The Andromeda Strain (1971) is adapted from a Michael Crichton novel, and worth watching for Kate Reid alone. Her character of Dr. Ruth Leavitt is flipping amazing, and pretty much my number one movie scientist idol.
In the ordinary way of things, movie scientists are men. IF a woman happens to be a film scientist, the rules are that she should be young, slim and beautiful. She might occasionally don a pair of spectacles if she needs to appear particularly clever at any point, but for the rest of the movie she’ll look like a supermodel in a lab coat. It’s always been the way, and sadly still is.
What is absolutely tops about Dr Ruth is that she is a REAL person. And this way back in 1971! She has a terribly frumpy hairdo, doesn’t wear make-up, doesn’t even seem to be wearing a proper bra, has crumpled, baggy clothing and an untucked shirt, smokes, coughs, takes pills, uses her loud nasal voice to deliver withering sarcastic comments to all and sundry, and then basically saves the world with her scientific brilliance. SHE RULES SO MUCH.
She also definitely deserves her own place in the list of the coolest glasses ever seen in the movies.
The Boy Friend, directed by Ken Russell and starring famous 60s model Twiggy, is usually considered by critics to be right up there with The Great Gatsby as one of the most iconic 70s-does-20s period movies. Yet it isn’t nearly as well known, and until recently has been impossible to get on DVD. Luckily, the BBC showed the film last month so I was able to see what all the fuss was about.
The film Picnic At Hanging Rock has become something of a cult classic. Directed by Peter Weir, it was released in 1975 and set in 1900, but like many movies of that period it is now identified as much with the style of the 70s as it is with the Edwardian era. The long white lace gowns worn by the girls at the beginning of the film have many resemblances to the romantic maxi dresses which became popular at the time, along with the long hair, natural make-up look, and soft-focus lighting.
The Railway Children is possibly the most twee film ever made, but despite that I still found it a joy (and really must now read the book). The story is very simple, but what I did find interesting was how current the costumes looked.