70s Movies and TV
In an era that preceded video games and before soccer games dominated family time, a favorite pastime for all ages was to gather together to watch TV or go to the movies.
Indeed, the 70s was an era that brought us some of the greatest television shows and movies of the 20th century, introducing stars that were quite memorable and many that have remained popular well into the 21st century.
Like TV, a lot of movies in the 70s were suitable for all ages. It wasn’t difficult for families to find a flick they all could watch together. However, the R rating was introduced in the late 60s so it was clear that subject matter would become a bit more adult-oriented as the decade waned.
1970s movies made their mark on a number of different genres, from horror classics like The Exorcist to sci-fi cinema greats such as Star Wars and Close Encounters, to crime and police flicks such as The Godfather and The French Connection. The musical was even part of 70s film history, including Cabaret and Saturday Night Fever, two very different offerings.
Additional notable 70s films included Rocky, M*A*S*H, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chinatown, Jaws, Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, Young Frankenstein, American Graffiti, A Clockwork Orange, Network, Kramer vs. Kramer, Patton, Dirty Harry, The Sting, The Way We Were, and a slew of “disaster” films including Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, and Towering Inferno.
Because TV still tended to be family-friendly, some of the best shows of the 1970s were sitcoms – situation comedies – that were suitable for all ages. These shows lasted only 30 minutes and were usually aired between 8 and 9 pm before the kids went to bed or on weekend nights when the children could stay up and watch their favorites.
Situation comedies of the 70s – for the most part – were “clean” as far as subject matter was concerned. There were exceptions though, like the groundbreaking All in the Family and the shows that were its spin-offs, like Maude and The Jeffersons.
Those particular shows began to brooch some touchy subject matter. Some of the most popular comedies of the 70s included The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Sanford and Son, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Welcome Back Kotter, Mork and Mindy, M*A*S*H, and Three’s Company.
Of course, there were plenty of dramas on TV as well, including medical shows, cop and detective shows, and a few remaining westerns from the 60s. Most were quite enthralling and not at all predictable, adding great suspense to your TV watching. Some of the most popular dramas of the era included Adam 12, Marcus Welby MD, Medical Center, Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, Baretta, Gunsmoke, Colombo, and McCloud.