys" in a movie?)You just listed four of my favorite films. Movies like these would be considered "art house" films and likely given limited distribution. You might be able to salvage Chinatown for a major studio release--it isn't too dissimilar from L.A. Confidential in theme and pacing--but you'd have to replace Polanski with a more action oriented director and have him rescue Fay Dunaway by gunning down John Huston in the end (which is more-or-less the end of the film as originally drafted).

Star Wars did good and bad things for cinema; it dramatically increased the scale of promotion and accelerated audience expectations for special effects (watching film like Logan's Run today gives an idea of how utterly laughable "award winning" SFX was pre-Star Wars) and spurred a renewed interest in cinematic space opera; on the other hand, it undercut real science fiction and sold Hollywood on the notion of patching together influences from a bunch of different sources into a creaky story with canned dialogue. (To be fair, The Empire Strikes Back was a superior film in every way, multi-layered and complex; if the rest of the series, and cinematic sci-fi in general could meet that standard there would be little to complain about.)

Star Wars was a turning point, but it was hardly the only one; the Bond films in the 'Sixties, and the Schwartenegger and Stallone movies in the 'Eighties also redefined cinema pretty assuredly in terms of the portrayal of violence and the complexity (or lack thereof) of story. And Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Blowup broke the Production Code for better or worse. And you could do things in major studio release films between the collapse of the Production Code and the rise of simplistic films in 'Eightes that you couldn't get away with now, like the metaphysical noodling in Point Blank (pointlessly remade as a straight actioneer as Payback).

Still, I think movies in the 'Eighties were worse, and hold up more poorly. Rewatching Beverly Hills Cop--a massive hit in its day--is just kind of painful in its crudity of editing and humor. And anything involving special effects generally looks bad; not humorously bad like Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers, but just as if nobody really cared to try to make it look good; a rare film like Star Wars II: The Wrath of Khan stands out by having merely competent SFX.

So if the film stock was of poor quality in the 70's, how do we account for the sharp color of movies from the late 30's, 40's, 50's? Do they look good because they were re-mastered and the 70's movies haven't been re-mastered yet?I'd wager that most pre-'Seventies era movies you find on DVD today have been remastered, often from something other than the original prints. The technology to digitally remaster films today is relatively mature and (mostly) automated, and film master prints of those eras are so badly degraded that taking the image directly from the master would give nothing useable. (See the restoration of Rear Window, which has a short feature on the DVD that compares the pre- and post-restoration images. Heck, watch it anyway; it's a great, great movie.) It is also the case that color films of those eras commonly used a two or three strip color process such as Technicolor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technicolor) (see an explanation here (http://widescreenmuseum.com/oldcolor/additive-subtractive.htm)) whereas most films after that era use a monopack film negative like the Kodachrome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodachrome)-based Eastmancolor film, which was much cheaper to process and used lighter, less complex cameras, but didn't offer as much saturation and doesn't hold up to age nearly as well.

It is also the case that in the late 'Seventies or early 'Eighties that film emulsions using tabular crystals (which gives a finer and more distinct "grain" to the image) were used, resulting in a better defined, higher resolution image. Misguided efforts have been made in some hidef transfers to correct for the graininess of older films, which paradoxically results in a more bland, scrubbed-looking image, like anti-aliasing a font until all you have is a blurred shape.

Stranger

Ellis Aponte Jr.
07-19-2008, 04:50 PM
And a lot of this change (not all of it!) can be dated from May 25th, 1977. The turning-point between movies of "the 1970's" and movies now is, of course, Star Wars. Once studios saw that hundreds of millions of dollars could be earned off opening wide original material that featured simplistic black and white villians and good guys arranged in plots so metronomic that you could keep time with them, it was all over for movies like Chinatown, Five Easy Pieces, The Conversation, Taxi Driver, films which lived in a sea of moral ambiguity, no easy answers, and little comfort that the good guys would triumph in the end (how can the good guys triumph if there are no true "good guys" in a movie?)

IMHO, Star Wars changed the movie business more than any film since the advent of talking pictures. Before SW films opened small, limited to one or two screens per major market, with a slow rollout exceeding a year or two to the smaller towns. After SW films would open wider on 500 screens, 1,000 screens, more, all in an attempt to capture the revenues quicker. After SW, the measure of a films success became weekend box-office measurements, pre-SW the measure of a film was whether it was talked about in the written press and stayed over a year in the first-run.

Heaven's Gate didn't help either. ;)

Most of what you give Star Wars credit for was actually accomplished slightly earlier by Jaws. But it is a crucial point, I agree.

Stranger beat me to it by bringing up Technicolor, but also it's important to remember that it was just an overall trend by 1970 or so to downplay the use of studio sets with their perfectible lighting & to film on location as much as possible, even when the filmstock of the day was imperfect for that purpose. Also the concept of "naturalism" was triumphant over "artifice" in that era & whereas you might consider today's movies more realistic-looking, I would assert that in many ways they are more artificial (obviously more digital).

Incidental point: I do not think that movies today sound much better than they did in the '70s. They sound louder, yes, but in a contrived way, with every little paper crinkle & background noise amplified to unnatural effect.

BMax
07-19-2008, 05:07 PM
People wore a lot of cream, beige, tan, brown, burnt orange, umber, powder blue and navy blue clothes in the 70's. Cars and carpets were also neutral brown colors too. And we had ghastly avocado-colored refrigerators. Earth-tones were definitely in fashion. There were a lot of colors used in the 70's, but often they were muted and muddied.

AuntiePam
07-19-2008, 06:16 PM
And women wore way more eye makeup (and big ol' false eyelashes) in the 60's and 70's. Maybe it was to compensate for the drab colors.

Nowadays, eye makeup isn't noticeable unless the character is a hooker or a barfly.

I think we're seeing more cleavage now too. Breastseses were emphasized in the old days but it was done using push-up bras and padding, dresses with tight bodices, and tight shirts and sweaters (tucked in to show off a tiny waist). Now there's cleavage everywhere, even on women wearing business attire. And the cleavage area where there isn't any cleavage -- just ribs.

lissener
07-19-2008, 06:25 PM
Here's a sloppy precis of my understanding:

After WWII, Italian filmmakers like Rossellini and Visconti took there filmmaking to the rubble filled streets in the chaos of war torn Italy, inventing neorealism along the way. The French New Wave took the new openness even further and completely shook up the stuffy establisment style of studio filmmaking. Then in the US, the Hays code and studio system ended in 1967-68, and suddenly the field was wide open and even somewhat leveled, leading to an explosion of more "outsiderey" American filmmakers. I think the style the OP describes can find its American roots in movies like The Wild Bunch (1969) and Bonnie and Clyde (1967), which were probably the earliest mainstream successes in this new American "school" of post-New Wave, post-Neorealist, post-Studio, post-Hays filmmaking. This was also, of course, a time of great social upheaval in the US--hippies, Viet Nam, etc.--so the entire esthetic context of pretty much everything was changing too.

[ETA: the above is cite free and offered in the spirit of talking out of my ass; just my vague understanding of the subject.]

zamboniracer
07-19-2008, 08:10 PM
That was the 80s.


Sage, the 80's were between the 70s and today, in case you didn't notice. :)

alphaboi867
07-19-2008, 10:43 PM
So this discussion will include porno?...

Who said anything about porno? As Ranchoth there wasn't as big an emphasise on casting "pretty" people (or at least pretty men) and male actors didn't shave most of their body hair off if they showed skin. Metrosexuals weren't in fashion then.

An Gadaí
07-19-2008, 11:06 PM
Don't forget the 30-minute drama of the late 1960's, where shows in the same genre would eat up a full hour today. There was Dragnet (where the actors read from cue cards to move the pacing ahead), both of Chuck Connors' western series, and N.Y.P.D. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=K1EARMaQBjw)

Does Police Squad lampoon the opening sequence of this? It looks so to me.

Harmonious Discord
07-19-2008, 11:08 PM
Films really did die during broadcasts in the 70's. Sometimes the sound went sometimes the video, and the blotches covered the screen at times. A few years after release they could be quite messed up. Newer movies don't have the problem too much.

The 70's were just before everything sped up and electronics made big leaps, taking time away from activities you did, because you were bored. The 70's films drag out and include mundane boring hobbies everybody had back then. The horror movies were big on anticipation, and really dark locations. You saw a heart boiling in the pot of hot dogs and the results of attacks. Today they show the monster ripping the people to shreds. Technical abilities define the difference in most of the movie contents. One thing I liked was the use of models from films like Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.

Early 80's movies started to show off the newest electronic gadgets, which isn't unique to that period, but the gadgets are.

Decor and dress really influence the fell for the films too. The 70's long hair and laid back movies with not taboo on drinking or smoking. The 80's went faster pace, with big hair, fashion and the new trend of the 80's flashy musical movies, though some hit the end of the 70's.

1978 is more of a start point for the musicals like Grease. Olivia Newton John and John Travolta.

Argent Towers
07-19-2008, 11:57 PM
Who said anything about porno? As Ranchoth there wasn't as big an emphasise on casting "pretty" people (or at least pretty men) and male actors didn't shave most of their body hair off if they showed skin. Metrosexuals weren't in fashion then.

For instance, there's absolutely no way that Charles Bronson could be a star now. Even Clint Eastwood, in his Dirty Harry years, wouldn't be able to make it today - he wasn't bad looking, but he wasn't good looking. There was nothing sexy or romantic about his character. Same deal with Gene Hackman. Dustin Hoffman? He might be able to get romantic-comedy roles, but nowadays he'd never get cast in an intense thriller like Marathon Man or Straw Dogs if he was in his twenties or thirties. It's like there's a requirement that the male lead either be a pretty boy or a muscle-bound stud like Daniel Craig, if he's going to be in a "serious" movie. All those guys I listed, and other action heroes from the 70s, it's not like they were out-of-shape, but they also didn't spend time toning their muscles and deliberately trying to achieve a Brad Pitt type figure. Charles Bronson was ripped as all hell, but it's the kind of ripped that you get from working on a construction site and getting into street fights, not the kind of ripped that you get from a personal trainer.

lissener
07-20-2008, 12:15 AM
. . . Clint Eastwood, in his Dirty Harry years, wouldn't be able to make it today - he wasn't bad looking, but he wasn't good looking. . . .
Dude. I hope you're not gay. If you are, you just lost (http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/54/039_40009~Clint-Eastwood-Posters.jpg) your membership privileges.

Argent Towers
07-20-2008, 12:22 AM
No, I'm not gay, but I still contend that Eastwood doesn't have the looks to make it nowadays. I should have worded it differently though, so let me take that back. Eastwood is good looking. But I don't think he's good looking in the way that a Hollywood male lead is considered good-looking nowadays. Which isn't a bad thing, in my opinion, because I think Eastwood looks like a man. He looks like a tough guy. He's got symmetrical facial features that add up to a handsome face, but he's lean and lanky and doesn't have a personal-trained body.

Eastman was handsome the way Steve McQueen was handsome - he looked like a legitimate tough guy. Not a metrosexual.

DesertDog
07-20-2008, 12:48 AM
So if the film stock was of poor quality in the 70's, how do we account for the sharp color of movies from the late 30's, 40's, 50's? Do they look good because they were re-mastered and the 70's movies haven't been re-mastered yet?Color movies up to about the mid-fifties used the Technicolor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technicolor) process. This meant bulky cameras (they were really shooting on three strips of film at once) and expensive, slow prints, using a dye transfer process. The colors achieved, though, were gorgeous and stable.

Starting in thirties, with big improvements in the early fifties, Eastman Kodak developed a color reversal film stock that could be used to strike Technicolor prints from only one strip in the camera, and later on quickly strike prints directly, avoiding the expensive dye-transfer method Technicolor used. There was much rejoicing; the last American film using the dye-transfer process for prints was The Godfather, Part 2 in 1974. The problem was, the Kodak-process prints fade quickly, as soon as five years for the cyan and yellow layers. Unless someone is willing to pay for major restoration, those faded prints are the source material for digitization onto your DVD.

Now, this is strictly conjecture on my part, but Technicolor sound stages were incredibly brightly lit. The light reaching the film had to be divvied three ways and too much was better than not enough. I'd be willing to bet the lighting directors who cut their teeth on Technicolor were slow to change when the Kodak stock became prevalent, and this accounts to the extremely flat lighting of movies shot during that period -- especially television. The folks who made Trials and Tribble-ations commented they had to change their habits to match the lighting of The Trouble with Tribbles shot some thirty years earlier.

lissener
07-20-2008, 12:54 AM
No, I'm not gay, but I still contend that Eastwood doesn't have the looks to make it nowadays. I should have worded it differently though, so let me take that back. Eastwood is good looking. But I don't think he's good looking in the way that a Hollywood male lead is considered good-looking nowadays. Which isn't a bad thing, in my opinion, because I think Eastwood looks like a man. He looks like a tough guy. He's got symmetrical facial features that add up to a handsome face, but he's lean and lanky and doesn't have a personal-trained body.

Eastman was handsome the way Steve McQueen was handsome - he looked like a legitimate tough guy. Not a metrosexual.
Obviously this is very subjective, but the young to middle aged Eastwood is one of the best looking men of the last century, up there with Gary Cooper (http://poster.net/cooper-gary/cooper-gary-photo-xl-gary-cooper-6231378.jpg) IMO.

GuanoLad
07-20-2008, 01:45 AM
For instance, there's absolutely no way that Charles Bronson could be a star now. Even Clint Eastwood, in his Dirty Harry years, wouldn't be able to make it today - he wasn't bad looking, but he wasn't good looking.Consider Benicio Del Toro (http://images.google.com/images?q=benicio+del+toro).

Argent Towers
07-20-2008, 01:48 AM
He's a pretty-boy-turned-character-actor. What was the last big U.S. movie where he had a leading man role?

Justin_Bailey
07-20-2008, 02:20 AM
He's a pretty-boy-turned-character-actor. What was the last big U.S. movie where he had a leading man role?

That would last year's Things We Lost in the Fire. And I gotta say, I've never heard Benicio Del Toro described as a "pretty boy." In fact, I think the man is downright hideous (and may secretly be a troll in disguise).

Can you point me to roles he won solely because he was a "pretty boy"?

Argent Towers
07-20-2008, 04:41 AM
Well, Del Toro is a great actor because he's able to vary his appearance wildly, similar to Jon Voight - a great 70s star who had the ability to be a leading man and a character actor at the same time. I think Heath Ledger will be remembered the same way, after Dark Night. Del Toro was a fat slob in Fear and Loathing, and back to a "hunk" physique the next year. He could look great if he tried to - and he could look ugly if he tried to. The attributes of a true actor.

I mean, I'm straight, but shit - the guy can look pretty damn good when he wants to. (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y120/rachel0baby/bdt2.jpg)

Even if he's not conventionally handsome he still has, as I've heard girls say, a "raw" or "passionate" sex appeal. The same could not ever be said of Charles Bronson.

Justin_Bailey
07-20-2008, 09:39 AM
Even if he's not conventionally handsome he still has, as I've heard girls say, a "raw" or "passionate" sex appeal. The same could not ever be said of Charles Bronson.

I think you're looking at this comparison a little sideways. Benicio Del Toro hit it big for the first time in 1995 (The Usual Suspects), he was 28. He continued to do medium to large sized roles until 2000 (Traffic), where he won an Oscar and was 33. From then on, he's become very well known.

Charles Bronson's breakout role was in 1960 (The Magnificent Seven), has was 40. His next memorable role was 1967 (The Dirty Dozen), when he would have been 47. It wasn't until the 70s, when Bronson was in his early to mid-50s, that he became well known.

Comparing the "sex appeal" of a man who's most iconic appearances were in his late 20/early 30s with a man who's most iconic appearances were in his 50s is a bit of a cheat.

EDIT: I just found a picture of Bronson in his 30s:

http://imdb.com/media/rm2793641984/nm0000314

I think your Bronson argument is done for.

Horatio Hellpop
07-20-2008, 09:58 AM
The groundbreaking 70s directors--Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg--represented a very specific movement of Young Turks (Roger Corman proteges, not sure if that's relevant) who wanted to throw out everything they thought was hokey about "Old Hollywood." The drab earth tone colors were specifically a reaction against the excesses of early Technicolor movies. Most movies in the early 50s were still B&W. To compete with television, they had to do things TV could not yet do, like dazzle the audiences with freakishly bright colors. I remember a western from around 1956 where everyone had bright blue eyes and one of the cowboys had a tangerine-colored vest. I could see a kid in the audience thinking "Give me a camera and I'll show you what movies should be like--the opposite of this!"

Musicat
07-20-2008, 11:48 AM
So if the film stock was of poor quality in the 70's, how do we account for the sharp color of movies from the late 30's, 40's, 50's? Do they look good because they were re-mastered and the 70's movies haven't been re-mastered yet?Not all color films were made the same way, and not all that you now see in color were filmed on a single color frame, but filmed (and archived) on 2 or 3 monochrome strips, much less susceptable to deterioration over time. By the late 1990s the dye transfer process still had its advantages in the film archival community. Because the dye transfer process used stable acid dyes, Technicolor prints are considered of archival quality. A Technicolor print from the dye transfer era will retain its original colors virtually unchanged for decades with proper storage, whereas prints printed on Eastman color stocks produced prior to 1983 may suffer color fading after exposure to ultraviolet light and hot, humid conditions as a result of less stable photochemical dyes. Fading on some prints is so rapid that in many cases, after as little as five to ten years, only the magenta record is perceivable on the film.From Technicolor. ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technicolor)

Johnny L.A.
07-20-2008, 12:16 PM
I remember a western from around 1956 where everyone had bright blue eyes and one of the cowboys had a tangerine-colored vest.
I either read in a book, or heard on a DVD commentary, that bright colours and patterns were popular in Old Western towns. I couldn't find an online cite though.

Best Topics: broad women fargo mike yanagita open car hood simpsons onion belt air force daughter spit handshake infinite past scotoma migraine banana clips gun pomp le mousse action figures porn suit undershirt kwanzaa is bullshit quality fabric dye pronounce maori unemployment vs welfare are podiatrists mds witcher 2 parry sweetest liquor horse gallop speed mr rogers piano godfather mattresses seal pelts trimps reddit ginger slang origin blue eye asian quiescently frozen confection 18mm inch upsidedown v asia black magic squash drink uk spelling logo mohawk limberger cheese how do you pronounce daesh how to pack ciggarettes clan of the cave bear jondalar how to get breading to stick does sweet tea expire dating game show questions rap song with mario beat air force jobs that travel best alien invasion books write yourself a check for cash at the same token how much force does it take to break an arm popping a ganglion cyst why do balls sag edge of seventeen bass tab cardinalcommerce verified by visa legit does riddex really work in septic tanks mucus plug in sinus cavity where to buy car window paint what to do if drano doesn't work pleated vs non pleated air filters girls bike vs boys bike what juice goes with gin pathfinder decanter of endless water calories bag of popcorn do doctors get sick a lot shock collar for cat post productions bob dylan why is a penis called a dick according to his business card, what did al capone do for a living? calories burned bench press is smoking tobacco through a bong healthier