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Latter Day Classic Movies on DVD

For a generation that was often defined by the movies we loved, it’s no surprise that there are so many latter day classics that we can watch again and again. Here’s my list, and if you don’t like it , make your own. In any case, get down to the video store or log on to NetFlix and take another look at these classics.

midnitecowboyMidnight Cowboy – Hard to believe it got an X rating in 1969, but Hoffman and Voigt delivered great performances that mesmerized the audience. And Manhattan should have gotten an Oscar for Best City.bullet

Shampoo – Who didn’t want to live the live of George (as Warren Beatty played it)? He just could not help pleasing women – now there’s a latter day fantasy. And don’t forget Goldie Hawn’s inspired performance.

Bullitt – Every car chase scene since is just paying homage to the one that started it all. We were lucky we didn’t drive off the cliff when we came out of the theater and got in our cars. McQueen personified the mystique that every man (and woman) wanted. That and better shocks on the Mustang.

graduateThe Graduate – Hoffman again, but this was his first big part. It played perfectly to the boomers who came out of college and didn’t know that plastics was the next big thing. Don’t forget there was a great score by Simon and Garfunkel. As for Mrs. Robinson, all you can say is that Anne Bancroft was a dream. If only she lived next door when I was just out of college.

Blow Up – A handsome photographer in swinging London gets to boink his models and have a great time? No wonder we all wanted to be photographers after we saw this Michaelangelo Antonioni film. The gimmick of unknowingly photographing a crime (or maybe it wasn’t?) was a very original idea in 1967. A very youngeasyrider Vanessa Redgrave is the dangerous woman.

Easy Rider – Look up counterculture in the dictionary and you will see picture of Dennis Hopper on a motorcycle. It’s almost true. Drugs, motorcycles, and the open road – it was the American Dream circa 1969. For Jack Nicholson, it was the springboard to a string of great parts. A quintessential boomer road picture.

mashMash – It was supposed to be all about Korea, but we all knew it was a stand-in for Vietnam. Altman created a true classic with Gould and Sutherland, making it hard to imagine anyone else in the roles of Hawkeye and Trapper. The comic relief of scenes like the football game or R&R in Tokyo alternate with the scenes that brilliantly display the insanity of war.

Big Chill –  A baby boomer reunion/funeral brings out the best and worst stereotypes of our demographic. Worth it just for the sixties soundtrack alone, it’s amazing what an ensemble of really fine actors (Hurt, Kline, Close, Goldblum, Berenger, JoBeth Williams) can do with a great plotline.

Apocalypse Now – We now know that it almost killed them all to make the film, but the way it captures the absurdity of Vietnam (think helicopter gunships choreographed to Flight of the Valkyries). Even at 3 times the original budget, Coppola still deserves mucho kudos for butchcassidy making this movie.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – Who doesn’t sing Raindrops Falling On My Head when they’re in the shower? I do and I smilethinking about this gem of a movie that launched the Newman-Redford chemistry set. Can you believe the Sundance Kid can’t swim? Director George Roy Hill deserved his Oscar, if only for that shocker ending in Bolivia.

Watch for Part 2 Latter Day DVD Classics.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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