1976 was a transitional time in Hollywood. Official censorship had been dropped in the late 60s, and the influence of European innovation was being expressed on screen by a new generation of filmmakers, leading to one of the most creative eras Hollywood had ever seen. At the same time, the studios wanted to make money, and certain films--none bigger than Jaws in 1975 (until Star Wars in 1977)--pointed to the new direction, leading to an era of blockbusters in which we're still living.
That's the background. Now let's see what films Jesse Walker chose as his top ten for 1976:
2. Taxi Driver
3. The Outlaw Josey Wales
4. The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie
5. Television Assassination
6. Harlan County U.S.A.
7. The Tenant
8. The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
Jesse calls this a strong year. Based on this list, I don't see it. Most of these films are pretty good (except Network, a film with a reputation I've never quite understood), but I'm not sure if any would make my top ten list.
Is #5 a 1976 film? (In general, I like Bruce Conner, and I like his short Crossroads, which I believe is from 1976.)
Here are Jesse's honorable mentions:
12. Small Change
14. All the President's Men
15. Bound for Glory
17. The Man Who Fell to Earth
18. Impressions of Upper Mongolia
19. Massacre at Central High
20. To Fly!
Mikey And Nicky and Small Change would make my top ten list. Haven't seen Dojoji (which is a short). All The President's Men is a well-done film, though I don't love it. Hal Ashby was on a tear in the 70s, but Bound For Glory is just boring--I have never been able to make it all the way through in one sitting, and I've tried more than once. Carrie isn't bad, though I don't love it. The Man Who Fell To Earth is too distant. The other three I haven't seen.
Other films that would make my top ten:
The Bad New Bears
Next Stop Greenwich Village
The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Rocky (won the Oscar, though Jesse doesn't seem to go for it)
Other films I like:
Assault On Precinct 13, Murder By Death, The Ritz, Stay Hungry, That's Entertainment Part II
Films of interest:
1900, Aces High, Alex & The Gypsy, All This And World War II, The Amazing Dobermans, The Big Bus, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, Black And White In Color, The Bluebird, Breaking Point, Car Wash, Fellini’s Casanova, The Cassandra Crossing, Dona Flor And Her Two Husbands, Dr. Black Mr. Hyde, The Eagle Has Landed, Eat My Dust!, The Enforcer, Family Plot, Foxtrot, Freaky Friday, Gable And Lombard, Gator, The Gumball Rally, Gus, Harry And Walter Go To New York, Hawmps!, Hollywood Boulevard, I Will, I Will...For Now, In Search Of Noah’s Ark, In The Realm Of The Senses, The Innocent, Jonah Who Will Be 25 In The Year 2000, The Killer Inside Me, King Kong, The Last Tycoon, Leadbelly, Lifeguard, Lipstick, The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane, Logan’s Run, Mad Dog Morgan, The Marquise Of O, The Message, Midway, The Missouri Breaks, Monsieur Klein, Mother Jugs & Speed, Nickelodeon, No Deposit No Return, Norman...Is That You?, Not A Pretty Picture, Obsession, Ode To Billy Joe, The Omen, One Summer Love, Pardon Mon Affaire, Robin And Marian, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, The Shaggy D.A., Shout At The Devil, Silver Streak, A Star Is Born, The Toy, Tunnel Vision, Two-Minute Warning, Up!, W.C. Fields And Me, Welcome To L.A., Won Ton Ton The Dog Who Saved Hollywood