Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Year in Review: 1972

The GodfatherSummary: I rashly predicted that 1971 would end up as the strongest year of the Boffo project, but 1972 quickly proved me wrong. With four 10 ratings and a conspicuous lack of genuine stinkers, 1972 rode all-time great The Godfather to an insanely high 7.53 Boffo per-week average (see below). Part of the glory of 1972 was that the top-rated films were also among the most popular: Fully 23 weeks saw a 10-rated 1972 release at the top of the list.
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(0058X) The Getaway

The GetawayDecember 31, 1972 | 1 week at #1

Seen by Martin before? No

What did I expect? A brutal thrill ride.

What did I get? Is The Getaway a brilliant jape, a comedy so black it masquerades as a niftily shot thriller about a busted heist? A movie that gives every principal the finger, with a leading man whose pointlessly staunch affect anticipated the stardom of Leslie Nielsen by nearly a decade? Sadly, I think not — although there are occasional glimmers of such a possibility, which admittedly is a delicious one. Assuming it isn’t, then The Getaway is best understood as a diseased movie, a polished morsel of cynical entertainment injected with a healthy heaping of bile.
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(0057X) Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah JohnsonDecember 24, 1972 | 1 week at #1

Seen by Martin before? No

What did I expect? A strong “new” western of the 1970s type, possibly emphasizing pacifism or nature or something.

What did I get? I am fond of both Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford, truly, but my expectations for them have a strict upper limit. In that spirit, I expected Jeremiah Johnson to be a stimulating nature-western, but well short of greatness. So I was not prepared for the accomplished and resonant movie that Jeremiah Johnson is. Without reexamining their respective resumes, it surely ranks among the best movies either man has ever made.
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(0056X) The Poseidon Adventure

The Poseidon AdventureDecember 17, 1972 | 6 weeks at #1

Seen by Martin before? No

What did I expect? A big, tacky, star-studded adventure about an ocean liner.

What did I get? With The Poseidon Adventure, we are firmly in the era of the disaster movie. Yes, there was Airport, but Airport was more of a stalwart melodrama in which the “disaster” was merely one of a number of elements. It’s impossible to summarize Airport in a coherent sentence, but you can express everything about The Poseidon Adventure in four words: A big ship capsizes. A hair better than Airport, it’s still overweeningly earnest and saturated in sodden silliness.
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