BELLE DE JOUR (Luis Bunuel)
He brought Surrealism to the Cinema in 1928, collaborating with Salvador Dali for UN CHIEN ANDALOU and then L’AGE D’OR (1930). He never abandoned it, working in Mexico and elsewhere in the 40’s and 50’s. But it was not until the 60’s (he himself in his 60’s) that Luis Bunuel created his masterpieces in France. Sly and off-kilter, Bunuel portrayed a world that had the appearance of normality, but always had the potential to be anything but. BELLE DE JOUR, with Catherine Deneuve as a bored housewife who chooses prostitution as a diversion to her staid life, set the tone for the masterpieces to come.
THE GRADUATE (Mike Nichols)
Mike Nichols hit the jackpot and Dustin Hoffman became a star in the movie that really ushered in the “New Hollywood”. Geared to a younger, hipper audience, THE GRADUATE was a near-phenomenon. A sophisticated and funny screenplay by Buck Henry didn’t hurt.
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (Norman Jewison)
Sidney Poitier was already a bona fide star when he went up against Rod Steiger’s cracker sheriff. Well worth a look again today.
POINT BLANK (John Boorman)
It took an Englishman shooting in sunny southern California to show us how to make the kind of tough, revenge crime movies Hollywood used to be good at in the 40’s. Only this one has a metaphysical twist that brings us right into the “now” of 1967. Trippy. Lee Marvin is simply awesome.
And now a word about………
BONNIE AND CLYDE (Arthur Penn)
An honorable mention for the film that had the most impact on both the industry and the audience in 1967. Notable for its then-excessive violence and the way the film was rescued from early failure by Warren Beatty’s insistence and Pauline Kael’s critical support.