Back in the 70s and 80s Paramount pictures was a powerhouse of movie making. Shelling out dollar bills to the directors and screenwriters all over the show led to the birth of some of the most luminous female stars to ever grace our screens.
It seems like it might have been extra hard/competitive for anyone who wasn’t a man to nab a good role back then. Our exhaustive research (we googled IMDB) gave us a bit of a stomachache as so many films from this period only list men among their leading cast. One thing that is cool is the raw exploration of themes like identity, transgression, mental health and climate change.
The following films feature the women we stan from those long-ago decades. Hopefully, we introduce you to some new faces, inspire a new hairdo or two, or at the very least provide you with a watchlist for a rainy day.
Trigger Warning – some of the following synopsis reference sexual violence, abusive behaviour and mental health concerns.
LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH – Zohra Lampert
A recently institutionalized woman has bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse and fears she may be losing her sanity once again.
KING OF THE GYPSIES - SUSAN SARANDON
In the criminal and violent world of modern-day Gypsies based in New York City, their 'king' Zharko Stepanowicz passes his leadership to his unwilling grandson, leaving the skipped father resentful.
DON’T LOOK NOW - JULIE CHRISTIE
A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.
LIPSTICK - MARGAUX HEMINGWAY
A top fashion model seeks justice after she is sexually assaulted by her teenage sister's music teacher.
THE TENANT – ISABELLE ADJANI
A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.
TROPIC OF CANCER 1970 - ELLEN BURSTYN
The film depicts the adventures of expatriate American writer Henry Miller and his friends, as they pursue art, money, food, and sex in Paris.
THE ADVENTURERS - CANDICE BERGMAN
The wealthy playboy son of an assassinated South American diplomat discovers that his father was really murdered on orders of the corrupt president of the country.
TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME JUNIE, MOON - LIZA MINELLI
The story of three wildly neurotic characters: A facially disfigured girl, a homosexual paraplegic and an introvert epileptic who, after leaving the hospital, set up housekeeping together in a cottage where they support each other.
ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER - BARBARA STREISAND
A troubled young woman who visits a psychotherapist to help her quit smoking undergoes hypnosis and finds herself reliving a tragic Victorian romance from a past life.
SUNBURN - FARRAH FAWCETT
After a rich old man dies in a suspicious car accident in Acapulco, Mexico, his widow wants his insurance company to pony up five million dollars. Hotshot investigator Jake Decker and charming model Ellie come in to check it out.
DEEP END - JANE ASHER
15-year-old dropout Mike takes a job at Newford Baths, where inappropriate sexual behaviour abounds, and becomes obsessed with his coworker Susan.
LIFEGUARD - ANNE ARCHER
Rick, still in his 30's, works full-time as a lifeguard on the beaches of Los Angeles. When he meets his divorced high school girlfriend he considers switching to a more "serious" job.
A TOUCH OF CLASS - GLENDA JACKSON
A romantic comedy about a pair of clandestine lovers in a London-Spain tryst.
ZPG - GERALDINE CHAPLIN
The earth's resources have been strained to the limit, and cannibalism and food riots are commonplace. Further growth of the population is unthinkable, realistic mechanical babies are devised to pacify the maternal instincts of 10 billion women.
PLAYERS - ALI MCGRAW
A rising tennis star falls for an older woman engaged with a wealthy man she doesn't love. Will he become the next John McEnroe? Will she choose love over financial security?
AMERICAN GIGALO - LAUREN HUTTON
A Los Angeles male escort, who mostly caters to an older female clientèle, is accused of a murder that he did not commit.
STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE - NICHELLE NICHOLS
When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk resumes command of the overhauled USS Enterprise in order to intercept it.
BLUE VELVET - LAURA DERN
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
BLACK RAIN - KATE CAPSHAW
Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he's extradited to Japan.
BLUE CITY - ALI SHEEDY
A drifter returns to his Florida hometown only to discover that his father, the local mayor, was mysteriously murdered during his absence.
NASHVILLE - KAREN BLACK
Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention.
PLAY IT AGAIN SAM - DIANE KEATON
A neurotic film critic obsessed with the movie Casablanca (1942) attempts to get over his wife leaving him by dating again with the help of a married couple and his illusory idol, Humphrey Bogart.