25 best 70s movies of all-time

1976: American actor Sylvester Stallone stars in the boxing drama 'Rocky', the film which launched his career. Beside him is co-star Talia Shire, nee Coppola, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola. The film was directed by John G Avildsen for United Artists. (Photo by Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images)
1976: American actor Sylvester Stallone stars in the boxing drama 'Rocky', the film which launched his career. Beside him is co-star Talia Shire, nee Coppola, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola. The film was directed by John G Avildsen for United Artists. (Photo by Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images) /
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1978: Christopher Walken stars in the Vietnam War film ‘The Deer Hunter’, directed by Michael Cimino. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1978: Christopher Walken stars in the Vietnam War film ‘The Deer Hunter’, directed by Michael Cimino. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) /

Best 70s movies No. 10: The Deer Hunter (1978)

Most of what I said earlier about Apocalypse Now can be shared with The Deer Hunter. This film is a powerful one, and is one that took such a risk, but hit it out of the park.

Releasing only three years after the end of the Vietnam War, this Best Picture winner was one of the first films that really tackled the War, and built the formula for what many Vietnam War films tried to accomplish. This film is over three hours long, and most of that time isn’t spent in Vietnam. A majority of the movie is spent showing how war can change a person, and gives us the before and after of the Vietnam war.

You are given a small moment of time to understand why Vietnam messed up these people as much as it did, but most of the movie is them having to reconcile with that. You see the difference between these friends in their pre-war lives vs. their post war lives and how even if they managed to leave Vietnam alive, a piece of them died during the war. This movie is on the nose, and is super metaphorical, especially when it comes to how Russian Roulette is used throughout the movie, but it manages to always work.

This film also provided one of the most side-piercing endings of any War movie. After Nick’s funeral, the rest of the characters that are still alive gather around a table at a local bar. All of a sudden they begin singing “God Bless America” before saying, “Here’s to Nick.” Similar to the film as a whole, this ending is extremely “on the nose”, but as I said earlier, it works.