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Motion Picture News and Highlights from 1969

By 1969 movie theater attendance in the United States had dropped from a decade high of about 30 million cash customers per week to a mere 15 million.

Notable Releases

Alice's Restaurant, starring Arlo Guthrie (as himself) and based on his 1967 album of that name, celebrated counterculture and communal living while also highlighting some of the pitfalls of a life devoid of conventional social or personal committments.

Arlo Guthrie as himself in Alice's Restaurant

Robert Culp, Natalie Wood, Elliott Gould, and Dyan Cannon starred in the title roles of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (respectively), a comedy about the wife-swapping antics of Southern California's "smart set."

Elliott Gould, Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, and Dyan Cannon as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Easy Rider, about a pair of bikers (Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda) who travel throughout the American South and Southwest, was one of the year's surprise hits. The film was especially popular with younger audiences, many of whom identified with the heroes' attempts to survive in a society where both nonconformism and superpatriotism are equally suspect.

Dennis Hopperand Peter Fonda in Easy Rider

Battle of Britain paid tribute to the Royal Air Force's fierce fight to end German air raids over England during World War II. The film was especially notable for its attention to historical accuracy, as well as for its many very realistic-looking aerial combat scenes and extensive use of actual period aircraft (as opposed to models). Featured actors included Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, and Harry Andrews.

scene from Battle of Britain

Despite being rated X, Midnight Cowboy was one of the most critically acclaimed, and highest grossing, movies of 1969. In it, a Texas greenhorn (Jon Voight) and a New York City outcast (Dustin Hoffman) become intimate friends while trying to make a living as a pair of hustlers.

Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy

Two California gold prospectors (Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood) share the same wife, Jean Seberg, in the musical Paint Your Wagon, which was based on the 1951 stage play of the same name.

Paint Your Wagon

SEE ALSO
In the Year 1969
Dennis Hopper

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The Robinson Library >> Linguistics, Languages, and Literatures >> Motion Pictures

This page was last updated on 08/12/2017.