A Half-Century of Greatness: The 10 Best Movies to Turn 50 in 2023
From The Exorcist to Enter the Dragon, these classics will celebrate a 5-0 2023...
The 70s were a hell of a time for cinema. Some even consider it the best decade in film history, releasing iconic films like The Godfather and Star Wars.
In 2023, movies released in 1973 become especially important. It's no small feat that these films are 50 years old, and many of them are still called timeless classics. If movies like "Mean Streets" and "American Graffiti" can stand the test of time for as long as half a century after their release, it is undoubtedly a sign of high quality.
French Animated Weirdness At Its Best — 'Fantastic Planet' (1973)
French animation is a magical place full of delightful hidden gems, and it has one of the absolute weirdest animated films you're likely to find in Fantastic Planet.
The film follows oppressed humanoids on a planet ruled by giant blue giants. The animation is fascinating, theme and story are refreshing, and the characters are charming enough to make this a milestone in the history of European animation. As such, it's definitely one of the most watchable movies of the '70s.
Jodorowsky At His Most Baffling — 'The Holy Mountain' (1973)
Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowski is one of the most famous figures in Surrealist cinema. The Holy Mountain, perhaps his most famous work, is a fantasy adventure in which an alchemist leads a group of people to a mountain where they hope to find enlightenment.
For those unfamiliar with cinematic surrealism or Jodorowski's style, the film may be too offensive to enjoy. But for those who love the director or the genre, this is an absolute must-see, with each element coming together to create a head-scratching work of art.
The Most Dangerous Man Alive — 'Serpico' (1973)
Sidney Lumet is considered one of the greatest and most unique American filmmakers of all time, directing many great films during his career. One of the most popular films is Serpico, in which Al Pacino plays an honest New York City cop who fights the corruption of the system he serves.
This biopic is so dated it's hard to believe it's half a century old. Pacino's performance is stunning, perhaps the film's most memorable aspect; but the whole thing is great, from the clever slow-burn script to Lumet's idiosyncratic direction.
The Charm of Unlikely Partnerships — 'Paper Moon' (1973)
In this crime drama set during the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and they form a Funniest duo in 70s cinema.
Tatum O'Neal remains the youngest Oscar contender ever to play the little girl, and her performance in "Paper Moon" is still considered one of the best supporting roles of the decade. A deeply moving and hilarious exploration of the loss of innocence, the film is sure to captivate audiences for decades to come.
Fortunately, Not the Bees — 'The Wicker Man' (1973)
Although the remake starring Nicolas Cage tragically tarnished its name, the original "The Wicker Man" is a genius low-budget folk horror film in which a policeman is dispatched to a village on a Scottish island, Search for a missing girl whom locals promise will never exist.
The movie is weird, even a bit contrived, but it's these qualities that make it so unique and absolutely stunning. With thought-provoking themes and an intoxicating atmosphere, it might not be particularly scary, but it's absolutely stunning.
One Man's Deadly Mission — 'Enter the Dragon' (1973)
It is no understatement to say that Bruce Lee was a legend. That's thanks in no small part to Enter the Dragon, a Bond-like action movie and adrenaline rush in which a martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime boss.
Lee passed away a month ago The release of the film further solidifies it as the perfect encapsulation of his legacy. His intense physical performance is dynamic and charismatic, and the film itself is fun from start to finish, with exhilarating action sequences and an interesting story.
George Lucas Has Entered the Chat — 'American Graffiti' (1973)
While George Lucas is famous for Star Wars, that's not the only thing he does. His first film THX 1138 was not a success. But his sophomore work, American Graffiti, is an iconic coming-of-age film that remains beloved by audiences to this day.
Regardless of your age or viewing time, Lucas' film always feels like a cozy party movie that reminds you of a simpler time. American Graffiti's small scope but surprisingly complex approach to the story perfectly proves that epic sci-fi wasn't all George Lucas was capable of.
You Don't Make Up for Your Sins in Church — 'Mean Streets' (1973)
It is no surprise that a director as prolific and acclaimed as Martin Scorsese has made so many great films, but his third film, Mean Streets, is still considered his best One of the movies, it's absolutely amazing.
There is something incredibly captivating about early Scorsese's style, full of vibrancy, emotion, and colour. His usual fascination with themes of violence, religion, and masculinity is on full display in this crime drama, with great characters who are the perfect eyes to see through the narrative.
The Year's Big Oscar Winner — 'The Sting' (1973)
As time goes by, a year's Best Picture Oscar winner isn't always hailed as one of the year's best films. In 1973, though, the very funny comedy "The Stinger" took home the award, and it was definitely one of the best-made, funniest, and most memorable productions of the year.
Although they made only two films together (the other being Jaw Cub and The Sundance Kid), Paul Newman and Robert Redford are one of the most iconic on-screen duos in screen history. In The Sting's case, the exciting atmosphere and intriguing story are the perfect setting for two charming protagonists to do their thing.
One of the Greatest Horror Films Ever — 'The Exorcist' (1973)
There is no doubt that the 1970s was one of the best decades for horror films. For proof, see The Exorcist, about a troubled priest who has to investigate the case of a 12-year-old who appears to be possessed by a demon. this movie is still remembered One of the best movies of the 70's.
While the movie may not be as creepy today as it was fifty years ago, it's still one of the scariest movies you'll find. With stunning performances, clever writing, and admirable direction, this cinematic experience stays ingrained in your mind for days after you watch it -- maybe even half a century.