Hollywood  in  the  70s

Prof. Jared Gardner


WeFr 2:20-3:40

Office hours (Denney 565):

Denney Hall 206


S=Screenings | R=Readings 

C=Carmen | L=Lost Illusions | O=OSU’s media library | B=BuckeyeBox | A=Amazon | N=Netflix

Week 1: The Counter-Culture and Its Discontents

W 1/9


S: Easy Rider (1969) dir. Hopper; Pando Company: O

F 1/11

S: Joe (1970) dir. Avildsen; Cannon Group: A, B

R: L, 1-7, 159-72

Week 2: The Law & Its Limits

W 1/16

S: The French Connection (1971) dir. Friedkin; Philip D'Antoni Productions: B

R: L, 9-13, 103-08

F 1/18

S: Dirty Harry (1971) dir. Siegel; Malpasso Productions: O

Week 3: Gangsters and Auteurs

W 1/23

The Godfather (1972) dir. Coppola; Paramount: O, A

R: L, 25-33; 67-71, 133-38, 305-06

F 1/25

Mean Streets (1973) dir. Scorsese; Taplin-Perry-Scorsese Productions/Warner Bros.: B

R: L, 306-09


Week 4: The Other 70s Cinema I: Blaxploitation

W 1/30

Superfly (1972) dir. Parks, Jr.; Superfly Ltd./Warner Bros.: B

R: L, 258-70

F 2/1

Coffy (1973) dir. Hill; American International Pictures: O

R: L, 322-24

Week 5: American Paranoia

W 2/6

The Parallax View (1974) dir. Pakula; Doubleday / Gus/ Harbor Productions: O

R: L, 115-19; 197-205

F 2/8

Three Days of the Condor (1975) dir. Pollack; Wildwood; Dino De Laurentiis: K

R: L, 337-53


Week 6:  Lone Wolves

W 2/13

Taxi Driver (1976) dir. Scorsese; Columbia; O

R: L, 144-47, 314-17

F 2/15

Chinatown (1974) dir. Polanski; Paramount: O, A

R: L, 188-93; 355-61

Week 7: Bicentennial Assassinations

W 2/20

Nashville (1975) dir. Altman; ABC / Paramount : O

R: L, 89-98, 209-14, 361-70

F 2/22

Network (1976) dir. Lumet; MGM: O

R: L, 301-05


Week 8:  The Other 70s Cinema II: Midnight Camp

W 2/27

Female Trouble (1974) dir. Waters; Dreamland: B

R: L, 453-78 (skim!); Studlar, “Midnight S/excess: Cult Configurations of “Femininity” and the Perverse” [C]

F 3/1

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) dir. Sharman; Michael White Prod / 20th Century Fox: B

R: Wood, “Don't dream it : performance and The Rocky Horror Picture Show” [C]

Week 9:  Indie Realism: The L.A. Rebellion

M 3/4


W 3/6

Killer of Sheep (1978) dir. Burnett: O

R: Massood, “An Aesthetic Appropriate to Conditions: Killer of Sheep,(neo) realism, and the Documentary Impulse” [C]

F 3/8

Bush Mama (1979) dir. Gerima: O

R: Field, from L.A. Rebellion [C]



Week 10:  The Slasher: From Grindhouse to the Mulitplex

W 3/20

Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) dir. Hooper; Vortex: O

R: L, 220-38

F 3/22

Halloween (1978) dir. Carpenter; Compass International / Falcon International: O

R: L, 361-80

Week 11:  Contagion

W 3/27

Alien (1979) dir. Scott; Brandywine / 20th Century Fox: O

R: L, 238-51; 309-11

F 3/29

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) dir. Kaufman; Solofilm: O

R: L, 383-96


Week 12:  Teenage Wastelands

W 4/3

Saturday Night Fever (1977) dir. Badham; Paramount / Robert Stigwood: O
L, 52-57; 215-20

F 4/5

The Warriors (1979) dir. W. Hill; Paramount

R: L, 397-16

Week 13:  Vietnam Flashbacks at the End of the Party

W 4/10

Apocalypse Now (1979) dir. Coppola; Zoetrope Studios: O, N

R: L, 61-65

F 4/12

Deer Hunter (1978) dir. Cimino; EMI / Universal: O

R: L, 11-14; 329-30

NO CLASS (see instructions for online discussion)

Week 14:  The Birth of the Blockbuster Era

W 4/17

Star Wars (1977) dir. Lucas; Lucasfilm / 20th Century Fox: O

R: L, 33-51; 138-43; 320-22

F 4/19

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) dir. Spielberg; Lucasfilm / Paramount: A, N


M 4/29

Paper 2 due (last possible day!)


Required text

David Cook, Lost Illusions: American Cinema in the Shadow of Watergate and Vietnam, 1970-1979 (University of California Press, 2002). ISBN 9780520232655

Additional readings will be available on the class’s Carmen site. Other supplementary materials will also be made available on the Carmen site during the course of the term.


There will be two papers during the semester, 1 3-4 page paper and a 5-8 page final research paper. Suggestions and starting places will be distributed along with the paper prompt several weeks before the paper is due.


Each student will be responsible for two short (5 minute) presenations during the semester, one on historical background/reception of the film being discussed that day, and one identifying a scene they believe will help unlock some interesting insights in the film as a whole, offering some preliminary ideas and/or questions to get us started.


In lieu of midterm and final, we will have 6 Carmen quizzes spread out throughout the semester (roughly every two weeks).  They will cover material from our reading, discussions, and lectures. The lowest grade will be dropped. No make-ups for missed quizzes.


This is a class in film history, so there will inevitably be some lecture. But the heart of the class will be your ideas, questions, opinions, and discoveries, so come prepared every day with things you want to talk about. In addition to discussion in class, we can take advantage of threaded discussion forums on Carmen. Active participation in in class and on Carmen forums will have a positive impact on your final grade.

Attendance is mandatory. f you miss more than 3 classes, your final grade will be lowered one half letter grade (e.g., A- to B+) for each class missed.  (Thus, if your final average is a B and you have missed 4 classes, then you will receive a B- for a final grade). There is no need to submit excuses for absences, as the same policy applies regardless of the reason for missing class. Please arrive on time and do not leave early. Come prepared with notes and questions on the readings (students who are using class time on their devices for non-class purposes will be marked absent and/or make me very sad [yeah, profs can tell]). See electronic media policy below.


The formula for grading this semester will be:

Paper 1=20%; Paper 2=25%; Presentations=20%; Quizzes=25%; Participation=10%

Electronic media policy

Laptops and tablets are permitted, so long as they are being used for course-related activities (looking at film clips, reading texts, taking notes). Please be courteous to your colleagues and me and do not browse the web/social media during class. I also request that you turn off your phone ringers before class and put phones away.

Academic honesty

The term "academic misconduct" includes all forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed, which includes but are not limited to cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Plagiarism is the representation of another's works or ideas as one's own, and includes the unacknowledged word for word use and/or paraphrasing of another person's work and/or ideas. I will report all instances of alleged academic misconduct to the Committee on Academic Misconduct.


The University strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience academic barriers based on your disability (including mental health, chronic, or temporary medical conditions), please register with Student Life Disability Services so we may establish reasonable accommodations.  After registration, make arrangements with me as soon as possible to discuss your accommodations so that they may be implemented in a timely fashion. SLDS contact information: slds@osu.edu; 614-292-3307; ods.osu.edu; 098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th Avenue.

Mental health services

Students may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student’s ability to participate in daily activities. The Ohio State University offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via the Office of Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) by visiting ccs.osu.edu or calling 614-292-5766. CCS is located on the 4th Floor of the Younkin Success Center and 10th Floor of Lincoln Tower. You can reach an on call counselor when CCS is closed at 614-292-5766 and 24 hour emergency help is also available through the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.