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10 Essential Boomer Movies

Famed director Oliver Stone picks iconic films from the boomer generation

  • Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy

    'The Graduate' (1967)

    En español | One of the first movies to address young people as an entity unto themselves — a new form of species, dislocated, alienated. The thought of working in the plastics business was smothering.

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    'Easy Rider' (1969)

    Freedom, motorcycles, long hair and a general contempt for the Southern rednecks who were fighting in Vietnam.

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    'A Clockwork Orange' (1971)

    Anarchic and innovative. It respected youth, as divorced from the state. And because we were in an antiauthoritarian age, we embraced it. Many of us, anyway. I think lot of people didn’t know what the hell was going on.

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    'The Godfather' (1972) / 'The Godfather: Part II' (1974)

    Perhaps the most significant films of the boomer age. The Godfather broke open everything. In ’72, I had just gotten out of film school. I was a cabdriver. That movie was setting the standard. It made you want to do better.

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    'Jaws' (1975)

    That summer was incredible. We were young and in the prime of our 1970s mischief. And here was the ultimate enemy. Spielberg in his true glory.  

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    'All the President's Men' (1976)

    A naked appeal to liberals who wanted to be free of Richard Nixon. It created a myth, in a way, that the press was so free. That probably did long-term damage, because then the press went to sleep. But it was wonderfully made. Here was a film about office work. A lot of desks. 

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    'Annie Hall' (1977)

    For me, it was the first woman’s film, although many had been made at that time because feminism was popular in the late ’60s and early ’70s. But Annie Hall made this quirky heroine more available to everybody; we saw a woman with a different lifestyle, going about her life. A fascinating movie.

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    'Apocalypse Now' (1979)

    It made Vietnam into grand opera. Although, as I pointed out when I did my movie about Vietnam, it wasn’t very compassionate toward the Vietnamese.

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    'Kramer vs. Kramer' (1979)

    Two great actors, Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman. But it was a small film, a wonderfully rendered story of a divorce and how it affected the child. My parents were divorced; I’d had a divorce already. This was a midlife issue for boomers.

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    'Reds' (1981)

    A personal favorite. Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton as lovers. Never a big commercial hit, but a liberating film.   

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