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‘The Wild Bunch’ and ‘Midnight Cowboy’ Turn 45 This Year
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The Wild Bunch

Two landmark motion pictures have hit the 45th anniversary milestone this year, and both of them were instrumental in helping usher in the kind of norms, sensibilities, and somewhat radical attitudes that were beginning to burgeon in Tinseltown as the 1960s gave way to the 1970s.

One of them, The Wild Bunch, took screen violence and the western narrative to an entirely different level; the other, Midnight Cowboy, not only became the first X-rated motion picture to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but it also exemplified a kind of realistic film in which the narrative doused its characters in strife, pain, and struggle, and didn’t offer a seamless resolution at its denouement, but rather the contrary. Its kind of downer tale also became a style and staple for many of the films which followed it into the mid 1970s such as Scarecrow, The Last Detail, etc.

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