Ahh 1975. I remember the year like it was yesterday. Ok so I’m lying, I don’t. I was only 2. However thanks to the magic of cinema I have been able to relive this year time and time again even though I was probably teething, keeping my parents up all night and going through multiple bags of Huggies diapers while people were seated in cinemas watching these films.
I missed the 1985 list thanks to life getting in the way, but thankfully Rupert did not hold it against me and here I am with my list of favorited underrated films from 1975.
1975 was indeed a good year with several favorites being released like ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, BARRY LYNDON, 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR and of course JAWS. 1975 was also the release year for one of my favorite early Woody Allen comedies, LOVE AND DEATH.
Here are my underrated gems from 1975.
THE WIND AND THE LION (1975; Dir: John Milius)
I had a tough time listing this as “underrated” given the talent involved, but then in some discussions with film lovers I found that not a lot of people have seen this film, so here it is making the list.
I was first introduced to THE WIND AND THE LION through the random acquisition of the Jerry Goldsmith score on LP while in high school. That score is hands down, amazing. It made me seek out this movie and I was not disappointed.
Candice Bergen is an American kidnapped by the Berbers in Morocco. The Berber leader, Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli, is played bombastically by Sean Connery (yep, Sean Connery) who dominates every scene he is in – as he is prone to do most of the time. Brian Keith plays President Theodore Roosevelt, who is trying to secure the release of Miss Bergen who eventually admires her captor because it ends up he’s not such a bad guy after all (I mean, he is Sean Connery after all).
This movie is pure John Milius. Filled to the brim with machismo, it’s a joy to watch and oh that score. How great that score is! I will probably listen to it right after I finish writing this. You should all go find it after reading. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you.
TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA (1975; Dir: Ishiro Honda)
Aliens from a dying world build a mechanized Godzilla and come to Earth with plans of conquering. Thankfully, Earth has a real Godzilla who I don’t think is too pleased at having his copyrighted image turned into a massive robot bent on destruction.
This was one of the first Godzilla movies I ever saw (and remember seeing) and is still one of my favorites. I mean come on, Godzilla vs. a giant mechanized…Godzilla! ‘Nuff said.
THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1975; Dir: Vincent McEveety)
Dexter Riley. What hasn’t happened to him? I mean he’s been turned into a genius thanks to being zapped by a computer and here he gets super strength when his chemical experiment is mixed with cereal.
Kurt Russell reprises his role as Medfield’s favorite student, Dexter Riley with Phil Silvers, Cesar Romero and Dick Van Patten also starring.
It’s pure, giddy, nostalgic Disney fun, and I actually feel like these films are even more entertaining now than I did when I saw them as a child. I was introduced to THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD thanks to the THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY television program and here’s hoping that the Disney Movie Club follows up THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES with this movie on Blu-ray Disc.
1975 was a very good year for Live-action Disney with also THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG and ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN.
SHIVERS (1975; Dir: David Cronenberg)
To anyone who knows me, this film making a list of mine will be a shock. I will admit something I rarely do in public – I’m Canadian (I often refer to myself as a self-loathing Canadian). I have a strong opinion against Canadian “Cinema”. Although I don’t write it all off, I am definitely not a fan probably because I am such a lover of Hollywood product, and prefer the country directly south of the border to the one I am from (that’s right America, I’m looking at you). My reasons for this are long and involved, and best left for another blog post.
SHIVERS I just saw last year while doing my 31 days of Horror in October, and loved every second of it. It’s a raw and somewhat difficult movie to connect with (oh how so Canadian) but worth the effort.
Inside an ultra-modern Montreal high rise, a parasite is turning the residents in sex crazed maniacs. These are zombies, except for they are very horny ones. Things get way out of hand with orgies, and even some (very uncomfortable) hints at incestuous relationships caused by the virus and the last thing you want is this spreading beyond the building.
This is Cronenberg’s first feature, and it shows with themes and a tone that show up throughout his entire career.
Tense and claustrophobic, this is exploitation cinema at its finest.