The Seventies: The Decade that Changed American Film Forever

Rowman & Littlefield. May 2021. 216p. ISBN 9781538137185. $36. FILM
The 1970s have long been heralded as one of the greatest eras of American filmmaking, and countless books have been written about films and figures of the period such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes, and Steven Spielberg. LoBrutto’s (editing, film history, Sch. of Visual Arts; Stanley Kubrick: A Biography) contribution is a highly detailed narrative breakdown of the major films and players of the decade, in a year-by-year format. His intention is to explore the way American cinema evolved out of the Hollywood studio system, reflecting an often grittier and more realistic approach to filmmaking. Unfortunately, the details far outweigh any critical or descriptive content, and as so many films are mentioned in such a brief book, there is very little substance to most of the entries. LoBrutto clearly has a vast knowledge and love of cinema, and while this book could certainly be considered valuable in a college course as a primer on the major films of the decade, or a jumping-off point for further investigation, it is not an engaging read, and is ultimately little more than a collection of facts.
VERDICT An informative but frustrating volume.
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