Saturday, February 17, 2007

Electra Glide in Blue

Slumped on the couch in front of the TV - as I customarily am - I came across this film. It rang a fairly distant bell, meaning that I saw it a long time ago, but didn’t remember much about it. Watching it again, I enjoyed it a lot. Which brings me, as always, to the realisation that any time I really like a film, I can never think of anything to say about it. I would be the worst movie critic in the world.

Electra Glide in Blue was made in the 1973. I notice there were a lot of good films made around then. Maybe the 70s were good for films. I don’t know why. They seem quite different from films made today.

Hmmm. A brief perusal of internet film sites reveals that I’m not the first person to note that there were good movies in the 70s. Several million people have already made this observation. OK, I told you I didn’t have anything original to say.

Some 70s films I like - The Godfather, American Graffiti, The Warriors, Annie Hall, Cabaret, Superfly, Death in Venice, Dirty Harry, Enter the Dragon, The Last Picture Show, Don’t Look Now, Manhattan, Star Wars, The Conversation, Klute, Charley Varrick.

Of these films, the best two for both being made in the 70s and also showing what the 70s were like, are The Warriors, and Superfly. These are two of my big favourites.


  1. Two possible explanations, Martin, and I bet I'm not the first person to think of either of these.

    Films from the 70s look good to you because:

    1. In the 1970s, film equipment was just sophisticated enough so people could make the movies they wanted to, but still awkward enough that there was work involved. Films were still "handcrafted" and you could still detect the effort and "art" in it. Cameras were big, film was expensive. There was no CGI.

    2. You're in your 40s.

    I'd completely forgotten the Warriors, but I saw it in a student common room - probably the same place I saw Assault on Precinct 13.

    And something's just occurred to me. From what I remember of the film, I wonder now if this one of those modern films (like O Brother Where Art Thou) that is actually based on a classical story like Homer?

    What do you know? I'm right! According to someone on IMDB:

    " was widely known back in the day that The Warriors was based on the ancient Greek nonfiction tale Anabasis, written around 370 BC by the Spartan general Xenophon (it's also published under the title The Persian Expedition). In this classic tale, a battalion of 10,000 Spartan mercenaries join the Persian emperor Cyrus for a war in Asia Minor (i.e. Turkey). Cyrus's army is defeated, the Spartan leaders are captured, and the remaining force must make their way across country, fighting various hostile tribes along the way, experiencing their own internal power struggles, until they reach the safety of the sea."

    I love the IMDB guy's comment: "I'm shocked that only one reviewer seemed to be familiar with this." I bet you knew.

  2. Yes, I knew this. (In the film, the major gang leader is called Cyrus.) I've always liked that the film was based on Xenophon, who I like. Apart from his pro-Spartan stance, of course, which was very dubious in an Athenian.