Official Nominations: Amarcord. Cat’s Play. The Deluge. Lacombe, Lucien. The Truce.
Not a great year for the category, officially or otherwise. Amarcord got Fellini the win, but it’s a 1973 movie so it’s off my list. Joining it is Cat’s Play. The Deluge is way too long, The Truce is decent, which leaves Malle’s Lacombe, Lucien as the clear winner – a heartening and cynical tale about a boy trying to join La Resistence but finding it more difficult than he would have thought. It would be my winner here regardless.
My Winner: Lacombe, Lucien.
My Nominations: The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz. Murder On The Orient Express. Stone. The Four Musketeers. Lacombe, Lucien.
Only my winner makes it over to my list, joining a random quartet. Stone is the only one here which stood zero chance of ever being nominated, but it’s probably the most enjoyable of the bunch, at least for someone like me. It’s an Australian biker movie, part cop movie, part suspense, all action, and very low budget. The characters all have cool names like Undertaker, The Gravediggers, Captain Midnight so you should know what to expect just from that information. It’s about a biker gang whose members (ahem) are being hacked up, so a bad-ass cop decides to go undercover and investigate by joining the gang. Naturally the line between cop and biker blurs. It’s great fun.
Also a lot of fun is The Four Musketeers. I’ve no idea how many movies there have been about the French sword fondlers, but this is one of the best. It’s a direct sequel, bringing back the cast and director Richard Lester – as it was meant to be a single film starring The Beatles, there’s quite a lot of humour and energy, but when they released there was too much footage and story they split the movie into two parts. The cast includes Christopher Lee, Fay Dunaway, Richard Chamberlain, Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston and more. Speaking of ensemble casts Murder On The Orient Express, recently re-imagined with Johnny Depp, sees Michael York (also from The Four Musketeers), Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Ingrid Bergman, Vanessa Redgrave, Lauren Bacall, Albert Finney and many more all gallivanting around a train in one of the greatest whodunits.
Finally, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, sees Richard Dreyfuss as a bored Canadian kid who gets a crap job in a hotel and his escapades at pissing people off and trying to earn his own plot of land. It’s weird but much better than it sounds.
My Winner: Stone
Let us know in the comments which movie of 1974 you pick as the Best Foreign Film!