41. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadass Song (1971)
Influential, how? Black cinema finds a voice.
Dedicated to “all the Brothers and Sisters who have had enough of The Man”, Sweet Sweetback's... is the first 'blaxploitation' flick.
It's a full-frontal attack on honky hegemony as hero Sweetback fights and fucks his way through corrupt white cops and lurid whorehouses.
Black Panther Huey P Newton praised it as “the first truly revolutionary black film.”
Money shot: Handcuffed Sweetback beating up a couple of racist rozzers.
42. Pink Flamingos (1972)
InfluentIal, how? Time to get gross.
Taboos are obliterated as fat tranny Divine stamps (and pisses) all over common decency in John Waters’ no-budget shock-pic.
Critics fumed (“one of the most vile, stupid and repulsive films ever made” spat Variety, reaching for the smelling salts) as this outrageously camp attempt to show the forbidden featured turd-gobbling, sphincter-puckering and a sex act involving a live chicken.
It's an anarchic vom-com that makes the Farrelly Brothers’ gross-outs look like something from CBeebies.
Money shot: Divine munching dog shit. The poodle poops, she scoops – for real.
43. Deep Throat (1972)
Influential, how? Porn goes mainstream.
Deep Throat was the movie that legitimised porn, a swinging hardcore sex film that became a crossover hit.
It quickly became a cultural watershed – changing the way America talked about sex forever.
More than just the movie that made blowjobs into dinner-party chatter, it stripped the seedier side of the porno industry bare for everyone to gawp at.
Money shot: Lovelace making like a turkey...
For an extended look at Deep Throat, see this feature in the latest issue of Total Film Magazine.
44. Mean Streets (1973)
Influential, how? Plugging the jukebox.
Shot with style and swagger, Scorsese’s breakthrough film blazed with rock’n’roll energy, rebooting the sound of cinema. At last, popular - not just classical - music could score a movie.
“For me,” Marty reckoned, “the whole movie was ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and ‘Be My Baby’.”
He sourced many of the songs from his own collection, bringing a personal stamp with an era’s rock-noise.
Try imagining Trainspotting or Reservoir Dogs without it.
Money shot: Johnny Boy’s slo-mo, hot-wired entrance, propelled by The Stones’ “crossfire hurricane”.