Panic in the 70s

Films are time capsules. They reflect the trends of the era: The fashion, the cars, and the political climate. Nowhere is this more evident than in the films of the 70s. Just as film was evolving, we were evolving as a nation. Presidential scandals are fairly commonplace now but in 1972 the nation was rocked by Watergate. That, coupled with the growing dissatisfaction with the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, created a climate of unrest and mistrust with the government and it wasn’t long before those feelings translated to film. Thus, a niche genre was created in 1974 that had a healthy life throughout the decade: The paranoid thriller.

In a paranoid thriller you don’t know who to trust. You don’t trust your friends, you don’t trust your government and you certainly don’t trust your lover. Your home isn’t safe. Maybe it’s been bugged. You don’t go to the police. Maybe they’re in on it.

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