Cop Movies of the 1970s

Posted by on May 08 2012 | Motion Pictures

(Don Siegel, US 1971, 102 min.)

Perhaps no genre of filmmaking changed more drastically during the 1970s than the police drama. While the pre-Dragnet procedurals of the late ’40s frequently took advantage of real-life locations, and cynicism and punchy action had long colored the genre thanks to film noir, the cop flicks of the 1970s looked — and felt — different. The urban landscape had acquired an extra layer of grime, and Hollywood had changed to fit: location shooting was the norm, action was more visceral, scores were funkier, and the line between heroes and villains was thinner than ever. The result was a cycle of exciting, visually striking, and morally complex films that quickly established themselves as modern classics. On Thursdays in May, we’ll be crisscrossing the country to high Cop Movies of the 1970s light some of the best of these films, making stops in San Francisco (Dirty Harry), Los Angeles (The New Centurions), Arizona (Electra Glide in Blue), and, of course, New York City (Across 110th Street and Serpico).
— Lori Donnelly, Film Programmer
Films and Screenings

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