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Netflix (Yes, Netflix) to Honor 1974 Cinema with Curated Film Collection

1974 was quite a year for cinema; 50 years later, Netflix (of all places) is celebrating the golden jubilee.

In recognition of the anniversary, the streamer on Wednesday launched a new, dedicated content row (and direct URL link) with the first films (tagged award winners, fan favorites, guilty pleasures, and cult classics) being honored under its new “Milestone Movies: The Anniversary Collection” banner. Each of the 14 films came to Netflix this month by way of Warner Bros., Paramount, or Sony — the distributors that license content to Netflix.

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The 1974 collection includes “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Black Belt Jones,” “Blazing Saddles,” “California Split,” “Chinatown,” “The Conversation,” “Death Wish,” “The Gambler,” “The Great Gatsby,” “It’s Alive,” “The Little Prince,” “The Lords of Flatbush,” “The Parallax View,” and “The Street Fighter” (“Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken”).

Netflix doesn’t plan to stop with disco’s heyday. In April, the streaming service will do the same for films from 1984 (turning 40); July will celebrate 1994 movies (turning 30); and in October there will be a row (and URL) for films from 2004 (turning 20, if you can believe it).

Before you lecture the youth about streaming “Chinatown” on the small screen, Netflix is also properly screening the collection at its Paris Theater in New York City, as well as Los Angeles’ Egyptian and Bay theaters — it owns those as well. Those screenings start in March, a bit before the Netflix algorithm takes you back to the ’70s.

We’ll bring you back there now; below are the titles, loglines, and credits from Netflix’s 1974 anniversary collection.

Blazing Saddles
“Blazing Saddles”Everett

“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”

A widowed singer and single mother starts over as a diner waitress in Arizona, befriending her coworkers and romancing a ruggedly handsome rancher.

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
WRITER: Robert Getchell
PRODUCERS: Audrey Maas, David Susskind
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Ellen Burstyn, Jodie Foster, Diane Ladd, Alfred Lutter, Harvey Keitel, Kris Kristofferson, Vic Tayback
DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros.
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: December 9, 1974

“Black Belt Jones”

High-kicking Black Belt Jones is dispatched to take down a group of Mafia goons trying to muscle in on a downtown karate studio.

DIRECTOR: Robert Clouse
WRITER: Oscar Williams
STORY BY: Fred Weintraub, Alexandra Rose
PRODUCERS: Paul Heller, Fred Weintraub
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Scatman Crothers, Gloria Hendry, Jim Kelly 
DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros.
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: January 28, 1974

“Blazing Saddles”

This gleefully satirical take on Hollywood Westerns follows the tortured trail of a freed slave who’s elected as the sheriff of a racist town.

DIRECTOR: Mel Brooks
WRITERS: Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Alan Uger
STORY BY: Andrew Bergman
PRODUCER: Michael Hertzberg
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Cleavon Little, Slim Pickens, Gene Wilder 
DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros.
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: February 7, 1974

“California Split”

Two compulsive gamblers with nothing in common except bad luck discover that they make an unbeatable team and take on the reigning world champion.

DIRECTOR: Robert Altman
WRITERS: Joseph Walsh
PRODUCERS: Joseph Walsh, Robert Altman
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)John Considine, Jeff Goldblum, Elliott Gould, Ann Prentiss, George Segal, Gwen Welles
DISTRIBUTED BY: Sony
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: August 7, 1974

“Chinatown”

With a suspicious femme fatale bankrolling his snooping, private eye J.J. Gittes uncovers intricate dirty dealings in the Los Angeles waterworks.

DIRECTOR: Roman Polanski
WRITERS: Robert Towne
PRODUCERS: Robert Evans
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Faye Dunaway, John Hillerman, John Huston, Perry Lopez, Jack Nicholson, Burt Young
DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: June 20, 1974

“The Conversation”

An audio surveillance expert faces a moral quandary when he suspects that a couple whose conversation he’s been hired to record will be murdered.

DIRECTOR: Francis Ford Coppola
WRITERS: Francis Ford Coppola
PRODUCERS: Francis Ford Coppola
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford, Teri Garr, Gene Hackman, Cindy Williams
DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: April 7, 1974

“Death Wish”

After an architect’s wife is murdered and daughter is raped, he seeks vigilante justice against not only the culprits but other wrongdoers as well.

DIRECTOR: Michael Winner
WRITER: Wendell Mayes
BASED ON: Death Wish by Brian Garfield
PRODUCERS: Dino De Laurentiis, Hal Landers, Bobby Roberts
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Charles Bronson, Vincent Gardenia, Christopher Guest, Steven Keats, Hope Lange, William Redfield, Kathleen Tolan
DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: July 24, 1974

THE GAMBLER, James Caan, Lauren Hutton, 1974
James Caan and Lauren Hutton in “The Gambler”Courtesy Everett Collection

“The Gambler”

After a bad run at a casino leaves him $44,000 in debt to a mobster, a professor with a gambling addiction tries in vain to win the money back.

DIRECTOR: Karel Reisz
WRITER: James Toback
PRODUCERS: Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Morris Carnovsky, James Caan, Lauren Hutton, Paul Sorvino, Burt Young
DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: October 2, 1974

“The Great Gatsby”

Mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy Buchanan, who’s married to unfaithful Tom, making for a tragic love triangle.

DIRECTOR: Jack Clayton
WRITER: Francis Ford Coppola
BASED ON: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
PRODUCERS: David Merrick
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Mia Farrow, Robert Redford, Sam Waterston
DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: March 29, 1974

“It’s Alive”

Frank and Lenore Davis are an ordinary couple who produce an extraordinary baby — a fanged mutant that sets off on a killing spree to survive.

DIRECTOR: Larry Cohen
WRITER: Larry Cohen
PRODUCER: Larry Cohen
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Andrew Duggan, Sharon Farrell, John P. Ryan
DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros.
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: April 26, 1974

“The Little Prince”

A pilot who’s forced down in the Sahara Desert listens to a boy’s magical stories about distant planets and strange people and animals.

DIRECTOR: Stanley Donen 
WRITER: Alan Jay Lerner
BASED ON: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
PRODUCER: Stanley Donen
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Bob Fosse, Richard Kiley, Donna McKechnie, Clive Revill, Steven Warner, Gene Wilder
DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount 
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: November 7, 1974

“The Lords of Flatbush”

In 1957 Brooklyn, two teenage members of the Lords of Flatbush gang face the realities of adulthood in this nostalgic coming-of-age drama notable for its cast of rising stars.

DIRECTOR: Martin Davidson, Stephen F. Verona
WRITER: Martin Davidson, Gayle Gleckler, Stephen Verona, Sylvester Stallone (additional dialogue)
PRODUCER: Stephen F. Verona
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Armand Assante, Susan Blakely, Perry King, Paul Mace, Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler
DISTRIBUTED BY: Sony
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: March 27, 1974

“The Parallax View”

While investigating the assassination of a leading U.S. senator, a journalist uncovers a conspiracy involving a shadowy multinational corporation.

DIRECTOR: Alan J. Pakula
WRITER: David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr.
BASED ON: The Parallax View by Loren Singer
PRODUCER: Stephen F. Verona
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss
DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: June 14, 1974

“The Street Fighter” (“Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken”)

Martial arts legend Sonny Chiba stars as tough guy Terry Tsurugi, a ruthless street fighter hired by the Japanese Mafia to kidnap the beautiful heiress of a vast oil fortune, all so that they can take over her family’s estate.

DIRECTOR: Shigehiro Ozawa
WRITER: Kōji Takada, Motohiro Torii
KEY CAST (ALPHABETICAL)Shin’ichi Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Goichi Yamada
DISTRIBUTED BY: Sony
INITIAL RELEASE DATE: February 2, 1974

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