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5 Recommendations for a ‘Bad’ Movie Night

October 28, 2021 History

collage featuring movies from the 1970s

1970s filmmaking left a rebellious legacy. A UMD class explains how.

By Liam Farrell | Maryland Today

From high-waisted jeans to fears of inflation and challenges to democracy, the legacy of the 1970s has come back around 50 years later. And from the past’s long gas lines and Watergate scandal to the present’s COVID-19 supply shortages and Capitol riot, Saverio Giovacchini, an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, sees an opportunity today for students to look how history is rhyming.

In his class this semester, “The Baddest Decade: The 1970s in American Film and American History,” Giovacchini delves into that decade’s landmark films to explore how an era’s anxieties get filtered through its culture, particularly as the old guard of Hollywood’s studio system temporarily lost its grip to more rebellious auteurs.

“You had crazy stuff coming out,” he says. “The 1970s was the cinema of students.”

Read more about the five classic films Giovacchini suggests for your own “bad” movie night, including one perfect for Halloween, here.

Collage information: “Bonnie and Clyde” photo by PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo; “Killer of Sheep” photo by Photo 12 / Alamy Stock Photo; “Saturday Night Fever” photo by Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo; “Klute” photo by Allstar Picture Library Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo; “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” photo by TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo