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Leading Lady Tournament Week 5: The 1970s


Can you believe we’ve entered the halfway point in this tournament.  We’ve got a diverse slate of ladies so far, but there’s always room for more.  As we get deeper into the generations it’s become harder to find actresses who truly fit into one decade.  Each of the ladies presented here have had lengthy careers spanning decades, up till the present day.  As with the previous decades, links will take you to any written material I’ve done and voting runs from Monday to Monday.  Good luck to our nominees!


Films That Secured Her Nomination: The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, Annie Hall, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Manhattan

My Thoughts on the Nominee: Diane Keaton, now, has become a pale shadow of herself which I think is Hollywood’s fault more than hers.  In the 1970s, Keaton epitomized the smart and witty girl with her own hang-ups.  She was natural.  Sadly, Hollywood’s turned that into shrill and micromanaging.  Regardless, the body of work Keaton culled together in the 1970s alone is diverse and illustrates what the entire decade is about.  I believe this decade to go to anyone, but Keaton could be the formidable frontrunner.


Films That Secured Her Nomination: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Taxi Driver, Freaky Friday, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, Candleshoe

My Thoughts on the Nominee: My mother would hurt me if I didn’t include the lovely Jodie Foster in this tournament; Jodie Foster was my mother’s idol growing up (as evidenced by her constantly going on about the movies above).  Foster is the youngest nominee in the tournament (for her decade) and might be edged out by her older competition who have a larger output of work.  With that being said, I wouldn’t underestimate her, especially since now Foster has branched out from child actress to bona fide director.


Films That Secured Her NominationKlute, Fun With Dick and Jane, Coming Home, The China Syndrome

My Thoughts on the Nominee: Jane Fonda comes from a long line of acclaimed actors, and has the work to prove it.  Jane Fonda didn’t just shake up the movie game, she also came to epitomize seventies rebelliousness through her moniker of Hanoi Jane.  It ended up costing Jane some prime roles, but her body of work in the 1970s looked at hard-hitting issues of the times including the war in Vietnam.  Fonda is a diamond in the rough, not maintaining a consistent body of work throughout the eighties and nineties, including a retirement which could hurt her chances; not to mention that many still consider her Hanoi Jane.


Films That Secured Her NominationChinatown, The Towering Inferno, Three Days of the Condor, Network, Eyes of Laura Mars

My Thoughts on the Nominee: I love Faye Dunaway (although I consider her best work to be in Mommie Dearest).  Two of Faye’s most iconic works were in the late 60s, but her work in the 70s is fantastic including the foremost example of neo-noir in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown.  She excelled at playing a tough woman in predominately men’s environments as evidenced with her role in Network.  Hopefully, Dunaway will show her dominance here as well.


Films That Secured Her NominationShampoo, Star Wars: A New Hope

My Thoughts on the Nominee: You could argue Carrie Fisher belongs in the eighties, but considering how packed that category already was I didn’t want to exclude Carrie entirely, so placed her here.  It’s not too far out-of-place for her since the first entry in the legendary Star Wars franchise came out in 1977.  Other than that though, there really isn’t much else; although I do feel she steals quite a few scenes in my favorite movie Shampoo which I took into account.  I had hoped to include Carrie’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, in the fifties category, but due to overcrowding Debbie will have to wait till next year.  With that, dare I say the Star Wars fans will come out to support Princess Leia?

Good luck to all our nominees!


Kristen Lopez View All

A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.

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