It’s last call for the week here at BCB After Dark: the secret hangout for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. I hope you’ve all had a good week so far. Please come in from out of the cold. We’ve saved you a good table in the second row. No cover charge tonight. Bring your own beverage. The stage show will start shortly,
It’s seventies night here at After Dark. So pull out your bell bottoms, jumpsuits, eight-track tape players. See if you can adopt a pet rock while you’re here.
BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.
Last night I asked you what “fringe” position player currently on the Cubs 40-man roster would have the best 2022 season. (We’re still assuming that there will be a 2022 season, although we’re unsure of the length.) The “breakout” Cubs star for 2022, according to you, will be outfielder Clint Frazier. He got 41 percent of the vote. In second place was outfielder Michael Hermosillo, who got 27 percent and first baseman Alfonso Rivas was in third place with 18 percent.
Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and movies. Feel free to skip ahead to the baseball question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Tonight’s jazz track if from the group Weather Report, the jazz fusion group that symbolizes jazz in the 1970s as much as anyone to me. That’s not necessarily a good thing as fusion isn’t exactly my thing, but I can appreciate the complexity and artistry of what they’re doing here. Maybe it’s your thing and if so, great. Here’s my gift to you.
I believe the lineup of Weather Report here is Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Miroslav Vitouš on electric bass, Joe Zawinul on keyboards, Don Alias on drums and Alphonse Mouzon playing conga drums and other percussion instruments. If I’m wrong, please correct me in the comments. (And since I accidentally misnamed Art Farmer as “Art Pepper” last night, I promise I will feature some Art Pepper next week. I’ve already got a video picked out.)
So here’s Weather Report in 1971 with “Waterfall.”
We’re working our way back through cinema by the decade and tonight we’ve landed on the 1970s. As far as movies go, you could definitely make the case that the seventies were Hollywood’s greatest decade and you could probably say that about some foreign film industries as well. Picking out your favorite films of the 1970s is a huge task.
The studio system that the big Hollywood studios had built at the beginning of the century fell apart in the early part of the 1960s. Stars, writers and directors were no longer signed to long-term deals with one studio that determined what films they could and could not make. The rules of the Production Office (the “Hays Code”) that enforced morality in cinema were relaxed in the early-sixties and completely fell apart by 1967. It was replaced by the MPAA Guidance System (G/PG/R) that we know today, although there have been several changes to it since it was adopted in 1968.
On top of that, European and Japanese film studios were turning out great films that were imported to the US that didn’t follow the rules that Hollywood was supposed to follow. These films began to draw audiences away from American-made films and that forced the studios to take more risks and move in different directions.
There were also this thing called “film school” by the 1960s. Instead of starting out as a production assistant for a studio and working your way up, wannabe directors and writers were learning how to make movies at universities. Directors Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese and many others all came out of film schools.
By the time 1970 rolled around, the US movie industry was experiencing an unrivaled period of creativity that has since become known as “New Hollywood.” This led to some great movies and some real dogs. Luckily, we remember the great ones and forget the stinkers.
So tell me what your favorite and/or best films of the 1970s are. If you need some reminders, here are some lists of the best films of the decade. (Stacker, Mental Floss, Cinema Blend, Rotten Tomatoes, FrameTrek)
Obviously any discussion of the films of the 1970s has to start with The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. Coppola’s Apocalypse Now also belongs on any list. I’d better not forget The Conversation either.
Then there’s Martin Scorsese’s early works like Mean Streets and, of course, Taxi Driver.
Other great dramas of the decade include Dog Day Afternoon, Network, All the President’s Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Chinatown. Patton is a film I’ve seen several times. The French Connection? Yeah, sure, although I’d rank it below those pictures.
The seventies were also a great time for comedies. The Mel Brooks films Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein are classics. So are Woody Allen’s Bananas, Sleeper and of course, Annie Hall. No one on the internet needs to be reminded of the two Monty Python films: Holy Grail and Life of Brian. Peter Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc? is terrific.
Two of my favorite sports films of all-time are from the 1970s: The Bad News Bears and Slap Shot.
Then there are the first big blockbusters: Jaws and Star Wars. Rocky is another film that’s a classic whose star has been dimmed, in my mind, by some really terrible sequels.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten a dozen great films of the 1970s. So share with us your list of the best and favorite films of the “Me Decade.”
Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz and movies.
The 1970s were not a great period in Cubs history, but it did have some highlights and good memories among the heartaches. So tonight I’m asking you to list your favorite Cubs player of the 1970s. Not the best player, but your personal favorite.
The decade of the seventies can be divided into three distinct periods. The first is the denouement of the 1969 team that lasted from 1970 to 1973. I’m leaving those holdover players out of this vote because so many of them—Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams, Ron Santo—are Hall-of-Famers and Cubs legends. They’d run away with the vote but except for maybe in 1970 and 1971, they were mostly past their prime in this decade. Besides, I’m planning on doing a “sixties night” next week and they’ll be on the ballot then. I am including players from those teams who were not on the 1969 team.
So I’m mostly looking at the other two Cubs teams of the era: the “Jim Marshall” team of 1974 to 1976 and the “Herman Franks” team of 1977 to 1979. The Marshall team was primarily built out of the players who came to the North Side in trade for those legends of the 1960s. That team was dismantled by the onset of free agency and the refusal of the Wrigley family to pay the market-rate salaries of those players. So the players of 1974 to 1976 teams were traded for the 1977 to 1979 teams. These two eras are also separated by the death of longtime Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley, who died in April of 1977.
None of those teams were great, although the 1977 team looked like they were going to shock the world for a while. That team was in first place on August 1 before going 20-40 the rest of the way to finish the season at 81-81.
There’s a lot of candidates here and I had to leave some guys off, like popular current broadcasters Steve Stone and Mike Krukow. So if your favorite here is missing (and wasn’t on the 1969 team), vote “other” and tell us about him in the comments.
We know who Nick Offerman is voting for.
Who is your favorite Cubs player from the 1970s?
Who is your favorite Cubs player of the 1970s?
This poll is closed
Iván De Jesus
Someone else (leave in comments)
Thanks for spending part of your evening with us. We hope you’ve been able to relax and take your mind off your problems. Stay warm and get home safely. Please tip your waitstaff. And join us again next week for another edition of BCB After Dark.