January 4, 2018

The movie ads in the lower right corner of page 39 of the NYT on September 24, 1973.

I was idly leafing through this issue after an unsuccessful archive search — doesn't matter what for — when I noticed this strange collection of movie ads. Click to enlarge:



How odd, the crude porn ads mixed with lofty stuff — "Siddhartha" (the 1972 movie based on the Hermann Hesse, filmed in Rishikesh with cinematography by Sven Nykvist) and Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet" — and iconic popular films — "American Graffiti" and "Enter the Dragon." What was "The Spook Who Sat by the Door"? "Spook" had the double meaning: the man character is black and a CIA agent.

I lived in NYC — I was 22 — and I saw many of the movies that came out at the time, but I only saw 3 of the movies depicted there — "Romeo and Juliet," "American Graffiti," and "The Grande Bouffe" — a lavishly praised French comedy about a group of men who commit suicide by overeating:

36 comments:

gspencer said...

NYT or Rolling Stone?

SDaly said...

The best part is the ad for "A Touch of Class" right next to "Behind the Green Door"!

SDaly said...

Also, why are the ads still using the euphemism "all male cast" when it was okay to print, on the same page, an ad for "How to Make a Homo movie"?

surfed said...

Clit-bait.

Amexpat said...

I saw the three you saw plus Heavy Traffic, which I believe was my first X-rated film seen underage, plus Siddhartha a couple of years later. I enjoyed all at the time but doubt I would now.

surfed said...

Cock-bait

surfed said...

Damn-it. I meant Click-bait.

Tim at large said...

Eww. It’s like they say, if you get in a time machine, and are headed for the ‘70s, bring hand sanitizer!

Tim at large said...

It’s like the dark corners of the internet were all out in the open!

Amexpat said...

I also saw "Electric Glide in Blue" thinking it was a cool movie only to later hear it vehemently criticized by a hip DJ on a FM radio channel that I listened to. Was baffled by what was "wrong" with the film.

Expat(ish) said...

I believe, aside from the porn, I've seen all the movies on that page at one time or another.

I was, however, immediately rendered nostalgic by the form/format of the movie page.

I still prefer RottonTomatoes.

-XC

Tim at large said...

I remember when the movie ads were the main reason that I would buy certain papers. How else would you find out what was playing? Wow has the world changed. But maybe find a cleaner page, without all of the porn, and you have the makings of a “remember this?” meme for Facebook. You might even squeeze an article in Boomer Times, or Nostalgia Today, out of it. I am not sure that “Nostalgia Today” exists, but it should.

mezzrow said...

It all comes back. Of those, "Bang The Drum Slowly" is the one I recall with the most affection.

It's all so 70's New York. Gracious, we were young and so very clue-free.

Tim at large said...

FM radio! There’s another blast from the past! We didn’t have a station in our town, but there was one not too far away, in Binghamton, NY that we could tune into and soak in the coolness. I know FM is still around, a station jammed into every slot on the “dial,” but it doesn’t have the same utter coolness it used to.

Tim at large said...

Gracious, we were young and so very clue-free.

No AIDS yet, only sailors used condoms.

tcrosse said...

The VCR, DVD, and the Internet have disrupted the sales of raincoats.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The movie ad page in the Milwaukee Journal didn't look any different. In the Journal, there was also always a Rebholtz Insurance ad for "Dial-A-Movie." If you called the number, it gave you the ratings of the current movies according to some guide put together by (I think) the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I was always interested in finding out which ones were rated C or "Condemned by the church" because those were the movies I wanted to see.

I recall "The Exorcist," "Fritz the Cat" and "I am Curious (Yellow)" were C movies. I could not get in to see any of them. I was too young.

paul white said...

Behind the Green Door was the first porn film I saw. I went with friends who were freshmen at Univ of Santa Clara. I was taking a year off to grow a beard and a ponytail(and Stanford rejected me).

exiledonmainstreet said...

Tim at large said...
Gracious, we were young and so very clue-free.

No AIDS yet, only sailors used condoms.

1/4/18, 3:27 PM


I saw “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” on TV a few years back. How well it captured the sad, seedy side of the 1970’s. In one scene, Diane Keaton’s character, the promiscuous schoolteacher, is about to go to bed with the respectable Catholic guy her father wants her to go out with and he nervously pulls a condom out of his pocket. She breaks into hysterical laughter, grabs the condom from his hand, and mockingly blows it up, jeering at him all the while. He is utterly humiliated and flees from her apartment. It’s a bit eerie to see that now, in a movie made right before AIDS started becoming news.

Yancey Ward said...

The only two movies on that page I have ever seen are Enter the Dragon and Behind The Green Door. I have seen parts of Jesus Christ Superstar, but have never made it more than about 20 minutes of it.

Rob McLean said...

an unsuccessful archive search — doesn't matter what for

You were making a HOMO MOVIE, weren't you...?!

tcrosse said...

Many of us back then were fans of the Emmanuelle œuvre. So artistic.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

Bang the Drum Slowly is awesome. You want to cry, that's a cry movie. It's still De Niro's best performance, I think, because it's unlike anything he's ever done.

eddie willers said...

I picked up The Spook Who Sat By The Door off the paperback spinner rack at the airport before a flight. The back cover spelled out it was about a black guy at the CIA.

Just an OK book, so I never saw the movie.

Rich Vail said...

That was my 11th birthday...

The Godfather said...

@Exiledonmainstreet: I saw "I Am Curious (Yellow)". Believe me, you didn't miss anything. A lot of that early "porn" was pretty disappointing, but you couldn't report the distributors to the Better Business Bureau, could you?

tcrosse said...

Back in those days in Madison there were various Film Societies which would show dollar movies in University lecture halls. For all I know they still do. But one Saturday night I saw a double-feature of Elvira Madigan followed by Claire's Knee. This was like having a strawberry shortcake washed down by a very dry Martini.

robother said...

I love Ann's typo "NYCe". I lived in New York City in the 70s as well, and it wasn't a place that self-identified as nyce.

tcrosse said...

New York, New York. A town so nice they named it twice.

Gahrie said...

You never saw Jesus Christ Superstar?

robother said...

I was living there on that date, but I must confess missed seeing "A Woo-Man's Work is Never Done."

Upon closer reading, it featured an all male cast. Never mind.

Peter said...

Swap Meat sounds interesting.

EDH said...

The ad pitches Enter the Dragon as a "fantasy adventure," rather than fighting, marshal arts, kung fu, etc.

And the show Kung Fu came out the year before, and was in its best rating year.

Jon Ericson said...

Damn, I loved that series.

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