Saw, for the first time, "Klute" (1971). I wasn't very impressed. Jane Fonda won the Best Actress award for that. Maybe it's my jaded contemporary sensibility at work, but I think it was less the performance than the idea that a "name" actress would play an unrepentant prostitute (though the character wound up being less of a breakthrough and more of a classic 'hooker with a heart of gold" type). That must have been considered as revolutionary and controversial in 1971 Hollywood as the wife-swapping of "Bob And Ted And Carol And Alice" was a few years earlier. Maybe I've just never cared for Fonda's flinty, abrasive voice. Donald Sutherland barely registered, and the ending was underwhelming, smacking of tiresome old-school melodrama. (How did Sutherland's character know where to be at the right moment?) Alan J. Pakula was a fine director, but I'm not sure he had really good material to work with.
Interesting that Jane Fonda basically went back to the same well to play pretty much the same character, just 15 years older and more jaded, in "The Morning After" (1986), with Jeff Bridges stepping in to play the Sutherland role to similarly nonpareil effect. And she got a Best Actress Oscar nomination for that, I believe.
I haven't seen Klute in a long time, but as I look back from my present perspective, I think she conveyed the complicated feelings of a prostitute for her clients pretty well. It was a combination of pity, contempt and sometimes grudging affection.
How about The Conversation (1974) with Gene Hackman and John Cazale? A creepy vision of a crime that may or may not have happened. And you get to see Hackman honk on his saxophone, too.
Speaking of John Cazale, when did Dog Day Afternoon come out? I loved the craziness of that one.
Dog Day Afternoon came out in 1975.
I loved it too. Especially Pacino coming out and yelling ATTICA!! Great movie.
Another good 70's crime movie is Blue Collar with Richard Pryor and Harvey Kietel. Auto plant workers rob their union.
The Pope of Greenwich Village is also pretty good, but I think it was in the 80's. Also a blue collar robbery, a trucking company.
Underrated? How about totally out of the box and unknown. Ever see the Speghetti "western" The Hell Benders. It involves a heist and requires the characters to keep up a major con through most of the movie. Worth a watch.
Stuart Matthew Davis
THE YAKUZA (1975). Robert Mitchum and Richard Jordan. Directed by Sydney Pollack.
I love 70s films and I only learned about this great movie last year.
PRIME CUT (1972). Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman.
A movie that could only have been made in the 70s.
The YAKUZA, yes! Love Robert Mitchum. His 40s noir films are fantastic, especially Out of the Past.