Best Drama Movies of 1974
The Godfather Part II
In the continuing saga of the Corleone crime family, a young Vito Corleone grows up in Sicily and in 1910s New York. In the 1950s, Michael Corleone attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.
Private eye Jake Gittes lives off of the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-World War II Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together.
Surveillance expert Harry Caul is hired by a mysterious client's brusque aide to tail a young couple. Tracking the pair through San Francisco's Union Square, Caul and his associate Stan manage to record a cryptic conversation between them. Tormented by memories of a previous case that ended badly, Caul becomes obsessed with the resulting tape, trying to determine if the couple is in danger.
Murder on the Orient Express
In 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.
A Woman Under the Influence
Mabel Longhetti, desperate and lonely, is married to a Los Angeles municipal construction worker, Nick. Increasingly unstable, especially in the company of others, she craves happiness, but her extremely volatile behavior convinces Nick that she poses a danger to their family and decides to commit her to an institution for six months. Alone with a trio of kids to raise on his own, he awaits her return, which holds more than a few surprises.
The story of acerbic 1960s comic Lenny Bruce, whose groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style and social commentary was often deemed by the establishment as too obscene for the public.
The Front Page
A journalist suffering from burn-out wants to finally say goodbye to his office – but his boss doesn’t like the idea one bit.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
After her husband dies, Alice and her son, Tommy, leave their small New Mexico town for California, where Alice hopes to make a new life for herself as a singer. Money problems force them to settle in Arizona instead, where Alice takes a job as waitress in a small diner.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.
The Towering Inferno
At the opening party of a colossal—but poorly constructed—skyscraper, a massive fire breaks out, threatening to destroy the tower and everyone in it.
The Longest Yard
In this rough-and-tumble yarn, filmed on-location at the Georgia State Prison, the cons are the heroes and the guards are the heavies. Eddie Albert is the sadistic warden who'll gladly make any sacrifice to push his guards' semi-pro football team to a national championship.
After his wife is murdered by street punks, a pacifistic New York City architect becomes a one-man vigilante squad, prowling the streets for would-be muggers after dark.
The Parallax View
An ambitious reporter gets in trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the world's headlines.
The Odessa File
After reading the diary of an elderly Jewish man who committed suicide, freelance journalist Peter Miller begins to investigate the alleged sighting of a former SS-Captain who commanded a concentration camp during World War II. Miller eventually finds himself involved with the powerful organisation of former SS members—called ODESSA—as well as with the Israeli secret service. Miller probes deeper and eventually discovers a link between the SS-Captain, ODESSA and his own family.
The Sugarland Express
Married small-time crooks Lou-Jean and Clovis Poplin lose their baby to the state of Texas and resolve to do whatever it takes to get him back. Lou-Jean gets Clovis out of jail, and the two steal their son from his foster home, in addition to taking a highway patrolman hostage. As a massive dragnet starts to pursue them across Texas, the couple become unlikely folk heroes and even start to bond with the captive policeman.
The Four Musketeers
The Four Musketeers defend the queen and her dressmaker from Cardinal Richelieu and Milady de Winter.
The Great Gatsby
Nick Carraway, a young Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, the nouveau riche Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.
Harry Kilmer returns to Japan after several years in order to rescue his friend George's kidnapped daughter - and ends up on the wrong side of the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese mafia...
Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.
When an in-flight collision incapacitates the pilots of an airplane bound for Los Angeles, stewardess Nancy Pryor is forced to take over the controls. From the ground, her boyfriend Alan Murdock, a retired test pilot, tries to talk her through piloting and landing the 747 aircraft. Worse yet, the anxious passengers — among which are a noisy nun and a cranky man — are aggravating the already tense atmosphere.
From Beyond the Grave
Four customers purchase (or take) items from Temptations Limited, an antiques shop whose motto is "Offers You Cannot Resist". A nasty fate awaits all of them—particularly those who cheat the shop's Proprietor.
The Missiles of October
Based in part on Robert F. Kennedy's book, "Thirteen Days," this film profiles the Kennedy Administration's actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Gone in 60 Seconds
Insurance investigator Maindrian Pace and his team lead double-lives as unstoppable car thieves. When a South American drug lord pays Pace to steal 48 cars for him, all but one, a 1973 Ford Mustang, are in the bag. As Pace prepares to rip-off the fastback, codenamed "Eleanor", in Long Beach, he is unaware that his boss has tipped off the police after a business dispute.
Harry and Tonto
Harry is a retired teacher in his 70s living in the Upper West Side of New York City where his late wife and he raised his children--where he's lived all his life. When the building he lives in is torn down to make way for a parking garage, Harry and his beloved cat Tonto begin a journey across the United States, visiting his children, seeing a world he never seemed to have the time to see before, making new friends, and saying goodbye to old friends.
Frankenstein: The True Story
Victor Frankenstein witnesses his creation turn uncontrollable after he's duped by his associate, Dr. Polidori.
Carefree single guy Charlie Waters rooms with two lovely prostitutes, Barbara Miller and Susan Peters, and lives to gamble. Along with his glum betting buddy, Bill Denny, Charlie sets out on a gambling streak in search of the ever-elusive big payday. While Charlie and Bill have some lucky moments, they also have to contend with serious setbacks that threaten to derail their hedonistic betting binge.
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
In February, 1962, as the civil rights movement reaches Bayonne, Louisiana, a New York journalist arrives to interview Jane Pittman, who has just turned 110. She tells him her story dating back to her earliest memories before slavery ended. In between the chapters of her life, the present-day struggles of Blacks in Bayonne, urged on by Jimmy, are dramatized.
Claudine is a single mother in New York City who endures an exhausting commute to the suburbs where she works as a maid for wealthy families. In one carefully tended white community, she meets Roop, a charismatic but irresponsible garbage collector. Romance quickly ensues, but Claudine doubts that their relationship is good for her six children, and Rupert, despite his good nature, is reluctant to take on fatherhood.
A young, white teacher is assigned to an isolated island off the coast of South Carolina populated mostly by poor black families. He finds that the basically illiterate, neglected children there know so little of the world outside their island.
New York City English professor Axel Freed outwardly seems like an upstanding citizen. But privately Freed is in the clutches of a severe gambling addiction that threatens to destroy him.
Thieves Like Us
Bowie, a youthful convicted murderer, and bank robbers Chicamaw and T-Dub escape from a Mississippi chain gang in the 1930s. They hole up with a gas station attendant and continue robbing banks. Bowie, who is injured in an auto accident, takes refuge with the daughter of the gas station attendant, Keechie. They become romantically involved but their relationship is strained by Bowie's refusal to turn his back on crime. The film is based on the novel Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson. The novel is also the source material for the 1949 film They Live by Night, directed by Nicholas Ray.
The taped performance of Henry Fonda's one-man show was aired as "IBM Presents Clarence Darrow" on September 4, 1974, on NBC.
Famed composer Gustav Mahler reflects on the tragedies of his life and failing marriage while traveling by train.
Where the Red Fern Grows
Billy Coleman works hard and saves his earnings for two years to achieve his dream of buying two red-bone coonhound pups. He develops a new trust in life as he faces overwhelming challenges in adventure and tragedy roaming the river bottoms of Cherokee country with his dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann.
The winner of the Miss World Virginity contest marries, escapes from her masochistic husband and ends up involved in a world of debauchery.
Truck Turner and his partner Jerry, who make their living as bounty hunters in Los Angeles, are hired to hunt down Gator, a pimp who has skipped bail.
Macon County Line
A vengeful Southern sheriff is out for blood after his wife is brutally killed by a pair of drifters. Low-budget film set in Georgia in 1953 and based on fact.
A man who trains fighting cocks vows to remain silent until one of his birds wins a championship.
When awkward teen Ronald Wilby accidentally kills a young girl whose sister rejected his affections, his overbearing mother decides to hide him from the law by creating a concealed room in their home for him to live.
Murder in the First Person Singular
A murder plot by a terminally ill English teacher, to capitalize on the double indemnity clause in his life insurance, hires one of his students to do the deed.
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
The younger son of a working-class Jewish family in Montreal, Duddy Kravitz yearns to make a name for himself in society. This film chronicles his short and dubious rise to power, as well as his changing relationships with family and friends. Along the way the film explores the themes of anti-semitism and the responsibilities which come with adulthood.
Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill
Lee Remick stars as Jennie Jerome, born in the United States in 1845, who eventually became Lady Randolph Churchill, and gave birth to Sir Winston Churchill in this seven-part, seven-hour biographical mini-series.
Willie Dynamite is a pimp who operates in New York City. Willie was a big success as a pimp, but now, just as fast as he rose to the top, he has hit bottom. A former prostitute who has become a social worker tries to get Willie to clean up his life while it is still possible.
Melvin Purvis G-Man
Agent Melvin Purvis is placed in charge of running down notorious killer Machine Gun Kelly, and sets out to do just that.
A constant runaway is given over to the care of the state and finds herself in a remand centre for girls. She is soon caught between the uncaring bureaucracy, the sometimes brutal treatment from her peers and her own abusive family, and only one care worker sees her potential to rise above her tragic circumstances.
The Tamarind Seed
During a Caribbean holiday, a British civil servant finds herself falling in love with a Russian agent.
Two Los Angeles vice squad officers find themselves up against their corrupt superiors when they try to bring a crime boss to justice. During the course of their investigation, the two cops disguise themselves as gay men and raid a gay bar.
Dracula is searching for a woman who looks like his long dead wife.
Cipher in the Snow
Asking to leave a school bus, Cliff, a young teenager, collapses and dies in the snow near the roadside. His math teacher is asked to notify the parents and then write a short obituary. Although he barely knew him, his teacher is intent on unraveling the mystery of the untimely death.
Police Lieutenant Lon McQ investigates the killing of his best friend and uncovers corrupt elements of the police department dealing in confiscated drugs.