Today: May 20, 2024

1971: 100 Films From Cinema’s Greatest Year

1971 was a great year for cinema. Robert Altman, Dario Argento, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Sergio Leone, George Lucas, Sam Peckinpah, Roman Polanski, Nicolas Roeg and Steven Spielberg, among many others, were behind the camera. The stars were also out in force. Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Michael Caine, Julie Christie, Sean Connery, Faye Dunaway, Clint Eastwood, Jane Fonda, Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and Vanessa Redgrave all featured in films released that year.

The remarkable artistic flowering that came from the ‘New Hollywood’ of the ’70s was just beginning. The old guard was fading away—seemingly struggling to keep pace with new attitudes and new expectations. And thisleft a vacuum into which young filmmakers poured their creativity.

Featuring interviews with cast and crew members, bestselling author Robert Sellers explores this landmark year in Hollywood and in Britain, when this new age was at its freshest, and where the transfer of power was felt most exhilaratingly.

Some of the films included in Sellers’ Top 100 may surprise. Alongside A Clockwork Orange, Get Carter, and Dirty Harry, are Carry On Henry, Doctor Jekyll and Sister Hyde, and Dad’s Army. But then, the focus here are the indie film-makers whose work—whether good, bad, or schlocky—so shook the film industry, that it was never quite the same again.

1971: 100 Films From Cinema’s Greatest Year by Robert Sellers (ISBN 9780 7509 99991)is an essential read for all cinephiles. 

Published by The History Press, 1971 is out now in hardback, RRP £20.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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