Reviews of 1970s British Films

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  3. Reviews of 1970s British films

From Carry On to Monty Python, the 1970s saw some of the greatest British films ever made. Whether you're a fan of classic comedies, iconic horror films, or riveting dramas, there's something for everyone from this golden era of British cinema. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best British films from the 1970s and review what made them so beloved. We'll start by exploring the iconic comedies that defined the decade, such as Monty Python and The Life of Brian, as well as classic horror films like The Wicker Man and Don't Look Now. We'll also discuss the groundbreaking dramas that pushed the boundaries of British cinema, such as A Clockwork Orange and Get Carter.

Finally, we'll examine some of the lesser-known gems from the 1970s that have been recently rediscovered. So join us on a journey back to 1970s Britain and explore the amazing films that made it so unforgettable. The 1970s saw a range of different genres explored in British cinema. Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) was a dystopian masterpiece that explored themes of moral ambiguity and violence. Ken Loach’s Kes (1969) was a coming-of-age drama that was praised for its naturalistic style of filmmaking.

And Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone (1976) was a musical comedy that was lauded for its innovative use of child actors. For each of these films, we’ll look at how they were received by critics upon their release. We’ll also look at how they have been reappraised over time, as well as any awards they may have won. We’ll also explore what makes these films so special and enduringly popular. Starting with A Clockwork Orange, the film was met with considerable critical acclaim upon its release.

The New York Times declared it “a stunningly powerful film”, while Roger Ebert praised it for its “startling power and originality”. The film won four Academy Awards and has since become an iconic classic of British cinema.


was also highly praised upon its release, with many critics hailing it as a masterpiece of social realism. The film won a BAFTA Award for Best British Film, and has since been reappraised as one of the greatest British films ever made. Finally, Bugsy Malone was another critically acclaimed film of the period. It won two BAFTAs and has since developed a cult following due to its unique blend of comedy and musical elements. In conclusion, the 1970s saw a range of critically acclaimed British films that have gone on to become classics of the genre.

These films have explored a range of different themes and genres, from dystopian science fiction to social realism to musical comedy. They have been praised for their innovative filmmaking techniques and have become beloved by audiences around the world.

A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange is a classic dystopian drama released in 1971. It follows the story of a young man, Alex, who leads a life of crime and indulges in dangerous behavior. The film has been praised by critics for its bold cinematography and powerful performances, and it has become a classic of its genre. Upon its initial release, the film was seen as a critical success.

The New York Times praised it as 'a brilliant piece of filmmaking' and Variety called it 'one of the most violent and daring films ever made.' Other critics praised Kubrick's direction, noting its combination of satire and horror. Over time, the film's reputation has grown even stronger. It has become a cult classic, with many people praising its subversive themes and darkly comedic elements. In 2000, the American Film Institute listed it as one of the 100 greatest movies ever made, and it has been included in numerous lists of the best films of all time.

A Clockwork Orange remains one of the most powerful films of its era. It has been reappraised by critics as an important work of art that speaks to issues of violence, morality, and free will that are still relevant today.

Bugsy Malone

Bugsy Malone is an iconic British film released in 1976 and directed by Alan Parker. The musical comedy follows the story of a mob-like gang of children in prohibition-era New York City. The film was a critical success upon its release and went on to become a cult classic in the years since.

The film was praised for its innovative use of child actors, its catchy soundtrack and its unique blend of gangster and musical elements. Critics lauded the fact that Parker had managed to craft a movie for children that still had all the elements of a great gangster flick. The film also received glowing reviews from its target audience – children – who found the film both exciting and entertaining. The inventive use of child actors in the lead roles also made it stand out from other films of the time.

In the years since, Bugsy Malone has been reappraised for its artistic merits and has been hailed as one of the greatest British films of all time. It has been credited with paving the way for a new wave of British films that embraced the musical genre, such as Little Shop of Horrors and The Commitments. Despite its original success, Bugsy Malone is still fondly remembered by generations of fans who grew up watching it. It is a classic example of how powerful a well-crafted story can be, no matter what the setting or genre.


Kes is a 1969 British coming-of-age drama film directed by Ken Loach, based on the 1968 novel A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines. The film follows the story of Billy Casper, a 15-year-old working-class boy in Northern England, as he attempts to break free from his difficult family life and environment.

Upon its release, the film was met with critical acclaim, winning multiple awards including the Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association. It has since become one of the most iconic British films of all time, and has been reappraised as a classic film of its time. The film follows Billy's struggles to find his place in a world that fails to appreciate him. Through his bond with a kestrel, a wild bird of prey he finds and trains, Billy discovers a sense of freedom and purpose.

The film captures an authentic portrait of working-class life in Northern England, and is considered one of the most important British films of its time. Upon release, Kes received high praise from critics, particularly for its realistic portrayal of working-class life in Northern England. For example, Variety magazine praised it as 'one of the finest examples of contemporary British realism'. The film was also recognised at multiple festivals and awards, including the Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival.

Over time, Kes has come to be considered an important classic in British cinema, and is often cited as one of the greatest British films ever made. In 2004, it was voted the sixth greatest British film of all time in a poll conducted by the British Film Institute. It has also been included in Sight & Sound's list of the 10 Greatest Films of All Time multiple times, most recently in 2018. The 1970s saw a range of critically acclaimed British films that have gone on to become classics of the genre. Notable examples include A Clockwork Orange, Kes, and Bugsy Malone.

Their innovative filmmaking techniques have been praised by critics, and their popularity has endured in the decades since their release. Together, these films are a testament to the power and influence of the British film industry during this important decade.

Meg Carter
Meg Carter

Avid music evangelist. Professional web junkie. Amateur food ninja. Extreme web expert. Extreme music expert.

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