Perhaps no genre of filmmaking changed more drastically during the 1970s than the police drama. While the pre-Dragnet procedurals of the late 40s frequently took advantage of real-life locations, and cynicism and punchy action had long colored the genre thanks to film noir, the cop flicks of the 1970s looked — and felt — different. The urban landscape had acquired an extra layer of grime, and Hollywood had changed to fit: location shooting was the norm, action was more visceral, scores were funkier, and the line between heroes and villains was thinner than ever. The result was a cycle of exciting, visually striking, and morally complex films that quickly established themselves as modern classics. On Thursdays in May, we’ll be crisscrossing the country to highlight some of the best of these films, making stops in San Francisco (Dirty Harry), Los Angeles (The New Centurions), Arizona (Electra Glide in Blue), and, of course, New York City (Across 110th Street and Serpico).
Thursday, May 3, 8 p.m. .
(Don Siegel, US 1971, 102 min.)
Thursday, May 10, 8 p.m. .
The New Centurions
(Richard Fleischer, US 1972, 103 min.)
Thursday, May 17, 8 p.m. .
Electra Glide in Blue
(James William Guercio, US 1973, 114 min.)
Thursday, May 24, 8 p.m. .
(Sidney Lumet, US 1973, 130 min.)
Thursday, May 31, 8 p.m. .
Across 110th Street
(Barry Shear, US 1972, 102 min.)