The silver screen, a golden past: “Tune in, turn on, drop out”, Part 5 – The 60’s and 70’s

Marlon Brando in The Godfather
Marlon Brando in The Godfather  (©Paramount Pictures Corporation)

With the continued decline of the big Hollywood studios, there was not only more space but also a greater need for independence. The 60’s saw film become more political, old moral conventions broke down and revolution was in the air. Yet a family-friendly movie like “The Sound of Music” actually saved 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy. A number of big films attempting to repeat its success sometimes failed while others, like the controversial and experimental counter-cultural masterpiece “Easy Rider” made more than one hundred times the low budget it was given.

In the 60’s the centre of film-making shifted from the U.S. to Europe, where directors like Ingmar Bergman and François Truffaut captured audiences with art and intellect. European cinema owed a great deal by this time to American film, and it visually admitted it, for example, in the spaghetti western. In Asia, Bollywood treated its audiences to glamorous, kitchy and unrealistic fun, while Taiwan and Hong Kong gave us Bruce Lee and finely choreographed martial arts movies. In the 70’s, the ball rolled back into the American court, where directors like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg created the Hollywood Renaissance.

Producer: Dheera Sujan

Broadcast: February 3, 1994