Movies: Oliver Stone picks the films that defined his generation
“Easy Rider” (1969): Freedom, motorcycles, long hair, and a general contempt for the Southern rednecks who were fighting in Vietnam.
“A Clockwork Orange” (1971): Anarchic and innovative. It respected youth, as divorced from the state. And because we were in an anti-authoritarian age, we embraced it. Many of us anyway. A lot of people didn’t know what the hell was going on.
“The Godfather” Parts 1 and 2 (1972 and 1974): Perhaps the most significant films of the boomer age. “The Godfather” broke open everything. For filmmakers, that movie was setting the standard.
“Jaws” (1975): That summer was incredible. We were young and in the prime of our 1970s mischief. And here was the ultimate enemy. Spielberg in his true glory.
“All the President’s Men” (1976): A naked appeal to liberals who wanted to be free of Richard Nixon. It created a myth, in a way, that the press was so free. It was wonderfully made. Here was a film about office work. A lot of desks.
“Annie Hall” (1977): “Annie Hall” made this quirky heroine more available to everybody; we saw a woman with a different lifestyle, going about her life. A fascinating movie.
“Apocalypse Now” (1979): It made Vietnam into opera. Grand opera. Although it wasn’t really very compassionate toward the Vietnamese.
“Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979): You had two great actors, (Meryl) Streep and (Dustin) Hoffman. But it was a small film, a wonderfully rendered story of a divorce and how it impacted the child. This became a midlife issue for boomers.
“Reds” (1981): One of my personal favorites. (Warren)Beatty and (Diane)Keaton as lovers. It was never a big commercial hit, but it was a liberating movie.
Oliver Stone, AARP Media
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